Friday, October 23, 2015

Franchises: A Nightmare on Elm Street/Friday the 13th. Freddy vs. Jason (2003)

Place your bets.
As any horror fan knows, this was a flick that was rumored to be in the works for years, particularly all throughout the 1990's after Jason Goes to Hell ended with Freddy's glove pulling Jason's mask down through the ground. I'm not entirely sure when I first heard of it, especially seeing as how I didn't become a fan of these characters until the early 2000's when I was old enough to see them, but I know that I was aware of plans for it since at least late 1999 to 2000 when we got our first computer and access to the internet. That was when I looked up Robert Englund's profile on IMDB and read that he agreed to play Freddy Krueger again in Freddy vs. Jason, whenever it came to pass. In addition, around the start of 2002, I bought a book called The Amazing Colossal Book of Horror Trivia that, along with trivia questions grouped into various chapters, had profiles of various actors, directors, and effects artists deemed to be icons of the genre and in the one on Englund, it said, "The 1999 release of the long-delayed Freddy vs. Jason, a tag-team of the greatest cinema monsters of the 1980's, was poised to scare moviegoers into the new millennium." I don't know if it was felt at the time that the movie was finally going to come out that year or what but that statement really threw me when I read it, making me wonder if I had somehow missed hearing about this movie's release, which I immediately doubted. So I went on, not really knowing or even thinking that much about whether the movie was ever going to come out or if it would stay one of those long-rumored movies that never come to pass, until the summer of 2003, just months before its release, when I read in a magazine at the barbershop while I was waiting for a haircut that it really was on the way, with a shot of both Freddy and Jason to prove the point. I went back to school not too long after it opened in August of that year and I remember hearing everyone talk about it. My cousins had gone to see it one of the first weekends that it was out and they told me that it was awesome, one of the best horror movies ever, with one cousin of mine who was a big fan of Halloween saying that it was better than all of those movies put together. I think they may have seen it in the theater more than once. The people I went to high school with, however, were more mixed, with some saying they liked it while others not so much, with one guy telling me that he thought it was "gay." Regardless, even though it was the #1 movie for two weeks straight, I didn't get to see it in the theater myself because, being 16 at the time, I was still too young to see it without an adult and neither of my parents were going to go in there with me. It would have been nice, especially since I just gotten into both of those series over the previous year (I had watched a lot of the Friday the 13th movies for the first time that summer), but I had to wait until it came out on DVD before I got to experience the big brawl between the two "rock stars of slasherdom," as one magazine called them.

I finally got to see it for the first time when I was on spring break in 2004. The Sunday of the first weekend during the break (my high school let out for two weeks), my dad and I, who were on our own since Mom was out of town, went to Wal-Mart one night and I picked up the two-disc DVD, along with the new special edition of The Howling that had been released the previous year as well. I watched it the following day, with my attention being immediately caught when I put the disc in and the first thing I heard was those kids singing the Freddy nursery rhyme, accompanied by images of Jason on fire, Freddy sharpening one of his knives, and such. And when I finally did see the movie, I liked what I saw. Despite being rather flawed, I found the movie to be entertaining, with the setpieces, unbelievable gore effects, and the fights between Freddy and Jason making for a very memorable and fun flick. I liked that the movie didn't mess with the continuity of either franchise, which I had heard might end up being the case when I read up on some of the proposed plot ideas for it, and I thought that it went at a really good pace and had a lot of energy to it. I maintained that opinion for a long time and now, even though the flaws feel more pronounced than they used to, I can still say that I find it to be an entertaining sit. It may be far from a perfect movie, and there's a lot of crap that you have to sit through before you get to what you really want to see, but at the end of the day, it delivers the goods.

Freddy Krueger is trapped in his own private purgatory, unable to enter the dreams of the kids in Springwood, Ohio because he's been completely forgotten, with the adults making sure that the kids never learn of him and, therefore, have no way to fear him and give him power to continue killing. However, after searching the bowels of hell, Freddy finds Jason Voorhees and, disguising himself as his mother, convinces him to rise from the dead and go on a killing spree in Springwood, hoping that the mass fear induced will allow him to begin murdering again. One stormy night, Lori Campbell, who now lives at 1428 Elm Street, is having a sleepover with her friends Kia and Gibb, when Gibb's boyfriend Trey and his friend Blake come over as well. Jason brutally murders Trey and when the police are called, speculation about it being the work of Freddy comes up. As the police attempt to isolate the kids to make sure they know nothing, one of the cops says Freddy's name out loud, which Lori overhears, allowing Freddy to enter her dreams, although he doesn't kill her. Freddy also enters Blake's dreams but is unable to kill him because he's not strong enough yet, prompting him to decide to let Jason claim more victims, which he does with Blake and his father. At Westin Hills Psychiatric Hospital, Lori's ex-boyfriend Will has been institutionalized along with his friend, Mark, and any other kids who have had any sort of contact with Freddy. When the two of them overhear a news report about the murder, Will, who believes he saw Lori's father murder her mother, is desperate to make sure if she's okay and Mark sees to it that they're able to escape back to Springwood. The two of them arrive at Springwood High the next day, where Mark tells Lori and her friends about Freddy, although they're forced to flee from the cops. Later, Mark learns of the town's plan to keep Freddy from killing and realizes that, after what he said at the school, he may have messed it all up. Will goes to a rave at a cornfield to meet up with Lori, while Gibb falls into a drunken sleep and is attacked by Freddy. However, before he can kill her, Jason beats him to the punch in the real world, infuriating Freddy. Jason then massacres many of the partygoers, although Will, Lori, Kia and two other teens manage to escape. Lori soon learns that her father is the one who had Will committed to Westin Hills and that he's been lying about the circumstances surrounding her mother's death. After Freddy kills Mark, the teens meet up with a deputy who tells them of Jason Voorhees and from that, they're able to piece together Freddy's plan. They break into Westin Hills to try to steal some Hypnocil, an experimental drug used for suppression of dreams, but when Freddy ruins their plan, and with Jason still after them as well, they decide that the only way to be free of the two monsters is to pull Freddy into the real world and let him and Jason battle to the death.

When I looked up information on Freddy vs. Jason on IMDB maybe a year or two before its release, the plot synopsis was a rather vague one, mentioning something about the centuries-long war between good and evil and how Freddy and Jason were caught up in it. So, imagine my surprise when the movie finally came out and I read a much simpler and to the point plot for it, which was my first insight into how many different concepts this movie went through over the years (given that the movie began filming in 2002, I wonder if they hadn't released what the official plot was and that IMDB thought an old script idea they'd heard of was the one being used). An entire documentary could be made about the nearly 20 different script ideas for the film, which ranged from interesting, like the idea of a cult devoted to Freddy called Fred Heads, to downright stupid, like making the film into a courtroom drama (can you imagine how angry fans would have been if they had gone with that concept?) That's why I find it amusing when people complain about the plot for the finished film because they obviously must not know about what the movie could have been. The script that Damian Shannon and Mark Swift ultimately came up with may not be 100% perfect but I think that their basic idea for bringing Freddy and Jason together, which had always been the biggest stumbling block, was one that was simple, straightforward, and didn't mess with the continuity of the past movies like a lot of the other scripts would have, which I appreciate. So, in retrospect, while the ultimate screenplay for Freddy vs. Jason may not win any writing awards, I think fans should be happy with what they ended up with.

It was also from that look at IMDB that I learned that the director they had ultimately gotten for the film was Ronny Yu, whom I knew as the director of Bride of Chucky. That got my attention because that's one of my favorite movies in that series, so I thought, "Well, at least they got someone who's had pretty decent experience with horror franchises." Like the script, they went through a number of different directors for the movie, ranging from Wes Craven (who, predictably, said no) to Peter Jackson (how they thought he would be able to squeeze this in while he was making the Lord of the Rings movies, I don't know), Rob Zombie, and even effects artist Rob Bottin, who was slated to make his directing debut with it. While I do think that their ultimate choice of Yu was a decent one, I find it odd that the producers said they were trying to get an experienced director who was also a fan of both series and yet, they spent a lot of time trying to convince Yu to do it even though he said that he didn't know a thing about either Friday the 13th or A Nightmare on Elm Street. (He ultimately saw the first movies of both franchises but it seems like that's where it ended.) In any case, as for how Yu did with the film, my opinion is rather mixed: I think he got some things very right and they're the best aspects of the film but I also think he made some major mistakes as well, as we'll get into. Although the movie was a massive hit, Yu hasn't directed much since its release. Save for an episode of Fear Itself, the ill-fated spinoff of Masters of Horror, he's gone back to directing action and martial arts movies in Hong Kong, with 2006's Fearless starring Jet Li and Saving General Chang in 2013.

A major strike against this movie is that, for the most part, the characters in this movie suck and suck hard. When people talk about characters in these types of horror movies that are meant to be nothing more than cannon fodder, this is what they mean. If they're not providing victims for Freddy and Jason, their only other purpose is to either give them someone to chase when they're not fighting each other or to talk exposition. For instance, Monica Keena as the lead, Lori, may be nice to look at but she has no personality to her at all. They try to make her into something of a frightened, weak girl who, over the course of the film, develops an inner strength and steps up to the plate at the end with how she confronts and drags Freddy into the real world so Jason can fight him and how she sets them both on fire and cuts Freddy's head off at the end, but I don't buy into it at all. I could name so many other leading ladies from the past Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street movies that were so much more engaging and whom I cared about more than this googly-eyed, airhead-sounding ("Freddy died by fire, Jason by water. How can we use that?"), borderline valley girl who's almost always on the verge of breaking into hysterics and whose screaming gets annoying really, really fast. They also try to make you care about her with how there appears to be something sinister about her father, who had Will committed to Westin Hills and possibly murdered her mother, but again, I really didn't care that much. And while I'm sure Keena is a nice enough person in real life, her idea that Jason was protecting throughout the climax, which she talks about in the Crystal Lake Memories documentary on Friday the 13th, makes me wonder if she even watched the movie herself since Jason clearly tries to slice her with his machete while she's asleep at one point.

