Freddy Vs. Jason – Movie Review

Freddy Vs. Jason

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Happy Friday the 13th everybody! It’s me, Slick Dungeon, back to review the meetup of two titans of horror, Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees in a film quite obviously titled Freddy vs. Jason. If spoilers are what gives you nightmares, be warned I’ll be slashing my way through my thoughts on the movie. So, if you haven’t seen it, run through a cornfield and hope not to meet a flaming Jason on the way and watch the movie. Then come on back here to read the review.

For years horror fans had clamored to see a couple of the biggest names in horror meet up. We’d even seen a tease of it years before this famous crossover came out. But due to lots of behind the scenes copyright issues and negotiations it was delayed so much that both Freddy and Jason ended up having movies set far in the future before this one actually takes place. Who would win, and deliver more fear, between the machete wielding, hockey mask wearing, un-killable lunatic, and the man who has a burned face, knives for fingers, and can invade your nightmares? Surely this would be an epic battle and one of the scariest movies of all time right? Meh. Not so much.

Both Freddy and Jason have gone to hell at this point. Freddy is having a bit of trouble because Springwood doesn’t seem to remember him. And if no one remembers him, no one is scared of him. If no one is scared of him, Freddy has no power. Good thing for Freddy, Jason is an unstoppable killing machine. So Freddy decides to let Jason loose in Springwood, assuming correctly that people there would think it was Freddy doing the killing. Freddy’s legend would grow again and he can terrorize teenagers once more. At least, that’s how he wanted it to work.

What the movie results in here is more of a… clip show? Yeah. One of the biggest problems with this movie which was made for fans who already love both franchises is that the film makers seemed to feel the need to rehash a whole bunch of what we’ve already seen to explain who Freddy and Jason are. They recreate some of the famous scenes from both franchises and those are somehow the most interesting part here.

That’s not to say there is no good stuff in this movie. It is definitely fun to watch Freddy and Jason fight. Freddy wins in the humorous quip department because, well, Jason doesn’t ever talk. But Jason is also quite the workhorse and he’s pretty hard to stop. They also bring back Jason’s mother for a few scenes and that’s always a good touch.

Once Freddy gets Jason out in the real world, Jason starts killing teens as all of us might expect. Said teens don’t know about Freddy or Jason but the police who are trying to do everything they can to cover up the existence of Freddy Krueger say the name Freddy Krueger right in front of the teenagers.

The teens fall asleep and Freddy visits them but he’s still not strong enough to get them so he lets Jason run wild for a bit. More teens die but now they have a person in a hockey mask to blame. Some people seem to know this is Jason because… well there was a cop from Crystal Lake but for no other reason.

When you are threatened with death and you are a teenager what do you do? Throw a huge party in a cornfield of course! At the party, Jason picks off a few more victims but one of them happens to be sleeping. Freddy ain’t too happy about that.

Eventually there is a bit of exposition about both Freddy and Jason and the teens come up with a plan. They want to put Jason to sleep so Freddy will fight him and then drop Jason off at Crystal Lake and high tail it outta there figuring Jason will be home and won’t leave the camp. Either way their odds are better if one of them dies.

We get to see Freddy toss Jason around in the dream world and then we get to see Jason shred up Freddy in the real world. Epic battle ensues. And of course you kill Freddy with fire and you drown Jason to stop them. We get a stinger at the end which implies Jason won the fight but Freddy is never going to be gone for good.

Is this the most enjoyable film of either franchise? No. Is it the worst movie in either franchise? Again, no. I do feel like if they had spent less time telling us and showing us stuff we already knew, this could have come off a little better. Freddy seems funny but menacing for most of this and Jason is certainly the juggernaut he’s become. But at times the film dips into a bit of the ridiculous and it seems like our final teens figure out how to stop Jason and Freddy way, way, way too easily. Not that they don’t have a lot of friends die first.

One issue I have with this is pretty simple. Jason is an undead, unstoppable killing machine. Does he even dream? I mean why would he? That’s never addressed, it’s just assumed he does. Still, that’s kind of a small issue. Also, the teens assume Jason wouldn’t come after them if they leave him in Crystal Lake but did they not notice Jason when he was in the middle of Times Square? Seems like the dude can leave when he wants to.

