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Englund, Kirzinger, & Yu offer insight into Freddy vs. Jason winking climax

10.18.2017

I've got some good news for all of you Freddy and Jason fans out there. This coming Friday, Entertainment Weekly will release a special Untold Stories issue of their magazine featuring an interview with FREDDY VS. JASON royalty Robert EnglundKen Kirzinger, and director Ronny Yu. While waxing rhapsodic about the long-anticipated on-screen battle between the two terrifying titans of horror, the group shared a few intimate details about what made the iconic brawl so clever and fun to film.

Perhaps one of the best aspects of FREDDY VS. JASON's final act is that the nightmare monster beatdown occurs in two of the character's most notable locales, in addition to surrounding each undead killer with their greatest fear: Fire for Freddy and Water for Jason, of course.

“[The fight] starts on Elm Street, but we hit both of the iconic home turfs,” says Robert Englund, who wore the tattered red and green sweater for his last turn as Freddy in the film, after seven previous appearances reaching back to the series original Nightmare in 1984. “Freddy fears fire and Jason fears water, so those are real primal elements.” Anyone can see that Freddy and Jason each have their own opposing body types, with Englund describing the characters as “a little junkyard dog and a six-foot-seven looming nihilistic killer.”

Following Englund's comments, Kirzinger, who played Jason in Yu's monster mash-up horror film added: “Jason’s so much bigger that you think, ‘How are they gonna do this?'" Kirzinger then continued, “Ronny has a martial-arts background, so he knows size doesn’t necessarily matter,” Kirzinger says. “He made Freddy smaller and quicker and Jason bigger and stronger, and made the fight look relatively even. I think it was exactly what the fans were hoping for, because the movie is all about that fight.”

In regard to who would win the supernatural slugfest, Yu offered a bit of insight pertaining to his formula for success by saying “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,” Yu explains. “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.”

However, in order for the formula to be a success, Kirzinger states that the aim was to make Jason appear more heroic than in the past Friday films. “Fans got to see another side of Jason in this movie,” Kirzinger says — and Jason finally succeeds in lopping off Freddy's scarred head with his trademark machete. However, in the last shot, Freddy’s head gives a knowing wink to the audience. “So 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,” Yu says. “I didn’t upset Jason’s fans, I didn’t upset Freddy’s fans. The fight continues.”

The conversation then turns toward Englund's retirement from playing the Freddy character, and how he's content with the way it all played out. “I’m too old to do another Freddy now,” says Englund (much to the dismay of every Freddy fan in the known galaxy). I mean, I get it, the man is 70-years-old, after all. “If I do a fight scene now it’s got to be real minimal because I can’t snap my head for eight different takes and different angles. My spine gets sore. I can still be mean and scary, but I’m mostly relegated now to sort of Van Helsing roles, old doctors and shit. So it’s fun that the last moment of me ever playing Freddy is a wink to the audience.”

Englund then continues: “It’s like, I had a good run, I had a good time. And no one plans for this in your career. When I was wearing tights and doing Shakespeare, I didn’t say I wanted to be famous for playing this boogeyman. Careers happen and one of the pieces of advice I give to people is I’m sure you’ll do a great pilot or you’ll do a little independent art movie and it won’t go anywhere and then you might do your Intern No. 3 on Grey’s Anatomy and that’s the one that becomes the huge hit. People just don’t know. And when you’ve survived as long as I have and you see that, you can be real happy that you got 20 years as Freddy Kruger, you know?”

While it breaks my heart to think that Englund will never again don the razor-fingered glove and dilapidated fedora, I can totally understand why he'd be looking to bury Krueger's bones in the boiler room for good, and just enjoy the rest of his time among fans, friends and family.

In other Freddy-realted news, it's recently been confirmed that the character will be joining the cast of the video game Dead By Daylight for a DLC package entitled Don't Fall Asleep. Past DLC additions for Dead By Deadlight have seen The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s Leatherface and Halloween’s Michael Myers added to the roster of playable characters.

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