Ronny Yu’s 2003 battle of the titans gives more screen time to Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), a necessary byproduct of a story that’s set in the Nightmare on Elm Street HQ of Springwood. It begins with Freddy, who has no power over the latest generation of Elm Street kids (including a stunt-cast Kelly Rowland, then at the height of her Destiny’s Child fame), plotting a comeback by making Jason his puppet in the real world. But even though Jason (Ken Kirzinger) is, let’s just say it, the dumber of the two, he’s still really good at killing, and it doesn’t take long before he puts his own gory agenda before Freddy’s, which infuriates the razor-fingered villain.
Obviously, the whole point of this movie is to have the gruesome twosome battle it out, something that requires a hefty amount of plot gymnastics to get Freddy—whose whole deal is that he can only attack his victims in their dreams—into the real world. They finally meet on the shores of (where else?) Crystal Lake, but the movie doesn’t have the impact it should in the end, especially considering the 17 collective films the horror icons chopped their way through to finally come face-to-face, or rather face-to-mask. Still, the fact that this movie exists at all, and that it doesn’t totally suck, is something of a miracle.