While the movie does retread a lot of old material, I still only recommend this if you have seen at least some of both franchises. It’s more fun that way. Just don’t expect it to have the intensity of some of the better movies in both franchises. There are still some fun and inventive kills here and they do the best they can with the story here, it just could never quite live up to the hype and build up of what was expected. If you’ve seen all the rest of these movies, give this one a watch.

And I also hope this movie acts as a lesson for horror franchises looking to do a crossover in the future. Make it early, while the buzz is going, but take the time to develop a good story that makes sense. And yes, I am staring directly at your murderous child doll eyes, M3GAN and Chucky!

Superstitiously yours,

Slick Dungeon


A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) – Movie Review

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Happy Halloween month horror fans! It’s me, Slick Dungeon and I’m here to review yet another A Nightmare on Elm Street film. Sharp eyed readers of this blog may notice I have reviewed every Freddy film up to this point in order. But, I’m making an exception here because I am skipping Freddy vs. Jason. The reason I am skipping over that one is I consider it to be part of my Friday the 13th review series and since that movie will be the last of those (come on we need a 13th Friday the 13th movie!) I will be releasing that review on the next Friday… the 13th. There isn’t one of those this October so you’re gonna have to wait. Also, you can probably guess who I am in favor of in this match up by that release schedule.

Okay, that out of the way, I am here to review the remake of the original film in the Nightmare series. This is the one from 2010 simply titled A Nightmare on Elm Street. Do be aware this review will contain spoilers so if you haven’t watched the movie, give it a look, reflect on whether remakes and reboots for horror should be a thing at all, try to sleep, have a nightmare or two, then come back here and read this review.

Wes Craven, Robert Englund, and pretty much anyone else having anything to do with the original series are not to be found in this film. Freddy is instead played by Jackie Earle Haley. It seems the intention behind this remake was to go back to Freddy’s roots and make him the dark, less quip-filled, character Wes Craven originally had in mind.

A lot of the elements of the original are here. The plot is not dissimilar from the first, although it is set in modern day. There is a man invading people’s dreams and if you die in your dreams, you die in reality. His name is Freddy Krueger and he’s a scary looking burned mess of a man who wears a glove with knives on the fingers.

This man has a history of committing unspeakable acts against children and the parents in the town are covering up the fact they murdered him. We even see a lot of the same scenes which were most memorable in the first movie. There’s the ceiling scene, yes that one, and also that other one too. We see the bath scene as well.

This is still a remake though, so there is a bit of a spin on the way the scenes are shot and not everything in the movie is identical. The plot is essentially the same though.

I think that may be the problem with this movie. The original A Nightmare on Elm Street film was groundbreaking. Wes Craven came up with not just a relentless killer, similar to Michael Meyers or Jason Voorhees, but who could appear anywhere. If he can invade your dreams you can’t escape him. It was a brand new way to terrify audiences. In 2010 if you had even seen a horror movie, you knew the story of Freddy Krueger. That makes it nearly impossible to bring new terror to this story.

The makeup they use for Freddy here is more realistic to actual burn victims but somehow it seems less terrifying. With Robert Englund, part of the appeal here is impossible things from your dreams could kill you, so if Freddy wasn’t exactly photo realistic, it didn’t matter, because he was still a dream.

And the CGI effects use here don’t seem as menacing as some of the simple film tricks from the first movie. The ceiling scene, where a victim is thrashed in the air has a nearly cartoonish quality in this film but seems utterly believable in the first one.

There is more of a clear explanation of Krueger’s history in this movie, it doesn’t elevate the story enough to make it truly terrifying. The directing of the film is good and overall the acting is not bad but it’s just not new in any way.

For my money, I would rather see a new innovation in horror than rehash an old classic. If you are a Freddy movie fan, this one is one of the few I would say is totally skippable.

Maybe I’m just biased here because I remember the original movie from when it came out. Are you a fan of horror remakes? If so, let me know in the comments. Maybe there is one that delivers better than this one, and I would be interested in seeing how it holds up.

