Saturday, March 25, 2017

A Nightmare on Elm Street, From the Worst to the Best (1984 - 1994)

Blood and gore, ear-bursting screams and rapid heartbeats, with plot-twist and suspension, are the dreams come true for horror/ thriller movies lovers! In every every early days, humans are basically uncivilised. Even with evolution, part of us are still drenched with violence. Anyhow, I AM NOT PROMOTING VIOLENCE! SAY NO TO VIOLENCE, especially the abuse on man, woman, baby, children and animal.

Before I get way out of hand of my humanitarian side, I shall go back to today's topic on the series of movies, which started out as a very simple, low-cost and slasher's type of movie, A Nightmare on Elm Street.

I was not even born, when the first movie came out in 1984. But, eventually, this low-budgeted movie not only became a cult of the centuries, it is still being remade! Anyhow, the review will be presented from the worst to be the best, from 1984 - 1994.

(7) A Nightmare on Elm Street 6: Freddy's Dead / The Final Nightmare
Director: Rachel Talalay
Budget against Box Office: $11 million / $ 35 million
Main Cast: Unknown

Finally, this movie said that Freddy is going to die, for one last time, I hope! Yet, this was just beginning of another dying sequel. It erased off the previous characters like Alice and her boy, by introducing a John Doe........These movie makers, could not they just learnt that you can't just kill off previous actors! The whole movie would be pointless, even with Elm Street and Freddy. 

The whole movie was just a confusion. Well, the last movie brought in Freddy's mom, who killed in temporary. This sequel brought in his daughter who killed in eternally. But, the horror part of the movie was no longer terrifying anymore, and the whole plot was pointless, directionless and pretty dead. Black humour was the consistent element in the movie, apart from Freddy.........But, sadly, Freddy did not really die! 

IMDB: 4.9
Rotten Tomatoes: 20 %
IBJ: 3.0 / 10 - Worst plot! Nothing new ! Freddy did not died!


(6) A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge 
Director: Jack Sholder
Budget against Box Office: $3 million / $ 30 million
Main Cast: Mark Patton

 [2]
This was the worst installment in A Nightmare on Elm Street's history. No linkage was provided to the previous movie, except for Freddy and Elm Street, not even with the surviving kid was on the Elm Street (Nancy, from the 1st movie). To be honest, I wanted to stop watching this movie, more than a few occasions, but I persisted. The new teenager and his family just moved to Nancy's home. He started to have a lot of (wet) weird dreams, always only in his white underwear, perspiring profusely. (Was I watching a gay porn?). Then, the plot came to light whereby Freddy was using his body to come through the real world. That was the part that started to lose interest for the audience! He was made to kill in dreams, and now, he could travel freely in the living world? And, there were 50 of the hormone raging teenagers saw him, killing and massacre everyone. 

After watching the movie, I did some research and found that the director actually used Patton (the lead), who was a closeted gay back then. Several scenes was shot to highlight gayness:
(1) He was trying to have sex with his girl, he got freak out because Freddy (Gay persona) was breaking through him. He rushed to his best buddy (with nice butt). Of course, he killed his best buddy afterwards.
(2) Then, let's no forget about his high school, bearish, leather fetish, gym teacher who found him at the gay bar. Of all the places, he brought him back to the school gym shower. We can imagine what might happen next. But Freddy decided to "come out" and slash the fat-ass teacher. This was basically a very gay-subtext movie. But despite being the worst franchise, it was entertaining seeing how this movie was trying to bring in the GAY world (which was quite a taboo) during that era. 

IMDB: 5.4
Rotten Tomatoes: 40 %
IBJ: 3.5 / 10 - It was just okay for me; acting sucks and no continuity from the 1st movie. The gay element was an eye-opening experience given that era of gay-phobic.


(5) Wes Caven's New Nightmare
Director: Wes Craven
Budget against Box Office: $8 million / $ 20 million
Main Cast: Heather Langekamp

The concept of the movie was refreshing. The actor actually played themselves in the movie, as a cross between reality and dream. And, yes, Freddy did not die!!!!!!! Wes, why don't you just let this go? Can you see the frustration when I am writing this? I am going crazy because you created Freddy and basically destroyed it once and for all. 

Heather (who played Nancy) was stalked by Freddy-like person in her real life. It was realised her worst nightmare actually came true even though she no longer acted as Nancy. Her son and her hubby was terrorized by Freddy. At this point, I really don't care whether Freddy was dead or alive at the end. Because they will always find way to bring this money tree back a live!

As a nostalgic way to honour the 10th year anniversary of A Nightmare on Elm Street, this movie even though had a more menacing Freddy, it lacked new features and used too many old tricks in the book. It was basically the demise of creativity. 

IMDB: 4.9
Rotten Tomatoes: 20 %
IBJ: 4.0 / 10 - Still not the worst franchise. But, nothing new anymore. 


(4) A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: Dream Master
Director: Renny Harlin
Budget against Box Office: $13 million / $ 49.3 million
Main Cast: Lisa Wilcox; Tuesday Knight


When the 3rd installment ended that great, the pick-up of the 4th installment was falling so much behind. Patricia Arquette was replaced by Tuesday Knight as Kristen. The new Kristen was basically a dumb blonde, no acting skill, no emotional and all about screaming. It brought the new sequel to a lowest point, despite the box office success. 

