Freddy vs. Jason


Freddy vs. Jason
Freddy vs. Jason

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ronny Yu
Produced by Sean S. Cunningham
Screenplay by Damian Shannon
Mark Swift
Story by Characters:
Wes Craven
Victor Miller
Starring Robert Englund
Ken Kirzinger
Monica Keena
Jason Ritter
Kelly Rowland
Chris Marquette
Lochlyn Munro
Music by Graeme Revell
Cinematography Fred Murphy
Editing by Mark Stevens
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release date(s) August 15, 2003
Running time 97 min.
Country United States
Canada
Language English
Budget $30 million
Box office $114,908,830

Freddy vs. Jason (Otherwise known as, "A Nightmare on Friday the 13th") is a 2003 American slasher film directed by Ronny Yu. The film is a crossover between the A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th franchises. It is the eighth and eleventh entries in their respective series, pitting their antagonists, Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees, against each other.

In the film, Freddy (Robert Englund) has grown weak, as the citizens of Springwood have suppressed their fear of him. In order to regain his power, Freddy resurrects Jason (Ken Kirzinger) and manipulates him into traveling to Springwood to cause panic and fear. However, while Jason succeeds in causing enough fear for Freddy to haunt the town again, he continues to intrude on Freddy's territory and steal his potential victims. This ultimately sends the two monsters into a violent conflict.

This film marked Robert Englund's final appearance to date as Freddy Krueger, having portrayed him in all seven previous Nightmare films and the 1980s TV series, as well as the first movie since Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood not to feature Kane Hodder as Jason Voorhees.

Chronologically, the film is set after the events of Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare and Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, but before Jason X, which was released first because Freddy vs. Jason was stuck in development hell at the time. This film was the debut of R&B singer Grammy-winner Kelly Rowland as an actress.

Contents

Plot

Freddy Krueger is trapped in Hell and enraged as the parents of Springwood figured out how to keep the children from remembering him, rendering him powerless and unable to escape. Determined to make them remember and fear him, Freddy locates Jason Voorhees in Hell and disguises himself as Jason's mother. He convinces Jason to rise again and go to Springwood to slaughter the teens; though Jason will kill the teenagers, Freddy will be blamed, and thus their growing fear will allow him to escape Hell.

Jason arrives on Elm Street, sneaking into the house where Nancy Thompson and Jesse Walsh used to live, now owned by Lori Campbell and her widowed father. While Lori and her friends Kia, Gibb, Blake and Trey are in the house, Jason kills Trey using his machete. The group is taken in to the police for questioning. After overhearing several police officers discussing Freddy, Lori falls asleep and has a dream about him, allowing him to gain some of his powers back. Freddy then tries to attack Blake in his dreams but is unable to harm him. Blake awakens to find his father beheaded, sitting next to him, and is, a moment later, killed by Jason. In order to avert suspicion from Freddy, the police claim that Blake killed Trey and his father, and then took his own life.

Lori has recurring dreams about Freddy and tells Kia and Gibb about it. She is reunited with her boyfriend, Will Rollins and his friend Mark, who were institutionalized in Westin Hills Asylum and escaped after hearing of the murders on Elm Street. At a rave, Gibb falls asleep and has a dream where she is attacked by Freddy after he took the form of the deceased Trey to lure her into his trap. Another person at the rave attempts to rape her, but Jason appears and kills them both, angering Freddy, who realizes that Jason will not stop killing.

Jason kills many people at the rave. Afterward, Will, Lori, Kia, and two fellow students – Freeburg and Linderman – escape and meet up with officer Stubbs, who believes the murders are being committed by a Jason copycat. The group pieces together Freddy's original plan and that he is losing control of Jason. Realizing they need Hypnocil to prevent them from dreaming, they break into Westin Hills. Before they get to Westin Hills Freddy kills Mark as a message to the others that Freddy has returned. While at Westin Hills, Freddy possesses Freeburg to stop the group from taking Hypnocil. Jason electrocutes Stubbs and is then confronted by Freddy in Freeburg's body. Freeburg succeeds in injecting Jason with tranquilzers, but is killed seconds later. Jason meets Freddy in the dream world and the two begin to fight.