Nightmarishly yours,

Slick Dungeon

Wes Craven’s New Nightmare – Movie Review

Wes Craven’s New Nightmare

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Hello horror fans, it’s me, Slick Dungeon! I’m back to review one of the most meta horror movies ever made, and the seventh movie starring Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger, Wes Craven’s New Nightmare. Be warned ahead of time there will be some spoilers so if you haven’t seen this movie about Freddy movies, watch the Freddy movies, watch this movie, then come read this review about the movie about Freddy movies. Got that? Good.

This film is a really unusual entry in the annals of horror. It’s made by Wes Craven, who, of course, made the first Freddy movie, and went on to create the Scream franchise. But this movie, in my opinion, is one that yet again proves Wes Craven is a true master of horror.

Freddy Krueger had been terrifying and delighting audiences for six straight films. That’s not counting television shows, novels, comic book, video games and other media Freddy appeared in. In other words, everyone knew wha to expect from Freddy. But fans were still clamoring for more. After all, Freddy is great at haunting our dreams.

When New Line Cinema wanted to do yet another Freddy movie, they could have gone in a lazy direction and just tacked on another movie or done a pure remake or reboot. Instead, they made a genius decision to bring back Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, and John Saxon who all starred in the first film. Only this time, Heather Langenkamp and John Saxon don’t play Nancy and Donald Thompson, they play Heather Langenkamp and John Saxon. Robert Englund does play Freddy, but he also plays… well, Robert Englund.

The movie starts out with us believing we are in a production set for an upcoming Freddy movie. This being a Nightmare film, it’s of course a dream and carnage quickly ensues. Heather wakes up in the middle of an earthquake and we realize this whole scene is just a nightmare. Heather has a son named Dylan who is played by Miko Hughes to an eerily creepy effect.

The movie starts to blur reality and fiction when Heather’s husband who is a special effects designer wakes up with a similar cut to one Heather dreamed. And, it turns out, in secret he is working on a new Freddy movie without Heather knowing about it.

The movie is basically about and entity who looks and acts a lot like Freddy but is much darker than the actual Robert Englund, trying to cross into our own reality. Just as in the first movie, Heather starts to sound less and less rational when she is explaining the situation, even though all she is trying to do is save her son.

There are moments of genuine terror here, some which rival even the first film. And if you are trying to detect a trend into which Nightmare films are the best ones, the first, third and New Nightmare all are standouts, and coincidentally, those are the ones which star Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon, and of course, Robert Englund. They terrify the most and those actors are highly believable.

The movie does operate a lot like other Freddy movies in that he shows up in dreams and kills people, and the main characters have to stop him. The fact this one is based in our own reality makes it just a bit more terrifying and realistic. While the third act is probably the weakest of the film, it does come to a satisfying conclusion and there’s plenty to get you jumping along the way.

So, if this one is so good, why didn’t it do better at the box office? After all, it’s one of the lower grossing movies in the Nightmare series. There’s a pretty simple answer, and it has nothing to do with the makers of this film. On the same weekend this was released, an independent film no one had heard of called Pulp Fiction came out. For that reason, a good portion of people missed seeing Wes Craven’s New Nightmare and this little gem would be less knows than Craven’s next foray into horror with the Scream series.

If you’ve seen the rest of the Freddy movies but never checked this one out, I highly recommend it. It’s very meta which is an interesting twist and it delivers on the terror.

Nightmarishly yours,

Slick Dungeon

Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare – Movie Review

Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Hey horror fans, it’s me, Slick Dungeon! Well, we’ve made it to the end, the final nightmare! Freddy’s dead right in the title so this has to be the last one. (Checks notes) Uh.. except for the three other films made after Freddy was dead? Anyway, if you haven’t caught on yet, I’m here to review the last of the main series of A Nightmare on Elm Street movies, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare. Be warned there will be spoilers ahead so if you haven’t seen the movie yet go watch it, try to get out of town in your beat up van, get lost at least three times, go to sleep, realize you are having nightmares, and come on back here and read the review just to stay awake.

One would think after the events of the fifth movie in this series we might check up on Alice and her son from the last movie but that’s not where we go at all. This film is set ten years in the future. Springwood where the events of the first five movies took place has no more children living there and all of the adults have gone insane. In other words, Freddy has won. But there is one teenager left. This is John Doe who at the beginning of the movie has a nightmare and is thrown outside of the town limits by Freddy. John wakes up not remembering anything about himself but knowing with absolute certainty he needs to stay awake and Springwood is a bad, bad place to be.

