Freddy vs. Jason

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Freddy vs. Jason
Freddy vs. Jason movie.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ronny Yu
Produced by Sean S. Cunningham
Robert Shaye
Written by Damian Shannon
Mark Swift
Based on Characters 
by Wes Craven
& Victor Miller
Starring Ken Kirzinger
Robert Englund
Monica Keena
Kelly Rowland
Jason Ritter
Chris Marquette
Lochlyn Munro
Music by Graeme Revell
Cinematography Fred Murphy
Edited by Mark Stevens
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[1]
Box office $114.9 million[1]

Freddy vs. Jason is a 2003 American slasher action 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as the first movie since Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood not to feature Kane Hodder as Jason Voorhees, having been replaced by Stuntman Ken Kirzinger who previously served as a double for Hodder in the film Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan.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.


Freddy Krueger is trapped in Hell, it's 2003 and 4 years after the events and time of the sixth film and due to the fact the teenage residents of his town of Springwood, Ohio have forgotten about him, rendering him powerless, he can no longer return to Springwood, because there's no fear of him left in the entire town. He "can't come back if nobody's afraid", so, under the guise of Jason Voorhees' mother, Freddy manipulates Jason, who he'd been looking for over a period of time to do so, into killing the teenage residents of Springwood, hoping the mass fear will restore his powers. Since the residents of Springwood were terrorized by him and not Jason, Freddy reasons, the fear will be directed towards him, giving him more power than ever hoped for. His plan succeeds and Freddy is allowed to return.

Lori Campbell now lives with her widowed father at 1428 Elm Street. Her friends Kia, Gibb, Trey, and Blake, spend the night, and Jason kills Trey by stabbing him in the back, before folding him in half with the mattress. The gruesomeness of the murder and the fact it happened in bed cause police to speculate Freddy was responsible. Later, Blake has a nightmare about Freddy, and awakens to find his beheaded father sitting beside him before Jason appears and kills Blake as well. The next day, the police blame the murders on Blake, who they say committed suicide.

Lori's ex-boyfriend Will Rollins and his friend Mark Davis, are patients at Westin Hills Psychiatric Hospital, forced to take Hypnocil to suppress their dreams. After seeing a news report on the murders, Mark devises a plan, and the two escape. He and Will return to Springwood, where Mark informs Lori and the others about Freddy. Mark later learns of the city's plan to erase Freddy by making the population forget about him and realizes he may have ruined their plan. That night, Lori and the others attend a rave at a cornfield. A drunken Gibb believes she sees Trey and follows him to a silo, which turns out to be a dream trap set by Freddy. As Freddy is about to kill Gibb, Jason, who has arrived at the rave to slaughter partygoers, kills her in the real world. An enraged Freddy realizes Jason will not stop 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. She and Will go to Mark's house, only to find him being attacked by Freddy, who slashes his face with his bladed gloves. Deputy Stubbs suspects there is a copycat of Jason murderer, but his suspicions fall on deaf ears. He approaches Lori and her friends, who piece together Freddy's plan. Learning of the Hypnocil, they decide to steal some from Westin Hills, but Freddy possesses Freeburg and disposes of the drugs. After electrocuting Stubbs, Jason is tranquilized by the Freddy-possessed Freeburg, whom Jason cuts in half before succumbing to the drugs.

The teens devise 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; and should he defeat Freddy there, he'll already be back home and will not come after the teens. Meanwhile, Freddy battles Jason in the dream world, and upon discovering Jason's fear of water 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, Freddy attacks Lori, and reveals he was the one who killed her mother.

In the real world, Jason awakens and chases the others into a cabin. Jason pushes Linderman into a shelf bracket and he is mortally wounded. The cabin catches fire, and Lori's hand is dragged through flames, causing her to wake up and pull Freddy from her dream into the real world. Jason begins to fight Freddy while the others escape, and throws Freddy through the roof of another cabin.

Linderman dies, and Lori, Will and Kia encounter Freddy. Kia taunts him, but Jason kills her by slamming her into a tree with his machete. As Lori and Will escape, the two 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. Lori and Will igniting propane tanks that blow Freddy and Jason into the lake. Freddy makes one final attempt to kill Lori and Will; however, Jason saves them by using Freddy's own arm to impale him through the chest, before falling back into the lake. Lori decapitates Freddy while Jason sinks below the water.

Finally at peace with their past, Lori and Will leave Crystal Lake together. Later, Jason emerges from the lake holding Freddy's severed head, which winks and laughs.




Influenced by fans' desire for a crossover film depicting a fight between the two icons, 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.[2] 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.[3] 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.[4] 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.[5]

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 controversies[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.[6] 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.[6] 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.[7] 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.[6] 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,[6] but also believes he was simply sized up and handed the job.[7] 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.[6] 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.[8] 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.[9][10][11]

Regarding Hodder, Yu says he had no problems about him and 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.[12]

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 [sic]. 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."[13] 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."[13]




Publishing company Black Flame released a novelization of the film on July 29, 2003.[14] 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.[15] 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.


Box office[edit]

On its opening weekend, Freddy vs. Jason grossed $36 million. By November 9, 2003, it grossed $82,556,855 in North America and $32,286,175 in foreign sales against a $30 million making it a box office success.

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".[16] 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.[17]

Englund yet again received acclaim for the role of Freddy Krueger while Kirzinger's portrayal of Jason Voorhees was mixed with some believing him to have successfully portrayed Jason's characterization while others considering his portrayal to be inferior to previous actor Kane Hodder's characterization.


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 Ken Kirzinger as Jason in the stunt.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Freddy Vs. Jason"
  2. ^ Bracke, Peter, pp.218–219
  3. ^ Bracke, Peter, pg. 238
  4. ^ Bracke, Peter, pp.242–243
  5. ^ Bracke, Peter, pp.263–264
  6. ^ a b c d e Bracke, Peter, pp. 280–286
  7. ^ a b Grove, David, p. 217
  8. ^ His Name Was Jason: 30 Years of Friday the 13th
  9. ^ Best Creature Performers. The Top Tens. 2011. Retrieved April 5, 2011.
  10. ^ 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?]
  11. ^ Full Cast and Crew for Freddy vs. Jason (2003) Internet Movie Database. 1990-2011. Retrieved April 5, 2011.
  12. ^ Crystal Lake Memories: pg. 281
  13. ^ a b Interview: Douglas Tait (Jason Voorhees, ‘Freddy vs Jason’) October 14, 2010. Retrieved April 5, 2011.
  14. ^ "Freddy vs. Jason novelization". Retrieved 11/12/2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  15. ^ Calonge, Juan (13 May 2009). "Warner Announces Ten Catalog Titles for September". Retrieved 10 December 2012. 
  16. ^ "Freddy vs. Jason Movie Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved July 4, 2009. 
  17. ^ vs. Jason "Freddy vs. Jason : Reviews" Check |url= scheme (help). Metacritic. CNET Networks. Retrieved July 4, 2009. 
  18. ^ Taurus Award Archive

External links[edit]