Freddy vs. Jason (2003)

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I’m as surprised as you’re going to be, ISCFC readers, because the last in the “original” run for both Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger is surprisingly decent. It really shouldn’t be – born from idiots on the early internet and “Fangoria” magazine seizing on the idea and running with it, the sort of thing that would be a meme these days instead of a movie.  But what it achieves is telling a fairly interesting story using both characters, has honest-no-fooling layers to it, with plenty of fine acting and gore too. But seriously, please read the rest of this review because I know I’ve totally given away my feelings in the first paragraph.

 

Although never mentioned, it seems like we’re being asked to ignore the last movie in both series. “Freddy’s Dead” finally, no twist at the end, kills Freddy off forever (and leaves Springwood a ghost town where all the kids are dead); and “Jason X” takes place in space 450 years in the future. I don’t think “New Nightmare” counts in this “universe” either, in case you’re already getting annoyed with me. Freddy is in hell, forgotten about, and is itching to get back into the teenager-slaughtering game; but he needs people to start remembering him so he has power, and to that end goes and finds Jason Voorhees and, pretending to be Jason’s mother, persuades him to resurrect himself and go to Springwood. Why Jason can just pop back into existence whenever he wants and Freddy can’t is sadly never explained. Even if, casting your mind back, Freddy didn’t need people to believe in him to start killing people in the first movie? Ah well, there’s worse plot holes in better movies. A few murders from Jason, people start talking Freddy again, and boom! He’s back in business. Or so the theory goes.

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Hearing Jason’s music play over a shot of 1428 Elm Street is, even for someone like me who hated most of one series and half the other, a pretty cool moment. Living at the old Elm Street house is Lori (Monica Keena), along with her widowed father; one boring weekend evening, she has her friends over, Kia, Gibb, Trey, and Blake (the women are the better-known of the group – Kia is singer Kelly Rowland and Gibb is Katharine Isabelle, from “Ginger Snaps”). Trey is every super-douchebag boyfriend cliché ever, and gets his first, being folded up the wrong way in a bed by Jason – the first of many excellent effects. There’s also Lori’s old boyfriend and his mate, who’ve been locked up in an asylum for four years, coming back to town to complicate matters.

 

“Freddy vs Jason” uses the cliché of “authority figures who don’t want to know” and for maybe the first time ever, does something clever with it. I won’t spoil it, because I think this one is worth watching, but I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. The entire story of the non-supernatural-murderer people is solidly done, all round, which means you’re not just waiting round for the next teenager to get hacked to pieces or thrown about in their dreams – although there’s certainly that element to it. There comes a moment where Freddy is doing his thing with Gibb, but Jason kills her out in the real world before he can finish her off, and that brings their conflict to a head. Jason didn’t listen! He was only supposed to kill a few people! If you can’t trust an entirely mute monster of a man whose sole reason to exist is to murder people who enjoy sex, who can you trust?

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Director Ronny Yu is much better known for doing epic historical kung-fu movies in the Far East, and this represents the end of his dabbling with Hollywood. But he does get some lovely visuals in there, including the cornfield rave, a genuinely well-shot little moment, and the use of water to “imprison” Jason. For a slasher movie, it’s better than it has any right to be. Jason’s dream is quite clever too.

 

This was the first movie for writers Mark Swift and Damian Shannon, who’ve since gone on to write the 2009 “Friday The 13th” reboot, and have their names attached to the new “Baywatch” movie (among others). I don’t want to get too excited about this, but I think there are people who just knock together whatever will do for the money, and there are people that realise even a probably terrible slasher movie can be used as a calling card, if it’s decent enough. Putting thought into something doesn’t cost extra – although it would have been nice if they’d watched the previous movies in both series, as there’s the odd thing I noticed, and I’m just some joe off the internet who likes horror.

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It’s not all fun and games, though. There’s a thing about Jason dying in water so Freddy traps him with it, as if he’s mortally afraid of it. The problem is, Jason was never really “afraid” of water  (he swims most of the way from Crystal Lake to New York in part 8, if you care to cast your mind back) so it smacks of a last-minute decision because they needed to extend the final fight a bit. And even after the attempt to bring Englund’s characterisation in “New Nightmare” back to something more genuinely terrifying, he’s the same old quip-spewing psycho here as he always was. In the age of the internet, the idea that blacking out a few newspaper reports will be enough to make people forget about him is strange – not one teenager ever looked on a “gross local news” website?