John is taken to a shelter where there are a few other teenagers down on their luck for various reasons. One of the workers there, Maggie, sees a newspaper article John had with him and knows the best way to find answers is to go to Springwood. She packs John up and three other teenagers stow away in the van.

You probably know what happens next once everyone is in Springwood. This is Freddy’s domain so he can invade dreams and because he seems to have the run of the town he can even prevent people from leaving, which he does.

The movie actually does a decent job of giving the teenagers some character and personality here. And the film gives more backstory about Freddy, including that he had a daughter who was taken away from him. It seems Freddy was into some pretty bad stuff even before they took his daughter but because the town did is at least in part why he keeps killing kids in Springwood.

Turns out Freddy needed John to bring back his adult daughter so he could go on to the next town and continue to spread his nightmares. There’s also a bit of a backstory about some dream entities that gave Freddy his powers.

While the story goes along fine and there are some scares, there’s also a fair amount of silliness in this one. That’s mostly been a part of these movies but it was usually scares over jokes but this one feels like the comedy is a bit more pronounced.

And this movie was originally created to be shown in 3-D so the last act with the final confrontation against Freddy just feels really awkward now. There’s a lot of staring at hands and waving pointy things right at the camera which may have worked with the original release but now just seems gimmicky and pointless. It’s an unfortunate end for what was almost a fine send off.

As always, the best part of the movie is Robert Englund doing his whole Freddy thing. In this one it’s nice because he does get a good amount of screen time without all of the makeup so you can see that he is a good actor even without all the makeup and effects.

If you’ve watched all the rest of the Freddy films this is definitely worth watching, just be prepared for an awkward third act.

I had seen all of these movies before but I actually haven’t watched most of the reboots, remakes, and whatnots so I’m really interested to see where those are going.

Nightmarishly yours,

Slick Dungeon

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child – Movie Review

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Hello horror lovers, it’s Slick Dungeon here. I’m back again to review another of the Freddy films with A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child. This review may contain spoilers so if you haven’t seen it, put your kids to bed, watch the movie and come on back here for the review.

For a series of films with five installments, the Nightmare movies have done a pretty good line of keep a consistent story. The only real miss with that was the second film but so far each movie has done something to build on the legend of Freddy Krueger.

Robert Englund is back again as the man in the worst of your dreams. We also pick up the story with Alice who survived the fourth film. She is able to tell Freddy is back but this time something is different. This time, he’s been killing her friends while she is awake.

Once again, no one believes the main character when they say Freddy is real and he’s coming to kill everyone, even after teenagers start dying rapidly in town. Alice still has her boyfriend Dan and even though he survived the events of the last movie, he still isn’t sure if Freddy is back.

Of course, we all know Freddy is back and we see him wade through nightmares and kill people who are unlucky enough to fall asleep when he can get to them.

The story of this movie gets a bit weird and wonky, which is why I can’t really give it more than three stars. On the plus side, it really goes into the origins of Freddy and his mother. On the minus side it still uses the whole, “lunatics in the asylum” trope and not very well either. Also, some of the effects probably looked great when it came out but now just seem like overkill. It sort of becomes too grotesque to be truly scary and you find yourself thinking, how long did they spend making it look like that, rather than just being frightened of what is on the screen.

The first film is so scary because while Freddy does kill you in your dreams, it sort of feels like all the dreams begin plausibly in reality and become horrors unexpectedly. This one feels more like when you walk through a Haunted House at a carnival or something. You know there will be things in there that are scary, you know they will be frightening to look at or might make you jump, but you also know it’s fake and just think about the production more than the story.

Even the tone of the background is darker, which oddly, makes it feel less real. While they definitely pull off some impressive makeup, the acting is fine, and they further the story, it just doesn’t quite work. I don’t think it is the worst of the Nightmare series but it’s far from the best one.

In addition, the characters other than Alice, Dan, and Alice’s father all just feel like tacked on friends you have to have in the movie just so someone can die.

