Freddy vs. Jason
Freddy vs. Jason is a 2003 American slasher film directed by Ronny Yu and written by Damian Shannon and Mark Swift. The film, a crossover between the A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th series, retroactively establishes them in a shared universe and pits Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees against each other. It is the last film in each series before their respective reboots. The film is the eighth in the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise and the eleventh in the Friday the 13th franchise.
|Freddy vs. Jason|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Ronny Yu|
|Written by||Damian Shannon|
by Wes Craven
|Music by||Graeme Revell|
|Edited by||Mark Stevens|
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
|Box office||$114.9 million|
In the film, Freddy (Robert Englund) has become incapable of haunting people's dreams; the residents of Springwood, Ohio, have largely forgotten about him after his death and descent into hell. To regain his power (and freedom), he resurrects Jason (Ken Kirzinger) and manipulates him into traveling to Springwood to cause panic and fear; this sparks rumors that Freddy has returned. Although Jason arouses enough fear for Freddy to haunt the town again, he angers Freddy by depriving him of potential victims. This culminates in a climactic battle between the two supernatural killers.
Freddy vs. Jason was released in the United States on August 15, 2003. It grossed $114 million, the highest-grossing film in the Friday the 13th series and the second-highest-grossing film in the Nightmare on Elm Street series. Adjusted for inflation, at $174 million it is the second-highest-grossing film in the Friday the 13th series and the highest-grossing film in the Nightmare on Elm Street series. The film is Englund's final cinematic appearance as Freddy Krueger, although he appeared as the character in an episode of The Goldbergs.
Freddy Krueger is powerless in hell because the residents of Springwood have forgotten about him. Disguised as Pamela Voorhees, Freddy manipulates Jason into killing Springwood teenagers to regain his strength. Lori Campbell lives with her widowed father, and her friends Kia and Gibb, are sleeping over. They are later joined by Trey, Gibb’s boyfriend, and his friend Blake, whom Kia tries to get Lori to hook up with, much to Lori’s disgust. Jason kills Trey that night, and the police suspect Freddy. After a nightmare, Blake awakens to find his father beheaded before Jason kills him. The police call it a murder–suicide the following day, hoping to contain Freddy.
Lori's ex-boyfriend Will Rollins and his friend Mark Davis are patients at the Westin Hills Psychiatric Hospital, and take Hypnocil to suppress their dreams because of their previous contact with Freddy. A news report prompts them to escape and return to Springwood to tell Lori about Freddy. That night, Lori and the others attend a rave in a cornfield. Freddy tries to kill Gibb in a nightmare, but Jason kills her and several other attendees in the real world; this makes Freddy realize that Jason's rampage will deny him victims.
Linderman and Freeburg escape the rave with Will, Lori, and Kia. Lori and Will go to Mark's house, and find Freddy killing him. Deputy Stubbs approaches Lori and her friends, who realize Freddy's plan. Learning about the Hypnocil, they try to steal it from Westin Hills; Freddy possesses Freeburg, however, who disposes of the medicine. After electrocuting Stubbs, Jason is tranquilized by the possessed Freeburg and kills him before he falls asleep.
The teens devise a plan to pull Freddy from the dream world into reality and force him to fight Jason, bringing the unconscious Jason to the now-abandoned Camp Crystal Lake. Freddy fights Jason in the dream world, where his dream powers show him that Jason is afraid of water because of his death by drowning. He uses water to make Jason powerless, but Lori goes to sleep and tries to save Jason. Freddy attacks her and reveals himself as her mother's killer.
Jason awakens at Camp Crystal Lake and chases the teens into a cabin. Linderman is killed, and the cabin catches fire. Lori is awakened and pulls Freddy into the real world, where he is confronted by Jason. As Jason and Freddy fight, the remaining teens escape the cabin.
Kia distracts Freddy until Jason kills her. On a dock, Jason tears Freddy's clawed arm off after Freddy stabs Jason's eyes. Lori and Will pour gasoline on the dock and set it afire; this makes propane tanks explode, throwing Freddy and Jason into the lake. Freddy climbs out and tries to kill Lori and Will, but is impaled by Jason with his own clawed arm; this allows Lori to decapitate Freddy as Jason falls, lifeless, into the lake. Lori and Will leave Camp Crystal Lake. Jason emerges from the water the next day, holding his machete and Freddy's severed head; Freddy winks at the audience and laughs off-screen.
- Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger
- Ken Kirzinger as Jason Voorhees
- Monica Keena as Lori Campbell
- Jason Ritter as Will Rollins
- Kelly Rowland as Kia Waterson
- Chris Marquette as Charlie Linderman
- Lochlyn Munro as Deputy Scott Stubbs
- Katharine Isabelle as Gibb Smith
- Brendan Fletcher as Mark Davis
- Zack Ward as Bobby Davis, Mark's older brother
- Spencer Stump as Young Jason
- Kyle Labine as Bill Freeburg
- Chris Gauthier as Shack
- David Kopp as Blake
- Jesse Hutch as Trey
- Tom Butler as Dr. Campbell
- Garry Chalk as Sheriff Williams
- Paula Shaw as Pamela Voorhees
Evangeline Lilly had a walk-on role as a high-school student. Professional wrestler Óscar Gutiérrez, better known by his ring name Rey Mysterio, was Englund's stunt double for a scene in Freddy's boiler room lair. New Line Cinema studio chief Robert Shaye, who produced every preceding Nightmare on Elm Street film, played the school principal (credited as L.E. Moko).
