Following In Their Footsteps (Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, 2006)

BHtM_PosterFreddy. Jason. Michael. Pinhead. Leslie.  You’ve heard of Leslie right? No?  Well, of course you haven’t…yet.

The conceit of Behind the Mask is that all the slasher villains are real land live in one big old extended universe. A news team with the hopes of making a name for themselves have connected with Leslie Vernon, an aspiring slasher villain.

Leslie’s back story is that he committed some evil acts as a child, a mob threw him off of a bridge and now a couple decades later, he has returned to seek vengeance. His plan revolved around teens going to have a party at his old family farmhouse.

The movie plays with the tropes of the slasher, such as when Leslie explains to the reporter and her crew that his training is important…because while everyone is running as fast as they can…he has to keep up while making it appear that he is walking. Then there is the obsessed psychiatrist who is in dogged pursuit of Leslie, Doc Halloran. In a brilliant bit of stunt casting, the Doc is played by Robert Englund.

Part of what works so well is how you have these human moments between Leslie and the news crew. For instance, they have dinner with a retired slasher Eugene (played by the late Scott Wilson) and his wife. It is this regular setting as Eugene cooks dinner, but is reminiscing about killing and then getting philosophical about how guys like Freddy and Jason totally changed the game.

The filmmakers have a lot of fun with their premise, and it is clearly made by people who have a love for horror. This is one of those films that seemed like it might make a splash…but it seems like I don’t hear people talk about it much anymore.  Which is to bad, it is a lot of fun and makes the most of its high concept.

Killer Halloween Party (The Funhouse Massacre, 2015)

Funhouse_Massacre_PosterOn Halloween Night some of the most vile serial killers the world has ever seen are freed from a top secret prison facility.  They hide out in a funhouse and start to kill off the patrons.   A group of friends attends the event, discovering they are trapped with the homicidal maniacs and try to get out alive.

At times, the film is pretty fun.  This is one of those horror comedies where the characters are slightly wittier than one would likely be in such a situation, and seem to be very aware when they say something that means they are about to die.

But on the other hand, the film spends a lot of time on build up and yet delivering very little.  We are introduced to a set of serial killers based in pretty standard horror movie iconography.  There is the cannibal, the evil dentist, the diabolical cult leader, the killer clown…and yet, the film never really gives the characters much life.  Outside of Jere Burns’ evil cult leader, the characters show little spark, because we only see them in brief introductions.  There is not a lot to work with, and this is unfortunate, because this film has solid character actors like Clint Howard and Robert Englund (who only has a small role).

Much of the mayhem takes place off camera, with our lead characters stumbling on the killers in progress.  And the set up takes long enough that once the leads start running into the killers, they get dispatched rather quickly…and not very imaginatively.  Horror Comedy tends to work best when it becomes cartoonish, but the film stays pretty low key in that regard.

While some of the early attempts at humor fall flat, the comedy does get stronger once in the Funhouse.  The gore effects are pretty strong through the film.  But the pacing of the film really hinders it from being a classic of horror comedy.  And the lack of defined characters means the viewer cannot really connect and engage with the story.

Dancing Thing (Masters of Horror: Dance of the Dead, 2005 & the Damned Thing, 2006)

The Masters of Horror series aired on Showtime.  The Masters of Horror is a gathering of Horror Directors, it is a loose conglomerate of folks in the Horror community started by Mick Garris.  The idea behind the show is various popular horror directors contributing a short horror film (an hour long or so).  Admittedly, some directors were not primarily doing horror at this point (such as Joe Dante, who had not done a horror film in quite some time) or was not primarily known for horror (Session 9’s Brad Anderson).  And noticeably missing was George Romero.  But they did get John Carpenter for a good one and one really ham fisted political one.

Dance of the Dead

Masters_Dance_DeadThe fourth outing for Hooper and Englund, Dance of the Dead is a post apocalyptic story.  After a generally society  ending war, kids run around being hoodlums.  A young woman, Peggy, works for her mom in a diner.  Her sister appears to have a mysterious condition that makes her a pariah of sorts. She meets one of the “good” hoodlums.  We know he is good because he respects her mother’s wishes and talks back to his friends.