The dream child itself is kind of an interesting idea but it just doesn’t quite work. Basically, the reason Freddy can kill while Alice is awake is because Alice is pregnant with Dan’s child. While the baby dreams, Freddy has an entry point into nightmares.

In the first movie, Freddy didn’t exactly need permission to invade anyone’s dreams so I’m really not sure why he has to have Alice as a connection but that’s still consistent from the last movie so I can’t fault it too much.

While a lot of this is sort of peak Freddy it’s just not the scariest Freddy so it’s not the best one. Still, if you want to know what happens in the series and why Freddy is able to come back, and theoretically how to stop him (but we know that’s only temporary) then this movie does deliver all of that.

We’re getting toward the end of the main line of these movies but I will be reviewing most of the reboots and spinoff movies as well so stay tuned for that.

Do you have a favorite Freddy movie? So far, I think the best one remains the first one. Let me know in the comments if you do.

Nightmarishly yours,

Slick Dungeon

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master – Movie Review

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Warrior

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Hello horror lovers, it’s me, Slick Dungeon. It’s still Halloween month so we’re diving into more spooky films. This time I am reviewing the fourth film in the Freddy franchise, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master. There will be some spoilers for the movie below so if you haven’t seen it yet, give it a watch, realize you don’t want to go to sleep, and come back here to read the review.

This film picks up some time after the events of the third film in the series. Three of the teenagers who survived the last film are back. However, the role of Kristin Parker is now played by Tuesday Knight instead of Patricia Arquette.

Things have been relatively normal in the little town where Elm street is. It seems Freddy was defeated, but Kristin still sometimes has bad dreams, and still can pull in the other dream warriors Joey and Kincaid. We’re also introduced to Kristin’s best friend, Alice who will become central to the film.

Kristin is convinced Freddy is not gone. Her dreams get worse and whether she wants to or not, she keeps bringing her friends into her dreams. This allows Freddy access to the teenagers. One by one he visits their dreams. And one by one they start dying in reality.

Joey dies in an interesting call back to the way Glen died in the first movie and Kincaid does not survive his confrontation with Freddy. Kristin does realize their deaths are at least partly her fault since she brought them into her dream. And she knows Freddy is coming for her.

Kristin is also dating Alice’s brother Rick. While Alice and Rick have a hard time believing Kristin, they can’t deny the sudden deaths of their friends. One night, Kristin brings Alice into her dream and this is the link Freddy needs.

He is able to kill Kristin but Kristin transfers her dream powers to Alice before she dies. Alice, who is known to daydream a lot has a pretty deep understanding of dreams and catches on to the fact she is in danger pretty quickly. Rick still has a hard time believing her but he knows there is something going on.

Alice’s friends start dying, both at night and whenever they fall asleep in class. I will say, Freddy is responsible for all of the deaths, but I’ve noticed that in all of these movies, at least one horrible nightmare happens in class while a teacher is delivering a boring lecture. Maybe the poor school curriculum is partially to blame?

The rest of the movie is pretty much Freddy trying to get Alice to bring her friends into her dreams so he can kill them and Alice trying to stop Freddy. We don’t get a ton more background on Freddy other than him saying they shouldn’t have buried him.

While the acting is pretty good in this one, it is hard to get over the fact Kristin is not played by the same person. Knight does a fine job but it just doesn’t feel quite right.

The soundtrack is solidly stuck in the 1980’s and makes no apologies for it. It feels very much like a music video of the time, albeit a little smarter than most of those were.

There is also a heavy dose of body horror, even more so than in the last three films. Robert Englund still delivers as a terrifying, yet humorous presence.

In the end, as always, it seems Freddy has been defeated. There are no more children connected to what happened to Freddy, although the parents are still alive in many cases. I’m not sure why Freddy wouldn’t also go after them but he did always have a preference for killing children so it makes sense in that regard.

This is not a bad follow up and it is worth watching. But so far, none of the sequels can quite top the terror of the first film.

Nightmarishly yours,

Slick Dungeon

A Nightmare on Elm 3: Dream Warriors

A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 3

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Welcome back horror fans, it’s me, Slick Dungeon! I’m back for the third go around with the man with razor fingers, Freddy Krueger. That’s right, I watched A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. There will be some spoilers below so if you haven’t seen the movie yet, give it a watch, try to take a nap, wake up in utter terror, realize it was just a dream, and come on back here to read the review.