It's weird how Ronny Yu directed John Ritter in Bride of Chucky and then went on to direct his son, Jason, in this film. Now, I haven't seen any of the other stuff that Jason Ritter's been in but, if his performance here is any indication, then he didn't get any of his father's talent, because he's terrible in this movie. He's better than Monica Keena in that there's a little more variety to his emotions but that's not saying much. Will seems like a nice enough guy who's been institutionalized away from the girl he cares about for no good reason to him and when he hears about a murder at her house, decides that he needs to know if she's okay since he believes that he saw her father murder her mother, which he feels is why he was put away, but the lines Ritter is given to say and the way he delivers them are just horrendous. My particular favorite is when he asks Mark, "You think that's a coincidence? Two murders in one house?" Now that's a classic. And the way he describes Freddy's apparent plan with Jason looks and sounds like he's reading off of cue cards. But the most infuriating part about him is this dumbass smile he has throughout so much of the movie. I chose that particular image of him that you see here because that's the way he often looks. Incidentally, in that image right there, he's telling Lori that he saw her father kill her mother and keeps grinning like that as he tells the story. There are a number of other scenes where he looks like he's fighting that grin back, including when he and Lori see Mark get killed by Freddy, and he even smiles like that when Freddy corners the two of them at Camp Crystal Lake during the climax and moves in for the kill. It's so distracting and infuriating and makes you want to reach through the screen, slap him, and yell, "Stop smiling when you have no reason to, you idiot!" Maybe there is a legitimate reason he was put away!

I don't have that much to say about Lori's two friends, Kia (Kelly Rowland) and Gibb (Katharine Isabelle). I don't mean to be racist but to me, Kia is just being the typical tenacious, loud black girl you see in movies, with lines like, "Ya'll, this is really stank," and, "You must trippin'" and such not helping her. Plus, while it's nice that she's a good friend to her, some of the stuff that she says to Linderman when he's just trying to be nice to her is downright bitchy and mean. Although I don't think Rowland's acting is that bad, particularly in the moment after they escape the massacre in the cornfield where she and Lori can't believe that Gibb is dead, and I do like that she does help Linderman when he gets mortally wounded during the fight with Jason and that she does seem concerned for him, she doesn't have much to do except be that typical stereotype, with her only other defining trait being that she thinks she should get a nose-job, which is put to use in only one scene and then dropped. Other than the fact that she's played by a member of Destiny's Child, which is not something I give a crap about anyway, I don't have much to say about Kia. As for Gibb, all I can say about her is that she's addicted to booze and smoking and that she has very poor taste in men, dating a douchebag like Trey. She even admits to Lori that she doesn't know why she puts up with him, adding, "But he has a cute ass." Great, so she's shallow on top of everything else. After Trey's killed, she spends the rest of her screentime in kind of a drunken daze until she passes out in the cornfield, gets stalked in her dreams by Freddy, and is ultimated killed by Jason, with her being the only victim we see him take from Freddy. There are only two other things about her that I find memorable. One is when Deputy Stubbs pulls up to the house when she, Lori, Kia, and Blake run out after Trey is killed and when he asks if they need help, Gibb runs up to him with blood on her hands and yells, "What the fuck do you think?!" The other is a behind-the-scenes thing I read where Isabelle refused to get naked and they had to have a body double for the shot of her in the shower, which led to a lot of friction between her and Ronny Yu for the rest of filming.

I actually recognized Christopher George Marquette, who plays Linderman, from an episode of the Disney Channel show Even Stevens, which I watched quite a bit when I was a pre-teen, so I had something of a connection to him from the start. He's also actually one of the few characters in the movie that I don't mind. He's the typical awkward, nerdy guy who's kind of the outcast (which I could relate to), gets picked on by the other kids, particularly the jocks (although we only see that in one scene), and has a crush on Lori, even though he doesn't have a chance in getting with her. Even though Kia writes him off as someone who just wants to bang Lori, it feels a little deeper than that to me, like he does actually care about her, is rather disappointed when Will shows up in her life again, and ultimately gets himself mortally wounded while trying to protect her from Jason. If he was only after Lori because she's hot, I don't think he would have come at and beat on a big, hulking, undead killer with a machete, screaming, "Get away from her!" They don't go into that very deeply, of course, but at least it's there. Plus, I think he has some nice lines, like when he tells Kia off after she acts like a bitch to him at the rave for no reason, when they're contemplating sacrificing a virgin to Freddy and when they look at him, he goes, "Dude, don't look at me. Even if you pay for it, it still counts," and when he's watching Kia attempting to give Jason mouth-to-mouth and he's going, "Oh, man. Oh, shit. Oh, shit." And I thought it was a shame that he died. It would have been a nice twist if he survived. Another character I don't mind, even though I know a lot of other people aren't big fans of him, is Freeburg (Kyle Labine). When I first saw this movie, I knew nothing about Jason Mewes or Kevin Smith, so I didn't make the connection at all, although now, of course, I can see that he most definitely is a clone of Mewes' persona. Still, I think he's kind of funny. Just a kind of laid back, cool stoner, who I think happens to have the best line in the whole movie: "Dude, that goalie was pissed about somethin'." I think that's legitimately funny, and I also like when he tells Stubbs, "You better start thinking your little box, dude, because somebody's definitely breaking the fucking reality rules, okay?" Even though I knew he was dead meat the minute he was introduced, I didn't expect him to get possessed by Freddy, let alone have Freddy turn into a caterpillar and force himself down his throat. His death is a gloriously bloody and memorable one, so that helps too. And in case you're wondering why I didn't call him a douche for acting like he cared about what happened to Trey but then is talking about his death like it was something awesome at the rave, normally I would but I didn't like Trey, so I didn't care at all that he said that stuff.

Mark's (Brendan Fletcher) role in the film can summed in a nickname: Mr. Exposition. Fletcher's acting isn't that bad, although I think he tries a bit too hard, and he has some nice moments, with my favorite being when he acts crazy so he can get a chance to get ahold of the guard's car keys, making monkey noises and putting his bare butt up to a window and cracking a loud fart (I'm so immature), his main function is to get all of the new kids up to speed about Freddy and how he attacks people, as well as figure out how the town has kept Freddy from coming back and tell Will, and by extension, us, about it. That's really the only thing about him. They try to give him a tragic backstory by letting us know that his brother, whom he was really close to, committed suicide years before, but, as it is with Lori's father possibly being a killer and other things about the characters, it's so thinly developed that I don't find myself caring that much about it. He's also notable in that he's the only victim that Jason doesn't steal away from Freddy but his death is pretty lame, with Freddy simply flinging him against the wall, lighting his back on fire, and then slashing across his face. I also have to briefly mention his brother (Zack Ward), who only appears in one nightmare sequence as a vision that Freddy conjurs up to mess with Mark's head. Besides, the fact that he's played by the guy who was Scut Farkus in A Christmas Story, I think the image of him in that blood-filled bathtub, with those gushing slits in his arms and talking in Freddy's voice, is a grisly and memorable one, particularly since it's the one time in the movie where Freddy refers to Jason as a hockey puck, which makes me smile.

As I've already made clear, I don't like Gibb's boyfriend Trey (Jesse Hutch) at all, although I don't think you're supposed to. He's just a dickhead who's only interested in Gibb because she's hot (which is why I don't think Linderman feels that way about Lori) and pretty much forces her to have sex with him, going as far as to say, "Babe, don't make me ask you twice, okay?" When I heard that, I knew for sure that he was a goner, which was compounded when, after they were through, he told Gibb not to touch and said that her hair smelled like menthols. He deserved to get stabbed straight through and folded in half with the bed. Although, I must admit that I do smirk when he appears as a walking corpse to Gibb in her drunken dream and says, "I'm dead one day and you're already out gettin' shit-faced?" Now, Trey's friend, Blake (David Kopp), is a guy I didn't mind. While he was probably interested in Lori just because she was hot, the same way Trey was with Gibb, and he does seem to be kind of, "Dur," at least he wasn't a douchebag about it and was acting pretty polite towards her. I think the scene where he blows up at his dad when he grills him about what he was doing at that house after what just happened, screaming, "My best friend was just killed, Dad! So how about giving me some fucking space?", and then promises to go after Trey's killer himself is a pretty good spot of acting in the film. Plus, I smile when I think about him because I once watched this movie with two of my cousins, one of whom is named Blake, and when Lori told Kia that if she was going to date someone, "It wouldn't be somebody like Blake," my cousin went, "Hey!"

While their acting is generally better than the teenagers, the few adult actors, aside from Robert Englund, aren't given that much to work with. Deputy Stubbs (Lochlyn Munro) is the one who gets the most screentime since he joins up with the kids in the middle of the film and helps them break into Westin Hills to steal some Hypnocil but he doesn't last much longer after that, getting electrocuted to death by Jason. Even before then, he doesn't have much to do other than be the one sympathetic and trustworthy adult (mainly because he's not originally from Springwood and doesn't know of the town's plan or about Freddy, for that matter) and give the kids some exposition about Jason, allowing them to piece together what's going on. He's also skeptical about the supernatural aspects of what's going on, even after Lori pulls Freddy's ear into the real world and it turns into maggots, which makes me share Freeburg's frustration with him. Gary Chalk, who plays the sheriff, is another actor who I instantly recognized when I first saw the movie, having seen him in The Fly II, the, in my opinion, underappreciated sequel to David Cronenberg's The Fly. He's good but he doesn't have much to play other than the typical stern authority figure, seeing to it that Freddy doesn't spread beyond Springwood and isolating all of the kids who know of him from the others, as well as making absolutely sure that the others know nothing of him. And even though you get why he's doing what he's doing, some of the stuff he says and does is pretty dickish, especially when he chews out Stubbs when the latter tries to tell him about the killer at the cornfield possibly being a copycat of Jason Voorhees, threatening to lock him up if he doesn't just do what he's told. Finally, Lori's father (Tom Butler) is a major red herring in the movie because he's portrayed as being very sinister and suspicious, having possibly murdered Lori's mother and lied about what happened to Will. By the end of the movie, you learn that Freddy was the one who killed Lori's mother and that her father came across her bloodied corpse in bed when he was trying to save her, but if that's the case, then you wonder why he was acting so creepy before, like when he slowly crept up the stairs towards Lori while talking in a very menacing voice and trying to make her take some pills to help her sleep. It's just clumsy writing to make him look creepy in the beginning.

Alright, now that we've got all that out of the way, let's talk about the characters we paid to see. After having not played Freddy in nearly a decade, you might think that Robert Englund would be a bit rusty but nope, he effortlessly slides back into the character and gives one of his best performances in the role. What I really like is that they dialed back the humor this time and made Freddy much darker and more menacing that he had been in some of the pre-New Nightmare films. He still has some jokey moments here and there, like the, "Got your nose!" scene, when he sends Jason flying around like in a pinball machine, and when he turns into a hookah-toting caterpillar, among others, but there's a very dark edge to him. More than in any of the previous films, we see how Freddy has a burning need to murder people in their dreams and the lengths he will go in order to regain his power to do so, making him feel more like a true serial killer. What's more, his big battle with Jason comes out of a desire to have the kids in Springwood for himself, telling him, "These are my children, Jason." That's another thing: his referring to his victims as "his children" in this film, saying that they've always been the ones who gave him his power and that he's been away from them for too long, is really unsettling to me. As in Freddy's Dead, Englund gets an opportunity to play Freddy before he was burned alive during the film's opening prologue, where you see him stalk and, off-camera, kill a little girl with his glove. Here, he's able to once again make him feel like even more of a monster when he was alive, licking the back of the girl's photo in a very nasty way and putting it in a scrapbook, chuckling evilly at his handiwork as he looks over it. Just as disturbing is when he has Lori pinned down in the dream world and, after slashing at her cleavage, prepares to violate her with his glove! You can't get more depraved than that, and I'm surprised they let them go that dark in a big-budget movie that was to be released in the summer. I feel the same way about when Freddy refers to Kia as, "Dark meat." First time watching the movie, I couldn't believe he said that (but then again, they let Kia call him a "faggot" right afterward, so at least they were being un-PC on both sides). Finally, since Freddy's always been in complete control before, laughing maniacally and making jokes at how helpless his victims are, I find it refreshing to see him get frustrated and angry when he's unable to stop Jason from muscling in on his territory, taking away his victims, and also not succumbing to his usual tactics like everyone else. It makes for one of my favorite portrayals of Freddy and is a fitting one for what will, more than likely, be Englund's swan song in the role.

