dddI don't hide that the Nightmare On Elm Street Franchise is my favorite horror movie series. So, as I've spent this weekend catching up on my old favorites, I've decided to rate them for your pleasure...
So here it is, in my favorite order (although I always watch from 1 to 8, this is my favorites).
Starting at the Bottom of the List at Number 8!
How did this movie drop spots to be at the bottom of the list many years later? Well when I was 7 (yes, I've been watching R rated horror movies since 7), I didn't care about the meta-story of the franchise. But in my more sophisticated tastes of adult hood, I need my sequels to be just one chapter of the whole story.
Although Jesse moves into Nancy's house and uses her diaries to help understand what is happening, this story is unconnected to any other movie. It also broke a lot of the rules. Jesse wasn't a child of someone who killed Freddy, so why haunt him? How did Jesse turn into Freddy in the real world? Why kill the coach and all those random people at the pool party? What is Freddy even doing at a pool party anyway?
Oh, and of course, how can I forget the staggering body count of 2 major characters (and about a dozen pool party guests that I couldn't care less about).
Alice and Dan, after surviving the events of Dream Master, make a new group of friends and apparently a baby. For the plot of Dream Child revolves around Freddy trying to take control of Jacob's (Alice and Dan's child) dreams and turn him against his mother. After being held at bay for a few years by Alice (the Guardian of the good dream gate), Freddy has discovered that she can control her own dreams but not her unborn child's!
A plus for this movie is that all the returning characters were played by the same actors from Dream Master.
What keeps this movie from the higher spots? Well Jacob is annoying! I honestly just can't stand the child playing him. And if I were an 18 year old high school graduate, pregnant with a child that an evil dream monster was trying to turn against me so the monster could kill again... do you know how fast I would have a abortion?
And again, a low body count. 3! (Although the deaths are more elaborate!) Aren't sequels supposed to have more deaths that then original.
Except for disregarding the fact that Freddy's Dead is supposed to be the end of the series, FvJ does a good job adding to the mytho's and being directly connected to the previous movies. Hypnosill and all! But this movie lacked a certain "Nightmare" aspect and felt much more like a random slasher flick like Friday where you almost didn't care for any of the characters and just wanted to see Freddy kill Jason (or the other way if you are a Jason fan).
This movie did fail though in offering a reasonable explanation for what happened to Alice (Dream Child) or Maggie (Freddy's Dead). Actually it didn't offer any explanation.
Now it did have a high body count (I can't remember how many though, but I think it's one of the highest for a Nightmare movie, but pretty average for a Friday movie.
Well, when a boy is returned to a boarding house with no memory except a need to go to Springwood he brings along 3 teens and a psycologist (who just happens to be Freddy's long lost daughter - I know a bit cheesy, but Fred Kruger was a man before becoming a monster). More elaborate deaths but a small number (if I recall correctly only 3 - which seems to be the magic number for a Nightmare movie).
Here though are the four biggest problems with the movie.
1. Some of it takes place in 3D and it's not enjoyable for me.
2. Maggie (not a Gate Keeper) is able to manipulate her dreams (this was something that was unique for Alice).
3. They recycled the finale from Nightmare 1, by bringing Freddy into the real world to kill him.
4. It is never explained what happens to Alice and Jacob from Dream Child. I personally like to think that the John Doe in this story is Jacob and that his mother (Alice) died right before the events of this movie in her constant pursuit to keep Freddy at bay.
Has everything a sequel needs: It continues the plot through from the previous movie onto the next movie; has a higher body count; doesn't change the mythos' but adds a new twist (dream powers being transferred to the Dream Master). The coolest part of the power transfer is how Kristin uses each power to transform from the meek girl at the first part of the movie into a power house that can believably take on Freddy!
Heather Langenkamp (Nancy Thompson in the meta-series) returns for a 2nd time (3rd movie), but this time she isn't playing Nancy, but herself. This whole movie takes place outside the reality of the movies and in our own reality, where Heather is an actress who played Nancy and has lunch with Wes Craven. But as Heather is leading her life some strange events start happening and her son is going insane over the course of the movie.
Freddy returns with a new look as fear itself. And Wes says it's chosen the form of Freddy because it is a familiar form! Throughout the movie, Heather and her son are haunted by Freddy until he forces Heather to return to Nancy so he can finally defeat her in their original battle.
What makes this movie stand out the most is, that although it completely disregards the previous movies, it adds a whole new depth to the series. There are also dozens of throw-backs to the previous movies.
Body count = 4 (3 credited to accidents and 1 out right slasher/Freddy style murder).
Nancy and her friends are being haunted in their dreams by some nightmare villain. About half way through the story, Nancy finds out that Freddy was a child molester from several years ago that her parents (and a bunch of other parents) burned because he was found innocent (someone didn't sign the arrest warrant in the right place). So to enact his revenge he haunts their children's dreams; and if you die in a dream, you die in real life.
How scary this movie must have been? I've seen it too much to be frightened by it now, but at age 7 I was scared shitless. Freddy was a silent killer in this movie (no one liners about death like in the sequels) which made his even more scary. And although the effects were simplistic, they really got their point across.
Death count is 3 teens and 1 adult = 4! Much fewer than any of the Friday films of the time, but because of dream aspect of these killing, it made it all the more frightening.
And number 1!
How could I possibly pick a sequel as the best? Well, it was just the one I had the most exposure to as a child (again I was 7) and the idea that these teens could finally fight back in their dreams seemed to offer me a little hope (although their efforts were futile). This movie also adds to the mythos of the meta-story and directly connects to Nightmare 1 and Dream Warrior. Also this movie has a higher body count (6 - - 4 teens, Nancy's Father and Nancy!) What more could you want in a movie? BTW this is actually my favorite movie of all time and I LOVE watching it!
That's it, that's the list of the