I have always enjoyed the ANOES Franchise and have ALWAYS been a hardcore-fan of Freddy. So, now that the reboot has arrived on Video Store shelves all over the globe, I think it's time for a film-by-film breakdown of one of my Favorite Horror Franchises:
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984)
(10 of 10)
One, Two, Freddy's coming for you... You know, I really don't think that Wes Craven could have ever imagined how huge this movie was going to get. It tells the unforgettable story about a group of high-schooler's who are being hunted in their sleep by a maniacal madman who is horribly burned and dons a dirty red and green sweater and a Razor-Glove on his right hand. Heather Langenkamp portrays the role of Nancy, a sort of "leader" of the Elm Street kids. She's determined to put an end to Freddy Krueger before he kills all of her friends. This is what Horror is about! It was a staple of what to expect of Horror in the 80's. And it was simply... amazing!
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2: FREDDY'S REVENGE
(9 1/2 of 10)
I only hate the fact that this doesn't include Nancy. It does however, include her house. This takes place after Nancy and her family have moved off Elm Street and a new family has moved in. Teenage Jessy is now being haunted by Freddy in his sleep after moving into her house and now Freddy wants to use him as his "vessel" so he can cross over into the real world. So it's up to Jessy to fight him off before Freddy's reign of terror reaches the surface. This is full of cool special effects and death sequences. The open sequence with the school bus is worth the rental cost alone. A lot of people complain about the "gay" undertones, and I however, enjoy them. I think it adds a little comedy to the mix. It's definitely a worthy addition to the franchise.
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3: DREAM WARRIORS
(10 of 10)
And Nancy returns!!! I think this may be my absolute favorite entry in the franchise because it deals with the "last of the Elm Street children". The final teenagers who's parents were directly responsible for the death of Krueger are now all in a mental institution. But that hasn't stopped Freddy from picking them off one by one. Nancy leads the kids into a face-to-face war against Freddy in an attempt to end him once and for all. This one is made very well and includes some nice cameos such as Laurence Fishburne and John Saxon. It also introduces a new leading heroin, Kristin.
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4: THE DREAM MASTER
(10 of 10)
Freddy returns to finish off the last of the "dream warriors" and is inadvertently introduced to a whole slew of new teenagers. Kristin "pulls" Alice, a good friend of hers, into her nightmare and passes on her dream "powers". Alice must now take the reigns on the quest to stop Freddy's massacre. I think that introducing a new leading lady and, SPOILER: killing off the last one in the first act is a very tricky thing to do. But the way it was done with this film, it was almost seamless. It's by far, one of the best installments in the series.
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 5: THE DREAM CHILD
(8 of 10)
Now this one I had a bit of an issue with... So now Alice is pregnant and her baby is having nightmares. This, even for me, is a little far-fetched. We get a whole lot of back story and you would think there's a huge pay-off coming at the end of the movie, but there really isn't. This movie went in a very weird direction and it slowed down the pace of the entire film quite a bit. I still liked it, but it definitely could have been better.
FREDDY'S DEAD: THE FINAL NIGHTMARE
(7 of 10)
Alright, for this being marketed as the epic finale that everyone has been waiting for, it wasn't that good. This time Freddy Krueger is hunting the last surviving Elm Street kid and his long-lost daughter. He is eventually brought face-to-face with his daughter and it's a literal fight to the death. I think this is a great concept that was poorly executed. It's great for a straight-up sequel but it somehow lacks the appeal of the previous films too much to be a definitive "ending". I of course still liked it because it was a Freddy movie.
WES CRAVEN'S NEW NIGHTMARE
(8 1/2 of 10)
This takes place outside of the mythology of all the previous films. A risky move indeed, but it still paid off really well... Heather Langenkamp (playing herself) is being stalked by a crazed fan who keeps sending weird letters and keeps calling her home. After her husband dies after falling asleep at the wheel and she discovers slash marks on his lifeless body, she begins to suspect that his death was more than an accident. She soon discovers that Freddy has entered the real world and the only way to defeat him is to become "Nancy" one last time... Full of direct nods to the first film, it's hard not to enjoy this film. True, it stumbles in some spots but altogether it's a worthy sequel to the original classic.
FREDDY VS. JASON
(9 1/2 of 10)
Two of Horror's greatest icons are face to face in an all-out battle... winner kills all. This was definitely a cheese-fest but it's really entertaining. It's got a hot new cast and some really awesome death sequences. Freddy is back on his A-game in this installment.
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (2010)
(7 of 10)
Now this is an alright film but I cannot get past the fact that Freddy Krueger was played by someone other than Robert Englund. I mean Robert Englund IS Freddy Kruger. This fact alone really crippled me on enjoying the film. But I gave it a shot anyway... and I wasn't impressed with it at all. The story wasn't that intriguing to me. It was nice to see it updated for the next generation but it fell short of how entertaining the previous entries were. But I will say it had some really cool special effect sequences (I mean dream scenes, certainly not the horrible makeup of Freddy).