Freddy Krueger as social contagion (some spoiler content)

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Sun 24 Aug 2003 - 05:02:03 GMT

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    OK, I broke down and watched the new _Freddy versus Jason_ movie pitting everybody's favorite childkiller Freddy Krueger (of _Nightmare on Elm Street_ fame) against everybody's favorite 80's slasher from Crystal Lake Jason (of _Friday the 13th_ fame). The movie wasn't as terrible as I expected. One rather nifty plot device was that Freddy had been long forgotten on Elm Street and had no power because he wasn't known or feared by anyone. The town's elder folk had managed to wipe Freddy from cultural memory and the high-schoolers were unaware of Elm Street's notoriously gruesome past. There was a cordon sanitaire around the Freddy contagion as any kids who had been exposed to knowledge of him years previously were placed in a mental institution and dosed up on an experimental drug that inhibits dreaming.

    Well Freddy has the bright idea of enlisting the aid of Jason to get his name mentioned on Elm Steet once again and regain power. So when Jason does his special slasher magic and kills people, it's assumed that Freddy is the culprit. Eventually people start mentioning his name and the high school kids become aware of the Freddy legend and his power increases. Now he's able to invade the high schooler's dreams. Thus Freddy comes back as a result of social contagion, with help of Jason. The rest of the movie had the obligatory gore and a smidgen of suspense (not much), but the 'Freddy as social contagion' plot device was rather nifty I thought.

    I was unfortunate enough to be subjected to a trailer for the upcoming remake(?) of the _Texas Chainsaw Massacre_. I imagine Leatherface will be making his comeback now on the coat tails of Freddy and Jason. Maybe eventually they will become a power trio.

    Every once in a while the horror genre makes a new gasp for air. _The Ring_ was a pretty decent movie with a sort of contagious plot device of its own, where a videotape must find victims, so some girl trapped in a well can exact revenge. Did the victims have the videotape or did the videotape have them?

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