This movie feels like it should have been the direct sequel to the first film. This starts some years after the first Nightmare movie. We open with a dream, as we have with all the movies so far. In this nightmare, a girl named Kristin Parker dreams about Freddy and she gets trapped in the bathroom where she ends up with marks on her wrists before waking up. Once she is back in the real world, it looks to any outside observer like she tried to commit suicide.

Turns out there has been a bit of an uptick in teen suicides in this little town with one thing in common for all of them. These kids have all been having sleep trouble. Kristin is sent to a mental health clinic where they can monitor her and help her overcome her nightmares. In the clinic is a group of kids who also have sleep issues and have been plagued by nightmares.

The audience, and the kids in the clinic know who is behind the deaths in town. They’ve all been dreaming about a man with a dirty brown hat who has knives on his fingers.

The clinic in question is trying their best to help the teens suffering from these problems but the adults don’t believe a word of what they are being told. But, things get interesting when a new intern comes in, named Nancy Thompson. The same Nancy Thompson from the first film. At last, someone who knows what is really going on is there to help.

One night at the clinic, Kristin has one of her nightmares but she is able to pull Nancy into her dream. The pair escape Krueger and Nancy realizes this might be the key to defeating Freddy once and for all.

While Nancy is there to help, things do take bad turns as two of the kids there are killed by Freddy but it looks to all outside observers like suicides. Meanwhile, one of the doctors at the clinic tries to find out more about the background of Freddy and keeps seeing a mysterious nun.

The remainder of the movie is basically Nancy and her group of friends taking on Freddy in the dream world while the doctor from the clinic tries to eradicate the world of the last physical remains of Freddy.

If you’ve seen the movie you know how this goes but in case you haven’t I’ll keep any other major spoilers to myself.

This movie has a surprising amount of star power in it. Robert Englund is back as the man from your nightmares and as always is menacing as can be. But, this also has Patricia Arquette and Laurence Fishburn. It was one of their earlier roles so they were not huge stars yet but they certainly went on to larger fame. And of course, Heather Langenkamp is back as Nancy.

While not all of the film holds up, especially some of the older effects work, that doesn’t stop this movie from being utterly frightening. It expands the background of Freddy Krueger and tells us more about his horribly violent origins. But it also just feels more like the first one did, where it seems nearly impossible to defeat a killer who can invade and possibly control your dreams.

The most unfortunate part of the film is the reliance on the “haunted medical facility” trope. It’s a very worn out and used up situation at this point but there is enough here to still terrify. While this may not be the scariest horror movie, or even the scariest sequel, it’s got to be in the top five for sure.

If you loved the first Nightmare movie, whether or not you like the second, this is a great follow up to the first film and you should watch it.

Horrifically yours,

Slick Dungeon

A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge – Movie Review

A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Hello horror fans! It’s me, Slick Dungeon. I’m back to review part two of the movie series about the man from your nightmares, Freddy Krueger. The follow up to the first Nightmare on Elm Street film has the epically awesome title of A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge. I know it’s a mouthful but they get to the point eventually in that title. Do be warned before you read any further, there will be some spoilers for this film. If you haven’t seen it, grab yourself some popcorn, watch the movie, stay up late, and come back here to read the review.

It was probably inevitable the second film in this franchise would not be as terrifying as the first. Robert Englund is back as Freddy, and as always he puts in an incredible performance. While this may not be the best Freddy movie, it certainly has its fans and some people see it as a cult classic, especially due to some of the subtext that might be read into the story.

This film takes place five years after the events of A Nightmare on Elm Street. We open on a school bus where a teenager named Jesse is riding home. There are two teenage girls in front of him and when the bus gets to their stop, it just keeps going. Everyone on the bus starts to panic and yell at the driver. Turns out this is one of the nightmares Freddy pops up in.

When Jesse wakes up we learn he lives in the same house Nancy Thompson lived in when she was menaced by Freddy in the first film. Since they moved in, Jesse has been plagued by nightmares, or more accurately, night terrors. He has a friend at school named Lisa. Lisa is romantically interested in Jesse but Jesse sort of thinks he is losing his mind because of all these nightmares.

