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Every horror franchise has its ups and its downs, and while 2003's Freddy vs. Jason was hardly the pinnacle of A Nightmare on Elm Street or Friday the 13th lore, just think that it could always be worse. After a spectacular run through the '80s and '90s, the lives of Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees had become a little stale, so why not do what everyone else does and try out a crossover?
The pieces had already been put into place thanks to Freddy's glove popping up at the end of Jason Goes to Hell, but some 10 years later, gore whores finally got the battle of giants they had been waiting for — courtesy of director Ronny Yu. However, ever since the lackluster entry left cinemas, fans have been wondering, "What the hell does that ending mean?"
Two Heads Are Better Than One
If you remember the climax of the film, both slashers had claimed their victims and then turned on each other in a bloody showdown. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Yu recalls how he came up with the ending and what it really means:
“[The fight] starts on Elm Street, but we hit both of the iconic home turfs. Freddy fears fire and Jason fears water, so those are real primal elements.”
Ultimately, it was Jason who was the winner after decapitating Freddy and walking away with his severed head. However, the final shot is classic Krueger smarm as the Springwood Slasher winks at the audience. Well, according to Yu, it was quite literally a wink to the audience:
"Obviously it seems like Jason is the winner, but as Freddy’s head comes close to the camera, you see Freddy very cheeky have a wink, so it’s like, hey, maybe not. Maybe Freddy has something up his sleeve and then he’ll fight back. That’s how I found the balance. I didn’t upset Jason’s fans, I didn’t upset Freddy’s fans. The fight continues.”
The whole premise of the film saw a manipulative Freddy resurrect Jason to bring a whole new generation of teen souls into his life. The crux of the Elm Street movies was that Freddy was always defeated when forgotten, and it was a clever trick to use Jason as the puppet. So, does this make Jason the *erm* good guy? Yu went on to clarify that it was difficult to decide who was the hero and who was the villain of the movie, but an odd turn of events made Jason Voorhees some sort of antihero:
“I sort of calculate: If I get maybe 30 seconds of the hero winning, then I have to add another 25 seconds of the villain fighting back. Do you feel bored to see the heroes winning, do you feel like it’s time for the villain to win the upper hand? It’s a balancing act.”
Sadly, despite Yu's hopes, the fight didn't continue. Although there were once plans for another crossover with Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash, it never came to pass, and both horror series were completely rebooted — perhaps it would've been best for everyone to pick up Freddy's head and just carry on where we left off. If you know anything about horror, 2009's Friday the 13th and the 2010's A Nightmare on Elm Street did what no Tommy or Nancy ever could, and and managed to put both franchises in their respective graves
With Robert Englund now claiming he is too old to play Freddy again, and with various leaks about a sequel to the Friday the 13th reboot, it seems that no one knows what to do with two of the greatest horror franchises in existence. Personally, I think you should've gone with Freddy vs. Predator.