 

But after all that, I liked it! The final fight between the two titans of terror, the Gods of Gore, the super-slashers, the I-have-a-headache-and-can’t-think-of-any-more, is really well done; and Jason’s “characterisation” (from stuntman Ken Kirzinger, not long-time guy Kane Hodder) is deliberate, slow and as frightening as a slasher movie is going to get. Eagle-eyed viewers can also spot future “Lost” star Evangeline Lilly, back when she was a model who just did occasional extra work, as a high school student too.

 

Freddy’s complaint about being forgotten is a meta-reference and mirrors the vague feeling of embarrassment there’d be at making another straight “Nightmare On Elm Street” movie – and that “New Nightmare” was, relatively speaking, a box office failure. Freddy “needing” Jason plays into this too – much as I love it, the previous year’s “Jason X” performed worst of the lot at the box office, so it was both of them or neither of them.

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There’s also the fact that New Line Cinema, home of both franchises, originated Freddy whereas Jason was bought in. And Freddy can talk, which certainly makes him a more interesting character…saying that though, the thing is, this feels much more like a “Friday the 13th” movie with a guest appearance from Freddy than it does the reverse. The thing about Jason is (depending on how much you’ve thought about it, or at all), he’s a force of nature more than a person, so who cares about backstory or anything like that. He can be adapted, whereas Freddy needs dreams, teenagers, parents with secrets, etc. Plus, he loves torturing people before he kills them, whereas Jason definitely doesn’t, which is why Freddy only manages a measly one kill to Jason’s 15 or 16 (I lost count).

 

I suppose it’s easier to fit Freddy into a Jason movie? Or perhaps it was the on-set influence of producer Sean S Cunningham, aka the biggest hack in the modern history of the movies, who was apparently around more than “Freddy’s producer” Robert Shaye. Have I mentioned how little I like Cunningham? Oh yes, every chance I get. I also just found out that Ronny Yu was allowed to film the final fight (the only real reason anyone paid to watch this, surely) any way he liked, including picking the winner. The coda is the same old (literal) wink-wink, nothing’s-over crap we’ve had in so many slasher movies, but that shouldn’t spoil the rest.

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So, a movie that succeeds, with strong acting and a decent sense of humour, despite it’s occasionally hefty roadblocks. If you rank both franchises together, it’s definitely top 5, (along with Nightmares 1, 3 and 4, and Jason X), but if you’re seriously ranking slasher movies, then you might need to go and have a lie down and a nice cup of tea.

 

Rating: thumbs up

 

Postscript! I’ve been thinking about the Freddy thing, and continuity. Let’s say the Freddy that we know dies at the end of part 3, with the destruction of his bones. The chap who pops up at the beginning of part 4 is different, a dream demon entity who’s borrowed Freddy’s face and feeds on fear (such as the people of Springwood have for Freddy). Actually, with the opening monologue from Freddy, using clips from the first three movies, this doesn’t work either. DAMMIT

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Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994)

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For some reason, I had in my head that this was a horror movie on the set of a horror movie, so when it kept going and that didn’t happen, I was left a bit puzzled. I’m glad, because that was sort of a played out idea even in 1994, but what we actually got was something more interesting, and a great deal better than the last two “Elm Street” efforts. Wes Craven, before writing the script for this, watched the entire series and said he couldn’t figure out the storyline at all – join the club, Wes!

 

Heather Langenkamp is a successful TV actress, happy to have left the world of horror movies behind, married to a special effects guy with a young son. It’s the 10th anniversary of the first movie, so she’s called to do some a TV interview, and joining her in full make up and character is “Freddy Krueger”, aka her friend Robert Englund. She starts having Freddy dreams, and this combined with the phone calls she’s getting from a stalker (Langenkamp had a stalker at the time, and gave Craven permission to work it into the script) leaves her feeling a little frazzled.

 

Then, she’s called in for a meeting at New Line Cinema, with their executives playing themselves too. Wes Craven (played by Wes Craven) is writing a new “Nightmare” movie, and would she like to be involved? She turns them down initially, and then her son falls sick and her husband is killed on the way home from work, which happens to be a secret project to build an animatronic hand for Freddy Krueger. So the film settles into a very well done, if not terribly horror-y, groove, as the family appear to be slowly losing their minds. The line blurs further when, rather than calling her own family, she calls John Saxon, her movie Dad. In fact, the only people she knows appear to be other people associated with the “Nightmare” franchise.

