Freddy vs. Jason
|Freddy vs. Jason|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Ronny Yu|
|Produced by||Sean S. Cunningham|
|Written by||Damian Shannon
|Music by||Graeme Revell|
|Editing by||Mark Stevens|
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
|Running time||93 min.|
Freddy vs. Jason is a 2003 American slasher film directed by Ronny Yu. The film is a crossover between the A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th franchises. It is the eighth and eleventh entries in their respective series, pitting their antagonists, Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees, against each other.
In the film, Freddy (Robert Englund) has grown weak, as the citizens of fictional Springwood, Ohio have suppressed their fear of him. In order to regain his power, Freddy resurrects Jason (Ken Kirzinger) and manipulates him into traveling to Springwood to cause panic and fear. However, while Jason succeeds in causing enough fear for Freddy to haunt the town again, he continues to intrude on Freddy's territory and steal his potential victims. This ultimately sends the two 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 VI: Jason Lives not to feature Kane Hodder as Jason Voorhees. This is also Ken Kirzinger's second and final appearance as Jason; having doubled for Hodder in the film Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan. This film introduces Grammy-winning R&B singer Kelly Rowland, and is possibly a continuation of the end of Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, though how both killers meet is relatively different in this motion picture.
Freddy is trapped in hell, having the fear of him removed from the children of Springwood has stripped away his power and left him powerless to return to their nightmares. Hoping to inspire the citizens of Springwood to fear him again, he manipulates Jason Voorhees under the guise of his mother that the children on Elm Street have been very bad and sends him to begin killing them hoping the fear inspired by the mass murder will bring his powers back.
Meanwhile Lori Campbell who lives at 1428 Elm Street with her widowed father, and her friends Kia, Gibb, Trey and Blake are spending the night at her house when Trey is attacked in Lori's parents bed by Jason while Gibb is in the shower. The gruesomeness of the murder and the fact that it happened in bed has police speculate that it was Freddy who had 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 isn't powerful enough yet to kill him. He wakes to discover his father beheaded 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.
At Westin Hills Psychiatric Hospital, Lori's ex-boyfriend Will Rollins and his friend Mark are patients, being fed Hypnocil to suppress their dreams as being the last of the people who have had contact with Freddy. Will suspects he was sent there after seeing Lori's father murdering 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, then later realizes the city's plan of erasing Freddy by making the population forget about him and that he may have seriously ruined their plan. That night, Lori and the others attend a rave where Gibb drinks too much grieving over Trey's death, she sees him and follows him to an abandoned silo which turns out to be a trap by Freddy, as he is about to kill her, Jason, who had invaded the rave and was killing left and right kills her in the real world, robbing him of his victim and Freddy realizes that Jason will not stop killing, Linderman who has a crush on Kia and stoner Freeburg escape the rave unharmed.
Lori approaches her father about her mother's death and traps him in a lie, after she leaves the house, she and Will go to Mark's house only to discover to their horror that he is being burned to death by Freddy as a message to them. Meanwhile, Deputy Stubbs suspects a copycat Jason murderer, but his suspicions fall on deaf ears, he approaches Lori and her friends and Linderman realizes that Jason was real, with two killers hunting them there seems to be nothing they can do. They go to Westin Hills to obtain a supply of Hypnocil, but Freddy possesses Freeburg to destroy the drugs. After Jason electrocutes Stubbs, he is tranqulized by Freeburg, who he promptly bisects before succumbing to the drugs. They take Jason to Crystal Lake to give him the home field advantage, but in the dream world, Freddy discovers the indestructable Jason's fear of water and uses it to pull him into the nightmare of his drowning. Lori enters the dream world to keep him from dying and manages to stall Freddy long enough for Jason to awaken. Enraged by this, Freddy attacks Lori, revealing he was the one who killed her mother, not her father.
