2003 Running time: 97 Certificate: 18 Rating: 3

Synopsis

It's clash of the horror titans as Elm Street's resident bogeyman Freddy Krueger takes on Friday The 13th's masked maniac Jason Voorhees in a slash-tastic fight to the death... or at least the deaths of the numerous hapless college types who get caught between them (including pop queen Kelly Rowland). Tongues firmly in cheeks for the goriest smackdown of the decade.

Director

  • Ronny Yu

Cast

  • Robert Englund

  • Ken Kirzinger

  • Jason Ritter

  • Monica Keena

  • Kelly Rowland

Review

It's not as if it hasn't been done before - mutant lizard Godzilla and oversized primate King Kong locked horns and pulling power in 1962.

But these latterday creations haven't quite got the iconic status of those mighty beasts... despite respectable performances at the box office.

The first Freddy movie - A Nightmare on Elm Street - was directed by horror-meister Wes Craven while Jason's first struck blood in Friday the 13th Part II (his mum was actually the villain in the first one).

Since then sequels have come with a monotonous regularity (2001's Jason X was a fair stab at re-inventing the franchise) inevitably suffering the law of diminishing returns.

According to the studio, the idea to unite the pair has been kicking around for a few years but you cannot help but detect the dead hand of corporate accountants.

Childkilling Freddy (who uses his victims' nocturnal reverie to trap them) is in limbo - "being dead isn't a problem but being forgotten is a bitch."

Memories of the serial murderer have been buried and those who can recall the hatted slasher are administered dream-suppressing drugs.

Posing as Jason's mom, Freddy reawakens the hockey-masked slayer and despatches him to Elm Street to remind the residents who he is.

Queuing up to take a fatal blow are the usual suspects - housefuls of college kids bubbling over with testosterone or bobbing around with implants.

Martial arts maesto Ronny Yu doesn't opt for the suspenseful build-up - from frame one you get MTV sized dollops of gore.

It's not really witty enough to be camp or creepy enough to be terrifying - it's more a conveyor belt of graphic despatches underscored by the obligatory thrash metal score.

Fans of the protagonists will lap it up.

Tim Evans

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