2003’s showdown between A Nightmare On Elm Street’s Freddy Krueger and Friday the 13th’s Jason Voorhees was won by Freddy Vs Jason’s final girl Lori
The 2003 slasher face-off Freddy Vs Jason intentionally left the final winner of the title bout ambiguous, though there is actually one clear victor — final girl Lori. Released in 2003, Bride of Chucky director Ronny Yu’s Freddy Vs Jason was the long-awaited cinematic culmination of decades of horror fan speculation.
Outside of John Carpenter’s Halloween movies, the Friday the 13th franchise and A Nightmare On Elm Street series were the two most iconic sets of slasher movies to last throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s. Both series were beloved by fans for their creative kills and solid scares (less so in the case of later sequels), but their killers could not have been more different.
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Freddy Krueger of A Nightmare On Elm Street fame was a lithe, talkative child killer whose power came from the supernatural ability to manipulate the reality of dreams, whereas Friday the 13th’s Jason Voorhees was a hulking, un-killable mute murderer who relied on brute strength to do his killing. Thus, the question of which villain would win a face-off was a hot topic for slasher fans throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s heyday of the subgenre. The later Friday the 13th movies may have forgotten to be scary, an accusation also often leveled at the later Nightmare On Elm Street sequels, but their villains were nonetheless still titans of screen terror by 2003, which made it all the more fascinating that Freddy Vs Jason saw final girl Lori win the titular battle.
Monica Keena’s Lori not only managed to drag the Springwood slasher out of the safe realm of slumberland and into the real world in the movie’s finale, but she also made sure Jason was there to fight him upon arrival. After the bloody brawl is done, Jason even saves her and her boyfriend from a final attack from Krueger, and Lori ends up being the one to deliver the killing blow to Freddy. From getting Jason to battle Freddy to killing the dream demon herself, it’s hard to deny that Lori is the real winner of Freddy and Jason’s much-anticipated showdown. Not only did Lori survive, but being able to save her love interest and successfully pit one slasher villain against another is a feat few characters in either series can boast.
It is a fitting fate for the titular pair that their long-awaited showdown ended up being won by a resilient final girl. After all, the final girls of both the Friday the 13th and A Nightmare On Elm Street franchises have typically been the only characters fit to fight Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees and not only live to tell the tale, but also take down the villains (at least until the next inevitable sequel). Jessica, Whitney, Trish, Tina, and Christine all took on the undead mascot of Camp Crystal Lake and emerged triumphant, while Heather Langenkamp (temporarily) defeated Freddy both as A Nightmare On Elm Street’s Nancy and as a fictionalized version of herself in Wes Craven’s New Nightmare. As such, it should come as no surprise to fans of both franchises that a resourceful heroine was the real victor of Freddy Vs Jason.
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