Lori comes up with the idea to drive unconscious Jason back to Crystal Lake, while she goes into the dream world to find Freddy and pull him into the real world and pit the two against each other. Furthermore if Jason kills Freddy, he will be at Crystal Lake and will not come after the group. While in the dream world Freddy discovers Jason is afraid of water and tortures him with memories of his childhood and drowning.

Lori ends up keeping Freddy from killing Jason, waking him up in the process causing him to attack the group. Freddy, enraged, attempts to molest and kill Lori, revealing that he was the one who killed her mother, but she awakens and drags him into a burning cabin in reality. Jason throws Freddy through the burning cabin's roof. Lori, Will, Kia and Linderman try to escape, but Linderman is wounded and dies soon afterwards. Kia tries to save Lori and Will from Freddy by taunting him about Jason being superior over him, but is killed by Jason. Freddy and Jason continue their battle and Lori decides to stay until Freddy's death.

While Freddy seems to be no match for Jason's physical power, he still heavily wounds Jason because of his dominant speed and agility, even gaining possession of Jason's machete. During their fight, Lori and Will burn the gas tanks at the docks to blow both Freddy and Jason up. When the fire starts to spread Jason rips off Freddy's clawed arm and Freddy drives the machete into Jason's chest. The resulting explosion sends both of them into the lake. Freddy comes back and attempts to kill Lori with Jason's machete. But before he can, Jason attacks from behind, stabbing Freddy with his own claws before falling into Crystal Lake.

Lori picks up Jason's machete, uses it to behead Freddy and then throws the machete into the lake as Jason sinks. Lori and Will depart, but the next morning Jason rises from the water, carrying his machete and Freddy's severed head, which smirks and winks at the audience.

Cast

Background

New Line and Paramount tried to make a Freddy vs. Jason movie in 1987. But the two studios failed to agree on a story or what to do with the two franchises. When Jason Takes Manhattan failed to perform successfully at the box office, Sean Cunningham decided that he wanted to reacquire the rights to Friday the 13th and start working with New Line Cinema on Freddy vs. Jason, as New Line owned the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. The concept of a fight between Freddy and Jason was not new; Paramount had approached New Line about filming a crossover years before the latter had gained the licensing rights to Friday the 13th. At that time, both companies wanted the license to the other's character so that they could control the making of the film. Negotiations on the project were never finalized, which led Paramount to make The New Blood. After Jason Takes Manhattan was released in 1989 the rights reverted back to Scuderi, Minasian and Barsamianto, who sold them to New Line. Before Cunningham could start working on Freddy vs. Jason, Wes Craven returned to New Line to make New Nightmare. This effectively put Freddy vs. Jason on hold, but allowed Cunningham the chance to bring Jason back into the spotlight with Jason Goes to Hell.[1] The ninth installment "turned a healthy profit", though it was only intended to open the door for a crossover with Freddy Krueger, rather than start a new series for New Line.[2] Ultimately, the film series would go through another sequel before that would happen. Cunningham's "frustration" with the delayed development of the Freddy vs. Jason project forced him to create another sequel in an effort to keep the franchise in the minds of audiences. Based on Jason Takes Manhattan's concept of taking Jason away from Crystal Lake, the tenth film would put the titular character in space.[3] The film suffered from the loss of its biggest supporter, President of Production Michael De Luca, when he resigned from his position. Lack of support forced the finished film to sit for two years before finally being released on April 26, 2002; it would go on to become the lowest grossing film in the franchise at the domestic box office; it also held the distinction of having the largest budget of any of the previous films at that time.[4]

After more than fifteen years of off-and-on development, and approximately $6 million spent in eighteen unused scripts from more than a dozen screenwriters, New Line finally produced Freddy vs. Jason for 2003. One of the biggest hurdles for the film was developing a story that managed to bring the two horror icons together. Potential stories varied widely, from 2 different drafts: 1 was titled "The Millennium Massacre" where Freddy was revealed to at one time be a counselor at Camp Cristal Lake and molested Jason as a child, and another dealt to a cult called the "Fred Heads" who were going to sacrifice this little girl to Freddy and the older sister puts her dead boyfriend's heart in Jason's body to fight Freddy and rescue the younger sister.