Her mother believes that nobody is any good except her daughter, trust nobody else is her message.

The dead also walk in this wasteland.  There are clean-up crews that gather them up and burn the animated bodies.  But this is not the only use.  Robert Englund  is the Ringmaster of a club where they make the dead dance for entertainment.    the club is the kind of post apocalyptic bondage club we have seen throughout sci-fi history.  And there is nothing to set it apart.  Englund has some fun with his role, but this film is not about him.

Dance of the Dead feels largely pointless, and takes forever to get going.  In an hour long story, long slow scenes a re a death knell.  If it is a satire or exploration of mankind’s darker tastes in entertainment…it sure misses that mark.  Is it about teen rebellion? Rebelling against repression? Maybe.  But the film feels largely empty and without meaning.  And not in the darker meaningful sense where it is upsettings or subverting our expectations.  It is simply cotton candy…and bland cotton candy at that.

The ending is very dark, and would have been really powerful had the set up been better.

The Damned Thing

Masters_damned_thingThe Damned Thing was written by classic sci-fi and horror writer Richard Matheson and based on a short story by Ambrose Bierce.  Sheriff Kevin Reddle has a dark history.  As a young boy, his father killed his mother and tried to kill him.  Decades later he is married to Dina and they have a son.  He secretly suspects there is an evil force that caused his dad to try and kill the family.

At first there is little proof, and he questions his own sanity.  But as the town starts to experience aggressive outburst, Kevin becomes certain that there is a force, one that feeds on people’s fear and anger, turning them into violent killers.

Sean Patrick Flannery gives a good performance here, especially as Kevin sinks into the overwhelming power of the “Damned Thing”.  Hooper shows the sparks of his stronger works here.  He makes good use of the environment and his setup is very effective in making this one of those southern feeling horror tales with talks of generational curses and the like.

This is probably the strongest of all of Hooper’s later works.

It’s Alive! (The Mangler, 1995)

The_Mangler_PosterThis is…a weird film.  Englund is back for another round with Hooper and he is clearly having a blast this time around.After a tragic accident with an old and giant folding machine at the local laundry, Detective John Hunton finds himself drawn into a dark and supernatural world.

Based on a ten page Stephen King short story, the Mangler is a folding machine possessed by a demon that is served by the elderly Bill Gartley.  Hunton, with help from a spiritualist friend and elderly photographer/mortician he uncovers a dark history of human sacrifice and works to save Gartley’s young niece Sherry.

Among the odd choices in the film are having the mortician be played by a young man in old man make-up.  Jeremy Crutchley turns in a good performance, but the make-up is so obvious it is distracting when he is on screen.  There is an exorcism of an old fridge.  Most of the characters are largely unpleasant or annoying.  Of course, it gets downright hilarious when the giant machine starts running after the leads in the factory like a wild animal.  As mentioned, the short story is pretty short, so they add a lot of stuff…but funny enough?  The machine chasing people?  Not one of them.  In the story, it runs around town killing people. Oh, Stevie.

Truthfully, this is really only good for a bunch of friends to watch and laugh together.  It is also worth noting that although Hooper is the credited director, he was actually replaced after having filmed the majority of the film.

Making Friends (Night Terrors, 1993)

Night_Terrors_PosterThe film opens with the Marquis de Sade in prison.  We witness him being tortured and then once in his cell, he starts to mentally torment the man in the cell next to him until the man rips his own eyeballs from his head. The film jumps to the present day where Genie is visiting her father in Cairo.  After an attempted rape by some locals, she is saved by Sabina.

Genie’s father recommends that she avoid Sabina…that Sabine is not a…good influence.  Dad is kind of right as Sabina pulls Genie into a cult led by Paul, a descendant of the Marquis de Sade. There is murder, betrayal, and sex!  Of the dullest kind! Anything resembling sensuality is comically inept.  The threat of the cult is never there, in spite of them killing Genie’s friends and family.