Jesse also starts having some trouble at school. He gets in a fight with a fellow student named Grady, and they both have to suffer the harsh punishment of their coach. The coach is at least rumored to be into men and is known to frequent one of the seedier clubs in town.

In Jesse’s nightmares there is an interesting twist. Freddy is not going after Jesse. Instead, he’s trying to get Jesse to kill people for him. Jesse tells Lisa about the dreams and one day while they are in Jesse’s room they find Nancy’s diary. At first it reads like a typical diary with comments about her attraction to Glen who died in the first film. But as the diary goes on it gets darker and starts to mention a description of Freddy which Jesse instantly recognizes.

Lisa does some research and discovers Freddy killed at least twenty kids in the boiler room of what is now an abandoned factory. In other words, the guy in Jesse’s dreams is no joke, and Jesse might want to be concerned.

One night after a bit of a fight with his family, Jesse starts to wander around town. He happens to end up in the same bar his coach is in. The coach makes Jesse go back to school and run laps as punishment. Not sure that would fly now but for this movie it seems like a plausible thing that could happen. The coach tells Jesse to hit the showers and soon Jesse is hearing Freddy’s voice. One thing leads to another and the coach ends up sliced to death. Jesse looks down at his hand and sees Freddy’s iconic glove on it. It seems Freddy is able to take over Jesse’s body and cause some mayhem.

The rest of the film is really about Jesse trying to stop himself from becoming Freddy. As you would expect there are more deaths and the more Jesse tries to explain the situation the more insane he seems. Things come to a crescendo when Jesse goes to a party hosted by Lisa. He and Lisa start kissing but Jesse hears Freddy in his mind again. In order to protect Lisa, Jesse goes over to Grady’s house and warns Grady not to fall asleep. Yeah, so Grady ends up dead because, well, he goes to sleep.

Freddy does get to cause some epic mayhem at the pool party Lisa is hosting and that is probably the best scene in the whole film. Of course, in the end Freddy is defeated, for now.

Not all of the effects in this one hold up today. Some of them are still great, and as always, Freddy’s face is just out and out scary. But the effects that don’t work today bring the film down overall now.

Now, as I said there are some people who see this as a cult classic, mostly because you could derive from the subtext that Jesse is a closeted gay man and Freddy trying to take over is a metaphor for Jesse’s struggle. Also, Jesse is essentially playing the part of a “final girl” in the same way Nancy did in the first film which people argue is further proof of Jesse’s sexuality. Whether you want to interpret the film that way or not is entirely up to you but I am judging this movie more on the basis of if it holds up in the fear factor than anything else.

I do think there are some great scares in here and there is a bit of interesting body horror at times. However, I don’t think this movie would just automatically scare anyone who watches it for the first time, unlike the first film which is still absolutely scary.

The acting is decent and the story holds up enough. It gives us some more background about Freddy and kind of builds his legend up a bit. I will say, the hair and costumes in this one are a bit more distracting because they are so definitely 1980’s looks but I can’t really hold that against the movie.

If you are a Freddy fan you definitely should watch this one, just don’t expect it to be the most frightening of experiences.

Dreamily yours,

Slick Dungeon

A Nightmare on Elm Street – Movie Recview

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Hello horror fans, it’s me, Slick Dungeon! It’s been a long year but we’ve finally made it to the month made for everything terrifying. I thought I would ring in the new October with a review of a little film called A Nightmare on Elm Street. The film was directed by Wes Craven, starred Robert Englund as the stalker on screen, Heather Langenkamp as the girl with the plan to escape and introduced us to Johnny Depp for the first time. Do be warned before you read this review there will be spoilers. So if you have not seen the film, take a watch, try to get some shuteye and come on back here to read the review.

It’s no secret Freddy Krueger is an absolute icon of horror. His disfigured face, dirty hat and sweater and glove with knives can be seen as a costume every halloween. He’s instantly recognizable. But to be fair to the image, all of that would not have worked if his first film had not been so completely, utterly, terrifying.

