Bonus: I’ve added in my favorite Freddy line and my favorite kill from each movie that isn’t the remake, cause fuck that awful piece of shit movie!
This movie is just… <sigh> ok, I’m composed… let’s try that one again.
In 2009, a gritty fast moving ultra violent Jason remake movie dropped (Friday the 13th: The Killer Cut) and it wasn’t “bad." It’s not campy. It doesn’t have the allure of the original, but in a then world of “Gritty remakes” like Amityville, Texas Chainsaw, Hills Have Eyes, and the ever increasing production of SAW movies, it was right at home for what the people wanted. It also featured some of the most ridiculously good-looking people ever put in a horror movie that wasn’t a “Linnea Quiqley almost porno” and it seemed to have an ok budget. I said “nice” things about it in the other list.
Having worked for the company handling the merchandise rights for that movie, and for this one, I excitedly wrote the copy beginning “His name was Jason, and today was his birthday.” When the assignment rolled around to do the same for the new Freddy movie…I was a tad skeptical. This was after-all, my FAVORITE horror movie franchise. Would they be faithful? Could Jackie Earl Hayley’s Rorschach make a convincing Freddy? No, no it could not.
Before we get into the absolute SKEWERING of this movie I am gleefully writing as we speak, let’s refer to the first of the horrible tactics used to sell this utter piece of shit as a “Freddy movie”. I’m speaking of course about the trailer!
You see, there’s another remake on that list of “gritty horror reboots” that I haven’t mentioned until now. Perhaps, it will find its way onto a review in a more….”festive” month. Perhaps we’ll cover it next week, who can say really? We tend to drink a lot. I’m speaking of course about Rob Zombie’s Halloween. Once you get past the “Rob Zombie” aspect – (everyone is a sex crazed inbred white trash stripper hillbilly) Zombie presents us with something we’ve never seen before and NEVER EVER wanted to see; the humanization of Michael Myers.
There’s two horrible concepts that will work their way into this particular review. It’s not possible to “defend” either one, so I’ll just say what I have to say and we’ll move on from there.
A. Freddy Krueger is a sympathetic villain in his own right
is he a “child murdering psychopath?" Ab-sofuckinglutly, but he still has these VERY human and downright endearing elements about him. Screaming “oh no!” when he sees a pipe bomb or machete coming to send him back to hell, wincing when one of his victims has a particularly gruesome death, quipping one-liners, and a truly twisted and bizarre level of care he seems to carry for his most cherished enemies, and yes I’ll say it, “love interests." Despite all these incredibly human traits, we know EXACTLY where we stand when it comes to Freddy. He’s the bad guy, and he has to lose. We want to see him lose. We want to see him lose in a horribly twisted fashions, and we know that when the Springwood parents first hunted him down, he wasn’t crying like a baby so much as saying “HA HA HA FUCK YOU, I’LL COME BACK TO KILL YOUR CHILDREN!” which brings me to:
- Thirty seconds into the trailer, we see some unruly mob of parents chasing Krueger to his iconic boiler room in what we can only surmise is a flashback to his death scene. Krueger, a meek little man is desperately pleading with his pursuers screaming “I didn’t do it!” … Freddy would NEVER do this. He’d not only proudly exclaim “lol it was me!” he would mock the parents by mimicking their children and getting into some truly personal attacks. Freddy, the classic Freddy, is not only the master of fear, he was born and bred for the God Damn Sinestro Corps! He goes after a person’s greatest INSECURITY (not so much “Fear”) and uses it against them - gleefully, often times while doing a jig. That’s just how Freddy rolls.
My first thought was “oh jesus, they’re pulling a Rob Zombie and setting Freddy up to be innocent?” (boy was I off, it gets SO MUCH WORSE…but im getting past the trailer review)
- We then see “producer Michael Bay”…it’s 2010, so that’s groan worthy, but he consulted on the Friday 13th remake…maybe it just means lots of hot naked girls Michael Bay slept with like that movie did.
- We then see that whoever cut this trailer is as much a NOES fan as I am, and REALLY understands what it is that makes Freddy compelling and what the first movie “groundbreaking." There are a few shots here that happen, HERE AND HERE ONLY, but I’ll address that. Let’s move on to the big unpopular elephant in the room.