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The tension ratchets, the kid appears to be more and more dominated by the mysterious dream-Freddy, and the line between fiction and reality blurs and eventually shatters. Craven and Englund appear to be suffering from the same sorts of nightmares too (Englund shot a scene where he was pursued by Freddy into a spider’s web, but it was cut for tone), and the underlying idea of the movie – about a demon who can be trapped inside a really great story, if only for a little while – is a superb bit of work and shows the awfully clunky parts 4 and 5 how to do it.

 

There are some remarkably large roadblocks in the way of this being a genuinely great movie though. First up is the kid, Dylan (Miko Hughes). Hughes seemed to get a lot of work as a child actor, so I have to assume he just sucked deliberately in this one. I can’t use enough negative words to describe his performance, he almost single-handedly ruins things and he’s in it A LOT. There are some very odd choices from the supporting cast, too – leaving aside the large number of non-actors with sizeable roles – such as the doctor who immediately suspects Langenkamp of abusing her child, and acts incredibly hostile all the way through. You are a bad doctor, lady! It’s also the longest of the Elm Street movies by a distance, but it still feels like they dropped some plotlines – for instance, a couple of people from the previous movies are seen at a funeral (Nick Corri and Tuesday Knight) but do nothing and have no lines. It feels like they trimmed other stories to have more Nancy and Dylan, and it was a bad bad idea.

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But then there’s the home stretch, and that is absolutely amazing. The dream first-movie “reality” takes over, and it then becomes a sort of twisted speed-remake of part 1, with some really great little moments, showing that Craven, when he tried, could be a genuinely great horror director. HE even throws in a little reference to the worst special effect maybe of all time, the pipe-cleaner arms bit from part 1. It’s scary, paced well and makes up for a lot of sins.

 

Add in a surprisingly decent ending, and…it’s a tough one. How good can a last 20 minutes be to make up for an occasionally awful first 90? That question that gets posed – what sort of an effect to horror movies have on the people who watch or make them? – is interesting, but perhaps with Craven’s later movies, the question feels like it was answered better, later. Freddy looks great in this movie, a much creepier image, too. And there’s a lot to chew on, once you get past those big ol’ flaws.

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I think a rewatch of this might be in order, because so much of what I thought about it is tied in to what I expected it to be. It’s an often thoughtful, extremely interesting take on the relationship between our reality and our stories, about how iconic roles and movies come to dominate peoples’ lives, about how “demons” are represented through fiction, and very cleverly done. If only that damn useless kid had been in it less!

 

Rating: thumbs up

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Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)

Best? Come on!

Best? Come on!

Every bad review you’ve ever read about this is true. For some reason, I never watched it when it came out, despite being a huge fan of the first four movies (and able to sort of tolerate the fifth); but boy oh boy, this is the absolute pits. Incomprehensible, ugly, stupid, and pointless are about the nicest things I can find to say about “Freddy’s Dead”, but I’ll try and write something entertaining anyway (and there’s a shedload of fun trivia too, which might liven things up a bit).

No attempt is made to put this movie in the same timeline as the rest of the series, should that sort of thing interest you. Alice survived parts 4 and 5, and then actress Lisa Wilcox left the series for good (smart girl, Lisa) so they just decided…I’m not sure what they decided. Anyway, if we can trust any of the information this movie gives us, Springwood “ten years in the future” is a desolate wasteland where every child and teenager but one has been killed.

I’m going to stop right there for a second. What? How is this town not the most famous place in the world? Every child? But I can’t stop too long as I’ll lose momentum and this review will just be me, sat in a corner sobbing. So, that one remaining kid takes part in the least funny, least scary, least coherent dream sequence in the history of this series, as Freddy tortures him (at one point, doing a shockingly bad riff on “The Wizard Of Oz”) before throwing him out of the dream – illustrated by a sort of breaking glass effect – and into a whole different town, telling him to “fetch”. What? Best get used to Freddy not being limited to dreams any more, too, as he can just manipulate reality now. I think. It’s honestly difficult to tell.

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The kid in question, John Doe, is found wandering the streets with amnesia, and is taken to a sort of children’s refuge / psychiatric hospital, where Lisa “sister of Billy” Zane and Yaphet Kotto are working. Rather than treat John like you would any deeply disturbed kid, she believes his dream stories about Freddy Krueger because she’s had them herself, and decides to drive with him back to Springwood – in the centre’s van, along with three stowaways (one of whom is Breckin Meyer, making his movie debut and actually being the right age, unlike the 30-year-old-looking “teenagers” in the van with him). The movie gives them zero character, so I won’t bother learning or writing their names.