There is a very fumbled attempt to present this all as a Christianity vs Depraved Cult…but Genie’s religious father makes your average Stephen King religious nut look nuanced.  She has visions of her father walking into the room with a Bible and a big cross and yelling about the cult being unclean.  He is an archeologist who proclaims “Thanks be to God” at weird times.  “Look at this wall carving…thanks be to God!”

Most of the performances are weak and stiff.  Even Robert Englund seems to just sleepwalk through this one, giving one of his least interesting performances.

Night Terrors is not only lacking in scares, it is terribly boring.

Crocodiles Make Fine Pets (Eaten Alive, 1976)

Eaten_Alive_PosterTobe Hooper followed up his classic horror the Texas Chainsaw Massacre by traversing similar ground but in a different way. Set in rural Texas, Judd runs the local Starlight Hotel.  It is a remote location, with its own swamp.  And in that swamp? Judd keeps a giant crocodile.  And guess what he feeds it?

Judd is your standard movie religious psychotic redneck.  He kills prostitutes, he kills johns, he kills people who might expose him for killing prostitutes and so on.

Everything about this film feels like a sub-par take on the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  Both were made with obvious low budgets, yet here it just makes the film look cheap.  In place of any tension, the film feels sleazy and generally unpleasant.

Probably the most interesting thing about the film is the cast.  It features a young Robert Englund, and several familiar faces, such as Mel Ferrer and Neville Brand.  And yes, the woman running the brothel is Morticia Addams, Carolyn Jones.

This was ultimately a disappointing follow-up to a classic.

 

Camping On Elm Street (Freddy Vs Jason, 2003)

Freddy-vs.-Jason-2003-movie-posterFor about a decade Newline tried to come up with a movie bringing Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees together in a single film.  There were a lot of false starts.  It had been awhile since we saw film franchises cross (Aliens v Predator was still a year away).  You had to expect that in the end, this would probably be terrible.  When they announced Ronny Yu would be directing, that offered some hope, as his Bride of Chucky was actually quite entertaining.  The news that while Englund was back, Kane was not left more than a few fans disappointed.  Watching the completed film?  I actually had fun. Sure this ain’t high art. But it was funny, energetic and kind of interesting. The effects were pretty solid overall, though some moments were clearly computer generated. And the Jason Mewes clone(I kid you not…I expected him to yell “Snootchie Bootchies!”) was a bit ridiculous.

I think Kane Hodder brings a bit more personality to Jason than Ken Kirzinger did.  Part of that is that Kane is a six foot, broad wall of muscle.  His Jason is large and powerful looking.  Kirzinger is a bit taller and less broad…his Jason look much taller and sleeker.  The same can be said for Derek Mears from the 2010 remake of Friday the 13th.  These guys were not bad…but they were not Hodder.

There was a generous amount of nudity, for those who feel that is important to a slasher flick(I do not fall into that camp I am afraid). This is clearly more of a carryover from the Friday the 13th series…there’s nudity in the Elm Streets of course…but not to the degree that there is in a Jason flick.

For Jason, this is a redemption of sorts from the painful Jason X. Thankfully, that took place far in the future and this movie could happily ignore it.  The writers found a pretty interesting way to bring the characters together.  Freddy had lost access to his power, the kids of Elm Street are drugged and no longer dreaming.  So to cause them to fear again, he resurrects Jason and sends him on a murder spree.  but when Freddy is finally strong enough, he finds Jason out of control-killing Freddy’s intended victims.

So Freddy embarks on a mission to take down Jason so he can get back to his own killing spree.  Meanwhile, Lori (Monica Keena) and her friends are trying to figure out how to stop Freddy and Jason with the help of a local cop (Lochlyn Munro) who transferred in from the Camp Crystal Lake area.

Englund slipped right back into the role of Freddy. Cracking wise and being generally vicious. But he pulls it off…Freddy seems a little darker than in the sequels that followed the original. Not a comedian who kills…and some of the facial reactions he pulls off under that makeup is great.  There is a great moment where he suddenly realizes he has been pulled into the real world, and Englund’s expression is that of genuine fear.

