Freddy vs. Jason

January 28, 2012 10 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

The children of Elm Street are safe to dream again, as the town has erased all knowledge of the vicious Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund). His name has been removed from public records and news articles, which means no teens even know he ever existed. The adults are careful not to speak his name, as it could spark his return. This means Freddy is tortured, since he cannot feed on the young souls he needs to thrive. But since no one remembers him, he is forced to remain powerless and trapped in a hellish limbo. As always, he has a plan to unleash some carnage, but this time, he will need some assistance. His partner in crime is Jason Voorhees (Ken Kirzinger), who is also out of action at the time. Freddy is able to communicate with Jason however, pretending to be his mother and instructing him to venture to Elm Street. The plan is to use Jason to make the teens remember Freddy’s wrath, which seems to work at first. But Jason isn’t willing to step aside once Freddy’s poised to return, as he wants to slash up the teens himself. As friends and classmates are slain, a small group of teens try to uncover the truth about Freddy, while also trying to survive the chaos of both monsters. Soon enough, Freddy and Jason turn their attentions toward each other, but when they meet face to face, who will survive?

This is the movie horror fans have waited a decade to witness, the epic battle between two of the genre’s biggest icons. A ten year wait can build up expectations, so did Freddy vs. Jason deliver the supreme bloodbath fans wanted? The film isn’t genre perfection, but in the end, this is one fun and well crafted horror movie. I mean, we have the promised battle of the titans, which is one hell of a fight, plus all the usual elements from both franchises. As with most recent horror flicks, the scare factor is rather low, but some cheap pops keep things honest. The driving force here is over the top blood and gore, with copious one liners tossed in for good measure. The characters are left to do what they’re notorious for, with Jason’s silent slashes and Freddy’s talkative slices, so the premise remains faithful to both lines. Robert Englund returns as Freddy and hasn’t missed a beat, as he nails the lines and really seems to have a blast, which enhances his screen presence. A new actor takes on Jason, with decent results, but the role should have went to veteran Kane Hodder. The teens are the usual assortment, just passable enough to watch slaughtered. I was so pleased to see a horror movie with great production values, as the gore is well done, the visuals are slick, and there is no hint of low budget on this picture. Is Freddy vs. Jason the greatest of all time? No, but for genre fans, it is a blast to watch and well worth a purchase.

This movie wouldn’t have been the same without Robert Englund, who has returned to take on his trademark role once more. Of course, that should come as no surprise, since he carried the Nightmare franchise on his back. All the one liners and brutal murders wouldn’t have been as memorable without his presence. Englund never refused the role that made him a household name, as he has returned for all of the sequels. You don’t see that too often these days, especially in the world of horror cinema. One or two sequels maybe, but not the numerous reprises Englund has agreed to in the Nightmare series. In Freddy vs. Jason, Englund is cut loose to amp up his attitude more than ever, which he does with immense enjoyment. His presence is more over the top and sadistic than we’ve seen before, which adds a ton of entertainment to the picture. Since his evil costar is silent, Englund allows Freddy to be the life blood of this picture. A lot of characters lose their edge after a few sequels, but Freddy is perhaps sharper than ever. Other films with Englund include Strangeland, Urban Legend, Wishmaster, Dead & Buried, and Eaten Alive. The cast also includes Ken Kirzinger (Screwed, Futuresport), Monica Keena (Orange County, Ripe), and Katharine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps, Insomnia).

Video: How does it look?

Freddy vs. Jason is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, with a pan & scan version also included on this release. This is a New Line release, so I expected excellence, but man, this is one dynamic visual presentation. As this is a dark, dark movie in terms of visuals, it is a testament to New Line that this transfer is so incredible. The print has some light grain at times, due to the stock used, but aside from that, no defects in the least. The image is razor sharp throughout, so detail is high and the visuals have a lot of depth. The visuals are bathed in shadows and darkness, but the contrast never disappoints. The black levels never falter in the least, with refined and stark presence at all times. No worries with the colors either, as the hues come across in bold, vivid form, though the visual scheme requires darker colors. In the end, I couldn’t have asked for a better visual treatment, so kudos to New Line once again.

Audio: How does it sound?

Thanks to the inclusion of a worthless pan & scan treatment, we’re denied a DTS option, which is a real disappointment. Even so, we do have a potent Dolby Digital 5.1 track and it is more than up to the task. This is an EX soundtrack, which means a little more punch and in this movie, that means a lot of added presence. The surrounds are active at all times in this one, with ample power and very creative touches. So the audio isn’t just loud, as the sound design is excellent and makes for a fun experience. The rear channels are alive in even the reserved sequences, but really open up once the action kicks in. No complaints about bass either, as the low end on this soundtrack is deep and rich. I found dialogue to be crisp and clear also, with no trouble hearing the one liners, screams, and gurgling spurts of blood. This disc also includes a 2.0 surround option, as well as subtitles in English and Spanish.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This is a double disc release, but don’t count on much in depth insight, as the extras are more fluff than substance. The best of the lot is an audio commentary track, in which director Ronny Yu and stars Robert Englund & Ken Kirzinger discuss the production. The session is a fun one, with Englund in a witty mood, while Yu details numerous stories from the shoot. The topics include how the project came together, the casting process, the blood & gore effect, and several humorous anecdotes from the production. The rest of the extras are found on the second disc, including a section titled The Production. This area contains five decent, but promotional featurettes, some storyboards, production photos & artwork, half an hour of visual effects vignettes, and an article on the film’s troubled development. This release also includes two brief, but fun publicity featurettes, a selection of deleted scenes, an Ill Nino music video, a total of eight television spots, and of course, the film’s theatrical trailer. There’s also some DVD-ROM material in the form of “The Cutting Room Floor Editing Suite” which lets you create your own scene. You can also view the script and the Enhanced Viewing Mode allows you to watch the movie while answering trivia questions.

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