Scream Horror Magazine


Posted on: August 25th, 2023

It was billed as the ultimate slasher movie showdown, and is still held in high regard, but can you believe Freddy Vs. Jason has turned 20 years old?

August 16th 2023 marked exactly two decades since the slasher titans tore up the big screen in a fight to the death and attained their respective franchises biggest box-office numbers to that point.

As hard as it is to believe, Freddy Vs. Jason began gestation in 1988… yes, that’s 35 years ago! Paramount’s Jason Voorhees was very evidently losing his popularity with audiences, whilst New Line’s Freddy Krueger was seemingly unstoppable, having just come off the massively successful Dream Warriors. Pairing these two slasher icons would surely be one of the biggest events of the century, however, rights issues immediately got in the way.

New Line Cinema were unwilling to surrender a portion of the Krueger rights to Paramount, and who can blame them given the astonishing success. Consequently, the project hit a wall until 1992, when New Line secured the Friday the 13th rights, the only issue being, they’d just killed off Krueger for “good” in Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare.

Development on the project was reportedly ongoing for the next 10 years, but the struggle to find a cohesive and believable script almost spelled the end multiple times. $6 million was reportedly spent on finding the perfect writer for the project, with pitches from David J. Schow, Lewis Abernathy, Rob Botin and Tom McLoughlin going unused.

Finally, a contemporary script by Mark Swift and Damian Shannon, perfectly blending the supernatural dream world of Krueger and the real-world slashing of Voorhees, was chosen. However, three more years would be spent on rewrites, finding the perfect director, and casting likeable leads.

Names floated for the directing chair included Wes Craven, Rob Zombie, Guillermo del Toro, and Peter Jackson. Bride of Chucky director Ronny Yu came aboard after initially refusing the job, having never seen a movie in either franchise.

With a cast and crew assembled, the slasher event of the century was finally afoot! And although making a killing at the box-office, how does the film fare two decades later? The consensus of fans on this momentous anniversary is that the film is “still awesome,” despite some of the pitfalls of 2000’s horror that haven’t aged so well.

Still the only time two slasher villains have faced-off on-screen, Freddy Vs. Jason continues to garner praise for feasibly bringing the two characters together and delivering an epic final battle with some ridiculously gruesome set-pieces.

The one lingering thread that fans have with the film is the absence of Kane Hodder as Jason. After four appearances, it was assumed he’d be given the honour of the face-off, however, Hodder was dismissed as Yu had a “different vision” for the character, and selected Ken Kerzinger instead.

What’s important to remember is that Hodder retains no hostility about the decision, and urges that it shouldn’t taint the film for fans. He is a fan of the final product and believes it still holds up.

So, 20 years later, is it time we revisit this slasher face-off? In an age where slasher movies are hotter than they’ve ever been, perhaps it’s time for a sequel to deliver on the promise of that cliffhanger ending? After all, there was no clear winner, was there?

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