Saturday, November 1, 2014

slasher... that's what they called me

A little reenactment to get the ball rolling with Freddy vs. Jason. I was watching a YouTube video from GoodBadFlicks earlier, notes on the movie Cabin in the Woods, and he argues (rather aptly) that the old ones who watch over the “ritual” therein...

(“Mrs. Voorhees” should be more helpful with her directions. She tells Jason to go to “Elm Street” but doesn’t tell him what city or even what state. It’s a bit of a walk from New Jersey to Ohio. He might need some snacks, or an extra machete for the road.)

...represent we in the audience, watching the same ritual of death over and over and over again. The ending of that movie is us destroying the whole setup to start over. In that video, he suggests that the more recent remakes of Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street were not the way to go; we need new ideas. Really, I’m not sure that the basic slasher setup isn’t doable indefinitely; a killer stalking a series of victims—that’s a plotline a lot of different sets of details and (relatively) different groups of characters can be injected into.

Teenagers on the verge of having sex, but the girls are not all that willing. It’s like they don’t want to be the victims in a slasher film. But, twelve minutes in and we’ve already had a skinny-dipping scene, a sex scene, and now a shower scene. And, then Jason arrives, a little more angry, a little more brutal than usual.

(And, he’s got two working eyes. Why must every Friday the 13th film redesign Jason Voorhees?)

I must admit, I love the idea of this movie—Freddy using Jason to frighten the kids of Springwood to have nightmares again—but I hated this movie when I saw it in the theater. It’s a strange note, potentially, to end my “month” of slasher films on. But, it’s also absolutely appropriate

(Plus, maybe it will be better this time; Jason X was better than I remembered it.)

that I end on a liminal note. Slasher films run the gamut from horrendous trash to brilliant cinema. Just the slasher films I’ve watched this past month have ranged from so bad I wish never to watch them again to some of my favorite movies ever. A movie like Freddy vs. Jason plays out of the actual context in the timeline, like a cash grab, but really, the idea had been planted a decade earlier with the ending of Jason Goes to Hell. A cheap cash grab that couldn’t be managed for a decade—that sums up the genre in a way.

Minor nitpick: you wouldn’t find a story about your brother’s suicide in the newspaper the day he did it. It would be the next day. The blacked out obituaries reminded me of Freddy’s Dead; Springwood should have no teenagers. Hell, it should barely be a town. This is two years after the setting for Freddy’s Dead. I think we are supposed to look at this film as something of an H20 situation, ignore a bit of the established history, pretty much go back to the original... but then, one has to wonder how Freddy became weak. Being defeated all those times—that makes sense as to why Freddy would be weak, but seeing all those blacked out obituaries implies an ongoing string of murders by Freddy. And, recently enough that teenagers would have some memory of what’s happened.

Jason inadvertently stealing Freddy’s kill—that was a nice touch. Jason walking around killing people while in flames was nice, too.

“That goalie was pissed about something.” Good line.

“Freddy died by fire, Jason died by water—how can we use that?” First of all, stupid line. Second of all, you can’t. Try guns or knives or something. Or, if you don’t want t go phallic, turn your back on Freddy and take away his power, then turn back in time to...

Wait.

Freddy found Jason in Jason’s dream in the opening sequence of this film. Does that mean Jason was not in Hell?

(Why isn’t Hypnocil FDA approved? It’s been around for at least 16 years at the time of this film—Dream Warriors came out in 1987.)

(Caterpillar Freddy is cute.)

(How did Jason follow them to Westin Hills?)

The dream fight is lame. The pinball stuff is silly, too cartoony to involve Jason.

Jason’s fear of water is arbitrary—despite his having originally died from drowning. Numerous times over the years, Jason has deliberately gone in or through water to get to his victims. He is not afraid of water. Hell, about the only thing that every really bothered him at all was when Tina used her telekinesis on him in The New Blood.

Now, taking this as just a Freddy film, it’s kind of a sick notion that he turned Jason into a child with that water thing. You know, since Freddy’s victims years ago were all children.

First signs this has turned into a Jason movie instead of a Freddy one: it rained and Jason just broke a whole lot of windows.

The real-world fight is still a bit silly—Freddy trying all those wrestling moves, especially—but it makes Freddy look silly, not Jason, and that’s okay.

All in all, it’s not the worst slasher film. It is far from the best, but it is not the worst.

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