One thing I don't quite get about Freddy in this film is how he operates. I understand that people's fear of him gives him his power since that was established all the way back in the original Nightmare on Elm Street but I don't quite get why people suddenly need to know of him in order for him to invade their dreams. Many of the kids in the past films had never heard of him before but he was able to show up in their dreams just fine, so why is it necessary for them to suddenly know of him? At first, I thought maybe it was because Nancy and her friends remembered that nursery rhyme about him but Jesse had definitely never heard it before and neither had the kids in Nightmare 3, not to mention that after Freddy killed all of the kids of the people who burned him alive, he needed someone like Alice and her child to provide him with new victims, so that idea doesn't hold water. And what's more, how does simply knowing of the name Freddy allow him to get into people's dreams? That's a pretty common name, so I don't know how that makes much of a difference. Maybe it's because they overheard the one cop specifically say Freddy Krueger (although Lori and Blake seemed to only hear the Freddy part, so...) Once again, I'm thinking about this much harder than I should and I still think the basic concept was a decent and simple enough way to bring Freddy and Jason together, but when you really think about it, it quickly falls apart.

I really like the makeup design for Freddy this time around. I feel that, as far as the "cinematic" Freddy is concerned (by that, I mean not counting the evil entity that took the form of him in Wes Craven's New Nightmare), this is the best makeup design since Nightmare 4. When you see it in harsh, bright light in stuff like that "pre-fight press conference" and when Robert Englund did those promos for a Spike-TV airing of the original Nightmare from the set of Freddy vs. Jason, you can tell that it's latex but in the actual movie, it's lit very well and looks and feels authentic. There's also a moment where Freddy goes full-on demonic in his look, with his skin becoming fiery red, his ears pointed, his teeth sharpened, and the side of his cheek exposing more of his teeth within. It's pretty random, with the only explanation for it being from the filmmakers that Freddy looks like that because he's really angry, but it looks cool. I think his outfit looks pretty good here, especially the sweater, which looks weathered and faded, as I feel it should after everything it's been through, and I also like really like the glove this time around. The blades on it are absolutely enormous and make it feel like a very threatening weapon that can do some serious damage, as it does to Jason during the final battle. And that's one last thing I want to mention about Freddy: when I first heard of this idea, while I was intrigued, I wasn't sure if Freddy would be able to stand that much of a chance against Jason given how the two of them are individually built, so I really liked it when I saw him really holding his own in both the dream world and the real world. He may have given Jason a little too much of a run for his money, as we'll get into presently, but I liked seeing Freddy kick some ass, giving Jason some rapid punches and kicks and doing some wrestling moves on him as well. That was great.

While everyone unanimously loves Freddy's depiction in this film, Jason Voorhees' is much more controversial, right down to the casting, with Kane Hodder being replaced by Ken Kerzinger. When I read up on the movie in that magazine article I saw at the barber shop, I was surprised when I read that Hodder wasn't playing Jason and I just assumed that he had decided that he didn't want to do it anymore. Turns out, that's far from the truth: Hodder very much wanted to continue playing Jason but, for some unexplained reason, the people at New Line Cinema decided they didn't want him. It's never been made clear exactly whose decision this was: some say that it was Ronny Yu, while Yu says that it was the studio, which could very well be the case since executive producer Stokely Chaffin being very candid in saying that she thought Hodder was "chunky," "not scary," and whatnot. Whoever made the decision, it angered a lot of fans, and when people saw the movie, what angered them even more is when Jason is shown to be afraid of water, so much so that he collapses to the floor and is reduced to a crying, little kid. While this doesn't anger me as much as it does a lot of other people, I do agree 100% that this flies in the face of what's been seen in many of the Friday the 13th movies: while Jason's backstory is that he supposedly drowned back when he was a little kid, he has never shown a fear of water in the previous movies. In fact, he often attacked people in the water, going as far as to walk straight into Crystal Lake to go after Tommy Jarvis in Part VI: Jason Lives. Even if it is in his subconscious, it still doesn't make sense for Jason to stop dead in his tracks when he sees water and fall apart the way he does when Freddy surrounds him with it. In fact, it may have made for a more interesting bout if Freddy finally ran into the one person who has no fear, rendering his usual tactics useless. And finally, while I do still like that Freddy proved himself to be a really worthwhile opponent for Jason, I don't think he should have come across as inept at fighting him as he did. It makes sense that Freddy would have the advantage in the dream world, and Jason does give Freddy some punishment during the final battle in the real world, but still, if you watch the final fight closely, you may notice that Jason takes a lot more abuse and misses Freddy more often than not when he swings his machete. By the end of the fight, they've ripped each other apart but up until then, Freddy seemed to be the one who had the upper hand. It makes me wonder if this is the reason why they decided not to go with Hodder, who always took the role seriously enough to where he would refuse to do things because he felt that they weren't what Jason would do. Maybe they felt that he would give them grief on this stuff and decided to go with a more passive guy who'd never played the role before and would be more willing to do what they told him to. I know that Yu said something about wanting to focus on Jason's eyes but you so rarely get a really close look at them that I think that's a load of bull, personally.

Now, after all of that, you may think that I absolutely hate the way that Jason is portrayed in this film but I really don't. There are some things that I do genuinely like, such as his look. Many don't like the costume he wears, which has a Frankstein monster look to it, but I've always thought it looked okay. Granted, I don't care for the slow, Frankenstein-like walk that they made Ken Kerzinger do, which was never how Jason moved before, but the outfit I can deal with. I also think the hockey mask looks pretty good here (I like it a lot more than the one he wore in Jason X) and I don't mind the completely black look to his skin or the bits of hair on the back of his head. You don't get a look at his face here as in most of the Friday the 13th movies but what little you do see when Kia has to give him mouth-to-mouth looks nicely disgusting, especially the teeth. And I think the design of Jason as a young boy looks really good, very reminiscent of how Ari Lehman looked in the original Friday the 13th. Jason gets some really cool, gruesome kills in the movie, which I guess balances out Freddy beating him up so much in some way, and I think that's when Kerzinger really shines, coming across as both brutal and rather matter-of-factly when he's hacking people up. And even though I don't buy the whole eyes thing, I do like that you can see the rage in Jason's eyes when he realizes that Freddy tricked him into thinking that his mother was the one speaking to him, as well as the moment before that when he lowers his head down submissively when he thinks his mother is yelling at him. Speaking of which, I like that they reinforce the idea that Jason is a much more sympathetic character than many of his fellow boogeymen, when we see him being bullied by the other kids at Camp Crystal Lake in Lori's dream, getting rocks thrown at him, a bag pulled over his head, and getting thrown into the lake. And although I agree that they shouldn't have gone about it the way they did, I find Jason to be very pitiable when he's cowering on the floor as a little, deformed boy (Spencer Stump), shivering and cowering in fear. It makes it much easier to accept him as the lesser of two evils, as the kids come to view him, and make you root for him to defeat Freddy.

Another casting thing that people often get hung up on with the movie is that Betsy Palmer didn't return as Mrs. Voorhees. While it does suck, I don't think it's that big of a deal, especially since it's not really her but rather Freddy imitating her to fool Jason. And incidentally, I don't think it was just the fault of the studio, as everyone seems to think, but also Palmer just not wanting to do it since, like writer Victor Miller and effects artist Tom Savini, she never thought of the killer in the movies following the original Friday the 13th as Jason and thought it was ridiculous that it went on for as long as it did. In any case, I don't think that Paula Shaw did that bad of a job. She does get pretty over the top at times, with some really overdone lines like, "Rise up, Jason! Your work isn't finished. Hear my voice and live again!" and, "Make them remember me, Jason. Make them remember what fear tastes like!", but I could deal with her (I don't think she's as bad as the woman who played Mrs. Voorhees in the opening of the 2009 Friday the 13th). Plus, she's only in a couple of scenes, so if you don't like her, you don't have to put up with her for long.

As you might have noticed from the images that you've seen by this point, Freddy vs. Jason is a movie that is very pleasing to the eye. One of my favorite things about it is the visual style and the uses of color, especially in the nightmarish environments. I love how Freddy's boiler room is bathed in a deep, fiery red and how Jason's world in hell and in his dreams are a deep blue, as well as how Freddy's room turns green when water begins pouring out of the pipes. It gives the film a feeling of a comic book or a graphic novel, which is kind of what it is. Even the scenes in the real world in normal lighting have a very appealing, slick look to them that I really enjoy, and I like the blue lighting that's used in the nighttime scenes, reminding me of the look of Halloween, as well as the scenes in the back of Mark's van, which are also bathed in a deep blue (blue is my favorite color, so any movie that uses it a lot has already won some points in my book). It gives the feeling that this wasn't just a cheap cash-in but that, when they finally got around to doing it, New Line gave it a nice budget to work with ($30 million), which was great and really helped. The production design on the film is also top notch. Freddy's boiler room looks great, with all of the bigger than life walkways and cables, again adding to the graphic novel feel of the movie, and the same goes for Jason's nightmare version of Crystal Lake, with the house that's half-sunk into the ground and bodies stuck in the mud. Speaking of Crystal Lake, I think it looks nice in both the dream version of it that Lori has, with the old-timey feel to it and such (the weird strobe effect notwithstanding, it's the most traditionally-shot scene in the film), and in the real world, where a lot of it is under construction and with there being an old, rundown cabin in the center where the final battle begins. Along with the strobe effect, they also make use of slow-motion and high-speed to make something feel off-kilter, mainly in the nightmare scenes. I don't think it's exactly necessary but I can deal with it.

