Wes Craven’s New Nightmare from 1994 would mark the first return of Freddy since they killed him off in 1990’s Freddy’s Dead and while the film did not do much at the box office it is quite frankly the second best of the franchise. With Wes Craven returning to the franchise he created, he wanted to ignore most of the other films. His way of doing this was by focusing on the actors from the films by having the actors play themselves, and having Freddy come after them in reality with awesome performances by Robert England, Heather Langenkamp, and Wes Craven himself. This film was one of the first meta-films out and would help to launch the style of film that Wes would become known for all the way through Scream and beyond. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare gets 5 Stars out of 5.
FREDDY’s DEAD: The Final Nightmare or A Nightmare on Elm Street 6 was released in 1990 to lukewarm reaction by both fans and critics alike. I personally find this to be the funniest Nightmare film to date and that is saying something. I laughed more than anything else in this film at the sheer stupidity of this particular story, however that being said I thought the back story stuff about Freddy and his family was pretty great and the cameos in this one are kind of cool especially the Johnny Depp one. This film was written and directed by long time Freddy collaborator Rachel Talalay, and one pretty cool fact was that Lord of the Rings Director Peter Jackson was working on a version of this film called The Dream Lover. While I do not love this film I don’t quite despise it either. I give Freddy’s Dead the Final Nightmare 3 stars out of 5.
A Nightmare on Elm Street part 5: The Dream Child, directed by Stephen Hopkins, came out in 1989 and while most people don’t care for this installment I personally do for a number of reasons. The first reason I love Elm Street 5 is because of things like having a comic book geek like myself in one of these films just feels right and I think the character of Mark is really well played. I think that Alice is an even stronger version of the character than we saw in Elm Street 4. One of the strongest reasons why I think this installment is so good is because of the fantastic art direction that went to a more gothic place this time around and made for a much darker nightmare yet. For all the reasons listed above I give A Nightmare on Elm Street part 5: The Dream Child 4 out of 5 stars.
A Nightmare on Elm Street part 4: The Dream Master came out in 1988 and is a fan favorite in the franchise. Directed by Renny Harlin this film, with the help of Elm Street 3, tries to bring in the idea of a mythology and/or continuity to the films. The only problem with that idea and the way it is approached is that this film loses its horror element almost all together and becomes more of a comedy horror movie than a horror movie. I personally think this is a step down in the franchise but, I can’t completely discount it because while I am not much of a fan of Elm Street 4, I love Elm Street 5. Since we are still on the subject of Elm Street 4, let’s talk about something I do enjoy about this film that it introduced to the franchise. Namely the idea of finishing off characters who survived the last film. Another thing to add to the pros of this film real quick is how good the actors really were. I love Lisa Wilcox as Alice, she is a great strong female lead akin to Heather Langenkamp’s Nancy from Nightmare 1 and 3. All this in mind A Nightmare on Elm Street part 4: The Dream Master gets 3.5 stars out of 5.
Nightmare on Elm Street part 3: Dream Warriors is one of my favorite of the franchise. This one did a lot right and still a little wrong. They went back to Wes Craven and got him to come on board as a writer and at that time also director. Wes got Heather Langenkamp back on board as Nancy from the first film and it looked like everything was on track but then something happened and a new director named Chuck Russell came on to the project. Wes was reduced to a story by credit and characters created by credit. I don’t know much about the reasons behind this. What I do know is that while this film is creepy in some of the nightmare scenes, this is where the films start to get campy and cheesy. This is where the famous “Welcome to prime time bitch,” came from. This was when Nightmare on Elm Street joined the MTV generation. It was fun, it was loud, it was rock and roll, but it was barely horror, but it was still a lot of fun and for that reason it was the first of the Nightmare films to be released internationally and make it’s 10 million dollar budget back about 9 or10 times leading to even more sequels and for that reason Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors gets 4 out of 5 stars.
Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge was green lit so fast it made Wes Craven’s head spin and made him not want to come back as well. Almost as soon as the first film came out and was so big the sequel was inevitable. The first of several problems was that they didn’t get Robert Englund back till about a week or two into shooting because they didn’t see that he was why Freddy Krueger was so great. The second reason was no Wes Craven. Instead they went with Jack Shoulder who, as far as I know, didn’t have much of a career. In the fan community I think this one is pretty much thought of as the worst of the films and I tend to agree. Oh and let’s not forget about the homo erotic undertones of this installment that have made it a huge cult film outside of the Elm Street franchise. For all these reasons I have stated I have to give Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge 2 stars out of 5.
In 1984, that’s 30 years ago mind you, a little film that everyone in Hollywood who was anyone passed on, went on to become one of the most profitable horror films of all time. It would also give us one of the most iconic movie villains of all time. That film was Wes Cravens Nightmare on Elm Street. The villain was Freddy Krueger. From the first time I watched Nightmare on Elm Street I knew it was awesome, from the cast, to the score, this film had all the makings of a true horror movie classic. I was 13 the first time I saw it and it gave me nightmares until I had eventually saw it enough that I knew when everything shocking was coming. The reason this film is as good as it is comes down to a few key points. The first are the hero and the villain, Nancy Thompson and Fred Krueger. The two have an undeniable chemistry on the screen together, almost an unrequited love. I would think it is as if Freddy gets off on stalking Nancy in her most private thoughts and dreams. The second is all about the creepy music. Some synth music from the 80’s is very forgettable but this one still gives me the same chills all these years later. The third is probably the biggest reason this film is still so well regarded by fans and that is its originality. At this point all these stalkers had been living breathing things that came after you when you were awake now one that haunts your dreams, that is real torcher. That is why Nightmare on Elm Street will never die and gets 5 out of 5 stars from me. If you like what you read here please tell your friends and follow.