So the bulk of the movie is these five pretty rotten actors wandering around Springwood, which doesn’t resemble a town as much as it does a Freddy Krueger Theme Park. Making cameos around this time are Roseanne and Tom Arnold as two crazy parents, wondering why their child is missing; and Johnny Depp (billed in the credits as “Oprah Noodlemantra”) doing a PSA on TV. Freddy kills a few of them, before we figure out that one of the remaining people is his child, and he needs them in order to…nope. I got nothin’.

This is a real scene in this movie

This is a real scene in this movie

The timeline is almost deliberately confusing. Towards the end of the movie, Zane manages to get inside Freddy’s mind and we get what amounts to the first real backstory for the character. Dressed in 1950s gear, we see him as a man in his early 40s, with a wife and kid. That he was a FATHER, a matter of public record, was never mentioned at any point in the series, and it makes his desire to take over the foetus of Lisa in part 5 completely pointless. This movie is set in 2001, or 1999 (definitely “10 years in the future”, either from the year the film was released or of the previous movie), and if we’re very generous and say that the flashback was the mid-60s, it still makes his kid at least 40 years old, and given the person playing that kid was 27 at the time, it doesn’t really hold up (and also means the red herring about one of the teenagers maybe being Krueger Jr isn’t much of a red herring). There’s also the whole thing of how Krueger, seen to be violent and withdrawn as a child, was able to hold it together enough to have a family while slaughtering children, which seems a touch on the unlikely side.

You might get the occasional whiff of unoriginality from “Freddy’s Dead” – which is because it plunders ideas from its predecessors like it was going out of fashion. You get the “dream warrior” stuff from part 3, the kid stuff from part 5, and the “driving weirdness” bit from part 4, among many many others. Unfortunately, they didn’t bother ripping off any of the kills from those movies, giving us instead unfunny, unscary death scenes which were so bad I wondered if someone was playing a joke on us. The scene where Freddy puts one of the kids inside a “Super Mario Brothers” ripoff and then “plays” the character is just awful, and can’t even keep its own continuity in place – sometimes Freddy is controlling the kid, sometimes the kid’s Dad.

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Director Rachel Talalay now works in TV (including several recent “Doctor Who” episodes), and this was her first movie. She, rather oddly, turned down two different scripts, choosing the guy who’d written the unbearably bad part 5 (giving it a polish herself). Those two scripts? Multi-Oscar winner and all-round good guy Peter Jackson wrote one, where Freddy was old and weak, and kids would have drug-fuelled “dream parties” where they’d go and beat him up. That is a great idea! Then, indie film legend Michael Almereyda wrote one which features “Dream Cops”, and tied the action to the rest of the series, which honestly sounds a bit complicated but is oh-so-much better than what they ended up with.

It turns out, Freddy hasn’t been haunting kids’ dreams because he represents the guilt and fear of the parents of Elm Street; he was actually given the power by three ancient Dream Demons at the moment of his death – which is sort of a bummer, as he probably should have asked them to not tie him to one town.  If anyone remembers part 5, and how he was supposed to represent the Dark Portal to dreams, or whatever, then you know more about this series than the people who made it.

But this isn’t the only reason! His kid was taken away from him in 1966 (according to the blackboard in the movie) and he decided to wreak his revenge on other peoples’ children – even though the film itself tells us he’d been killing long before this. Is this special secret double revenge?

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It does seem like New Line were genuine about this being the end for the character, with no fake-out Freddy’s-still-around non-ending, and “RIP” appearing on screen along with Freddy’s face. Of course, it made a profit, and art is a very distant second to money when it comes to movies, so we got “New Nightmare” three years later (which, to be fair, doesn’t feature Freddy as part of its actual “real” cast) and then “Freddy vs. Jason” in 2001. This actually makes it the least bad of all the slasher films and their “movies after the one with final in the title” crimes.

I don’t think I can say enough bad things about this. Part 5, miserable as it was, at least had some sort of reason to exist as an Elm Street movie – this manages to be terrible from beginning to end and substitutes “wacky” (in the worst possible sense of the word) events for plot. It was awful, and I’m genuinely sad I watched it.