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Influenced by fan desire for a crossover film with a fight between Freddy and Jason, New Line and Paramount tried to make a Freddy vs. Jason movie in 1987 but could not agree on a story. When Jason Takes Manhattan failed at the box office, Sean Cunningham wanted to reacquire the rights to Friday the 13th and begin working with New Line Cinema on Freddy vs. Jason (New Line owned Nightmare on Elm Street). Paramount and New Line wanted the license to the other's character so they could control a crossover film. Negotiations on the project collapsed, and Paramount made Jason Takes Manhattan. After Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood was released in 1989, the rights reverted to Scuderi, Minasian, and Barsamianto (who sold them to New Line). Before Cunningham could begin to work on Freddy vs. Jason, Wes Craven returned to New Line to make New Nightmare. This put Freddy vs. Jason on hold, but allowed Cunningham to bring Jason back with Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday. The ninth installment "turned a healthy profit". Cunningham's "frustration" with the delayed development of Freddy vs. Jason led him to create Jason X to keep the series alive. Based on Jason Takes Manhattan's concept of taking Jason away from Crystal Lake, the tenth film put the titular character in space. The film lost its biggest supporter with the resignation of president of production Michael De Luca. Lack of support let the finished film sit for two years before it was released on April 26, 2002. It was the series' lowest-grossing film at the domestic box office, and had the largest budget of any of the films to date.
According to writers Mark Swift and Damian Shannon, several endings were considered for the film; one involved Pinhead of the Hellraiser franchise, but New Line did not want to secure the rights for the character. New Line, thinking that Freddy vs. Jason needed a fresh start, chose a different actor to play Jason. Cunningham disagreed with their decision, believing that Kane Hodder was the best choice for the role. Although Hodder received a script for Freddy vs. Jason and met with director Ronny Yu and New Line executives, Yu and Matthew Barry felt that the role should be recast to fit Yu's image of Jason. Hodder said that New Line did not give him a reason for the recasting; according to Yu, however, he wanted a slower and more-deliberate Jason. The role went to Ken Kirzinger, a Canadian stuntman who worked on Jason Takes Manhattan. Yu said that Kirzinger was hired because he was taller than Robert Englund, who played Freddy Krueger. Kirzinger is 6 feet 5 inches (196 cm) tall, compared to the 6-foot-3-inch (191 cm) Hodder, and Yu wanted a much taller actor than the 5-foot-9-inch (175 cm) Englund. Kirzinger believed that his experience on Part VIII (doubling for Hodder in two scenes) and his height helped him land the part. New Line did not cast Kirzinger until it saw him on film, and his first scene was Jason walking down Elm Street. Douglas Tait played Jason in a re-shot ending:
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 [sic]. You can see it in the deleted scenes, that is why they decided to re-shoot 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 ... 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.
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The film was released on VHS and DVD as part of New Line's Platinum Series on January 13, 2004. The DVD release contained a second disc of bonus content with audio commentary by Ronny Yu, Ken Kirzinger and Robert Englund; deleted and alternate scenes with commentary; Ill Niño's music video for "How Can I Live"; trailers and TV ads, soundtrack promotion and behind-the-scenes featurettes. The film was released on October 4, 2005 on Universal Media Disc and September 8, 2009 on Blu-ray; the Blu-ray release had the same content as the Platinum Series DVD.
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On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 41% based on 158 reviews and an average rating of 4.8 out of 10. According to the website's critical consensus, "Fans of the two horror franchises will enjoy this showdown. But for everyone else, it's the same old slice and dice." On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews by mainstream critics, the film has an average score of 37 out of 100 based on 29 reviews (indicating "generally unfavorable reviews"). Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave it an average grade of B+ on an A+-to-F scale.
Doug Chapman and Glenn Ennis were nominated for the Best Fire Stunt award at the Taurus World Stunt Awards 2004 for the double full-body burn and wire stunt. Chapman doubled for Robert Englund as Freddy and Ennis doubled for Ken Kirzinger as Jason in the stunt.
- "Freddy Vs. Jason"
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- Freddy vs. Jason on IMDb
- Freddy vs. Jason title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Freddy vs. Jason at Box Office Mojo
- Freddy vs. Jason at Rotten Tomatoes
- Freddy vs. Jason at AllMovie
- Freddy vs. Jason at Metacritic
- Film page at the Camp Crystal Lake web site
- Film page at Fridaythe13thfilms.com
- Freddy vs. Jason at Nightmare on Elm Street Companion