B. This version of Freddy is a child molester, not a child murderer.
I don’t have kids of my own, just a very young sister. The idea of losing a child is terrifying and rage-inducing. I don’t blame the people of Springwood for enacting vigilante justice on the original Freddy for killing “20 kids” but it was more of a “he’s a bad guy. He kills people.” Than a “he’s a sick fucking depraved bastard.” Yes, he’s evil, yes he’s sick. Yes, he torments teens and 18 yr olds with their greatest fears and their greatest failures. I guess I’m more…ok with that? And thankfully, I’m not the only one. Originally, Wes Craven had this “career” picked out for his icon, and someone thankfully told him “no!” Nightmare on Elm Street was no “Last House on the Left." There was always a strange and creepy ambiguity about the VERY young jump-rope girls, but we kinda glossed over that in favor of “it’s creepy."
When you realize the Freddy in the 2010 remake is a pedo and didn’t kill ANY kids, you feel dirty. You can find this on any episode of To Catch a Predator, Law and Order: SVU, and sadly the local news. Like I said, I’m not the only one who feels this way, as this angry viewpoint of having immediately missed the mark of the original pops up literally EVERYWHERE in the google. You won’t find many favorable reviews for this movie, or love for the new “take” on Freddy.
The film takes you to an even darker place with its opening scene, as a vengeful, darker, more real seeming Freddy stalks a teenager and brutally kills him. He never killed kids before. Why would he do that? How did he become “Dream Demon Freddy?” and what was that shit in the trailer about? Then it hits you like a ton of bricks, “Oh Jesus…Freddy was innocent, and these kids made it all up!” You’re now watching a movie about an over the top sadistic Freddy (with NONE of the humor or the original) and…hoping he is proven innocent?
You can quickly tell that all the iconic shots in the trailer were just that, “trailer shots” and do a piss poor job of recreating classic scenes and feels from the first two movies. They abandon the entire story of the second movie, in favor of just using a character name and putting him at a pool.
Freddy isn’t funny. He isn’t clever. He doesn’t use dreams and frightening atmospheres to facilitate his kills. He doesn’t even use his glove to scrape along walls and scare people (except the .5 seconds he does exactly this in the trailer). He’s just an asshole and he even curses at people…but not like in a catchphrase where it’s commonplace and funny…in a mean menacing real life drunk pedo way where hes like “I’ll fuckin cut you up and eat you!”
Whoever plays Nancy is god awful, and they move away from the iconic showdown of a batshit crazy sleep-deprived Heather Langenkamp awake for a record breaking SEVEN days…in favor of a girl who can’t stay up 36 hours going delirious and falling asleep at the snap of a finger.
As they go to uncover the truth and prove Freddy’s innocence…we find out that he was a gardener and his boiler room motif makes ZERO sense…oh and he was guilty all along, going so far as to keep fucking polaroids. The idea is to get an audience who rooted for a guilty pedo amped up to see him killed, but you just feel dirty and betrayed counting the minutes until the credits when you can go home and watch the original.
I pretty much covered this in the Tangents and Theories section. It’s not a good movie. It’s an even worse Freddy movie, obeying none of his usual rules and leaving you feeling confused about a number of issues. It’s best to do what the franchise did and forget about it entirely.
Favorite Kill: the gym teacher, Mr. Schnieder
Favorite line: “Help yourself, fucker!”
I know I know, his name is in the title, and this number 5 ½ in my Jason list (out of 12 possible movies) here’s what I said there:
“I put this as a half point because it’s a shared/vs movie (that follows the format set up in every vs movie ever, "let’s follow a bs human cast, and then have our guys fight it out in the last 12 minutes").
It’s not a good movie. It’s not a particularly clever movie. It’s some of the worst Freddy performances I’ve ever seen, but he’s not on this list. This one is about Jason. FVJ perfectly recaps the respective Friday and Nightmare series and presents a “plausible” explanation for the how and why the pair begin working together. There’s no handshake and twirling of mustaches, just Freddy blatantly tricking Jason and emotionally manipulating him into doing his bidding. The flick features some of the most graphic and uninspired Jason kills (and one amazing one in the beginning) and a 15 minute long segment that begins with…Jason afraid of water… other than that, it’s “ok” and absolutely ridiculous.”
