Freddy vs. Jason

Freddy vs. Jason ★★★½

I really did not expect this to gain a whole extra star on a second viewing, but what can I say? After a dodgy first hour, I was really enjoying myself by the end of this silly movie.

First off, I've always really liked the premise. If you have to put Freddy and Jason together in the same film, then I can't think of a more logical and clever way to do it. So that's good. Having Freddy explain the premise, first in voiceover, and then in a piece to camera... less good.

Also not so hot: Ronny Yu's insistence that all the big scenes should take place during ridiculously violent thunderstorms just makes it look like he doesn't have any confidence in his skills as a horror director.

There are two big problems with the first hour: the first is the use of CGI. I don't know what the kids of today think, but as a fan of proper latex/rubber/gallons-of-fake-blood splatter, I can't imagine that anyone could ever find CGI gore either shocking, gruesome or scary, much less a stupid cartoon Freddypillar smoking a hookah.

The second, and worse problem with the first hour is that it's just got too many damn ideas. We hardly ever return to the same set twice, almost every scene is a plot development of some sort, it's almost too fast moving... there's so much going on that, perversely, it drags. A whole movie's worth of stuff in the first 30 minutes leaves you exhausted, and not in a good way. This shit needs space to breathe!!! I guess it's just an inevitable consequence of trying to squeeze all the tropes of two well-loved horror franchises into one feature.

And then we get to the showdown, which - contrary to many complaints at the time of release - lasts a lot longer than just the final few minutes. And this is where I really started having fun. Freddy is on top form, the gore is real all of a sudden (surely they didn't just do all that CGI shit to lull us into a false sense of security?), and - because this is really an Elm Street movie much more than it is a Friday movie - the kids are quite well-drawn and not too hateful.

"Hang on - Freddy died by fire, Jason by water... maybe we can use that" is still probably the stupidest line in any of these eighteen films though.

Pretty cool, would watch again.

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