Tag Archives: A Nightmare On Elm Street franchise

Review of A Nightmare On Elm Street, Halloween and Friday the 13th franchises

4 Jun

When people talk about slasher movies, unless, they are complete idiots there are only three titles that should be the first thing to pop up in your mind. If you think these titles are I Know What You Did Whenever, Scream or Wrong Turn movies, you probably are either a moron or 14 years old. The titles you should be thinking of are, of course, Friday the 13th, Halloween and A Nightmare On Elm Street. Not necessarily the best movies ever, far from it, but that is not the reason why they are what they are. They are the history of modern horror.

Since this is my 100th post here, I figured why not do something special. So what I’m going to do here is three lists of the movies in their respective franchises (excluding the remakes) in order of my least favourite to most favourite with some comments on why they take the place they do, the franchises are in the same order. I could have skipped the clumsy explanations of how the lists work and just let you figure it out by yourselves in a couple of seconds, but that’s not how I roll. So let’s do this.

 

Halloween


8. Halloween: Resurrection (2002) – This abomination of the movie is not only the worst Halloween movie, but also the worst movie of all three franchises and the only one that I would count as one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen and not in a good way. It’s so bad, it’s bad.

7. Halloween II (1981) – I just really didn’t care for this one. After original Halloween this seemed incredibly bland and contradictory to the way I perceived Michael Myers in the first one. Don’t get me wrong, just because it is next to Resurrection, it doesn’t mean they are even comparable, this movie is so much better, but I can remember only two scenes from it and that’s what this movie is to me – forgettable.

6. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995) – this movie is interesting in a way, but more in how they tried to twist and bend the Halloween mythos and less in an ‘interesting to watch’ way. It has its bright moments, but overall it’s a pretty dull movie.

5. Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) – That’s right. I debated whether even include this on the list. If I hated the movie, I probably wouldn’t have, but I found it a very enjoyable movie. Not really a Halloween movie, but still. It is silly and campy and whatever else, but it is also very atmospheric. Despite its absurdity it is a fun watch, more fun than most of the Halloween movies. But fun doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good horror or Halloween movie.

4. Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998) – It is a very solid movie, actually better than it had any right to be, however, I must say that 20 years later, it is feeling a bit stale. You can feel the weight of the series pulling it down, no matter how they tried to ignore the parts without Jamie Lee Curtis. This movie is just them saying: „Hey, we got Curtis back and avoided anything really stupid or interesting, hope you’re nostalgia kicks in.”

3. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988) – They tried to start fresh after the failure of Season of the Witch and we get some interesting stuff. A crippled and crazy Loomis, the amazingly cute Jamie Lloyd and an intriguing ending. It’s not a great movie, but it’s a decent watch.

2. Halloween 5 (1989) – I almost put this as number one. It’s hard to explain, but I found it very enjoyable. Loomis is utterly insane, Jamie is just as cute, but doesn’t speak and then there’s  the absurd character Tina, who I enjoyed even though she was so over-the-top. These are the only three characters I’ve ever cared about in a Halloween movie. The movie has a bunch of flaws, but it is entertaining. When most Halloween movies take themselves too seriously, making it seem like they don’t know what type of movie they are, this one hits the right balance.

1. Halloween (1978) – So here we are. This movie is considered a horror classic by most. And even though it isn’t in my favourite movie list, it’s influence on the horror genre is immense. What makes this one different from the rest of the Halloween movies? It’s actually a good movie. This is the only one, which deserves to take itself completely seriously and benefits from it. I don’t know what can I say, that hasn’t been said. It’s a good movie.

 

Friday the 13th

10. Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985) – This movie tried to execute an idea, that was destined to fail from the start and even the attempt wasn’t very good. Add some idiotic comedy, absurd characters and you get this thing. That’s just it, it’s a failure, a misstep on the filmmaker’s part.

9. Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) – Again, almost the same case as Halloween II, the second part is just bland. I remember the guy in the wheelchair and Jason wearing a potato bag on his head. That’s basically it. And when I say I don’t remember a lot from it, remember that I have watched all these movies within the last year, so if it can stay in my memory for that long, then it’s not worth remembering.

8. Jason X (2001) – Jason in space. I don’t think I even have to say more, it’s just so ridiculous. The movie certainly has it’s moments, but overall it’s just too cheesy and just too hard to swallow. How could anyone think it’s a great idea? And Jason being located in outer space isn’t even the most absurd thing about it.

7. Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993) – This an odd movie. Again, it seems they didn’t learn anything after the fifth part. At this point people see these movie for Jason. I didn’t hate the movie itself, it’s just not a good Friday the 13th sequel. It has some really enjoyable performances, but other than that the whole concept is a downer.

6. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989) – I enjoyed the part where Jason is in Manhattan, that is great, but the whole boat trip is kind of lame. And the ending sucked as well, if I had to talk about things I didn’t care to see in Friday the 13th movies, zombie Jason turning into a kid is definitely somewhere on that list.

5. Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988) – Jason vs. Carrie. I don’t know, I found this one pretty mediocre. I also felt let down after the sixth part, which I enjoyed quite a bit. It’s not bad, but it is also neither here or there.

4. Friday the 13th Part III (1982) – This is probably the outright campiest Friday the 13th movie. I mean watching it not in 3D, it is kind of absurd when you get a yo-yo, pot joint and popcorn stuck or thrown in the camera for no reason. But it is kind of fun when you see a head crushed so that an eye can jump out towards the camera. And the first time Jason looks like we know him. Stupid fun this movie is.

3. Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986) – This is what I’m talking about, Friday the 13th franchise at its best. Entertaining, well-paced, silly and Jason kicking ass after being resurrected.

2. Friday the 13th (1980) – This is where the endless copying of Halloween started. But this was interesting in its own right, the POV shots, the killer’s motivation, the killer itself, Kevin Bacon getting arrow-stabbed in the neck. Great stuff.

1. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984) – I debated whether to put this as number one or two, but then I remembered Crispin Glover dancing and decided this must be number one for me. This one has it all. Comedy, gore, thrills, nudity, Glover, Jason-hunter, horror obsessed kid, “Ted, where the hell’s the corkscrew?” scene. Just great.

 

A Nightmare On Elm Street

7. A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child (1989) – Why this is the last one? Because the few things I do remember about this is either really stupid special effects or something that is probably from Dream Master. It’s forgettable and stupid, not awful, just something you start forgetting while you’re watching it.

6. A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988) – Also a very forgettable one. There’s some weird choices. Like Tuesday Knight replacing Patricia Arquette. And weird scenes, like that chick turning into a bug. It’s just a big whatever of a movie, which decides to bring back the characters from Dream Warriors and just throw them into the garbage bin.

5. A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985) – What can I say. Yeah, the homoeroticism was kind of odd, but, hey, what’s wrong with that? At least Freddy hadn’t turned into a caricature yet. This is psychological movie and it’s pretty good at that. But on the other hand the stuff with the S&M gym teacher is kind of jarring. Some wrong choices were made by some knowingly by others unintentionally, but the result is a weird sequel to A Nightmare On Elm Street, unique in its own way. Even if it’s not the best way.

4. Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991) – By this point I had accepted that Freddy is just this cartoon character and this movie completely embraces it, it doesn’t even attempt at being a serious movie. I mean, there’s a scene where Freddy plays a NES game using Power Glove. You can’t get more ridiculous than that. But at least the movie wasn’t bland. It’s more of a dark comedy than horror movie and if you take it that way, it’s not so bad.

3. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987) – This is where the asshole comedian Freddy began, yet wasn’t as over-the-top as he later became. Great special effects, interesting characters, Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon. It’s very entertaining and cool. A favourite of a lot of people and for understandable reasons.

2. New Nightmare (1994) – Wes Craven came back and set it right. Freddy is creepy again, Langenkamp is back and there’s some meta stuff. Rarely the sixth sequel is a good movie, but this one is. It’s self-referential, yet restrained enough to not feel too gimmicky. A cool movie.

1. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) – Well, this one is no doubt a classic. Original, creepy, tense, sexual. It has so many memorable scenes. Robert Englund really brings something to the Freddy Krueger character, it’s a horror masterpiece. I love this movie. From all these 25 movies I’ve listed here, this is without a doubt my favourite one. Classic.

So here you go, my countdown of the big three of horror franchises. An arbitrary list since I’ve reviewed most of these movies anyway, but I wanted to do make clear my personal preferences. If you want to, let me know your list.

Review of Freddy Vs. Jason (2003)

24 Mar

Freddy Vs. Jason (2003) is a slasher/horror/thriller film, which is the crossover of the A Nightmare On Elm Street and Friday the 13th film franchises.

Directed by Ronny Yu (The 51st State (2001), Fearless (2006)).