As I said towards the beginning, this is a fun movie with a lot of energy, mostly for fans of the franchises, but horror fans in general should be able to find stuff to like.

Every Town Has an Elm Street part 7 (Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, 1994)

wes-cravens-new-nightmare-movie-poster-1994-1020399753So…Freddy’s Dead ended the franchise on a disappointing and sour note.  Three years later, Freddy was back.

Sort of.  As far as Wes Craven’s New Nightmare is concerned?  It is outside the continuity of the six films that came before it.  Wes Craven crafted a clever horror film with thrills and also a philosophically challenging work of Meta fiction.  What does horror do to the people who create it?  How does it impact the people who watch it?  What separates the real from the fantasy?  Wes Craven returned to make a horror film to make you think.

I must admit that I just cannot take the snarky tone I did for the other sequels.  I really want to avoid spoilers as well, because of the entire series, this is the most clever and really worth giving a watch.

When New Line brought Wes back as writer and director, they did not stand in his way, and with clear reason.  What Craven delivered was intelligent, scary, chilling and exciting.  The film opens to reveal there is a new Nightmare film being made.  Heather Langenkamp (as herself) is not initially aware of it, because her special effects man husband has kept it hush-hush.  Heather is invited on a talk show where she meets up with Bob Shaye (former head of New Line, again playing himself) who tries to sell her on coming back to the role of Nancy.  She declines, but starts to find her world seemingly encroached upon by Freddy.  And it seems to be impacting her young son.

Craven explains that the original series tapped into an ancient evil.  It’s an evil that is kept at bay by being the inspiration in stories.  Apparently, it became very attached to Freddy, and the only way to cage the beast is for Craven to tell a new story.  He explains it much better in the film.  Heather finds herself going head to head with the Freddy monster (who is more beefed up and ominous than in pervious films-his claw is a boney extension-resembling the movie posters of earlier Elm Street films- and he wears a flowing trench coat) in several confrontations that culminate with a final battle in Freddy’s lair (which is a fantastic looking set).

Part of what works so well is that most of the cast is playing themselves (Langenkamp’s husband and son are fictional and portrayed by David Newsom and Miko Hughes-you might recognize him as the creepy little kid in Pet Cemetary).  Some are even duel roles (Robert Englund plays himself and Krueger, John Saxon plays himself and Don Thompson from the first and third films).  The effects are really nicely done, as is the set design.  Well worth renting.  Heck, Roger Ebert gave it three out of four stars.

Every Town Has an Elm Street Part 6 (Freddy’s Dead: the Final Nightmare, 1991)

nightmare_on_elm_street_6_posterYou know…the movie poster claims they saved the best for last.  I am not sure in what weird coked up world this would qualify as the best.  You see apparently, the sixth and final movie in the seven movie (eight if you count Freddy Vs Jason) series originally carried on from the fifth film.  It would focus on Alice’s son Jacob (now sixteen) and would have seen the return of Kincaid, Joey and Taryn (from the Dream Warriors) as Dream Police. According to director Rachel Talalay, this was not a good script and the new script that gave us the final product “saved the day.”  Seriously, that original script had to be incredibly bad for this movie to have “saved the day.”

Oh, I’m sorry; I may have tainted your view of the film a bit unfairly.  The film we got begins with the Last Kid in Springwood, called (rather creatively) John Doe (Shon Greenblatt) trying to outwit Freddy Krueger in a series of nightmares.  In the end, Freddy hits him with a bus, which does not kill the kid, it just shoots him out of Springwood.  This leaves him an amnesiac that ends up in a youth shelter run by Dr. Maggie Burroughs (Lisa Zane) and Doc (Yaphet Kotto).

