Viking Night: Freddy vs. Jason
By Bruce Hall
November 3, 2015
It doesn't quite have the appeal of Batman v Superman, but it had to happen sometime. Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees, the most recognizable er...faces in splatter horror, finally come to blows in what was billed as the most epic supernatural smackdown of all time. Fans had dreamed and speculated about the possibilities for years, and New Line Studios finally made it happen in 2003. Director Ronny Yu was given the wheel, and the green light was given. Diehard fans rejoiced, and the cynical among us rolled our eyes, expecting the worst. After all, this is a genre that all too often sets the bar pretty low.
But what kind of contrivance could bring together franchise icons from competing studios together into one film? There's a reason why we'll never see James Bond team up with Jason Bourne, or Captain Kirk get busy with Princess Leia. And it's not just because Bourne would be a terrible wingman or because Scotty could never bring himself to sabotage the Millennium Falcon. It's because, as Bruce Campbell said of the aborted Freddy vs Jason vs Ash sequel - because of lawyers. And, I guess, crappy screenwriters, and the fact that no director worth a damn wants to be anywhere near a movie like this.
That’s no offense to Mr. Yu, but come on, we all saw Bride of Chucky, right? Not the worst movie ever made, but it shouldn’t exactly fill you with hope for a tentpole matchup like Freddy vs Jason.
With that out of the way, let’s talk about the premise. Since we last saw him, Freddy (the incomparable Robert Englund) has become powerless because the residents of Springwood have “forgotten” about him (how anyone can forget a guy who killed enough kids to fill a Home Depot is dubious, but let’s just go with it), and no longer fear him. He surmises that it’s their fear that gave him the power to kill, so he needs a fall guy to get back in the game, and get people talking about him again so that he has the power to return. I can’t say I quite follow the math on that but again, this is the kind of story where you know going in that you need to just shut up and buy what they’re selling.
Fine. I’m okay with that. So since Genghis Khan and Hitler missed their flight (I imagine one objecting to flying with a pilot named Rosenberg, and the other mistaking the plane for a dragon), Jason Voorhees (Ken Kirzinger) was the next man up. In this universe, it’s implied that Camp Crystal Lake is within Sunday afternoon driving distance of Springwood, making the travel arrangements pretty economical (it’s hard to picture Jason hitchhiking, but I really wish they’d given it a shot just for grins). Through an unspecified process that we'll call “because shut up, he just does,” Freddy brings Jason back to life and unleashes him on the unsuspecting town.