Written by Damian Shannon and Mark Swift (Friday the 13th (2009)).

Starring: Robert Englund, Ken Kirzinger, Monica Keena, Jason Ritter, Kelly Rowland, Chris Marquette and others.

Ah, yes. This is a special review for me since it concludes both the Friday the 13th and A Nightmare On Elm Street film reviews. That is, of course, until they decide to make a sequel to any of the remakes.

Jason Goes To Hell left us with a promise of Freddy Krueger going against Jason Voorhees and then ten years passed until we actually got it. I’m kind of surprised it happened at all, because the only other modern big franchise crossover I can think of is AVP: Alien vs. Predator a year later and I don’t really have much good to say about that.

Then we get some insight into Jason’s psychology as Freddy has a plan to get Jason out of hell (which isn’t all that hard) and make him do his dirty work so people would start fearing him again. So he disguises himself as Jason’s mom and starts realizing this contrived plot.

I wish they would’ve let Kane Hodder play Jason, this one doesn’t look quite right. Sure, Ken Kirzinger is tall as shit, but there’s nothing some platform shoes couldn’t fix. Maybe they got that lanky geek to make the scene, where Jason can’t pull his machete out of a table more believable. Also for me there’s only one Pamela Voorhees and that’s Betsy Palmer.

It’s surprisingly not anywhere near as gimmicky and comedic as I had imagined it, but I guess it helps to make the movie more believable since it is about a guy killing people in their dreams teaming up and then going against a guy who is an almost invincible zombie retard, that kills people with a machete, and they both get out of hell.

Where did Freddy find out about Jason? Is there a message board in hell that says „most awaited serial killers”, or did he notice him in the 80’s-slashers-with-declining-quality-sequels meetings?

Every slasher movie has some bad acting, but since here two slasher franchise come together we get one of the worst I’ve ever seen in the body of Kerry Rowland from Destiny Child. She is so awful I kept hoping she would die already, but no, she fucking stays almost until the very end. And her playing an incredibly unlikable character doesn’t help either. Also at one point she basically calls Freddy a faggot in a Christmas sweater. Not cool.

The CGI is mostly bad and I don’t know why it was necessary. It hit the bottom with some lame CG Freddy maggot creatures.

Most of the movie Jason turns up from time to time, kills someone and slides back into the shadows, so it’s mostly A Nightmare On Elm Street. But on the other hand, the filmmakers seemed to favor Jason a bit more.

This movie has the same thing that really surprised me in Rob Zombie’s Halloween II, I mean, seriously? There’s two guys who think it is a good idea to make fun of a six-foot five guy in a hockey mask. You can afford it if you know, for example, some kung fu, but not if you’re just a drunk and stoned moron.

It goes into a bit of overexplaining itself, having the characters come up with exactly what happened going through some absurd leaps of logic, which would be all fine and dandy if we hadn’t seen it happen in the movie in the hour before.

When Jason starts going against Freddy (or is it the other way around?) we are presented a curious case of Jason being afraid of water. What? Was this inspired by the stupid ending of Jason Takes Manhattan? Does it matter that Jason has gone willingly into water a shitload of times before?  He’s even spent years in a lake. I guess it doesn’t.

The showdown between Freddy and Jason still might be one of the best things ever brought to screen and makes sitting through the rest of the movie worth it.

Overall, mostly painfully bland and mediocre, but not insultingly bad. Recommended, if only to see Jason and Freddy’s epic fight.

"Smile, Robert!"
"Oh, I'll smile, but don't think I forgot about your faggot remarks, you bitch."

Review of A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)

15 Oct

A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010) is a horror/slasher/mystery film and a remake of A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984).

Directed by Samuel Bayer, who previously has been almost exclusively a music video director for various well-known rock bands.

Written by Wesley Strick (Wolf, Cape Fear) and Eric Heisserer (Final Destination 5, The Thing (2011)).

Starring: Jackie Earle Haley, Kyle Gallner, Rooney Mara, Clancy Brown and others.

This is another horror remake from Platinum Dunes, a production company co-created by, one of the biggest douchebags in film industry, Michael Bay, which, I guess instantly, makes him the producer, although the amount of his involvement isn’t clear. For people familiar with the name, seeing it on the screen should lower the expectations bar quite a bit.

However, I was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t think a remake was necessary, but this is something Hollywood has decided to not let go, I guess, because shit like Friday the 13th (2009) can gross almost 100 million dollars, just because old fans are curious and younger audiences are idiots. Anyway, I thought this was the best possible horror remake Platinum Dunes could have produced, which doesn’t say much.

