Freddy vs. Jason

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Freddy vs. Jason
Freddy vs. Jason movie.jpg
Freddy (Left) Jason (Right)
Directed by Ronny Yu
Produced by Sean S. Cunningham
Written by Damian Shannon
Mark Swift
Based on Characters 
by Wes Craven
& Victor Miller
Starring Monica Keena
Kelly Rowland
Jason Ritter
Chris George Marquette
Lochlyn Munro
Ken Kirzinger
Robert Englund
Music by Graeme Revell
Cinematography Fred Murphy
Edited by Mark Stevens
Production
company
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release dates
  • August 15, 2003 (2003-08-15)
Running time 97 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $30 million
Box office $114,908,830

Freddy vs. Jason is a 2003 American slasher film directed by Ronny Yu. The film is a crossover between the Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street franchises. It is the eleventh and eighth entries in their respective series, pitting Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees against each other. The film is also the last film in both the Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street franchises before they were both rebooted.

In the film, Freddy (Robert Englund) has grown incapable of haunting people's dreams as the citizens of Springwood, Ohio have mostly forgotten about Freddy with the passage of time, as well as the fact that the current generation of teenagers are kept ignorant of his existence. In order to regain his power, Freddy manipulates Jason (Ken Kirzinger), into resurrecting himself and traveling to Springwood to cause panic and fear, leading to rumors that Freddy has returned. However, while Jason succeeds in causing enough fear for Freddy to haunt the town again, Jason angers Freddy by depriving Krueger of his potential victims. This ultimately sends the two undying monsters into a violent conflict.

This film marked Robert Englund's final appearance to date as Freddy Krueger, having portrayed him in all seven previous Nightmare films and the 1980s TV series, as well as the first movie since Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood not to feature Kane Hodder as Jason Voorhees, having been replaced by stuntman Ken Kirzinger who previously served as a double for Hodder in the film Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan. The film served as Grammy-winning R&B singer Kelly Rowland's debut as an actress.

Plot[edit]

Freddy Krueger is trapped in Hell, due to the fact that the teenage residents of Springwood have forgotten about him, rendering him powerless. Under the guise of his mother, Freddy manipulates Jason Voorhees, (after being dead following the events of Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday) into killing the teenagers of Springwood, hoping the mass murder will inspire fear and bring his powers back.

Meanwhile, Lori Campbell who now lives at 1428 Elm Street with her widowed father, is visited by her friends Kia, Gibb, Trey, and Blake, who are planning to spend the night at her house. Trey is killed by Jason who stabs him in the back repeatedly before folding him in half, while Gibb is in the shower. The gruesomeness of the murder and the fact that it happened in bed causes police to speculate that it was Freddy who killed him. Lori overhears his name, and while at the police station she has a nightmare where she is scared by Freddy. Later, Blake has a nightmare where Freddy tries to attack him, but he escapes unharmed as Freddy is not powerful enough to kill him yet. He awakens to discover his beheaded father beside him before Jason appears and kills him as well. The next day, the murders are blamed on Blake who they state committed suicide afterward.

Lori's ex-boyfriend Will Rollins and his friend Mark are patients at Westin Hills Psychiatric Hospital, and are forced to take Hypnocil to suppress their dreams as they are the last of the people to have had contact with Freddy. Will suspects he was sent there after witnessing Lori's father murder his wife. After seeing a news report of the murders, Mark concocts a plan that allows the two of them to escape. They return to Springwood and Mark abruptly tells Lori and the others about Freddy. He later learns of the city's plan to erase Freddy by making the population forget about him and realizes that they may have ruined their plan. That night, Lori and the others attend a rave located at a cornfield. While grieving over his death, a heavily intoxicated Gibb sees Trey and follows him to an abandoned silo which turns out to be a dream and a trap set by Freddy. As he is about to kill her, Jason, who has invaded the rave and began slaughtering the partygoers, kills her by impaling her with a broken pipe in the real world. Robbed of his victim, Freddy realizes that Jason will not stop killing and stealing his potential victims. Linderman, a classmate who has a crush on Lori, and stoner Freeburg escape the rave unharmed along with Lori, and Kia.