The movie is only 97 minutes long and it goes by at a rapid pace, which is nice since there's always something happening to hold your attention. However, there's a downside to the film's pace as well: the story feels very rushed and underdeveloped, coming across as less of an actual plot than just a bunch of scenes and setpieces thrown together to lead up to the fights between Freddy and Jason. It feels rather choppy, with how quickly we go from the first murder at Lori's house to the authorities attempting to keep Freddy from killing again, being introduced to Will and Mark, their escape from Westin Hills, their showing up at Springwood High and then finding out about the town's plan, Mark telling Will about how Freddy operates, the massacre at the rave, the attempt to steal Hypnocil from Westin Hills, and the plan to have Freddy and Jason battle at Camp Crystal Lake. In addition, the various plot-points, like Will's belief that Lori's father killed her mother, the father acting sinister towards Lori and showing that he can't be trusted, his involvement with what's been going on at Westin Hills, their hitting upon Hypnocil and deciding that they need it, Freddy discovering that Jason has a fear of water, and so on are brought up and then dropped so quickly that you almost forget that they were even an issue. For instance, Lori mentioning how Freddy died by fire and Jason by water? Doesn't go anywhere, making you wondering why they even brought it up. I know that with this type of movie, the story and characters would be secondary to giving the audience what they want, which it does deliver on, but still, there's so little depth to the film, not only in comparison to the two films that Wes Craven directed but also Nightmare 2-4, that it ultimately comes off as entertaining but also rather shallow.

Before I saw the movie, I knew that it began with a prologue that was like the history of Freddy Krueger for people who hadn't seen the past movies in a long time, but I didn't expect that I would appreciate it as much as I ultimately did. It was for two reasons. One was that I liked that, except for New Nightmare for obvious reasons, they didn't disregard any of the previous movies, as easily could have been the case with many of the script ideas they had for the film. It's nice that they decided to honor the past movies and not wipe them from existence, especially to me since I was such a stickler for continuity back then. The other is that they showed footage from Nightmare 2. After years of that movie being virtually disregarded by the films that followed it, it was nice to see it finally considered canon. I still don't like that a lot of the people behind the Nightmare series crap on it and call it a misfire but at least it finally got its due. The opening prologue also brings me to something else that I've always felt about the movie, which is that this, at the end of the day, is more an installment of the Nightmare series than of Friday the 13th. That's why I waited until I decided to review the Nightmare movies to do it. Freddy is the star of this film, is the one that puts the plot in the motion, and is the one pulling Jason's strings at the beginning, whereas Jason is just kind of along for the ride. And as much as it pains me to say this, because I like Jason just as much as Freddy, I think that's why he didn't get treated with much respect in this movie. Since it's New Line Cinema, the house that Freddy built, of course they're going to be pro-Freddy and treat him with more respect. In fact, if you look back at the movie's long history, the only reason they agreed to buy the rights to the character of Jason from Sean Cunningham is so they could one day do this movie. Jason Goes to Hell was meant to be little more than an appetizer before the main course of this film and the only reason Jason X was made was to keep Jason in the public eye while they continued developing it. New Line saw the character as little more than a means to eventually make a movie that would please a lot of fans, make a lot of money for them, and put Freddy back in the limelight. At least, that's what I think.

While we're on the subject of the continuity of the past films, I have to ask exactly how this movie relates to Freddy's Dead. It shows clips from that movie in the opening, so we know that it did happen, but you have to wonder how Springwood could have become repopulated with teenagers, the adults could have been snapped out of the mass psychosis they were going through, and how they could have come up with the plan to keep Freddy from killing by wiping out the memory of him in the short amount of time between the two movies. As I said back in my review of it, Freddy's Dead is said to be set ten years in the future from its release date, which I always thought meant 2001, just two years before Freddy vs. Jason, which takes place in the year it was released. However, I've heard other sources say that movie actually takes place in 1999, ten years after Nightmare 5, which was 1989. I don't know how that could be since the opening of Freddy's Dead said TEN YEARS FROM NOW, which I felt meant the year it was released, but even if it did take place in 1999, that's still just four years between it and Freddy vs. Jason. I can't see how they could have gotten Springwood back to some semblance of normality considering the state it was in previously, and the ages of the teenage characters, how they've appeared to have lived in Springwood all their lives, and how their individual connections to Freddy (his murdering Lori's mother, Will and Mark getting institutionalized at Westin Hills due to direct or indirect contact with him) appear to have happened some years before only make it more complex. I guess solving the problem of how to bring Freddy and Jason together was such a big issue that anything else was of lesser importance and they didn't even bother, and it's utimately not a big deal, but it is something interesting and fun to think about, like how the characters could drive from Springwood, Ohio to Crystal Lake, which is in New Jersey, in just a few hours.

Like New Nightmare, there are a number of references to past films, mainly A Nightmare on Elm Street but there are some nods to the past Friday the 13th movies as well. The most blatant one is the Hypnocil, the dream suppressing drug that was mentioned in Nightmare 3 and is being used to keep the kids at Westin Hills from dreaming about Freddy. It becomes something of a macguffin in the middle of the movie when the kids break into Westin Hills to get ahold of it but it's tossed aside when Freddy sees to it that they can't use it. Westin Hills was also the setting of Nightmare 3, and apparently it was converted from a rundown, old-looking asylum like it was in Nightmare 5 to a modern, working facility in the years since that film (which would have been ample time to do it, in this instance). In addition, Freddy pushing his head through the wall behind Gibb in the nightmare scene leading up to her death is a call-back to when he did that above Nancy's bed in the original Nightmare, the TV station covering the film's first murder is KRGR, which was the radio station Glen was listening to before Freddy sucked him down through his bed in the first film, "How sweet, dark meat," is like, "How sweet, fresh meat," from Nightmare 4, Jason's resurrection is sort of akin to Freddy's in Nightmare 4, and Jason stabbing Freddy with his own glove at the end is akin to when Maggie did that to him at the end of Freddy's Dead. The references to past Friday the 13th movies aren't quite as obvious and I honestly didn't catch onto them until I read up about them. Jason impaling both Gibb and that raver who was trying to get it on with her while she was unconscious is a nod to the shishcabob kill from Part 2, the bag that Lori sees those mean kids put on the young Jason's head in her dream is apparently meant to be a reference to the one he wore in Part 2, the roof of the main cabin falling on him is like something similar that happened in Part VII: The New Blood, and the moment during the final battle where Freddy cuts off his fingers and he stops and looks at them is meant to be a nod to a similar moment during the climax of The Final Chapter. And the part where he throws Stubbs' body through the glass window of the door at Westin Hills is like any of the many times somebody has gotten thrown through a window in the past Friday the 13th movies.

One thing I don't think anybody can deny about Freddy vs. Jason is that if you want gore, it's got you covered. Going into the film, I had heard that it was quite a bloodbath, with the R-rating on the back of the DVD saying that a big reason why it had that rating was for, "Pervasive strong horror violence/gore and grisly images," but I had no idea just how crazy this movie got with it. People get split open and blood sprays out of the wounds, one guy gets stabbed right through his back and then folded up into a V-shape with a bed, another gets sliced completely in half, a man's head falls off his body and blood sprays up out of the severed neck, Kia dreams that Freddy rips her nose off, Jason impales a girl on a tree with a machete during his first appearance, a bathtub is seen overflowing with blood and a guy with slashed wrists spraying blood and bubbling skin is sitting in it, tubes jam themselves into Mark's bare feet and he gets a nasty burn on his back with the message FREDDY'S BACK in it, you see a little girl whose eyes have been gouged out, Stubbs gets fried via electrocution, and there are many, many shots of blood flowing and dripping. And that's to say nothing of what you see during Freddy and Jason's climactic battle. They literally rip each other part, with Freddy sending sharp spears through Jason's body, cutting off his fingers, gouging his eyes out, stabbing him in the gut, and putting his own machete through him, while Jason shoves his hand into Freddy's torso and rips him open, rips off his right arm, and eventually stabs him through the back with it, not to mention that Lori cuts his head off afterward. When they're struggling with each other on that dock at Crystal Lake, they are completely covered in blood, with Ronny Yu saying that they went through 300 gallons of the stuff during the shoot, which is not something I'm inclined to disbelieve. When the blood starts gushing in this film, it is absolutely crazy and entertaining as hell. I've heard some complaints about how over-the-top and cartoonish the gore gets at points, with the blood literally spraying out of wounds and such, which some compare to stuff you would see in Monty Python, but I love it because, like the film's visual style, it adds to the comic book/graphic novel feel of the film. Besides, I'd want a movie leading up to a big battle between Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees to be as crazy and graphic as it could be, so I think WCT Productions, the people behind the makeup effects, did a very superlative job. If I had one complaint about the gore, it's that the blood sometimes looks and feels a little too watery, particularly in that shot where blood splashes against the window when Jason kills Blake and it very audibly drips off of the glass. I've never heard blood in movies do that and it felt a little too fake to me, but that's my only real complaint about the gore; otherwise, it's bloody good in every definition of the term.

While Freddy's Dead and Wes Craven's New Nightmare dabbled in it, this is the first Nightmare movie to make very extensive use of CGI, with mixed results: some of it holds up well, while some of it is pretty dated. The morphing effects that they use for some shots, like when the girl that Jason kills at the beginning turns into some of his past victims, Mrs. Voorhees turns into Freddy, and when the wall of the police station turns into the front door of 1428 Elm Street when Lori backs up against it, look really good, and the same goes for some of the uses of green screen, like the combination with a practical makeup effect when Kia's nose gets ripped off (Freddy appearing in the magazine she's looking at and his hand coming out of it also looks good) and the shot behind Lori as she approaches the girls jumping rope in that latter scene. I would have never guessed that was a green screen shot but it was, and a very well-done one too. Other digital effects that still look pretty good are when Lori sees drops of blood forming in mid-air and dripping to the floor in the police station, when they used digital effects to make the little girl's gouged eyes look deep and black, when people disappear out of the dream world, like Gibb when Jason kills her in reality, when Freddy regrows his arms after Jason cuts them off in their dream world battle, the shot in Jason's dream of bodies floating in water inside the closet in his house, and the way they got Robert Englund's head to look severed in the last shot when Jason is carrying his head and he winks at the camera (I wish more movies did combinations of digital and practical elements like that instead of relying solely on CGI). I have more mixed feelings about some of the other effects that are completely CGI. The Freddy shadow that comes after Blake isn't the most realistic but I can deal with it, and the same goes for when Freddy flings Jason around like a pinball and when you get a digital shot of the inside of Jason's brain when Freddy penetrates his skull with his claw before going into his dream world. Those latter two shots are very cartoonish but given that they're in the dream world, I let them slide. The effects that I can honestly say don't hold up that well are the CGI tubes that attach themselves to Mark's feet during his nightmare in the bathroom (that didn't even look good back then), when Freddy's ear dissolves into maggots after Lori pulls it out of her dream, and the Freddy caterpillar that shows up to Freeburg and pulls out a hookah. I do love that latter sequence (I think I'm one of the few that does) but I can't pretend that caterpillar looks realistic because he doesn't. So, there are some bad digital effects here but you have to give them credit: they knew that effect of Trey's corpse walking towards Gibb while breaking apart didn't look good, even for something in a dream, and they ultimately cut it from the film altogether.