Rating: thumbs down

A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989)

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To entertain myself, I started making a note of every time Freddy Krueger, child murdering bastard son of a hundred maniacs, made a bad pun. Out of his total of about 40 lines in the entire movie, 24 of them were “jokes”. Now, I don’t mind a gag or two in my horror movies, unlike some other reviewers, but that is going slightly too far. If you add in the dialogue free segments where Freddy skateboards, and turns into a superhero, then…well, you’ve got this mess.

 

Lisa Wilcox is back as Alice, and it’s high school graduation time. She’s still with Dan from part 4, and he’s about to head off to college to become an American Football star; there’s a bunch of other people around too, who seem to replace the archetypes that Freddy offed previously. Unfortunately, she starts having dreams she can’t control, including the asylum where Amanda Krueger was trapped and raped by the inmates – wow, do I hope even the worst real asylum in history didn’t look that grim.

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I was about to avoid spoilers, but damn! It’s too weak to deserve that treatment. It turns out Lisa is pregnant, and Freddy wants to take over the baby’s soul, or something, so he can continue killing more people. As “nightmares” start happening when the characters are wide awake, they figure out it’s the baby’s dreams that are causing everyone to die – a development that sounds even dumber than it was, when written down. The trick to finishing him off this time is to find the spot where Amanda Krueger committed suicide and…it’s really not clear, but it’s a subplot that takes up an appalling amount of time and is dull as ditchwater.

 

The setpieces, unlike the previous movies, are pretty embarrassing. With the aforementioned skateboarding and superhero stuff, there’s a scene set in an MC Escher painting, which is a bit wackier than I like my child endangerment and murder to be, as a rule. There’s a bit where one of the victims turns into a paper version of himself and gets sliced up. It’s so witless and boring, which is pretty unforgivable in a series like this.

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Then we’ve got those scenes which indicate no-one bothered having a second run at the script. Lisa’s pregnancy is revealed to a room full of her friends and relatives, when I’m pretty sure that’s the sort of thing you’d tell a high school student on her own, for one. There’s the way that despite the town they live in, and its warzone-level teenager mortality rate, no-one believes Lisa, again. In fact, her best friend remains a committed Freddy skeptic until she’s attacked herself at around the 1:00 mark, and every single line out of her mouth is incredibly annoying. If you think your friend would make something like that up, why are you her friend?

 

I think the blame can be apportioned pretty equally throughout, with this one. We’ve got the producers, cutting out the gore to get it a more multiplex-friendly rating but leaving those death scenes as just confusing; we’ve got the writers, none of whom seemed to have much idea of what they were doing; we’ve got a cast full of people who don’t seem to be trying (Wilcox especially looks she’s doing this at gunpoint); and then we’ve got director Stephen Hopkins. He’s gone on to a career as a TV director / producer, but directed a surprising number of big budget genre pictures too, most of which sucked (“Lost In Space”, “Judgement Night”). Perhaps it’s that he was only given 4 weeks to do principal photography on this?

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I’ll just say it was a perfect storm of badness, starting with the idea that Freddy should be both a wisecracking 90s pop culture juggernaut, and a child murdering psychopath; and ending with a few special effects looking for a movie to attach themselves too. Even positive reviews (most of which boil down to “I was young when I first saw this”) can’t seem to figure out what Freddy’s endgame is, and why he never bothered doing it before if he could.

 

And part 6 is going to be even worse!

 

Rating: thumbs down

A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)

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One of the most interesting things about the first three parts of this series is how they’re different. Take any of the main slasher franchises (excepting Halloween, as its part 3 was entirely unrelated to the other two movies, but you can use 1, 2 and 4 if you like) and they’re all set in largely the same place, with largely the same sort of people, and the first five to ten minutes of the sequels is spent getting the slasher back from the dead to continue his grim and endless work. What the “Nightmare” movies do is have Freddy do what he does best (murder kids) but change everything else. He’s the guilt of the parents in part 1, repressed homosexuality in part 2, and by part 3 even though he’s finishing off his work from part 1, he does it in a very different way, in a different location. And because he’s dead before the first movie even starts, you don’t have to worry about bringing him back – although those “twist” endings still suck, even here.