Lori confronts her father about her mother's death and traps him in a lie. After running away, she and Will go to Mark's house only to discover that he is being attacked by Freddy who burns Mark before slashing his face with his bladed glove. Meanwhile, Deputy Stubbs suspects a copycat Jason murderer, but his suspicions fall on deaf ears. He then approaches Lori and her friends; and together they realize Freddy's plan. With two killers hunting them, there seems to be nothing they can do until they learn about the Hypnocil at Westin Hills. They go to the hospital to get a supply of Hypnocil, but Freddy possesses Freeburg to dispose of the drugs, and pours them down a sink. After Jason electrocutes Stubbs, he is tranquilized by the Freddy-possessed Freeburg, who Jason cuts in half before succumbing to the drugs.

The teens then come up with a plan to pull Freddy from the dream world and force the two killers to battle each other. They take the unconscious Jason to Crystal Lake, to give him the home field advantage and should he defeat Freddy there; he'll already be back home and thus, will not come after the teens. Meanwhile, Freddy encounters Jason in the dream world, where an epic battle unfolds. Freddy has the advantage of his dream powers, but due to his apparent lack of fears, and indestructibility, Jason proves impossible for Freddy to kill even in the dream world. Freddy then discovers Jason's fear of water, and uses it to pull him into a nightmare of his drowning as a child. Lori enters the dream world to retrieve Freddy, saving Jason in the process. Enraged by this, Freddy attacks Lori, and reveals that he was the one who killed her mother.

In the real world, Jason awakens and stalks the others through Crystal Lake, chasing them into a nearby cabin. Linderman is mortally wounded when Jason pushes him away and he is impaled by a shelf bracket. The cabin catches fire in the process, and Lori's hand is dragged through some flames which causes her to wake up and pull Freddy from her dream into the real world. Jason begins to fight him while the others escape, and throws Freddy through the roof of another cabin.

Linderman dies of his wounds, while Lori, Will and Kia encounter Freddy. Kia taunts him, but is killed by Jason who uses his machete to slam her into a tree. The two titans then begin their final battle. An attempt to ram a mine cart into Jason goes wrong and both of them are hit and land on the boardwalk. After a long, bloody battle an explosion goes off and the two of them are blown into the lake. Freddy makes one final attempt to kill Lori and Will; however, Jason uses Freddy's own arm to impale him through the chest, before falling back into the lake. Lori decapitates Freddy while Jason sinks below Camp Crystal lake.

Finally at peace with their past, Lori and Will leave Crystal Lake together. Later, Jason emerges from the lake holding Freddy's head, which winks before the film ends and Freddy's laugh is heard.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

After fans of the A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th franchises had campaigned for a crossover film depicting a fight between Freddy and Jason, New Line and Paramount tried to make a Freddy vs. Jason movie in 1987. But the two studios failed to agree on a story or what to do with the two franchises. When Jason Takes Manhattan failed to perform successfully at the box office, Sean Cunningham decided that he wanted to reacquire the rights to Friday the 13th and start working with New Line Cinema on Freddy vs. Jason, as New Line owned the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. The concept of a fight between Freddy and Jason was not new; Paramount had approached New Line about filming a crossover years before the latter had gained the licensing rights to Friday the 13th. At that time, both companies wanted the license to the other's character so that they could control the making of the film. Negotiations on the project were never finalized, which led Paramount to make The New Blood. After Jason Takes Manhattan was released in 1989 the rights reverted to Scuderi, Minasian and Barsamianto, who sold them to New Line. Before Cunningham could start working on Freddy vs. Jason, Wes Craven returned to New Line to make New Nightmare. This effectively put Freddy vs. Jason on hold, but allowed Cunningham the chance to bring Jason back into the spotlight with Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday.[1] The ninth installment "turned a healthy profit", though it was only intended to open the door for a crossover with Freddy Krueger, rather than start a new series for New Line.[2] Ultimately, the film series would go through another sequel before that would happen. Cunningham's "frustration" with the delayed development of the Freddy vs. Jason project forced him to create another sequel in an effort to keep the franchise in the minds of audiences. Based on Jason Takes Manhattan '​s concept of taking Jason away from Crystal Lake, the tenth film would put the titular character in space.[3] The film suffered from the loss of its biggest supporter, President of Production Michael De Luca, when he resigned from his position. Lack of support forced the finished film to sit for two years before finally being released on April 26, 2002; it would go on to become the lowest grossing film in the franchise at the domestic box office; it also held the distinction of having the largest budget of any of the previous films at that time.[4]

