My obligation to pop culture took me to Freddy vs Jason, but the jaw-dropping splendor of twenty year-old franchises drawing in packed houses kept me there.
The tagline on Ronny Yu’s cash-in horror flick is “Winner Kills All.” How insightful.
The movie keeps good on the promise of bare midriff and cubed abdominals being slashed by various sharp objects.
The random femme fatal/starlet is still bouncing around, this time Kelly Rowland of Destiny’s Child.
She’s acquired red streaks in her hair and demonstrates how deftly a pop star can fall onto a machete without smudging her smoky eye.
The heroine is still doe-eyed and full of virtue.
The killers are still menacing and statuesque.
Even with these creature comforts, the script is still bad.
The stunt-work is sloppy, and the soundtrack is a misplaced.
Yet the decadence of horror movies, especially among 18 to 24-year-olds, is a trend we won’t see decapitated any time soon.
Freddy can still talk a mean game and Jason can still…walk…scary.
Things like talent don’t matter in these movies-they’re all about adrenaline, cheap thrills and most importantly, money.
Freddy vs Jason has grossed close to 80 million dollars in four weeks of release, making New Line Cinema, the gruesome twosome’s distributor, the box office prom queen, with pig’s blood and all.
The movie itself is now an afterthought to viewers; once you’ve seen one skull crushed, you’ve seen them all.
The question now is who will tread the blood soaked path and further the franchise?
All knife-gloved fingers point to Freddy.
Robert Englund, the dream stalker himself, is in talks to star in a prequel to Nightmare on Elm Street.
The prequel will showcase the killings executed by Freddy Krueger before his death and resurrection in the dreams of children.
Ultimately, the film is generic horror fun, but perhaps best enjoyed on home video.
Or via internet DVD piracy.
Matt Donnelly can be reached at MattDonn@temple.edu.