Picks and Pans Review: Freddy Vs. Jason

updated 08/25/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/25/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Robert Englund, Monica Keena, Kelly Rowland, Jason Ritter

In the bombastic tradition of Dracula vs. Frankenstein and Godzilla vs. the Thing, two fabled monsters meet to duke it out. The result: a whole mess of dead teenagers and a whole lot of shrieking before the titular Freddy (Englund) and Jason (Ken Kirzinger) finally go mano a mano in a prolonged, blood-soaked struggle. Is the fight worth waiting for? Only for adolescent horror-film fans and those who've devoured the seven previous Nightmare on Elm Street films (featuring the singed-skinned Freddy) and the 10 Friday the 13th movies (with hockey-mask-wearing Jason).

Englund has his Freddy shtick down cold, purring menacingly and slashing away with his knife-blade fingers. Kirzinger, a stuntman making his acting debut, lumbers through as Jason. As two of the tastier teens on view, Keena and Rowland (of Destiny's Child) act appropriately feisty in the face of obvious danger. (R) BOTTOM LINE: Monstrous

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