That opening recap is some of the all-time best of Freddy (especially having in real life followed New Nightmare) from Freddy’s almost endearing “My children…from the beginning it was the children who gave me my power” to his lamenting his loss of his human life, and his pride in becoming “the stuff of nightmares” and the “fun really beginning” perfectly illustrate all of the completely human and wonderful concepts that lead to a Nightmare on Elm Street fanbase …and are nonexistent in the remake. It’s the next line though, where Freddy goes in to a rage about how “Being forgotten, now that’s a real bitch” that make the ENTIRE movie for me. I could watch just this intro and then turn it off. The movie had SO much potential, and I blame the director/screenwriters for its inevitable execution.
Favorite kill: The only one Freddy gets lol, Will’s friend Mark
Favorite line: “What can I say, I’ve always had a thing for the whores who live in that house!”
This was a weird one for me. I hadn’t seen it since I bought the original NOES dvd box set in Sept of 1999. I absolutely hated it then, and FVJ wasn’t out yet. Watching it again at 29, I was able to appreciate more of the background elements and how it can be made (see the theories page) to fit into the universe as a believable whole. It’s nothing amazing, and it begins the Daffy Duck/Bugs Bunny Freddy antics, but it’s not AS bad as people will tell you it is.
Favorite kill: John Doe, the bed of nails
Favorite line: “Every town, HAS an Elm Street!”
This is likely one that Jim and I are split on. I love me some CLASSIC Freddy, and his continual plot threads that go along with that. You’d think I’d be all over a meta showdown of Heather Langenkamp and “Freddy” in the real world, but I’m not. I’m glad it was popular and got Wes Craven back in the spotlight to do Scream, but it’s just not a “Nightmare” movie.
Favorite Kill: Chase
Favorite Line: “Miss me?”
Dream Child is probably the “Darkest” one of the original series. This is kind of strange, as it features the lowest kill count until FVJ with only THREE souls pulling the “baby Freddy” at the end. The dynamic between Alice and Freddy from part IV was so good that they just walk right into those shoes here. It overshadows all the background shit about the unborn baby Jacob and ghost Amanda perfectly, and lets you focus on Alice and her new friends in a Dream Warrior/Dream Master sequel.
Favorite kill: Dan
Favorite line: “Is she delicious, or am I crazy?”
Dream Master is a personal favorite cause I can really identify with Alice. For me it’s the “grownup” Freddy movie. The survivors of the almost kid-friendly Dream Warriors are dispatched, as Freddy sets his sights on Alice and her budding dream prowess. The final battle and immediate quick fix is a tad clunky, but it doesn’t really take away from a very enjoyable movie with an ok cast.
Favorite Kill: Kristen
Favorite Line: “If the food don’t kill you, the service will”
Dream Warriors is the one that EVERYONE loves. From the music videos, soundtrack, and Kincaid one-liners to some really inspired and downright playful Freddy kills, Dream Warriors never stops delivering. It builds on the lore and even has a religious element that is grounded perfectly in the reality of the NOES franchise (for a short time anyway). Tuesday Knight makes a better/older and wiser Kristen, but Patricia Arquette is actually perfect as the mousy little sidekick girl crying out for … I won’t spoil this one if you somehow haven’t seen it.
Favorite Kill: Jennifer
Favorite Line: “but when you wake up, it’s back….in the saddle….again!”
Was there even a doubt? After I went on for PAGES about my “it’s all a dream” theory, there isn’t much more that can be said. A Nightmare on Elm Street delivers some of the most clever slasher movie moments ever put to film and is genuinely terrifying. Freddy isn’t a cartoon and he’s not squirting you with silly poison roses or turning you into a comic book character. There are no “one-liners,” just a lot of downright creepy catchphrases.
Heather Langenkamp, like Ripley and Sarah Connor before her, turns from a helpless doey eyed sophomore to looking “almost twenty years old” and challenging Krueger on his own turf before bringing him into hers. It’s a showdown for the ages, and the one that Freddy always seems to regard the most throughout the franchise. The remake makes my bottom ten, but this one rounds out my top ten, and is perfectly seated at my number one when it comes to the NOES franchise.
Favorite Kill: Tina
Favorite Line: “This…is God”
Check with us tomorrow for Jim's picks!