According to writers Mark Swift and Damian Shannon several endings were considered for the film and finally producer Robert Shaye came up with his idea which was acceptable for everyone. He shot the final scene and the last scene of the movie which shows Jason was filmed without Ken Kirzinger. It was shot in Los Angeles with another actor, Douglas Tait, playing Jason Voorhees.[5]

Casting

New Line believed Freddy vs. Jason needed a fresh start, and chose a new actor for Jason. Cunningham disagreed with their decision, believing Hodder was the best choice for the role.[6] Hodder did receive the script for Freddy vs. Jason, and had a meeting with director Ronny Yu and New Line executives, but Matthew Barry and Yu felt the role should be recast to fit Yu's image of Jason.[6] According to Hodder, New Line failed to provide him with a reason for the recasting, but Yu has explained he wanted a slower, more deliberate Jason, and less of the aggressive movements that Hodder had used in the previous films.[7] Yu and development executive Jeff Katz recognized the outcry among fans over the replacement of Hodder as Jason, but stood by their choice in recasting.[6] The role eventually went to Ken Kirzinger, a Canadian stuntperson who worked on Jason Takes Manhattan. There are conflicting reports over the reason Kirzinger was cast. According to Yu, Kirzinger was hired because he was taller than Robert Englund, the actor who portrays Freddy Krueger. Kirzinger stands 6' 5", compared to the 6' 2" of Kane Hodder. Yu wanted a much larger actor to tower over the 5' 10" Englund. Kirzinger believes his experience on Part VIII helped him land the part, as Kirzinger doubled for Hodder on two scenes for the film,[6] but also believes he was simply sized up and handed the job.[7] Although he was hired by the crew, New Line did not officially cast Kirzinger until first seeing him on film. Kirzinger's first scene was Jason walking down Elm Street. New Line wanted a specific movement in Jason's walk; Kirzinger met their expectations and signed a contract with the studio.[6] Even though Hodder expresses some resentment at not being chosen, he and Kirzinger are still good friends.[8]

However, even Kirzinger did not perform the role throughout the entire film. In the memorable final scene where Jason emerges from the water holding Freddy's head in his hand, the role was played by another actor, 6'5" Douglas Tait. Almost a year after originally auditioning for Yu, Tait was called in for the reshoot of the climactic closing sequence. [9][10][11]

In an interview, Tait explained the reason for the reshoot. He said, "Unfortunately for me, it was the only scene I was hired to do. The test audiences were confused about the original ending, they thought Jason Ritter’s character was becoming Jason. You can see it in the deleted scenes, that is why they decided to reshoot the ending. Originally I was being considered for playing the role of Jason in the entire film. It was actually between me and Ken. When they took the film to Canada, I was out of luck. There was no way they were going to pay for my flight and hotel stay when Ken was a local. Also, Ken is older than me and he was a lot more established in the business than I was at the time." [12]

Describing the scene, Tait said "I was on the film for a couple days. The water sequence took a lot of preparation. They realized that when I got wet, I looked too skinny in the clothes, so they had to bulk me up with pads and extra clothing so it would look like I was still big. Being with all this extra weight, one eye covered, a machete in one hand, Freddy’s head in another hand, and being totally submerged in water, made that scene very difficult. Also, Ronny Yu wanted me to walk like I was walking on land. He wanted it to look like I could walk through the water without it making me rise to the surface. To do this effect, they had a rope tied under water that I held onto with my left hand (with Freddy’s severed head in it also), and I held myself down on the ground so I could pull myself and walk forward." [12]

Release

Reception

Even though the movie received generally mixed reviews, it was a box office success. Based on 153 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, Freddy vs. Jason has an overall 41% approval rating from critics, with an average score of 4.9 out of 10 saying, "Fans of the two horror franchises will enjoy this showdown. But for everyone else, it's the same old slice and dice". [13] Among Rotten Tomatoes' Top Critics, which consists of popular and notable critics from the top newspapers, websites, television and radio programs,[14] the film holds an overall approval rating of 25%.[15] By comparison, Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received an average score of 37 based on 29 reviews, but a 7.6 for users.[16]