After more than fifteen years of off-and-on development and approximately $6 million spent in eighteen unused scripts from more than a dozen screenwriters, New Line finally produced Freddy vs. Jason for 2003. One of the biggest hurdles for the film was developing a story that managed to bring the two horror icons together. Potential stories varied widely, from 2 different drafts: 1 was titled "The Millennium Massacre" where Freddy was revealed to at one time be a counselor at Camp Crystal Lake and molested Jason as a child, and another dealt with a cult called the "Fred Heads" who were going to sacrifice a little girl to Freddy, leading to the girl's older sister putting her dead boyfriend's heart in Jason's body to fight Freddy and rescue her younger sister.

According to writers Mark Swift and Damian Shannon several endings were considered for the film, one of the unused endings involving Pinhead of Hellraiser fame, and finally producer Robert Shaye came up with his idea which was acceptable for everyone.[citation needed]

Casting[edit]

New Line believed Freddy vs. Jason needed a fresh start and chose a new actor for Jason. Cunningham disagreed with their decision, believing Hodder was the best choice for the role.[5] Hodder did receive the script for Freddy vs. Jason, and had a meeting with director Ronny Yu and New Line executives, but Matthew Barry and Yu felt the role should be recast to fit Yu's image of Jason.[5] According to Hodder, New Line failed to provide him with a reason for the recasting, but Yu has explained he wanted a slower, more deliberate Jason, and less of the aggressive movements that Hodder had used in the previous films.[6] Yu and development executive Jeff Katz recognized the outcry among fans over the replacement of Hodder as Jason, but stood by their choice in recasting.[5] The role eventually went to Ken Kirzinger, a Canadian stuntperson who worked on Jason Takes Manhattan. There are conflicting reports over the reason Kirzinger was cast. According to Yu, Kirzinger was hired because he was taller than Robert Englund, the actor who portrays Freddy Krueger. Kirzinger stands 6' 5" (196 cm), compared to the 6' 2" (188 cm) of Kane Hodder. Yu wanted a much larger actor to tower over the 5' 9" (175 cm) Englund. Kirzinger believes his experience on Part VIII helped him land the part, as Kirzinger doubled for Hodder on two scenes for the film,[5] but also believes he was simply sized up and handed the job.[6] Although he was hired by the crew, New Line did not officially cast Kirzinger until first seeing him on film. Kirzinger's first scene was Jason walking down Elm Street. New Line wanted a specific movement in Jason's walk; Kirzinger met their expectations and signed a contract with the studio.[5] Even though Hodder expresses some resentment at not being chosen, he and Kirzinger are still good friends, and some fans think Kirzinger's Jason surpasses Hodder's Jason.[7] However, even Kirzinger did not perform the role throughout the entire film. In the memorable final scene where Jason emerges from the water holding Freddy's head in his hand, the role was played by another actor, 6'5" (196 cm) Douglas Tait. Almost a year after originally auditioning for Yu, Tait was called in for the reshoot of the climactic closing sequence.[8][9][10]

Interestingly, regarding Hodder, Yu says he hadn't any problems about him and even says he likes his work as Jason in the previous films. However, he says it was ultimately New Line's decision to exclude Hodder, not his. Many of the New Line executives working on the film persist on stating that excluding Hodder was Yu's idea. These conflicting statements may imply New Line regrets not hiring Hodder.[11]

In an interview, Tait explained the reason for the reshoot. He said, "Unfortunately for me, it was the only scene I was hired to do. The test audiences were confused about the original ending, they thought Jason Ritter’s character was becoming Jason. You can see it in the deleted scenes, that is why they decided to reshoot the ending. Originally I was being considered for playing the role of Jason in the entire film. It was actually between me and Ken. When they took the film to Canada, I was out of luck. There was no way they were going to pay for my flight and hotel stay when Ken was a local. Also, Ken is older than me and he was a lot more established in the business than I was at the time."[12] Describing the scene, Tait said "I was on the film for a couple days. The water sequence took a lot of preparation. They realized that when I got wet, I looked too skinny in the clothes, so they had to bulk me up with pads and extra clothing so it would look like I was still big. Being with all this extra weight, one eye covered, a machete in one hand, Freddy’s head in another hand, and being totally submerged in water, made that scene very difficult. Also, Ronny Yu wanted me to walk like I was walking on land. He wanted it to look like I could walk through the water without it making me rise to the surface. To do this effect, they had a rope tied under water that I held onto with my left hand (with Freddy’s severed head in it also), and I held myself down on the ground so I could pull myself and walk forward."[12]