Maggie discovers some clippings referring to Springwood, and thinks it might help John if they visit.  On their way, they discover three stowaways trying to ditch the youth shelter.  Spencer (Breckin Meyer) who would rather sit around smoking weed and playing video games than live up to his dad’s yuppie lifestyle, Tracy (Lezlie Deane) who was molested by her father and Carlos (Rickie Dean Logan) whose parents beat him severely enough that he was left deaf.  Yeah, which one of the three is not like the others?

Once they get to Springwood, they run into its scary citizenry…such as Tom & Roseanne Arnold.  There are no children, just adults in a Freddy obsessed psychosis.  Little known fact, in 1492, Freddy Krueger discovered America.  Anyways, unable to leave Springwood, the kids enter an abandoned house.  Guess whose?

Once in the house (yes, Freddy and Nancy Thompson’s old home), the kids start falling asleep.  The dreams are so over the top in this one, they kind of make the previous films look like they lacked imagination.  You have Spencer killed in an old school video game (almost like a lame version of Donkey Kong) and Carlos killed via blades scraping a chalkboard.  While this is happening, John and Maggie have been doing some research.  Apparently, Freddy had a kid who was taken away from him.  John suddenly realizes he is Freddy’s.  I mean, Freddy has not actually killed him, it must be true.  Freddy would not have any other motive to let John live…right?

Oh, you are so wrong…as John finds out when he tries to save Spencer.  John finds out he was merely a pawn to get Freddy’s real kid back to Springwood…his daughter.  Guess who his daughter is…go on…guess!  Yup!  It’s Doc!  Okay, just kidding.  It’s Maggie (since she is the only woman in the movie long enough to qualify as a central character who is remotely close to being of age to be Freddy’s kid)!  And as she and Tracy drive home, they shatter the barrier and set Freddy free.

Freddy, it turns out, is almost as powerful as God.  When Maggie and Tracy return, no one can remember Spencer, Carlos or John Doe.  Freddy has wiped all memory of them from existence.  Except for one other person; that other person would be Doc.  See, Doc is in touch with his dreams, see, and he can, like, totally control them.  This will come in handy, and makes it much easier to convince him that there is mad man killing persons in their dreams.

Freddy comes to Maggie in a dream and reveals he is her father.  Freddy then thanks her for helping him get out of the boundaries of Springwood.  Yeah, total thanks, Maggie…thanks for loosing the crazed dream killer on the world!

In the meantime, Doc has done some research into mythology.  Apparently that did not work, so he makes up mythology about Dream Demons who keep helping bring Freddy back.  They devise a plan that includes Maggie pulling Freddy from the dream world into the real world (that again?!).  But first she has to find Freddy-which involved entering his mind.  Yeah, it makes as much sense while you are watching it.  This sequence occurred in 3-D, which just never worked when I watched the DVD with the 3-D glasses at home.  I should try it with the hi-def TV.  But I digress, this was a good nine to ten years after the 3-D fad had died out.  I mean, Jaws 3-D, Friday the 13th 3-D and Amityville 3-D were all between 1982 and 1983.  I thought New Line was a bit more forward thinking.

So, we get to see Freddy’s sad pathetic life. Like when the kids teased him as the son of a hundred maniacs.  It’s not like he did anything wrong, well, other than bludgeoning the class pet to death.  And then there is Alice Cooper.  I am a fan, so I will give the abusive step father memory a pass.  Then Maggie has all sorts of happy family memories flood back to her, for instance, that one time?  When her dad Freddy totally killed her mom because she found out Fred was killing little kids?  I mean, look at it from Freddy’s side, folks.  She totally was being nosy and not letting him have his guy time!

Freddy tries to win Maggie over, which can’t be that hard for a murdering sociopath, but she stays strong and pulls Freddy into the real world.  Fred dukes it out with Maggie, Tracy and Doc.  Maggie manages to stab Freddy in the gut with his own claw, which I guess is supposed to be poetic.  Then she jams a lit pipe bomb in Freddy’s chest.  She gives him a kiss and runs away. Freddy’s last words?  “Kids…”  Okay, that is really just a “last word”.