New Nightmare kind of returned to a much darker tone, but this one is really dark and most fans enjoyed the darker ANOES films the most.

Jackie Earle Haley was the perfect choice for the role, also the digitally enhanced voice was kinda creepy, because it feels like he’s whispering right in your ear. I mean I love Robert Englund as Freddy, but if he was in this movie, it would’ve been so out-of-place. This time Freddy is less talkative, but still does some one-liners, now they’re not as much cheesy-funny in movies 3-6, but more creepy and he’s given some really good lines. “Did you know that after the heart stops beating the brain can function for well over seven minutes? We got six more minutes to play.”

Nancy was incredibly blandly portrayed by Rooney Mara, but Kyle Gallner was fun to watch, especially his freak out in the pharmacy.

They did some new things and that’s what remakes should do. For example, they really accentuated the molestation part of Freddy’s history this time, when previously it was just implied.

Best use of All I Have to Do Is Dream by The Everly Brothers ever.

At the start it tries to trick you with the characters, but if you’ve seen the original, you’ll just be annoyed and not surprised.

The previous movies were mostly notable for the amazing use of practical special effects, this one doesn’t do much of that, but at least it doesn’t give you a golden shower of shitty CG either. Freddy’s make-up needed some improvement and they went for a more realistic burn victim look, which I didn’t mind, but admittedly did look a bit off.

This is movie was generally panned by critics. I guess, they couldn’t let go of the Platinum Dunes brand on it or they hadn’t previously sat through all of those ANOES movies that were filled with bad jokes and incoherent plots, written only to connect together the effect sequences.

It had some really bad parts, but since they got the most important part – Freddy Krueger right, I still found it pretty enjoyable and would want to see a sequel with confusing homoerotic undertones and S&M imagery.

Meow!

Review of New Nightmare (1994)

6 Oct

New Nightmare  also known as Wes Craven’s New Nightmare and commonly known as A Nightmare On Elm Street 7: New Nightmare (1994) is a horror/metafilm/fantasy film and the seventh (and in a sense the final) entry in one of the big three 80’s horror franchises.

Directed and written by Wes Craven (Scream series, The Last House on the Left), who also wrote and directed the original ANOES ten years earlier.

Starring: Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp, Miko Hughes, John Saxon, Wes Craven himself and others.

Marks the return of Heather Langenkamp as the lead and after her crappy performance in ANOES 3, this was impressively well done. And she’s also pretty hot. I loved how through the movie she’s just getting gradually all fucked up.

The idea for the movie is kind of genius, and it was a bold new direction to take the franchise, sadly the public interest had already faded by the time, mostly thanks to parts 4-6. So the movie to some extent chooses to ignore those movies, in fact, you can (and I actually recommend this) watch only the first, third and seventh parts and it would totally make sense. The movie shows Langenkamp being interviewed on a talk show, like she’s the star of the whole series and what’s going on with her life would be relevant.

Miko Hughes used to be one of the top child actors of the early 90’s and then as they more often than not do, he just basically disappeared. I think he does a good job here, but still I found him absolutely annoying. And why does his character’s T-Rex toy protect him from Freddy?

It uses this one comically absurd movie cliché, where a character is painting and only when he finishes the last stroke we see the painting and as if the artist sees it for the first time as well, he only then realizes what he has portrayed.

I’m usually unaffected by those, but it had this one jumpscare, where I totally flinched.

Jsu Garcia and Tuesday Knight has really small cameos. Maybe because they wanted to downplay the later movies. I wish Craven had gathered the courage to ask Johnny Depp for a cameo, because he would have done it.

Maybe the only ANOES to put the script as the priority over special effects sequences. But the effects are great too, Freddy’s make-up is improved and he’s actually scary again. Robert Englund’s still got it.

You can’t punch a nurse, apparently, yet they keep hitting them.

Definitely a better conclusion to the series than Freddy’s Dead. It essentially returns to the tone of the original, by being very dark, serious and while having some amazing special effects, making them more horrifying rather than cheesy (and entertaining).

After all that mediocrity of the certain previous ones, I loved this movie. It’s by no means a perfect movie, but if you’re a horror fan, ANOES fan, interesting shit fan, watch this.

Order the Freddy Krueger action figurine now and get a public masturbator trench coat for free!