The story picked up with the three remaining survivals from the 3th sequel. Kristen was imagining and dreaming of Freddy despite of his apparent defeat. Her peer was worried that her constant obsession might bring Freddy back. Of course, the most stupid scene in the history of Nightmare on Elm Street, was the resurrection of Freddy by a dog pee! Yes! Maybe the director was trying to be funny, but, this really put the whole movie into a ridiculous development. To keep the franchise going on, Kristen passed her power to the new kid in town - Alice (by Wilcox). Alice was okay, not everybody favourite lead. She did just a decent. 

Then, the whole story followed what happened in previous movies. Freddy kept on hunting down kids. Eventually, Alice was able to defeat Freddy with the clue from her dream. At this point, the movie was basically dull. Highlight of the movie was the insect part (when one of the kids was turned into a cockroach). That was superbly gross, shown below!


IMDB: 5.7
Rotten Tomatoes: 56 %
IBJ: 5.0 / 10 - Patricia was badly replaced by Tuesday, who had no acting skill at all. The resurrection of Freddy was so simplified that it just sucked!


(3) A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: Dream Child
Director: Stephen Hopkins
Budget against Box Office: $6 million / $ 22 million
Main Cast: Lisa Wilcox

When the 5th installment was here, the whole Freddy and Elm Street, just became a routine. Every movie, it started with a bunch of teenagers being hunted and killed by Freddy. This time, Freddy used Alice's baby to resurrect himself. Of course, this movie also introduced the origin of Freddy. Amanda Krueger was Freddy's mom, who was raped for days in the asylum. Thus, this was followed by the birth of Freddy, the monster! 

The 5th movie, was just like riding a roller coaster! Too many ups and downs. When it was getting nice, it sucked with the next scene. When you were so fed up and wanted to stop watching, the movie suddenly reached a new climax. For me, this movie was a routine, slasher died, revived, died. Eventually, Freddy's mom kept him contained for a bit of time, until the next move........

IMDB: 5.1
Rotten Tomatoes: 33 %
IBJ: 6.0 / 10 - There were too many climaxes and anti-climaxes. It was a total mess!


(2) A Nightmare on Elm Street 1
Director: Wes Craven
Budget against Box Office: $1.8 million / $ 25.5 million
Main Cast: Heather Langenkamp, Johnny Depp, etc.

 [1]
The movie started with a blast! A simple nightmare anyone could have, but not everyone would experience actual death. This was the catchy part of the movie. As the movie progressed, it revealed that the main reason of the evil dead - Freddy Krueger, hunting them was because of what their parents did to him! Since its debut, this has made the franchise unstoppable. 

What I love about the first movie was the endless suspensions - why Freddy was hunting the children/ teenage on the Elm Street, who was Freddy and how were they going to defeat him. I loved the scene where the girl was dragged up to the ceiling before being brutally slashed open by Freddy.

However, I did not like about the movie was the ending. Even though, it is always said that Nancy (main protagonist) defeated Freddy by overcoming her fears. I just did not get the last scene where Nancy's mom was dragged inside the house and killed by Freddy. The question was: (1) Was the defeat just Nancy's imagination (2) Why all her friends were alive at the last scene?

My conclusion (very personal) was Nancy's did not really defeat Freddy. And, all her friends were dead. In fact, the last scene was just her dream, as she survived the ordeal. The main shortfall was the insensible ending, leaving a very bad loop in the movie.

IMDB: 7.5
Rotten Tomatoes: 92 %
IBJ: 6.5 / 10 - It was nice, but, the ending basically ruined it for me.


(1) A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
Director: Chuck Russell
Budget against Box Office: $4.5 million / $ 44.7 million
Main Cast: Heather Langekamp; Patrica Arquette (fame with "Medium")

By far and very surprisingly, the 3rd installment was the best of the best! This was also Patricia Arquette's debut, as a troubled teenager (Kristen Parker), suffered from horrific nightmares that were eating her alive! With the help of the surviving girl of Elm street, now an intern therapist, Nancy (Heather Langenkamp), the children of Elm Street again stood together and fought Freddy inside the dreamland. 

What I loved about this sequel was, the director built up each character with their own fears and struggles. Freddy used their weaknesses to his advantage, but the children was able to win by conquering the fear within them.

IMDB: 6.6
Rotten Tomatoes: 74 %
IBJ: 9.0 / 10 - Patricia was a natural in horror flick! It was later showcased by her again, in the hit-drama, Medium. Sadly, due to personal reason (rumoured that she was pregnant), she did not return for the sequel. More importantly, this installment introduced original scenes of horror and blood!

3 comments:

Small Kucing said...

That's one darn scary movie back then. But now when watch it again it seems so silly. have not watch the remake

Ipoh Boy Journey said...

[Small Kucing] Yeah, now watch it, it is a bit silly~ But, still love the violent scenes. hahahahaha, the remake was quite bad actually in 2010.

Small Kucing said...

Remember Alien? I wonder if I watch it again now will I still be afraid of going to toilet. Lol.