Since he's directed a lot of action and martial arts movies in his career, Ronny Yu knows how to shoot and construct these types of scenes in a way that's very satisfactory and so, the fights and stunts in Freddy vs. Jason come out looking very nice. While he does employ a number of different camera speeds in the film, Yu doesn't shake it around or go so crazy with the editing that you can't tell what's going on; rather, you can very clearly see every blow, every cut, and every tear in the fight scenes, which is what Yu said his intention was. He also throws in some very cool stunts, using a lot of wirework to fling Freddy and Jason, as well as some of their victims, around the sets, as well as making great use of fire, whether it be Mark's back getting set on fire, having Freddy and Jason fight in a burning cabin, or them getting blown out into Crystal Lake, engulfed in flames. The most impressive stunt in the entire movie is when Jason gets lit on fire in the cornfield and stays on fire for the majority of the sequence, including when he enters the rave and starts hacking people up. That was all done for real, it was a very complex and dicey stunt, and it looks spectacular in the movie. The film may not have much depth but with all of the stuff it does have, it's most certainly not boring.

The film opens with Freddy himself recounting his backstory, saying that children were the ones who gave him his power from the beginning, and we see a scene of him when he was alive throwing a doll into a furnace, sharpening the blades on his glove, and stalking and killing a little girl (fortunately, we don't actually see her get killed). Afterward, you see him licking the back of her picture and putting it in his scrapbook, before chuckling evilly at his handiwork. That's when the angry parents of Springwood throw a molotov cocktail through the window, setting the place on fire and burning him alive. From there, we see a montage of scenes from the previous Nightmare movies, as Freddy describes how after his death, he gained the power to invade people's dreams and that's when the fun really began. But then, he begins ranting about how they've figured out a way to completely erase him and that he can't come back if nobody remembers him. After the montage, he says that he's found someone who'll make them remember, and that's when we see Jason's hockey mask lying on the ground. The camera zooms in one of the eye-holes as Freddy says, "He may get the blood, but I'll get the glory, and that fear is my ticket home," and we transition to a woman on a dock by a lake preparing to go skinny-dipping.

Hearing something, she thinks it's someone named Mike and flashes her breasts to try to draw him out. When she doesn't get a response, she strips completely naked and jumps in the water. She's not in the water for more than a few seconds before she gets the feeling that she's being watched, which she is, and tells "Mike" that it's not funny anymore. When she still gets no response, she swims back to the dock, climbs up on it, and throws her shirt on. She hears some rustling in the nearby woods, and we hear Jason's familiar, "Ki, ki, ma, ma," sound, and the woman runs for it. She heads into a nearby campground but stops in her tracks when she sees Jason's silhouette in the fog, walking towards her. She turns the other way and runs screaming into the woods, until she trips over a large root and hits the ground. Getting back up, she looks around in a frightened manner and slowly backs up until she hits something. Scared, she reaches her hand behind her to feel what it is and relaxes when she realizes it's just a tree. Breathing a sigh of relief, she hears some rustling nearby and slowly creeps around to the other side of the tree... and comes face-to-face with Jason when she turns around. Before she can react, he impales her against the tree with his machete. Jason then hears the sound of his mother say his name and turns his head towards the source. The girl he just killed then appears to come back to life and says that she should have been watching the kids instead of meeting a boy at the lake. She then turns into two of his past victims who say that they deserved to be punished. He hears his mother call to him again and when he turns this time, he sees her standing there smiling. She tells him that he can't die no matter what happens to him and that he's just been sleeping. It's now time to wake up because she has something for him to do. She tells him to go to Elm Street, where the children have been very bad. As she tells him to rise up, we see Jason's corpse in the real world being restored to life, with his heart beating and his lungs filling up with air. He then opens his eyes (or at least, his left one, which should be the other way around since that's the one he was missing in the films since Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter), pulls himself out of the ground, and walks off towards Springwood, as his "mother" eggs him on. That's when she turns into Freddy, who laughs and says, "I've been away from my children for far too long." We then get the film's title, which forms out of sizzling blood splashing against the wall (this little sequence, which also involves flesh getting slashed and blood gushing, already lets you know that this going to be a gorefest), before starting the movie proper as hard rock music plays.

You see Jason's shadow on the road as he walks down Elm Street in a rainstorm, and after being introduced to Lori and her friends at 1428 Elm, you see that he's stalking the house when Gibb throws a cigarette out the window and unknowingly hits him in the face with it. The power in the house soon goes out from the storm and shortly after Trey and Blake arrive, the former pretty much forces Gibb to go upstairs to have sex with him. A few minutes later, Blake goes into the kitchen to get some more beers and, noticing a draft, walks around the corner to see that the back door is open. It then appears to slam shut by itself, and after a quick look upstairs, possibly from Jason's POV, to see that Trey and Gibb are going at it in the bedroom, you see Lori and Kia walk into the kitchen, holding candles, to see what that noise was. They're surprised when Blake comes around the corner and tells them that he closed the back door. Upstairs, Gibb goes to take a shower, leaving Trey in the bed by himself. As she showers, Trey grabs a beer can by the bed and takes a sip, when he sees Jason standing over the bed to his right. He tries to scramble off the bed but Jason plunges the machete through his back and stabs him repeatedly all the way through the bottom of the mattress. As Trey's body convulses, Jason grabs both ends of the bed and folds it, and Trey, up into a V-shape, finishing him off. Having heard the ruckus in the bathroom, Gibb asks Trey what's going on when she steps right into a pool of blood oozing underneath the door. Opening it, she screams when she sees the grisly aftermath of the murder and in the next shot, she and the others run out of the house, screaming for help. They flag down a passing police car, driven by Deputy Stubbs, and Gibb shows him her bloody hands when he asks if they need help. In the next scene where the police are investigating the scene, the sheriff tells one of his deputies that they need to lock this down and keep it contained but the deputy says Freddy's name out loud, which Lori overhears from nearby. The sheriff admonishes him for his slip of the tongue and tells him to take the kids down to the station and to keep them separated.

At the station, Lori asks Stubbs what's going on, saying that she thought she heard one of the officers mention a name, but he's not able to tell her much before he's ordered out of the room by the sheriff. When he leaves, Lori tries to remember the name and when she does, she looks up to see that the station is now suddenly empty. Walking out into the hall, a gust of wind blows through it and Lori then hears what sounds like someone sobbing. Looking down the hall towards the source of the sound, she sees drops of blood forming in mid-air, dripping to the floor, and disappearing. Following them down the hall and around a corner, she passes by a number of fliers on the wall with pictures of missing children... who all turn their hands and watch her as she walks by. Turning the corner, she sees a little girl sitting on the floor, against the wall up ahead, crying. Lori puts her hand on the girl's shoulder and asks her if she's okay. The girl turns her head towards her and Lori then sees that her eyes have been gouged out, which absolutely horrifies her and causes her to back up. The girl stands up and walks towards Lori, telling her, in many different voices, about Freddy (she says that he loves children, especially little girls... yeah, your skin's crawling right now, isn't it?), that he's coming back, and she must warn her friends and everyone else. Lori backs up against the wall behind her, which turns into the front door of her house. Blood pours down it and she quickly steps away from it, now seeing that the front yard is now a cemetery. On the path up ahead are girls jumping rope while singing the Freddy nursery rhyme (which I think is sung better here than it ever has been) and Lori slowly walks toward them, terrified at what she's seeing. When Lori turns to her right, Freddy lunges at her from off-screen, scaring her awake and causing her to breathe a sigh of relief when she finds herself back at the station.

The scene switches to Blake's house, where his dad grills him about what he was doing over at that house when he was supposed to be watching his sister but Blake snaps at him, telling him that his best friend was just killed and demanding that he give him some space. His dad goes back in the house, leaving Blake out on the porch by himself, where he promises to take down Trey's killer himself, saying that he overheard one of the cops say that it was someone named Freddy. He then hears and sees some rustling in the bushes on the street across from his house and he walks out to investigate, asking if there's someone there. When he walks into the road, he hears some bleating behind him and turns around to see a goat standing in front of the steps to his house (why does Freddy think barnyard animals like goats and sheep are scary?) He then hears Freddy laugh and looks down the road to see him standing at the opposite end. Freddy's shadow suddenly extends towards Blake and rises up in front of him. Blake tries to run but the shadow cuts him off and jabs its claw at him... which go right through his chest without harming him. Blake runs for safety, while Freddy realizes that he's still not strong enough to physically harm someone. Knowing that he will be soon, he says, "Until then, I'll let Jason have some fun." Blake wakes up back on the front porch and when he looks to his right, he sees his dad sitting beside him, staring straight ahead blankly. Wondering what he's doing, Blake shakes his body and his head pops off and falls into his lap, while the severed neck sprays blood all over the window behind it. Standing up in shock, Blake turns around to see Jason standing there and he barely gets time to react and shield himself with the head before he slices him open as well, splashing more blood across the window.

There's a small scene the next morning where the film, now that we've heard from Will that Lori's father supposedly killed her mother, tries to make Dr. Campbell look sinister, putting something into a glass of orange juice and trying to make Lori drink it. Lori, who barely got any sleep the night before, is completely out of it and refuses the juice, drifting into a dream where the film's speed slows down and her father's voice begins to echo. You can faintly hear Freddy call Lori's name and as her father says that they need to get her to bed, his face suddenly turns into Freddy's. Lori then wakes up and heads off to school, despite her father saying that she shouldn't after what happened the night before and again trying to make her drink the juice, which she doesn't. Later on at school, Lori tells Kia and Gibb about the nightmares she had and Mark shows up to tell them who Freddy is and what he does. Will then makes his appearance, backing Mark off and reuniting with Lori, only for her to faint from exhaustion and the fear Mark just put in her. He and Will then have to run for it when the principal (Bob Shaye, who had some dialogue later but it got cut because he couldn't stop saying "hotel" instead of hospital or station or whatever it was supposed to be) shows up and in the next scene, Lori has ended up in the infirmary. After Kia checks in on her and asks the nurse if she's okay, and only gets shushed for it, we see Freddy's unmistakable silhouette behind the glass to Lori's left. In the next shot, Kia is looking through a magazine and sees an article about nose jobs, calling back to her thinking earlier that she could use one, and asks the nurse if you're put all the way under when you have one done. The nurse ignores her and Kia flips on through the magazine, coming to an article that appears to be about breast enhancements, and then to one that shows some very graphic photos of surgical procedures, disgusting Kia. When she comes to an article that says, NEW DREAM NAILS and HARD AS STEEL, Freddy's glove emerges from the magazine and puts two of the blades in Kia's nostrils. His face then appears in one of the photos and he says, "Got your nose!" before cutting the front of Kia's nose completely off, with her screaming as blood flows out. Kia then wakes back up in the infirmary, unharmed since Freddy's still not back to full strength, and throws the magazine she fell asleep looking at across the floor.

