Whatever you do, do not fall asleep! A fateful warning from Nancy to try and keep her friends alive in the first Nightmare on Elm Street movie. Freddy Krueger has been invading our safe space since 1984 turning them into nightmares. We thought we'd be safe. It's only a dream, or is it? If you die in your dream, you die for real. With so much horror, one success already breeds pressure to make more! So a year later, Part 2: Freddy's Revenge premiered. Admittedly, it was probably my least favorite of the sequels. There's actually a very good documentary called "Scream, Queen: My Nightmare on Elm Street" about the lead actor Mark Patton and how the role affected him. The gay subtext was very heavy. At the time, I didn't see it. Looking back and rewatching it now, I don't know how I missed it! I guess I was just young and naive. It was the wrong time for all this to come to light as Hollywood was not as gay-friendly as it is today. If this movie was made today, Mark probably would have been a huge star. But in the 80's, forced to hide his identity, he ended up leaving it all behind.
By this time, Freddy Krueger was ready hit the big time. The next 3 years saw 3 more movies. Dream Warriors in 87, The Dream Master in 88, and The Dream Child in 89. Each one, making Freddy more of a quip-master and adding humor and campiness to once frightful films. Personally, I like a little humor my horror. Take a little break from the ultra seriousness. Take a step back, learn to laugh a little bit. Part 5 may have went a little too far with the gags as it saw a big drop in the box office returns and didn't fair well with reviews.
1991's Freddys Dead: The Final Nightmare was intended to be the grand finale in the franchise, with the final battle in 3D. Some pretty cool effects. When Maggie goes into the dream world to fight Freddy, she puts on the 3D glasses, which was your cue to put them on in the theater. It nearly doubled the previous movie's box office.
Wes Craven's A New Nightmare in 1994 took a different approach. For me, its tied with Part 2 being my least favorites. Freddy is entering the real world and it just had a different feel. Less jokey, which some people liked. I liked the less jokes in the first one but something about the execution or something I cant quite put my finger on didnt sit well with me for this one.
The long awaited Freddy vs Jason came in 2003. It took a long time. Many scripts, many writers, many different drafts and revisions before they got a story that serve both characters justice. My deepest fanboy desire though was that they should have kept Kane Hodder as Jason for the role. He was linked to it for the longest time and then poof, they got someone else.
2010. This is the remake that no one really wants to talk about. I know its not a popular opinion but its not a bad movie. It wasn't the original but it wasn't bad. There, I said it. To hear some people complain about it, it makes me wonder if they actually watched it or just didn't like that it was remade. Keep an open mind and dont compare them. Some reasons they gave didn't even make sense. "The original was fresh and and new. This one isnt." Duh! Its a remake! Do you expect it to be fresh and new? If they made the same exact movie, you'd complain it was the same. If they change anything, you say they changed stuff. You can't have it both ways. My only complaint is this. On the blu ray disc, WB had something called Maximum Movie Mode, which I don't think they do anymore. It's kind of like a visual commentary. It talks about scenes and splits the picture where you can see other footage in the background, kind of like a picture in picture type thing. And parts of what they are showing were not in the movie! Behind the scenes stuff, deleted scenes, an alternate opening (which would actually explain a bit in the movie that didn't make sense!). All this is being talked over so you cant hear the dialog though, and the disc has no deleted scenes of this showing the full scene! Why are they doing this to me? They have the footage! Put it on there! I need a directors of this movie with this intro or a workprint or something!
And finally, 2010 also brought something wonderful for Elm Street fans-- a 4 hour in depth documentary titled Never Sleep Again. It includes roughly about 30 minutes dedicated to each movie, except the remake which was still being filmed at the time. Interviews with most of the stars-- except a couple that went on to super stardom. I would have loved to have seen Johnny Depp in there but I guess he couldnt make it. It even tackled the 1988-90 antholgy television series. Freddy wasnt even the star of the series except for the pilot. He was more like the Cryptkeeper, playing the host of the stories.
Thanks for reading Musers! Good night, sweet dreams, & take your hypnocil so Freddy doesn't get ya!
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Dave Christy loves horror, music, documentaries and more. He is also the co-runner of several fan based groups including Morningstars (THE Lucifer fan group also run by Melanie), and now also writes guest articles for Melanie's Muses. Other than "In The Spotlight" Features - watch for the upcoming "31 Days Of Halloween Movies"