In the real world, Jason stalks the others through Crystal Lake and the cabin they are hiding in is set on fire, Linderman is mortally wounded and Lori's hand is dragged through some flames which causes her to wake up as she is wrestling with Krueger whom she drags out with her. Jason seems to have an advantage with his incredible strength and Freddy's own fear of the blazes in the cabin, but Freddy keeps ahead of him with his speed and agility. Linderman sends Kia to help the others and dies, while Kia taunts Freddy to keep him from attacking Lori and Will, but she is blindsided by Jason and killed as a result. Unwilling to leave until she sees Freddy die, Lori and Will watch the combat between the two horror titans. She ignites propane tanks and the explosion sends the two onto the docks. Jason rips Freddy's arm off as Freddy gains control of Jason's machete and severely wounds him in return, throwing him into the lake. He turns to Lori, intent on killing her, but is stabbed through his torso by his own gloved arm by Jason. Lori decapitates Freddy and Jason falls back into the lake seemingly succumbing to his injuries and dying as well. Finally at peace with their past, Lori and Will leave Crystal Lake together.
The next morning, Jason rises out of the lake and is holding Freddy's head. It appears that Jason is the winner of the battle but Freddy's head winks at the camera and laughs as the screen goes black, indicating that Freddy has survived.
- Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger
- Ken Kirzinger as Jason Voorhees
- Monica Keena as Lori Campbell
- Jason Ritter as Will Rollins
- Kelly Rowland as Kia Waterson
- Chris Marquette as Charlie Linderman
- Brendan Fletcher as Mark Davis
- Lochlyn Munro as Deputy Stubbs
- Katharine Isabelle as Gibb Smith
- Kyle Labine as Bill Freeburg
- Tom Butler as Dr. Campbell
- Zack Ward as Bobby Davis
- Gary Chalk as Sheriff Williams
- Jesse Hutch as Trey
- David Kopp as Blake
- Odessa Munroe as Heather
- Chris Gauthier as Shack
- Paula Shaw as Pamela Voorhees
- Sharon Peters as Mrs. Campbell
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 back 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 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. 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. 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.
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 from the Hellraiser fame, and finally producer Robert Shaye came up with his idea which was acceptable for everyone. He shot the final scene and the last scene of the movie which shows Jason was filmed without Ken Kirzinger. It was shot in Los Angeles with another actor, Douglas Tait, playing Jason Voorhees.
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. 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. 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. 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. 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, but also believes he was simply sized up and handed the job. 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. Even though Hodder expresses some resentment at not being chosen, he and Kirzinger are still good friends, and some fans think Ken's Jason surpasses Kane's Jason. 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.
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." 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." 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.
Publishing company Black Flame released a novelization of the film on July 29, 2003. 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 
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. The film was also released as part of an 8-disc pack of all eight films on DVD and a Triple Feature Blu-ray pack with the Friday and Nightmare remakes.
Box office 
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 
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 4.9 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".  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.
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.
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- Bracke, Peter, pg. 238
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- His Name Was Jason: 30 Years of Friday the 13th
- Best Creature Performers. The Top Tens. 2011. Retrieved April 5, 2011.
- 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?]
- Full Cast and Crew for Freddy vs. Jason (2003) Internet Movie Database. 1990-2011. Retrieved April 5, 2011.
- Interview: Douglas Tait (Jason Voorhees, ‘Freddy vs Jason’) fridaythe13thfilms.com October 14, 2010. Retrieved April 5, 2011.
- "Freddy vs. Jason novelization". amazon.com. Retrieved 11/12/2010.
- Calonge, Juan (13 May 2009). "Warner Announces Ten Catalog Titles for September". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
- "Freddy vs. Jason Movie Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved July 4, 2009.
- vs. Jason "Freddy vs. Jason : Reviews". Metacritic. CNET Networks. Retrieved July 4, 2009.
- Taurus Award Archive
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Freddy vs. Jason|
- Freddy vs. Jason at the Internet Movie Database
- Freddy vs. Jason at Box Office Mojo
- Freddy vs. Jason at Rotten Tomatoes
- Freddy vs. Jason at AllRovi
- Freddy vs. Jason at Metacritic
- Freddy vs. Jason at Yahoo! Movies
- Film page at the Camp Crystal Lake web site
- Film page at Fridaythe13thfilms.com
- The Nightmare On Elm Street Companion