The next big sequence takes place at the rave in the cornfield. Aside from a cutaway where we see Jason's hand tear loose a big, rusted pipe to use as a weapon, things don't start happening until Gibb wanders away from the party and into the cornfield in a drunken stupor. A figure rushes by her in the corn, which Gibb seems to notice, and she walks on to see Trey's corpse standing there, admonishing her for getting plastered one day after his death. While Gibb tries to process what she's seeing, Trey walks off and demands that she follow him, which she eventually does, dropping both the cup of beer and the cigarette she was holding. She walks through the cornfield until she comes across what appears to be a huge, wooden silo and goes inside. Once she's in there, she finds herself in Freddy's red-glowing boiler room and sees his shadow appear on the wall ahead of her. Frightened, she backs up and tries to go back out through the door but runs into a metal wall instead. Pounding frantically, looking for the door, she turns around as Freddy's face presses through the wall, prompting her to run into the depths of the place. A cutaway back to reality shows that Gibb has passed out in the cornfield, which catches the attention of a raver who has a bunch of lights attached to his clothes. Back in the dream, Gibb wanders through the corridors of the boiler room, which is so hot that she's unable to even touch the walls, and gets to the end of one corridor when she again sees Freddy's shadow on the wall ahead. Turning around, she tries to run but then sees him standing nearby, laughing at her fear. Running in another direction, Gibb hits a dead end and is forced to run up some stairs onto a walkway, only to once again come across Freddy on the opposite end. He slowly walks towards her, tapping his claws along the metal pipe to his right and then scraping them against it. Gibb screams that he's the one who killed Trey but Freddy says, "Oh, don't worry about my little errand boy. The only thing to fear is fear himself." This whole time, Gibb has been backing up along the walkway until she trips and falls off it, slamming onto some lockers down below and falling on the floor in front of them. Freddy just casually reacts to this by going, "Oh." In reality, that raver is attempting to take advantage of Gibb while she's alseep, not realizing that he's being stalked from nearby. In the dream, Gibb opens up one of the lockers and crawls inside, peaking through the slits in the door to look for Freddy. When she sees no sign of him, she slowly opens the door, again looking around outside, when he suddenly tears the door off with his hand. Hanging down in front of the locker, trapping Gibb, he prepares to kill her, when her chest suddenly explodes, splashing him in the face with blood, confusing him. In reality, we see that what happened was Jason impaled both her and the raver attempting to have sex with her with the large pipe, picking it up and sending the raver flying through the air. As Gibb disappears out of the dream, Freddy realizes what happened and angrily yells, "No! She's mine! Mine! Mine!"

At the rave, two guys are getting both drunk and high at the same time, when they see Jason standing behind them. They're so messed up that, instead of being scared, they decide to hassle him, with one guy saying, "Well hey, Jethro! This is a rave, not a Halloween party. Why don't you go find yourself a pig to fuck?!" The other guy then makes the mistake of poking Jason in the chest, saying, "Invite only, corn-poke, and you... weren't... invite-..." He doesn't get to finish his sentence as Jason grabs his head and turns it completely around in an instant, prompting his buddy to go, "Son of a bitch." Pushing the guy's body over, Jason turns his attention to his buddy, who throws his beer onto him and then grabs a nearby torch and lights him on fire with it, yelling, "Burn, motherfucker!" (I think Busta Rhymes said that better in Halloween: Resurrection, myself.) Unfazed by this, Jason simply takes out his machete, prompting the guy to take off through the cornfield back to the rave, with Jason right behind while still engulfed in flames. There are some really nice shots, including a wide, overhead one, of Jason walking through the cornfield on fire until the guy finally makes it back to the rave. Jason then throws his flaming machete, impaling the guy straight through the torso and making him spit up blood before he collapses and the partiers see what happened. Jason walks out of the cornfield, pulls his machete out of the guy's corpse, and begins slaughtering everyone he can as the kids, including our main characters, scatter. He slices one guy's chest open, sending blood spraying into the air, swings and slices another one across the throat, and then turns around and corners another guy at the back of a truck, who throws everything he can at him and screams that he just killed his brother. Jason swings the machete, slicing open the keg of beer in the back of the truck and appears to miss the guy but I guess not since the guy then gags and dies (maybe he got him in the shoulder). He's doused by spraying beer from the keg, which for some reason puts the flames out instead of making them worse, while Lori and the others come across Gibb's body in the cornfield. She, her friends, and the others run for their vehicles, while back at the massacre, Jason pulls his machete out of one person's chest before hacking up a couple of others that he corners.

When Will takes Lori to her house after dropping everybody else off, he tells her about how he believes that he saw her dad murder her mom years before, which was why he was sent to Westin Hills. After a flashback where we see Will sneaking into Lori's bedroom by climbing up the trellis outside and apparently witness Dr. Campbell stabbing his wife to death with a knife through the window, Campbell shows up outside the van and he and Will get into an argument outside in the rain. As Lori watches and screams at both of them to stop, Campbell grabs Will by the throat and tells him he's not going to let him endanger his daughter anymore. Lori screams in frustration and runs into the house, with her father following her, leaving Will gagging and coughing on the ground. In the house, Lori confronts her father about the truth and he admits that he does some consulting at Westin Hills. Realizing that he has been lying about Will, Lori begins to feel that she can't trust him, especially when he starts acting very menacing, walking slowly up the stairs towards her and trying to make her take something to help her sleep. Frightened, Lori runs into her room and closes and locks the door, with her father right behind her, demanding that she let him in. As he tries to break the door down, Lori escapes out the window and climbs down the trellis, taking cover behind a nearby tree as he breaks his way into the room and leans out the window, yelling for her. When he ducks back inside, Lori walks down the sidewalk and meets back up with Will, the two of them deciding to meet up with Mark.

At his old house, Mark looks at a photo of him with his family, particularly his brother, Bobby. After thinking about them for a bit, he then hears an eerie voice call to him from down the hall and when he opens the door, he hears the sound of water running and sees steam coming out from underneath the door to the bathroom. He slowly walks towards the door and opens it to reveal that the bathroom is empty. Realizing that he needs to stay awake, Mark walks to the mirror and opens up the medicine cabinet, finding a bottle that reads, Wake Aid. Finding only one pill inside, Mark sighs and closes the cabinet, gasping when he sees Freddy staring back at him in the mirror and turns away. In his panic, he drops both the bottle and the pill, with the latter going down the sink, despite his attempt to catch it. Turning around, he sees that the bathtub is now overflowing with blood and his brother emerges from it, saying, "You didn't forget about me, did ya?" Bobby then sits up in the tub and starts ranting in Freddy's voice about how his plan with Jason has gone awry since he won't stop killing people. The blood then flows across the floor towards Mark's feet, which are immediately fused to the floor by some tubes that jam into his flesh, while Freddy cackles. Mark tries to tell himself that this isn't real and, upon seeing writhing eels in the blood in front of him, screams for someone to wake him up. In reality, Lori and Will arrive at Mark's house and when they're unable to open the door, they see through the window that he's fallen asleep at his desk. Will bangs on the window, yelling for him to wake up, while in the dream, Freddy, still in the form of Mark's brother, approaches him and says that he needs him to send a message for him. Mark refuses to do it and Freddy then drops his disguise and yells, "No?!" When Mark still refuses even after that, Freddy decides to pass the message on himself. He flings Mark into a corner on the other side of the room and lights his back on fire, which happens in reality. Mark jumps up and scrambles around the room, while in the dream, Freddy laughs as Mark is helpless to put the fire out. In the real world, Mark slams up against the window, looks right at Lori and Will, and asks for help, before falling to the floor. He jumps back up when slashes appear along his face and he collapses to the floor, dead. In the mirror, the words, FREDDY'S BACK, are burned into his back.

A small incident happens the next morning when Deputy Stubbs finds where the kids are hiding out and he tells them about Jason Voorhees, whom he feels is being imitated by a copycat killer, namely the murderer at the rave. When Will pieces together the possible connection between Freddy and Jason, Lori, who's been sitting on a couch, dozing off this whole time, hits upon the idea that the two of them respectively died by fire and water. The conversation suddenly shifts when the group discuss possibly sacrificing a virgin to Freddy, with Kia saying that they all know who the virgin among them is: namely, Lori (yeah, a girl who looks like that is still going to be a virgin). When Lori is shocked at this, Kia says she knows she never made it with Will, adding, "Why would he want to... when he can fuck somebody like me?" Will actually smiles at this and, after glancing at Lori, says, "Let's tie the bitch up." Everybody then stands up and walks over to Lori, totally serious about this, with Freeburg even whipping out some duct-tape. Lori scoots along the couch away from them, when her father suddenly shows up and tells her, "Don't worry, angel. You've still got me. Come on, give Daddy a kiss." He then leans in for a kiss and sticks his tongue into Lori's mouth, causing her to scream and shove him away. Freddy then appears and, putting his glove on the side of her face, quips, "Your eyes say, 'No, no,' but my mouth says, 'Yes, yes.'" He then comes at her with his wagging tongue, with Lori grabbing and pulling his ear and pushing him away as she screams. Will wakes her back to reality and when she calms down, she stands up and sees that she's holding Freddy's severed ear in her hand. Dropping it to the floor, it dissolves into maggots, which Stubbs stomps. After some talking, Will mentions that he and Mark never had dreams at Westin Hills and when they look up Hypnocil on the computer, they learn that it's for dream suppresion. They then decide to sneak up to the hospital and steal some Hypnocil for themselves.