Home media

The film was released on VHS and DVD as part of New Line's Platinum Series on January 13, 2004. The DVD included a second disc of special features, including:

  • Audio Commentary by Ronny Yu, Ken Kirzinger, and Robert Englund
  • Deleted and Alternate scenes with commentary (including original opening & closing)
  • Behind the Scenes Coverage including screenwriting, set design, make up, stunts and photography
  • Visual Effects Exploration
  • Storyboards and Galleries
  • Ill Niño "How Can I Live" Music Video
  • Trailers and TV Spots
  • DVD-ROM:
    • Script-to-Screen & Trivia viewing modes
    • Cutting Room Floor - make your own fight scene
    • Killer sound bites
    • Weblinks

The film was released on UMD on October 4, 2005 and on Blu-ray September 8, 2009. The Blu-ray contained the same features as the original Platinum Edition DVD.

Novelization

Publishing company Black Flame released a novelization of the film on July 29, 2003.[17] It was written by Stephen Hand, who also penned the novelization for New Line's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre the next year. The book, as with many other novelizations Black Flame published for New Line, follows closely the plot of the film with a few alterations. For example, the novelization utilizes the original ending where Will turns into Freddy when he is about to have sex with Lori.

Sequel

For several years after the film was released, a sequel was speculated to be in the works. While no theatrical sequel materialized, Wildstorm published a six issue comic series to serve as a sequel in late 2007 and early 2008. The series was based on a treatment by Jeff Katz that would pit Freddy and Jason against Ash Williams from The Evil Dead. A second series, Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash: The Nightmare Warriors, was published from August 2009 to December 2009, followed up on the previous series and also included most of the survivors from the respective franchises.

Award nominations

Doug Chapman and Melvin Martinez were nominated for the Best Fire Stunt in the Taurus World Stunt Awards 2004 for the double full body burn and wire stunt. Doug Chapman doubled for Robert Englund as Freddy and Glenn Ennis doubled for Jason in the stunt.[18]

References

  1. ^ Bracke, Peter, pp.218–219
  2. ^ Bracke, Peter, pg. 238
  3. ^ Bracke, Peter, pp.242–243
  4. ^ Bracke, Peter, pp.263–264
  5. ^ Freddy vs. Jason at the Internet Movie Database
  6. ^ a b c d e Bracke, Peter, pp. 280–286
  7. ^ a b Grove, David, p. 217
  8. ^ His Name Was Jason: 30 Years of Friday the 13th
  9. ^ Best Creature Performers. The Top Tens. 2011. Retrieved April 5, 2011.
  10. ^ No Long Faces Allowed!!: The Exclusive BGHF Interview with Freddy Vs. Jason's Awesome Douglas Tait! Big Gay Horror Fan. December 18, 2010. Retrieved April 5, 2011.
  11. ^ Full Cast and Crew for Freddy vs. Jason (2003) Internet Movie Database. 1990-2011. Retrieved April 5, 2011.
  12. ^ a b Interview: Douglas Tait (Jason Voorhees, ‘Freddy vs Jason’) fridaythe13thfilms.com October 14, 2010. Retrieved April 5, 2011.
  13. ^ "Freddy vs. Jason Movie Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. IGN Entertainment. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/freddy_vs_jason/. Retrieved July 4, 2009. 
  14. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes FAQ: What is Cream of the Crop". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/pages/faq#creamofthecrop. Retrieved July 4, 2009. 
  15. ^ "Freddy vs. Jason: Rotten Tomatoes' Cream of the Crop". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/freddy_vs_jason/?critic=creamcrop. Retrieved July 4, 2009]. 
  16. ^ vs. Jason "Freddy vs. Jason : Reviews". Metacritic. CNET Networks. http://www.metacritic.com/video/titles/freddyvsjason?q=Freddy vs. Jason. Retrieved July 4, 2009. 
  17. ^ "Freddy vs. Jason novelization". amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/dp/1844160599. Retrieved 11/12/2010. 
  18. ^ Taurus Award Archive

External links


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