Movies, Online

Viral Fan Film ‘MICHAEL vs JASON’ Highlights Our Desire For Well Made Horror

It’s been 16 years since we first witnessed the epic battle between Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees in Freddy vs Jason. Love it, or hate it, the film played into an ongoing fan desire to see their favorite horror icons duke it out to the death. A search on Reddit for “Horror VS” will uncover a slew of conversations about pitting various horror icons against one another. A common pairing is Michael Myers vs Jason Voorhees, and last week Australian horror fan Luke Pedder delivered just that with the release of a fan film titled MICHAEL vs JASON: Evil Emerges, and fans appear to be eating it up.

Shot in 15 days over the course of four months in and around Adelaide, South Australia, the 30-minute, “no budget” film created by Pedder along with family members and friends has racked up nearly 3 million views in the seven days since it was first published and shows no signs of slowing. The film has gained attention from nearly every online geek and horror outlet as well as mainstream outlets like “The Hollywood Reporter” and “Newsweek.”

If you haven’t seen the film yet you can check it out below, but the basic premise is that Jason awakens from death to hunt for fresh victims, as Jason does, and he accidentally crosses paths with Michael after he’s escaped capture by some heavily armed guards. Once the guards are out of the way a rather impressive battle ensues.

So what’s creating all the attention? The fact the film is built upon two popular horror icons helps, but what really seems to be helping this film is quality.

For a 30 minute film that’s mostly fighting you need well-choreographed fight scenes and solid editing to keep the audience’s attention, and this film has both.

“80% of the action scenes were planned and taken right out of the script,” said Pedder in an email response for this piece. Adding that only a handful of fight scenes were improvised. “I would say the most improvised action scene was when we filmed at the shed/barn. Because there was so much stuff around and was a small area, we had to work around it and think how to film the action on the spot.”

Another element that added to the film’s quality were the masks used for both the Jason and Michael characters. it turns out the Pedder is not only a huge horror fan and filmmaker but also a mask collector. “I have a huge collection of masks and those masks used in film were out of my personal collection,” said Pedder.

Other production elements like foley and sound were also really well done, solidifying the overall quality compared to most fan-made films.

But not all of the attention the film has garnered has been positive. As with anything where you take a beloved franchise and add your own spin, there will be haters, which prompted Pedder to remind people who the film was for. “This film is for the fans that WANT to see these killers battle it out,” posted Pedder in a pinned comment on the video. “If you’re against the idea of a movie like this ever being made, this isn’t for you. I made this because fans wanted to see it. For a movie like this to work sometimes you have to change up the characters a bit… otherwise it would be one sided.”

Love it or hate it, you have to admit the quality far surpasses most of the fan made work you see online.

So what’s next for Pedder? MICHAEL vs JASON: Evil Emerges ends with a “To be continued…” and while he hasn’t started production on anything new, he is already looking ahead. “I’d love to do a film with many more horror characters involved. Like a horror character matchup,” said Pedder. “I have a lot of cool ideas in mind. But we’ll see what happens.”

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