Using the security pass Mark took from one of the guards, the group sneaks into Westin Hills, unaware that Jason has followed them there, his presence not going unnoticed by the security guard on duty. Stubbs, Linderman, and Freeburg stumble across the now empty security center but when they leave, Freeburg stays behind to smoke a joint. Downstairs, the guard approaches the door that Jason is pounding on from the outside, gun at the ready. Stubbs and Linderman then hear a loud bang and it causes them to turn around and see that Freeburg isn't following them. As they rush back upstairs to look for him, we see that Jason completely flattened the guard with the door, with blood pooling out from what little we can see of his body underneath it. After a short scene where Will, Lori, and Kia find a room filled with patients who are all in a coma from being given too much Hypnocil, which Lori's father was apparently behind, we cut back to Freeburg, who's toking it up in the security center. He then gets an unexpected surprise when the door opens and a big, green caterpillar with a Freddy-like face comes crawling in and pulls out a hookah. Although perplexed by this at first, Freeburg changes his tune when he sees the hookah. The caterpillar takes a big huff from it and blows it in Freeburg's face, which he thoroughly enjoys. The caterpillar crawls back out underneath the door and Freeburg, wanting more, follows him outside. He crawls through the door and finds himself in the room with the coma patients, who are now sitting up and speaking in low whispers. Hearing them whisper Hypnocil, Freeburg says he doesn't know where it is and they then all point to a cabinet behind him, with one coming up and whispering something in his ear when he turns around. Smashing the cabinet open and taking out the bottles, Freeburg reveals that the one patient apparently told him to pour the drugs down the drain. As he contemplates what he should do, he feels something slimy drip on his head and when he looks up, the Freddy caterpillar jumps down from the ceiling and, despite some struggling on his part, forces himself down Freeburg's throat.

Stubbs and Linderman rush back to the security center and they see Freeburg, possessed by Freddy, pouring the Hypnocil down the sink. Before they can stop him, Jason appears and barely misses Stubbs with his machete, slicing it down into the control panel, sending a powerful electrical current coursing through his body. Stubbs tells Linderman to get out but when he tries to get around Jason, he grabs him and shocks him with the electricity before flinging him face-first into the panel. Linderman grabs Stubbs' gun but is too freaked out to shoot Jason, with the power surge blinking the lights and making the others realize that something's going on and they rush back upstairs to investigate. Jason pulls Stubbs' utterly fried corpse out of the pnael and tosses it aside, while Linderman panics and takes off down the hall as he pulls his machete loose. Elsewhere, Freddy, still possessing Freeburg, fills two big syringes with a powerful, pink tranquilizer, while Will, Lori, and Kia rush into the room with the coma patients and the drugs to find that all of the Hypnocil has been poured down the drain. They desperately search the cabinets and drawers for some more, when Jason throws Stubbs' body through the door to their left, sending them running from him as he stomps after them. Closing the door behind them, they find the Freddy-possessed Freeburg standing in the hall, waiting for Jason. Will tries to get him to come with them but he tells him, in Freddy's voice, "Let me handle this, bitch," and keeps standing there. Confused, Will runs down the hall when Jason pummels the door down, rejoining the others, when Lori points out the syringes "Freeburg" is hiding behind his back. As Jason stomps towards him, he says, "Come to Freddy. These are my children, Jason. Go back where you belong!" When Jason reaches him, he jams the syringes into both of his shoulders and pumps him full of the tranquilizer. This doesn't stop Jason from slicing Freeburg's body completely in half, horrifying the others, but when Linderman appears and prepares to shoot him, he suddenly falls backwards, unconscious (how exactly does tranquilizer work on someone who's undead, anyway?) Lori then looks over the grisly sight and, remembering what she heard, pieces together what just happened.

In his dream, Jason finds himself in Freddy's boiler room, where he's angrily admonished by his mother for not killing just a few people and then returning home. Jason sinks his head down as he's yelled at, but when his mother disappears and Freddy appears on a nearby catwalk, he realizes he's been tricked and his eyes widen in rage as he looks at Freddy, raising his machete. After saying that he intends to put him down for good, Freddy leaps at Jason, who manages to hack his right arm off as he does so. Yelling, "Not my arm!", he's unable to stop Jason from hacking off the other one as well, causing him to fall on his back, spraying blood on the floor from where his limbs used to be. However, Freddy stands back up, now grinning and quietly laughing, and instantly regrows new arms, much to Jason's surprise. As Freddy chuckles, Jason swings his machete at him again but Freddy catches the blade in mid-air and throws it aside, sticking it into a nearby pipe. He then delivers a number of fast blows to Jason's face and chest, as well as cutting across the bottom of his mask, before kicking him in the gut and sending him flying up against a large pipe. Freddy says, "Welcome to my nightmare," and when Jason stands up, he sends him slamming against the pipe with some telekinetic-like abilities, doing so many times and flattening the wheel on the side of the pipe. Freddy uses the same power to wrench the machete out of the smaller pipe and send it flying like a missile at Jason, impaling him against the larger pipe through his gut. He then levitates some small, metal plates and flings them at Jason, driving the machete in deeper, with the blade eventually going all the way through the pipe. Freddy appears right in front of Jason and mocks him, saying, "Penny for your thoughts, chief." Jason quickly pulls the machete out, grabs Freddy, and forces his head down towards the blade. Freddy isn't fazed by this at all, mocking, "Oh, scary," and then disappears and reappears on a nearby large pipe. He sends Jason flying all over the room, slamming him against the wall and pipes, while pinball noises can be heard. When he slams Jason into the ceiling, a pinball alarm can be heard and Freddy says, "Tilt," as Jason plummets to the floor. He then rips loose a large boiler from the ceiling and sends it crashing down on top of Jason, cackling the whole time. Freddy walks up to the boiler and is frustrated to see that Jason is still kicking, yelling, "Why won't you die?!" Jason takes the opportunity to pry his leg loose and kick Freddy in the face. Getting the boiler off of him, he grabs Freddy and throws him across the room, causing him to hit some pipes and send water raining down, with the boiler room's lighting going from deep red to deep green. Getting back up behind the small waterfall, Freddy watches Jason stomp towards him and prepares to continue the fight, when Jason suddenly freezes from swinging his machete and steps away. Confused, Freddy realizes that Jason is looking at and backing away from the water, and remarks, "So, you are afraid of something after all, huh?" Taking the advantage, Freddy bursts the pipes in the room, surrounding Jason with water, laughing evilly as he watches.

As the kids drive Jason's unconscious body to Camp Crystal Lake, planning to have him battle Freddy there after they pull him out of the dream world, in the dream, Jason is shivering with fear at being surrounded by water, dropping his machete to the floor. Freddy watches as he's reduced to a shivering, scared little boy in swimming trunks, laughing as he walks up to him. Bending down, Freddy rips the hockey mask off, revealing Jason's deformed face, and remarking, "You ugly little shit. Now there's a face only a mother could love!" Upon saying that, he lifts up Mrs. Voorhees' head on a stick and laughs at Jason. Deciding to see what really scares Jason, Freddy puts his claw to the side of his mongoloid head and pushes it through the skin, with blood oozing out, as the camera goes inside the puncture wound to reveal Jason's brain. After traveling through the brain, we arrive in Jason's subconscious, where we see him carrying a body out of a nightmarish version of Crystal Lake into a half-sunken cabin. Seeing him drag the corpse up to a door inside the cabin, Freddy remarks, "I'm dying to see what skeletons are hidden in your closet." Jason then opens the door, revealing a space filled with water with dead bodies floating inside. Back in reality, with the tranquilizer they're using to keep Jason unconscious running low, Lori decides to let them sedate her so she can drag Freddy out of the dream, despite some trepidation on Will's part. She tells them to give her 15 minutes and then wake her up, and with that, Linderman sedates her, Lori setting her watch as she falls asleep. In the dream, Lori finds herself at Camp Crystal Lake, where she sees young Jason being bullied by the other kids, who chase him and throw rocks at him, before surrounding him and putting a bag on his head. He rips the bag off and runs to the dock, where they chase him, with the nearby counselors completely oblivious to this. One male counselor is banging a female one and ignores Lori's pleas to help the kid, saying that he's busy at the moment. She asks, "You mean you're not coming?" and the counselor stops banging the girl and turns around to reveal himself as Freddy, who says, "It's not my fault this bitch is dead on her feet." He then laughs and waves the dead girl's arm at her. In the real world, Linderman injects Jason with the last of the tranquilizer, with five minutes having already passed since Lori went under. In the dream, young Jason is pushed into the lake by the other kids and struggles to stay above the surface since he can't swim. Lori runs out to the dock and tries to help the boy, although she jumps back when his head pops up and she realizes that he's Jason. Freddy then explodes out of the water behind him and shoves back under, holding him down there in an attempt to drown him. In the real world, water starts gushing out of Jason's mouth and he makes gurgling sounds. Realizing that Freddy must be killing him and that they need him alive, Will and Linderman pressure Kia into giving Jason mouth-to-mouth, which Linderman can't do himself since he has asthma. Completely disgusted, Kia gradually lifts up Jason's mask, revealing his nasty mouth and deformed teeth. Holding her nose, Kia leans down towards him, when Jason awakens and sits up. Swinging around, he hits Linderman's arm, knocking him over and causing him to fire his gun, which wizzes right by Will's ear and goes out the windshield. Will grabs his ears and the van spins out of control, going off the road, hitting something that turns it on its side and sends it tumbling down the road, the force swinging open the back doors and throwing Jason out.

In the dream, young Jason vanishes out of Freddy's hands and when he looks up at the surface, he snarls, "You!" when he sees Lori standing on the dock. The entire scene turns red as he rockets out of the lake and lands on the dock in front of her. Looking positively demonic now, Freddy brandishes his claws as Lori's watch goes off. Mocking, "What's wrong, Lori? Miss your wake up call?", Freddy is then tackled to the dock by Lori, who grabs him and waits to be woken up, yelling for her friends to do so. However, the scene then completely changes, with Lori finding herself in front of her house, wearing a nightgown. In the real world, Will and Linderman are trying to wake Lori up when Kia points to a sign advertizing resorts at Crystal Lake, showing that they're almost there. Will then picks Lori up and slings her over his shoulder, heading down the road with Linderman and Kia. In the dream, Lori screams for them to wake her up when she sees her father climbing the stairs with a knife in his hand. While the kids arrive at the camp in the real world and enter the rundown main cabin, Lori watches her father enter his and her mother's bedroom and pull back the covers in an apparent attempt to kill his wife. However, when he pulls the covers back, he reveals that she's already covered in blood. Lori runs into the bedroom and pulls her father away to reveal Freddy as the one who killed her mother. Remarking, "I've always had a thing for the whores that live in this house," he plunges his blades into Mrs. Campbell's stomach, sending Lori running out the door, screaming. However, the floorboards roll after her and knock her down, causing her to slam against the wall. In the real world, as Will tries to wake Lori up, Linderman and Kia see that they're in big trouble when they look out the window and spot Jason roaming the campground. Kia warns Will that Jason has arrived, and as he tries to shake Lori awake, in the dream, Freddy is sitting on top of her, sadistically slashing at her cleavage. Seeing the cuts appear on her chest in reality, as well as blood on her arm, Will becomes more desperate to wake her up, when Jason smashes through the wall across from them. In their panic, Kia and Linderman knock over a can of gasoline and an oil lamp, starting a fire. Jason comes at Will and slashes him across the back of his shoulder, before attempting to skewer Lori. Will drags her out of the way and Kia and Linderman shove a long table in front of Jason, causing his machete to get stuck in the wood. Kia then grabs an object and beats on him as he tries to pull the machete out, but Jason backhands her and sends her flying up against the wall behind them. In the dream, Freddy hovers over Lori and tells her, "Welcome to my world, bitch. I should warn you, princess, the first time tends to get a little... messy." He then lifts up her nightgown, preparing to violate her with his claws. Back in reality, Linderman stabs Jason in the chest with the tip of a flag but gets flung against the wall, onto a piece of sharp, protruding wood, leaving it covered in blood. Will drags Lori across the floor, while Kia helps Linderman escape outside, but he accidentally causes her hand to slip into the fire. Screaming from the pain in her dream, Lori grabs ahold of Freddy as she finally wakes up.

