For the first time since "Scream," the slasher genre shows signs of life (was that in poor taste?) in "Freddy vs. Jason," a franchise merger that pits hockey-masked psycho Jason Voorhees from the "Friday the 13th" movies against "A Nightmare on Elm Street's" dream-invading bimbo-killer Freddy Krueger and his knife-blade glove.

The scenes in which these two unstoppable supernatural slayers are literally at each other's throats prove to be everything fans of such movies could hope for as they hack, cut, beat, tear and toss each other around, first in Freddy's dream realm (where the burn-scarred nutcase has tapped into Jason's subconscious), and later on Jason's home turf at Camp Crystal Lake after Freddy has been drawn into the real world. Their super-violent showdowns are like John Woo fight scenes with all the elegance sucked out and replaced with brutal fury.

Unfortunately, the rest of the movie is largely the same tired old crap -- 25-year-old half-talents playing unconvincing high-schoolers stalked through the dark by one or the other of our killers. Any bouts of creativity in the script are almost immediately squelched by low standards of hack filmmaking, as evidenced by the boring expository prologue in which Krueger (Robert Englund) blabs on and on about his backstory, then explains the plot: He's awakened Jason (Ken Kirzinger) from the dead by invading his psyche (as a vision of his abusive mother), sending him to Elm Street to rekindle the fear Freddy needs to thrive in the dreams of his hometown teenagers and begin anew his own killing streak.

Continue reading: Freddy Vs Jason Review