This film worked so well, if you were of a certain age when it first came out, and years later someone in a group starts to softly sing, “One, two, Freddy’s comin’ for you…” at least one person in the group is going to tell that person to stop it because it still creeps them out.

The plot revolves around a group of four teenagers who all live in a fairly well off community and all have a terrifying nightmare on the same night. That’s not that strange except for the fact the nightmares all had the same guy in it. A man in a dirty red and green sweater who has, “knives for fingers.”

The movie starts in an almost surreal way where the neighborhood looks too perfect to be reality. Tina, one of the group of four friends has an awful dream and she sees a glimpse of Freddy. When she wakes, her shirt is slashed right where Freddy tried to strike her.

The next day, Tina asks her friend Nancy, her boyfriend Rod, and Nancy’s boyfriend, Glen to all stay over at her house. Tina’s mother is not at home and Tina is afraid to sleep alone. Turns out Tina was right.

Tina falls asleep with Rod right next to her and once again encounters Freddy but this time she doesn’t survive the encounter. Rod is actually in the room with Tina when it happens and he sees cuts tear into Tina as he watches. Rod doesn’t do anything because he thinks he’s just having another nightmare himself. And since it looks like Tina is being attacked by no one physical, it makes sense that Rod thinks that. With Tina dead and no one other than Rod in the room at the time, it looks to almost everyone like Rod killed his girlfriend.

Nancy knows better. She knows it’s the man from her dreams who has been terrifying her.

I don’t want to give everything away in this review but from this point in the movie on, it’s pretty much Nancy vs. Freddy. No matter how hard Nancy tries to convince everyone of what is really happening, it’s awfully difficult for anyone to believe a dream is causing murders to happen.

Nancy goes from looking like a fairly put together person to someone who is frazzled, sleep deprived, and fighting for her life, all of which are true.

A Nightmare on Elm Street is so good at tricking the audience, even we can’t always tell where a dream begins and reality ends.

This is an older movie so not every effect holds up but most of them do. There’s a scene with a face in a ceiling that is still scary as can be, the ways the characters die are unimaginable, and if you are old enough to have experienced speaking on a phone with a cord, seeing a phone with its cord cut ring is really frightening.

The movie is not perfect but it’s a total landmark in horror. I’ve always been just a little bit more of a Friday the 13th fan than a Freddy fan but total respect for anyone who thinks of this film as their favorite horror film.

The most brilliant thing about the movie is the impossibility of fighting Freddy. After all, at some point you are going to fall asleep. And how can you fight someone who literally invades your dreams? There’s also a bit of backstory as to why Freddy is doing all this and while it doesn’t give all the answers, it’s enough to makes sense as to why these kids in particular are targets.

This movie also takes a lot the usual tropes and assumptions audiences have and makes sense out of them. In nearly every slasher film ever made, you have to wonder why the police are not more involved early on. In Friday the 13th it’s because it’s in a remote location. In Halloween they do try to get involved but they quickly die at the killer’s hands. In A Nightmare on Elm Street there are multiple issues happening. First, they think the real killer is Rod and they have him so it seems like their work is done. Second, everything Nancy says, sounds impossible, even when she confronts the sheriff, who happens to be her own father, with evidence of the impossible. The only one who even sort of believes her is Glen but he has to fall asleep at some point too. And on top of all of that, the adults in the town are covering something up so it’s not in their interest to believe Nancy. For a movie based on the impossible, a ton of what happens in the real world is completely plausible and that really makes it work.

Almost all slasher movies end with a jump scare at the end to leave you just a bit worried that the whole story is not quite finished. That can be fun. But with Freddy, you see that jump scare and you realize, no matter how hard you try not to, you’re going to have a dream with Freddy in it. It’s genuinely brilliant horror. And Freddy’s comin’ for you…

Horrifically yours,

Slick Dungeon

31 Days of Horror – Day 12

What’s that noise? A bump in the night, a scream in the dark and a dirty red and green sweatshirt. The sounds of knives scraping against metal. One, two Freddy’s coming for you…

Today you get Nightmarish horror!

Sweet dreams!

What horror waits for you tomorrow? I’m not sure but it smells kind of… fishy in here.

Horrifically yours,

Slick Dungeon