When she opens her eyes, Freddy is still looming over her, growling, "Die, you little bitch." But when Jason flips the table on the other side of the cabin, Freddy turns around and realizes where he is, with a big, "Oh, crap," look on his face as he stands up while Jason approaches him. The two monsters stand off amidst the flames, with Jason then swinging his machete at Freddy, who manages to dodge it and hit him in the back of his shoulder. Jason comes back around and swings at Freddy again twice, missing both times and with the second time resulting in his machete getting stuck in the floor. Freddy laughs as Jason tries to pull it out and then goes for a kick in the crotch, only to nearly break his foot, with Jason taking the opportunity to grab his leg and fling him into a nearby corner. As Lori and Will escape the cabin, Jason picks Freddy up, smashes him through the end of the cabin's long window, and then run while still holding him, smashing him through the entire thing, glass and window-frames and all. He then kicks down the front door, drags Freddy outside, and throws him through the roof of a nearby cabin, with the main cabin's burning roof falling on top of Jason. Elsewhere, the seriously injured Linderman tells Kia to leave him while she goes for help and when she finally does, he dies as he turns his head to watch her leave, blood flowing out from behind him. Meanwhile, Lori and Will try to make it to the docks, where Kia finds them. However, Freddy finds them too, threatening Lori, "Think you're so smart, huh, bitch?" and then moves in to carve them up. Kia then yells at Freddy, getting his attention, and after some contemplating, he decides to go after her, saying the, "How sweet, dark meat," line. Will then has to force the screaming Lori down the dock, as Freddy approaches Kia, who throws a bunch of trash talk at him, calling him a "faggot" who goes around in a "Christmas sweater," says he's not scary, and even insults his weapon. At first, Freddy responds to this by threatening her but when she starts talking about his glove, he suddenly stops and starts walking backwards, with an evil grin appearing on his face. When Kia mentions how much bigger Jason's weapon is (get your minds out of the gutter, you pervs), Freddy gets her attention and points behind her. When she turns around, Jason is standing there and he whacks her with his machete, sending her flying into a tree, killing her instantly, with Freddy responding with an, "Oh!" Freddy then attacks Jason, stabbing and slashing him repeatedly with his glove, while Jason tries to score a hit with his machete but misses. Will tries to make Lori leave with him in a boat but Lori says that she's staying, revealing to Will that she learned Freddy was the one who killed her mother. After all of the pain he's caused the two of them, Lori says she's not leaving until she sees Freddy die.

Freddy is still slicing Jason up, dodging his machete, kneeing and kicking him in the side, slamming his elbow on him, stabbing him, and even when Jason grabs him, he manages to kick him in the chest twice. Jason then delivers a punch that sends Freddy flying across the campground, causing him to land on some tubes of compressed air, the valve of one which he accidentally hits with his blades, sending it flying. It misses Jason but Freddy sees an opportunity and ducks behind a rack, remarking, "Man the torpedos." He starts sending more tubes flying, most of which miss Jason but he eventually manages to score a hit in the chest, knocking him back, and another hits him in the gut and sends him flying into a part of the camp that's under construction. Jason gets to his feet, when Freddy appears up above him, yelling, "Hey, asshole! Up here!" When Jason looks up, Freddy knocks over something holding a bunch of metal rods, raining them down on Jason and impaling him in his leg and shoulder. As Jason tries to pull the rods out, Freddy pushes this cement-mixer that's hanging from a rope, which starts swinging around and smacks into Jason several times, making it hard for him to pull the rods out, with those wounds gushing blood. Freddy then tries to deliver more damage by pushing a cart full of sand down a ramp towards Jason but it gets hung halfway, him groaning, "Aw, give me a break." He tries to push it loose, while Jason tries to pull out the rod in his leg, when the cement-mixer hits the side of the wall, causing Freddy to loose his balance and fall, his foot getting caught on a wire hanging from the side of the mixer. He gets slamed around the walls, getting his head bashed, and the mixer then swings him at Jason, who has just now managed to pull out both rods, with Freddy yelling, "Oh, no!" Jason grabs him, pulls him off the mixer, and lifts him up by the collar of his sweater. Freddy stabs him repeatedly while Jason tries to score a hit with his machete but keeps missing and getting blocked (see what I mean?), when the still swinging mixer knocks loose the cart Freddy pushed earlier, which throws them onto the nearby dock.

Freddy tries to catch his breath but when he looks up, he sees Jason get to his feet and start to approach him. Freddy, weak from the fight, tries to crawl away and manages to get up, but Jason slashes his shoulder and then slices open his right arm, sending blood spraying. He gets sliced across the chest as well and is just barely able to block another swing. Unbeknownst to them, Will and Lori are spraying the dock with gasoline. Jason continues slicing Freddy, causing him to fall to the dock, and Jason comes down with his machete again. This time, though, Freddy swings with his glove and slices off Jason's fingers, causing him to drop the machete, which Freddy catches. As Jason stares at his hand, confused, Freddy cuts his thigh and then gets up and slices his chest. With two weapons now, Freddy stabs and slices Jason again and again, forcing him down to the dock, while still relentlessly attacking him. Will and Lori prepare to light the dock up while Freddy, having stabbed Jason in the back many times with the machete, turns him over and gouges his eyes with his claws. He then rips into his chest, with Jason barely able to defend himself as Freddy comes down with the machete again. Lori rushes towards the dock with two lit torches and yells, "Freddy, go to hell!" Freddy watches as Lori lights the dock on fire, with the flames heading right for him and Jason, who takes advantage of his foe's distraction and punches him right in the gut, tearing him open. Lori throws another toch near one the gas tanks, while Jason rips Freddy's right arm off. Gasping and with blood coming out of his mouth, Freddy stabs Jason's machete all the way into his torso, both of them now covered in gore and bleeding everywhere. Will and Lori dive into Crystal Lake, as the gas tanks all explode, the blast sending Freddy and Jason flying into the lake, engulfed in flames. After the blast nearly decimates the camp, Lori and Will emerge from the lake and crawl onto the dock. They hug each other, apparently safe, but Lori looks off-camera and screams. The two of them watch as someone carrying a machete approaches them, with a camera pull up revealing it to be Freddy rather than Jason. Thoroughly enraged, Freddy prepares to kill the two helpless teens, when his own glove suddenly stabs through his back and out his chest, courtesy of Jason, who then falls back into the lake. Freddy drops the machete and falls to his knees, stunned at what just happened. Lori takes the machete and stands over Freddy with it raised, yeling, "Welcome to my world, bitch!" She slices his head off, sending it into the lake, followed by his headless corpse. She then walks to the edge of the dock and she and Jason exchange looks before the latter closes his eyes and sinks down into the depths. She tosses the machete into the water and she and Will head for home.

The film ends on a mysterious scene, with Crystal Lake surrounded by white mist as Jason slowly rises up to the surface. He walks to shore, revealing that he's carrying Freddy's severed head as well as his machete, with it initially coming across like he's the victor. However, Freddy's head then looks right at the camera and he winks, with the film cutting to black as he laughs, suggesting that something's up. Whether that was the next morning or if that was in reality, in a dream, or in hell, is never made clear, leading to speculation as to who actually won.

The least memorable aspect of the film is the score by Graeme Revell, who's another composer whose musical talents are a bit mixed. While you do hear the original Nightmare melody at the beginning and end of the movie, plenty of Jason's, "Ki, ki, ma, ma," and the Freddy nursery rhyme sounds really good to me here, better than it ever has, but the music score for the most part is pretty generic and so-so. The bits I kind of remember are this atmospheric theme that you first hear when Blake is in the kitchen by himself at the beginning, this "Dun-dun, dun-dun," piece that you hear after Freddy reveals himself to have been impersonating Mrs. Voorhees, the techno music during the rave, the hard rock music you hear during some parts of the final battle, and the piece that plays when Freddy and Jason are massacring each other at the end; otherwise, I don't have much to say about the music because it's pretty forgettable. And I don't have much better things to say about the soundtrack because these songs are the type of music that I can't stand. I hate that metal stuff where the person isn't singing so much as he's screaming, sounding like a severely autistic member of my family when he throws a fit (I'm not even trying to be funny when I say that). If I had to pick one that I don't really mind, it would probably be How Can I Live by Ill Nino. That's not a bad tune at all. I can also live with Beginning of the End by Spineshank, even though you only hear one little bit of it when the title comes up. However, Army of Me by Chimaira I don't like at all (either sing normally or just scream; make up your damn mind) and while I like some parts of Darkness Falls by Killswitch Engage, namely, "When darkness falls, we are reborn," and such, again the screaming just kills it for me and makes me want to blow my brains out.

At the end of the day, Freddy vs. Jason is an entertaining movie but it's also an uneven one. On the plus side, it does deliver on what its title promises, with both Freddy and Jason getting their fair share of good moments and partaking in some really fun, memorable battles, Robert Englund gives one of his best performances as Freddy, some good kills, plenty of blood and gore, some pretty good visual effects, nice dream sequences, a well-done, colorful comic book look to it, and a story that's simple and satisfactory enough in bringing both monsters together. However, at the same time, most of the actors are either flat out horrible or don't have much to do, story and character points are brought up and dropped so quickly that it makes the movie feel rather shallow, Jason isn't treated with as much respect as Freddy, some of the digital effects have not aged well at all, and the music and soundtrack leave a lot to be desired for. What I think is most disappointing about it, though, is that it didn't lead to anything. I was really hoping for a sequel; whether it involved them throwing in Michael Myers or, even though I don't really care for this franchise, Ash from the Evil Dead movies, I just wanted to see another big, bloody horror icon battle. Given how much of a hit this was, you'd think that would have been a sure thing but, sadly, that didn't happen (all that came in its wake were some very lame Alien vs. Predator movies) and, what's worse, this ended up being the last entry in the original continuities of both series since everything was rebooted afterwards. But, at least we finally got this movie and while it may not be one of the best of either A Nightmare on Elm Street or Friday the 13th, with a lot of garbage that you have to sit through, it does give you what it promises and that's all you could ever hope for.

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