OK, I will grant that this is a nice inversion of the franchise rules.  If Freddy dies in the waking world, he is dead in the dream world.  So, the film has a brief moment of clever success.  And it has one of my favorite lines of the series.  After Freddy gets free from Springwood, he says to Maggie, “Every town has an Elm Street.”  The film might-and I repeat- might make for good “get together with friends and mock without mercy” movie night… but that may also be overly generous.

Every Town Has an Elm Street Part 5 (A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: the Dream Child,1989)

MPW-34013That old soul whore Freddy is back.  This time under the direction of Stephen Hopkins (Director of the theatrical Lost In Space, Predator 2 and the Reaping) and written by Leslie Bohem (Screenwriter on the Alamo and Dantes Peak), Freddy gets back to business.  The Dream Child is the least successful of the franchise, and has its detractors, but it does have some devoted fans.

Alice (Lisa Wilcox, reprising the role) is now much stronger and self confident.  Maybe it is because she kicked Freddy’s ass.  Maybe it’s because she gets to have sex with the hottest guy in school (Dan-again played by Danny Hassel).  Maybe it’s because she does not realize she is in a sequel, and that usually means the people who survived the previous film are killed in the first fifteen minutes (hey!  It happened in the fourth film).  Luckily for Alice, the entire plot hinges on Alice lasting through the film.  Dan, on the other hand…he is expendable.

But I am getting ahead of myself.  The film opens with an artsy sex scene.  You know what I am talking about, close up shots of backs, thighs, hands…all in a deep blue light.  When Alice wakes up, Dan is already gone, and she goes to take a shower.  Showers are, of course, very dangerous places in the horror movie world.  Alice’s shower fills up with water, before the floor gives out and she finds herself in a nun’s uniform, and a nametag that says Amanda Krueger.  She appears to be in a creepy old institution of some sort.  Suddenly she is in a crowded room full of “maniacs”.  She sees a couple guards doing a head count and starts to make her way towards them.  These guys are clearly the best money can buy, since they give up, turn around and lock the nun inside.  The maniacs close in and…Alice wakes up and goes to school.

You would think the Krueger name would worry her, but hey, whatever.  Its graduation day, Alice’s dad is twelve stepping it, her replacement friends have enough credits to graduate with her.  She has totally upgraded her friends…now she hangs out with aspiring Model Greta (Erika Anderson), athletic diver Yvonne (Kelly Joe Minter) and comic geek Mark (Joe Seely) who is in love with Greta.  Alice decides to cut through the park on her way to the diner where she works when she finds herself on a stretcher dressed as a nun being wheeled down the same dingy asylum from earlier.  Then she finds herself in the crowd of doctors, and sees Amanda Krueger on the table giving birth.

As if taking a cue from It’s Alive, little Freddy bursts free of the doctor’s grip and scrambles out of the room.  Alice follows ugly Freddy baby as it scoots through the maze of hallways.  She finds herself following him to the same room from the fourth movie where she fought Freddy (a church rectory).  The baby finds Freddy’s empty clothes, as apparently, in dreamland?  There are no janitors.  Baby Freddy (how did they not cash in on Baby Freddy as a Saturday morning kid show?!) crawls into the musty old Christmas sweater we viewers know so well.  And just like when a little boy puts on mom’s dresses, Freddy becomes a real man.

Alice runs and finds herself four hours late to work.  She calls Dan and tells him Freddy is back and that she entered the dream world while awake.  Dan leaves the party and hops into his truck.  While driving, Dan finds he has a passenger…can you guess who it is?  If you said the first President Bush, you clearly have not been paying attention.  Of course it is Freddy, who for no reason that makes sense proceeds to pour champagne on his shoulder.  Apparently, champagne is horrifically acidic, as Freddy’s arm melts off.  Then he smashes the stump into the back of the trucks cab and creates a makeshift seatbelt…instead of simply using the one in the truck.  Freddy probably failed drivers ed.  The truck crashes and throws Dan out-uh…into the empty pool area of the school that was full of students when he left it a minute ago.  Now, instead of trying to wake of, Dan runs out to his truck to try and drive to Alice.  Because, nothing about the current situation apparently screams “YOU ARE ASLEEP!”  But he no longer has his key, and the truck is locked…

