To be honest, I’ve not been looking forward to this one. After watching the 7 Elm Street films, this has put even more doubt in my mind that this films incarnation is purely financial. How wrong was I? Impressed. Impressed to the point of suggesting this film might just be the best Elm Street related movie since it’s original. I can’t comment of the 13th side of things, but I suspect it’s better than most of those 10 too.
The plot involves Freddy’s idea of building his strength though the reincarnation of Jason who can cause terror in the real world enabling Krueger to slip into the nightmares and niggle at the youth’s minds. But Jason is an unstoppable killing machine, and once Krueger has his web of terror spread in the dreams of teens, there’s no way Jason will just walk away or step aside. The group of terrified youths end up at Crystal Lake, encouraging the ultimate showdown between the two legends.
Director Ronny Yu creates a fantastic mix of horror and suspense with every cliché in the genre tackled and recreated with a fan boy dedication. This is a great success, reinforced with some fantastic camerawork and amazingly vicious gore effects which makes such a difference compared with some of the other Elm Street movies. Englund is better here as Krueger with plenty of dreamy sequences which flip flawlessly in and out of reality. Ken Kirzinger takes the role of Jason and does a brilliant job. Jason is a beast and unstoppable and if you’ve never seen a Friday 13th film before, this film will win you over as a Jason fan.
The rest of the cats are also pretty damn good too. Monica Keena, Jason Ritter and the amazingly charismatic Kelly Rowland are a joy to watch. Rowland has my favourite Krueger scene ever, in which she stops him dead in his tracks and insults his ‘Christmas sweater’ and questioning his inferiority complex for having big knives on his hand. The scene culminates with Jason cutting her down in a single blow. Earlier, a scene has Jason being set on fire in a corn field as he slaughters a drunken party, burning as he hacks up flesh, until he turns and hits a huge keg of beer to put out the flames. Brilliance. One of the other stunning moments would be the resurrection of Jason; and amazing scene.
This film works mainly due to its dedication to the genre. It’s honest, glossy, fun and gory. A powerful film, big on hacks n slashes which honours all that has gone before and tributes itself as a finale to two huge franchises.