Music[edit]

Distribution[edit]

Novelization[edit]

Publishing company Black Flame released a novelization of the film on July 29, 2003.[13] It was written by Stephen Hand, who also penned the novelization for New Line's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre the next year. The book, as with many other novelizations Black Flame published for New Line, follows closely the plot of the film with a few alterations. For example, the novelization utilizes the original ending where Will turns into Freddy when he is about to have sex with Lori.

Home media[edit]

The film was released on VHS and DVD as part of New Line's Platinum Series on January 13, 2004. The DVD release featured a second disc of bonus content that included: audio commentary by Ronny Yu, Ken Kirzinger, and Robert Englund, deleted and alternate scenes with commentary, Ill Niño's music video to "How Can I Live", trailers and TV spots, and behind the scenes featurettes.

The film was released on UMD on October 4, 2005 and on Blu-ray September 8, 2009. The Blu-ray contained the same features as the original Platinum Edition DVD.[14] The film was also released as part of an 9-disc pack of all twelve Friday the 13th films on Blu-ray and a Triple Feature Blu-ray pack with the Friday and Nightmare remakes.

Reaction[edit]

Box office[edit]

On its opening weekend, Freddy vs. Jason grossed $36 million. By November 9, 2003, it grossed $82,556,855 million in North America and $32,286,175 in foreign sales.

Critical reception[edit]

The movie received generally mixed reviews. Based on 153 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, Freddy vs. Jason has an overall 41% approval rating from critics, with an average score of 4.8 out of 10 saying, "Fans of the two horror franchises will enjoy this showdown. But for everyone else, it's the same old slice and dice".[15] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received an average score of 37 based on 29 reviews.[16]

Accolades[edit]

Doug Chapman and Melvin Martinez were nominated for the Best Fire Stunt in the Taurus World Stunt Awards 2004 for the double full body burn and wire stunt. Doug Chapman doubled for Robert Englund as Freddy and Glenn Ennis doubled for Jason in the stunt.[17]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bracke, Peter, pp.218–219
  2. ^ Bracke, Peter, pg. 238
  3. ^ Bracke, Peter, pp.242–243
  4. ^ Bracke, Peter, pp.263–264
  5. ^ a b c d e Bracke, Peter, pp. 280–286
  6. ^ a b Grove, David, p. 217
  7. ^ His Name Was Jason: 30 Years of Friday the 13th
  8. ^ Best Creature Performers. The Top Tens. 2011. Retrieved April 5, 2011.
  9. ^ No Long Faces Allowed!!: The Exclusive BGHF Interview with Freddy Vs. Jason's Awesome Douglas Tait! Big Gay Horror Fan. December 18, 2010. Retrieved April 5, 2011.[unreliable source?]
  10. ^ Full Cast and Crew for Freddy vs. Jason (2003) Internet Movie Database. 1990-2011. Retrieved April 5, 2011.
  11. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vBNKbzftNs
  12. ^ a b Interview: Douglas Tait (Jason Voorhees, ‘Freddy vs Jason’) fridaythe13thfilms.com October 14, 2010. Retrieved April 5, 2011.
  13. ^ "Freddy vs. Jason novelization". amazon.com. Retrieved 11/12/2010.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  14. ^ Calonge, Juan (13 May 2009). "Warner Announces Ten Catalog Titles for September". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved 10 December 2012. 
  15. ^ "Freddy vs. Jason Movie Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved July 4, 2009. 
  16. ^ vs. Jason "Freddy vs. Jason : Reviews". Metacritic. CNET Networks. Retrieved July 4, 2009. 
  17. ^ Taurus Award Archive

External links[edit]