Before the trailers were even underway I knew how they'd introduce this film. The first few bars of Freddy's theme tune, followed by one of Jason's little signature sound effects. Dum dum dum dum, pause, chi-chi-chi-ha-ha-ha. Play with my expectations, dammit!

I'm noticing a trend with more recent horror films. They're having a tendency to look away from the little cash stream of baying fans to which they owe so much and focus their attentions on the heaving ocean of the mainstream. In almost all the recent offerings of all three major slasher franchises (Jason, Michael, Freddy), they've had a tendency to just concentrate on the bare bones of the matter and invite all previous sequels to take a running jump. In many ways it's rather ungrateful.

Studios are relying on the greater bulk of the Casual Fans (CFs), rather than the Die Hard Fans (DHFs, which is very nearly the name of a chain of furniture stores) to gain their profits. The two recent Halloweens relied on information only CFs would be aware of. See, a CF would know that Michael Myers was a seeming unkillable maniac who pursued his sister relentlessly. The DHFs, who soaked up everything in the many sequels that followed, know that he's under a Pagan curse to slaughter his family. Someone decides to make Halloween H20, and bingo, Pagan curses hurled out of the window, concussing a passing cyclist.

See this? This go in you.

And so, Freddy Vs. Jason. Most definitely one for the CFs, as the DHFs are going to find some rather irritating inconsistencies.

Point 1: Most of the action takes place in Springwood, Freddy's old haunt, which is full of teenagers. There are even some people living in Freddy's old house.

- A CF would know that Freddy kills people in their dreams, and hails from Springwood, and he particularly likes killing people who live in his old love shack.

- A DHF would know that the last time we saw Springwood (in Freddy 6) it was a desolate ghost town peopled with howling crazies, all the children having been picked off one by one.

Point 2: Freddy controls Jason by pretending to be his mum, as Jason has something of a complex, since we see him dragging his mum's entire corpse around at one point.

- A CF would know that Jason kills people because he witnessed his mother's death and blames everyone for it. And he really loved his mum!

- A DHF would know that his mum was decapitated, and Jason kind of packed in carrying bits of his mum around at about the time he was still breaking in the hockey mask. Details, people, details!

Point 3: Freddy is brought out into reality, where he is vulnerable, by the heroine clinging onto him just as she wakes up.

- A CF knows that this could be the only way of defeating him once and for all! Gasp!

- A DHF knows that it's been tried, like, four times and it never fucking works.

So, it's a film for CFs. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing; after all, if lots of people see a film, the series is suddenly reignited! So, I won't be going into another tirade like the one at the end of my Halloween Resurrection review, don't you worry about that.

All in all, it was an enjoyable fantasy romp, with lots of the "Wow! Freddy AND Jason! Cool!" factor. Couple of things we could've done without, of course:

1. The black chick out of the blue questioning Freddy's virility. Yes, there's the apparently indestructible demon-man who just had a big fight with Jason and is hungry for some red meat. Let's tell him we think he has a tiny willy. What a great idea.

2. Jason being hurled around Freddy's lair at high speeds, bouncing off walls and pipes to the accompaniment of hilarious pinball machine sound effects. Kind of ruined the solemnity of the occasion, y'know.

3. "Ah!" says the director. "Jason drowned, right? That must mean he's afraid of water!" Fuck you. As we DHFs know, Jason LOVES the water. It's his element. More than once he's had a kind of Jaws thing going on when targetting skinny dippers.

So, whose side are we supposed to be on? Almost certainly Jason's, if we choose to overlook all the gutting and machete chopping. I know that during Freddy films we love the old tosser for his one-liners and his fun little escapades, but now we've seen them alongside Jason's method he does seem like a bit of a twat.


Oh, the plot? Well, Freddy coerces Jason into going to Elm Street and slicing up a few tossheads so they'll be afraid of him again, gets his power from their fear, Jason doesn't want to stop once he gets into the swing of things, Freddy decides he needs to put his doggy down, blah de blah de blah. We've not seen a horror movie plot this complicated since Wes Craven's New Nightmare!

Hey, you know something? This is one of the few recent horror films that actually got an 18 certificate, rather than just the lowly 15. Why? Clinton's running mate, my friend, Clinton's running mate. Gore, gore, gore. I tried counting all the times blood squirted fakily out of someone as if from a seltzer bottle, but lost count around number 20. Oh, and there were some gratuituous boobies to balance things out.

I suppose what condemns the film is how predictable it gets. Like the bit where Freddy is stalking someone in dreams while Jason sidles up to their unconscious body; I just KNEW Jason was going to smash them up just before Freddy got his act together, and really piss him the fuck off. See if you can count how many times the thought "Well, THAT guy's gonna die now" flashes through your mind. I suppose, in this case, you can have a little fun trying to guess which of our two title protagonists will carry it out.

I spy ratings off the port bow!

Fingers In Ears Rating: 7/10
You know how it goes. There's total silence, the pre-corpse wanders around in terror, breathing heavily, then gradually allow themselves to relax. Then, SPSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSH!!!

Similarity To Last Film Rating: N/A
Why no rating? Which fucking last film? Wouldn't be anything like it either way. Nothing much except the characters and loads of blood. SPSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSH!!!

Blood and Guts Rating: 10/10

Get Nekkid And DIE! Rating: 8/10
Gratuituous boobs? Jason no like! SPSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSH!! I took off two points because an awful lot of people die, and not many of them are nekkid.

Hateful Heroes Rating: 0/10
Hell no! How could anyone not like Jason? Oh, wait, I guess he doesn't count. Let me try again.

Hateful Heroes Rating: 10/10
You know, just for once I'd like to see one of these fuckers with a bit of character. You know, beyond being highly sexed or scared of spiders or dorky or a pothead or whatever. You know who a good hero for this film would have been? Tommy Jarvis from Fridays 4, 5 and 6. He was kind of complex, what with him being mentally unstable for most of his films. Except 6, he sucked in that. But they could've brought him back for this event! And maybe one of the more consistent heroes from the Freddy films, too, to balance things out. No-one ever listens to me.

Overall Horror Movie Sequel Rating: 8/10
It's a lot of fun, but if you eat Freddy cereal and wear Jason pyjamas, it's going to disappoint somewhat.

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