Murdered child killer Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) used to return in supernatural form to terrorise the teenagers of the town that put him to death, but now he has been forgotten and possesses only a fraction of his past potency. He hatches a scheme to bring himself back by resurrecting the Crystal Lake killer, Jason Vorhees (Ken Kirzinger), and setting him upon the new generation of teens to remind them of the massacres that have occurred before. Jason throws himself into his work, but Freddy quickly realises that he now has a rival instead of an ally.
You know that game everyone plays, yes, everyone, that one where you wonder who would win in a fight between two icons, like a battle between the Millennium Falcon and Godzilla, for example? Well, that's the entire premise behind Freddy Vs Jason, scripted by Damian Shannon and Mark Swift, to see those masters of horror batter one or the other into submission, much in the way that professional wrestlers do. However, while their previous exploits, New Nightmare and Jason X, showed a welcome post modern awareness and sly humour, it's back to basics for this joint effort.
This time our troubled teens are led by Lori (Monica Keena), well, I say teens, they look about - no, over - twenty. Unbeknownst to her, Lori's boyfriend Will (Jason Ritter) has been locked up in a mental institution for the past few years, and there's a conspiracy to keep anyone who remembers Freddy silent by drugging them up with an anti-dream medication and quietly forgetting about them within the institution's walls. This method seems to be working until Jason makes his appearance at Lori's impromptu party, and one obnoxious fellow is despatched with ease in a folding bed by the hulking maniac.
Plot isn't necessarily the best reason to be watching these films, which is just as well in this case. The death scenes, however, lack invention, even in Freddy's examples, despite supposedly being the highlights. For instance, one character, Gibb, (Katharine Isabelle) has a character trait in that she smokes like a chimney, so you expect some sort of smoking-related demise for her, but we just get yet another chase around a boiler room. Kia (Kelly Rowland) claims to want a nose job (it strains credibility to believe that Rowland would need one, but there you go), but all this results in is a throwaway gag.
Then there's the kiss of death to any slasher: character development. Are we supposed to feel sorry for Jason when we see him bullied as a child? Doesn't Freddy have any other ambitions? What we really want is the heroine to find the courage to beat the baddies, yet this plotline is distracted by the feud between the villains, which boils down to an exchange of blows at Crystal Lake for the grand finale, which would have happened with or without Lori.
Despite being more of an undignified scuffle than a clash of the titans, Freddy Vs Jason isn't really that bad, it's pretty much what you'd expect from a meeting of two series that apparently exhausted all their good ideas long ago. But considering it was so long awaited, a little more imagination wouldn't have gone amiss; it seems presumptuous on the part of the film makers to think that simply putting Vorhees and Krueger together onscreen would result in anything more than yet another run of the mill sequel. Here, you get what you pay for. One thing, though: who won?! Music by Graeme Revell.
Hong Kong-born director of action and fantasy. Began directing in the early 80s, and made films such as the historical actioner Postman Strikes Back (with Chow Yun-Fat), Chase Ghost Seven Powers and the heroic bloodshed flick China White. The two Bride with White Hair films – both released in 1993 – were hugely popular fantasy adventures, which helped Yu secure his first American film, the kids film Warriors of Virtue. Yu then helmed Bride of Chucky, the fourth and best Child's Play movie, the Brit action film The 51st State and the horror face-off Freddy Vs Jason. He later returned to Asia to helm the likes of Saving General Yang.