 

Also, thanks to the huge success of parts 1 and 2, a decent cast was affordable for part 3. Not only do we get a debuting Patricia Arquette, there’s Laurence Fishburne, returns from Heather Langenkamp and John Saxon, plus the lovely Jennifer Rubin and a solid supporting cast. Additionally, Wes Craven returned to co-write the script, along with rewrites from a young Frank Darabont; but of course people turned out for Freddy, who in this movie finally becomes the wisecrack-spewing monster he would remain (at sometimes annoying length) for the rest of the series’ run.

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A group of kids with severe sleep disorders all wind up in the same rather gothic-looking hospital, under the supervision of Dr Neil Gordon (Craig Wasson, as bland a leading man as ever was). Joining them is Kristen (Arquette), who starts building Nancy’s old house from parts 1 and 2 out of lollipop sticks and seeing Freddy in her dreams; her mother walks in on her slashing her own wrists, and off she goes. Even though the kids are all seeing the same thing, the two people in charge of their care – Dr Gordon and Dr Simms (Priscilla Pointer), seem convinced it’s just some group psychosis and as soon as they get a good night’s sleep, all will be well.

 

Luckily, there’s a saviour in the form of Nancy! Not only did she survive part 1, but she’s not dreaming any more, thanks to experimental drug Hypnocil. She’s old enough to have mental health qualifications of her own and she’s managed to get a job here, knowing what’s going on – as it’s not crucial to the movie at all, I don’t mind telling you that they’re the last of the “Elm Street children”, the kids of the people who killed Freddy (because he killed kids). Not only does she understand and believe them, but when she’s sucked into one of Kristen’s dreams by Kristen herself, she realises there’s something they can do to fight Freddy – embrace their dream personalities, where they’re strong or have superpowers. Not the worst idea in the world, certainly! We get a wizard (thanks to some of the kids playing D&D), a strongman, and Taryn (Jennifer Rubin) is a beautiful badass with a couple of knives – a difficult sell, given how gorgeous she was before, but I’ll allow it.

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I think the problem remains how little anyone seems to know about Freddy Krueger who, if you remember, killed 20 local kids while he was alive; and then showed up after he was dead and killed a few more (the pool party in part 2). Now, the thing about serial killers is they’re pretty famous – I’m sure most of us could name five off the tops of our heads – but Krueger is ignored or forgotten. No-one even suggests that the “group delusion” (which they were suffering from before they met) might have any basis in the reality of the famous local child murderer, who mysteriously disappeared.

 

This film deepens the backstory as well, if that’s your cup of tea, giving us an origin story for Freddy, “the bastard son of a hundred maniacs”. Dear all other horror movies – that’s how you do it! Origin stories for villains are given movie franchises on their own these days, and they’re almost without exception dull as hell. A couple of lines from a mysterious Nun, and you’re set!

 

As the film progresses, the attitude of the staff – Simms especially – seems closer to that of a violent teacher than a mental health professional; they’re angry with the kids for not getting better immediately, they call people who commit suicide “losers”…if I was ever as bad at my job as they are at theirs, I’d expect to be sacked on the spot. Oh, and there’s the orderly who wants to give drugs to Taryn, who was hospitalised in part due to an overdose, just to complete the list of truly horrible staff.

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Freddy seems to be almost taunting the staff of the hospital into suspecting him, though. One kid is dream-teleported through a padlocked door and walked through the hospital up to the clocktower, where he’s dropped to his death; no-one even wonders how he did it. One unfortunate girl has her head rammed through a TV which a good five feet up, bolted to the wall – when she’s discovered, her feet are dangling off the ground. Quite how she got into that position on her own, and stayed there, is a matter of no interest to anyone, and I’m not 100% sure if the movie realises this and is messing with us, or just shot the deaths really badly.

 

What it shot great was the opening dream sequence, the sort of scene that nails the weird wooziness of a nightmare very well, and looks amazing too – the dressing of Nancy’s old house at 1428 Elm Street is perfect. For all its flaws, it’s really good looking, through and through.

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Even after saying all that, it is a really fun movie. The idea of using dreams as a weapon against Freddy is an interesting one – an idea which would be carried over into part 4, I seem to recall, but we’ll get to that later – and Freddy almost takes on a way more interesting role as the boogeyman for society’s ills. The acting is mostly top-notch, I care about the kids, and while the plot devolves into a poor episode of “Supernatural”- it’s all about laying Freddy’s bones to rest in hallowed ground – it’s still better thought out than almost every other slasher movie. My favourite of the series.

 

Rating: thumbs up