Friend or Foe? Time travel or Space Travel? Worlds Collide or Combine? In the Crossover Corner, we look to examine the meetings of some of fiction’s greatest characters and document their encounters. Spoilers Ahead!
Jason Voorhes (1980)
Freddy Krueger (1984)
The Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street series both exist in the “real” world sort of speaking. It makes the set-up for the movie relatively easy. Freddy needs a vessel to create terror in the real world so that he can regain his power in the dream world. We’ve seen in previous movies that Freddy’s powers aren’t limited to Elm Street so he enters Jason’s dreams/nightmare to awaken the monster and set him on a path of destruction.
The characters meet a variety of times. At first, they are unofficially working together with Jason unwittingly doing Freddy’s deeds. However once Jason goes beyond what Freddy needs (kill-stealing) their relationship turns antagonistic and they engage in a battle in the dream world and the real world.
They split their encounter 1-1, but seeing how Jason walks away at the end, he proves to be the ultimate winner of the film.
The movie has a bit of revisionist history in regards to both franchises. Adding a fear of water for Jason that doesn’t exist in any previous version and Freddy’s origins are explored a bit more.
Aside from that, the story as noted above works with Freddy using Jason to kill teens in order to create chaos and fear so that he may regain his power in the dream world. The reason for that is that 4 years prior to the start of the movie, the town of Springwood became active in combating Freddy. They have locked up any kids who knew of or encountered Freddy and gave them a drug that would keep them from having dreams. They were also cut off from any interactions with their friends and family.
Back in Springwood, we are introduced to a handful of teenagers including Lori who lives in Freddy’s former home on Elm Street. Okay you probably don’t care about most of this, a handful of diverse teenage stereotypes are introduced so that they can be killed off over the course of the movie. The most fascinating thing about it is that Freddy gets so few kills in this movie with the bulk of them going to Jason even once Freddy is back in power.
Speaking of kills, I guess the intent of the movie is for the two icons to clash so they don’t really get creative with them. Some beheadings, one or two impalings and that’s the extent of it. I will say my favorite kill in the movie is fairly basic, but does make Jason a good guy when he saves one of the females from being raped. Also flaming Jason afterwards is super cool.
Most of the movie is Freddy using Jason to kill teens in his name, but about half way through the movie Jason steals a kill from Freddy which forces him to go on the offensive. He possess one of the teens and is able to load Jason up with tranqs in order for them to do battle in the dream realm. The fight proves to be exciting and creative, at one point Jason is used as a sort of pinball. But knowing that their odds are better with Jason than Freddy, the teens take the two to Crystal Lake and pull Freddy out of the dream realm.
The fight at the camp ground proves to be just as creative and fun. I think what serves the movie so well is not just the clash of Freddy and Jason, but their personality. Jason is silent and stoic while Freddy is animated and chatty.
Freddy vs Jason may not be the best horror movie or even the best slasher, but it is a damn fun and entertaining crossover movie and ultimately all you can ask for.
The movie doesn’t skimp out on the titular confrontation and isn’t even afraid to offer up an actual winner, which a lot of crossovers avoid. If you haven’t seen it, worth tracking down.