Conveniently, there is a snazzy red motorcycle with the keys in it.  Yeah, that should not have been a warning sign.  As Dan races to Alice, the motorcycle starts to attack him.  It basically attaches itself to Dan, which makes for a pretty gruesome scene, as his flesh is ripped off by wires and engine parts.  Suddenly, a metal Freddy face appears and says, *ahem* (and I quote) “Hey Dan-don’t dream and drive!” and Dan opens his eyes and sees a big truck.  Not to mince words, but his little truck is no match for the semi.  Dan is splattered over the street in front of Alice’s diner.

Alice wakes up in the hospital with Yvonne (who works there) a doctor and her dad.  Turns out, and if you haven’t figured it out from the poster, the less than misleading ads and Freddy asking Alice if she want’s to make babies a couple moments ago?  Alice is pregnant.  No, Freddy is not the father.  That would be Dan.  That night, Alice is visited by a little boy named Jacob (Whitby Hertford-you would also recognize him as the chubby little boy Sam Neil freaks out towards the beginning of Jurassic Park).  Jacob is your standard mystery kid, a little creepy and totally cryptic.  But not cryptic enough for me to figure out that Jacob is the soul of Alice’s unborn baby.  He pleads with Alice to love him, because his friend with the “funny hand” says she does not like him.  Alice is not as quick as me… it is only when Yvonne notes there is no Jacob in the children’s ward-in fact, there is no children’s ward(!!!) in this big hospital in Springwood.  And that is when Alice figures out what Freddy is doing.  She learns that he is feeding her baby the souls of her friends.  Um…yeah.  Gross.

As the friends drop off-all of them disbelieving in Freddy until practically the last second- Alice is determined to save her baby from the man with the knives for fingers (wholly crap-in the wrong hands, instead of just a crappy horror film, this could have been a crappy pro-life screed!!!!  Dodged that bullet) and starts trying to figure out how to stop him.  Along with Yvonne, who Freddy fails to kill (in quite a stunning Hollywood reversal, the non-white kid makes it through the film alive) Alice realizes she must locate the body of Amanda Krueger.  That should be easy, as the third film showed she was buried in a cemetery.  But that is less dramatic…it turns out for no reason that makes any real sense, Amanda Krueger was sealed in a tower all Cask of Amontillado-style*.  Why did someone seal her body in a tower in the asylum you ask?  Did I not just explain that there is no real reason that makes sense?  I mean, I am sure that the film makers thought it would be cool and scary.  So, anyways, Yvonne gets the thankless task of corpse hunting.  Alice gets to use her super powers to fight Freddy and try and save her baby.  In a stylish sequence Alice finds herself in an M.C. Escher drawing(Freddy is totally hip to art).  Freddy has almost fully corrupted little Jacob and is nearly able to turn him against Alice.  Alice finds out Freddy has been hiding inside of her throughout the film.  Ewwww.  She expels Freddy (again with the “ewwww”) and is left weakened, near death.  But Yvonne, scrappy teen she is has just freed Amanda’s soul!  Amanda shows up just as Freddy appears to be victorious and tells Jacob how to fight back against Freddy.  Freddy gets age reversed back to an infant and Amanda picks him up and stuffs him into her tummy.  Freddy keeps trying to get out, but is not successful. Then the movie jumps ahead to Alice with her baby Jacob and everyone is happy.  Until, you know…the next sequel.

I will say, while I am not all that fond of this film, it has one really cool dream sequence…Mark the comic geek is sucked into a comic book all like the Ah-Ha video.  The use of colors is really nicely handled in the sequence.  It’s all in black and white-except Mark who is in total vibrant colors.  If the rest of the movie had this much creative care put into it?  It would have been a great movie.
In fact, here…(no worries, it’s not very gory-though, still probably not work appropriate)

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