Posts Tagged ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’

Media Update 10/13/2016

October 13, 2016

Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master
Sequel to Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors

So last year I watched The Dream Warriors for the first time and that was a great time so I decided to watch the next one since I was still working through the middle of the series. I’ve now seen one, two, three, four and New Nightmare. As I previously stated, the franchise is a lot of fun and I’m glad that I savored it instead of binging all of them a while ago. The second movie is kind of outside continuity and out of the formula but so far, the others each contain a major piece of lore or major event. Each movie adds to the story and introduces a new twist here and there so that they are not just producing the same movie over and over. The series probably also has the most likable victims in it. It is easy to feel empathy for them because the nicer ones (and most of them are the nicer ones) seem like ok people to hang with. This is combined with a strangely funny but horrific and iconic villain. Add that with dream imagery and the idea of lucid dreaming and you have this movie. We start the movie where the last one left off and then it’s pretty much a rollercoaster after that. I felt like this one had slightly more horrific and creative imagery and I really enjoyed the ride. This franchise continues to be pretty amazing in its innovative approach even several decades later. I swear, the writers of these movies are completely insane. I definitely recommend this and all of the Nightmare franchise (though I can’t vouch for 5, 6 or the reboot yet).

Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead
Sequel to Dead Snow

When I saw that this movie was a thing and easily available for me to watch, I just had to jump on the opportunity. The first Dead Snow was a great and unexpected horror movie from Norway that covers a group of medical students on vacation getting attacked by Nazi zombies. The movie was unique, darkly funny, horribly gory but also very scary. This movie reminded me just how bleak and gory the first one was since it starts with a narrated montage detailing the first movie. The opening was clearly an homage to the opening of Army of Darkness and it was successful in getting the right tone right away. This movie is even gorier right off the bat. They stepped up the violence but the movie also feels more self-aware than the last one in its comedy. The production values are also way better as they must have learned to hone their craft a little better. This one is also not completely set in the snow either so we get more vibrant colors in the mix. For me, this movie has a relationship to the first movie similar to Back to the Future and Back to the Future II. I like Back to the Future II better but only because Back to the Future laid in such a good foundation. Creating the Nazi zombies was a great move and we learn a little more about their capabilities in this movie as their role is expanded. However, I would also definitely compare it to the evolution of Evil Dead into Evil Dead 2 where they piled on more comedy without ruining the horror aspect. On a side note, I am definitely thankful that this was shot in Norwegian and English. The English version was very much appreciated especially since it is something they did not need to do. Check this one out if you have a strong stomach.

Maniac Cop 2
Sequel to Maniac Cop

I really enjoyed Maniac Cop when I finally saw it last year so I thought why not try out the sequel? The first movie was one that definitely felt like it was made in the late eighties. It has a similar feel to movies like Evil Dead 2 or Jason Takes Manhattan. There are also elements of the B movies like Soultaker or even non-genre films like Death Wish. This movie follows the continued horror of an undead cop with a grudge against the system that betrayed him. He was innocent but was framed and sent to Sing Sing where he was mutilated and killed. The heroes of the movie are once again stalked by the hulking form of a disfigured Robert Z’Dar who plays Officer Cordell the titular maniac cop. He has very few lines but his actions speak volumes and his unstoppable nature certainly makes him a pretty scary movie villain. When we’ve seen him literally come back from damage that would obliterate a normal human, it’s hard to feel anything but fear for the innocent protagonists. Z’Dar does more stunt work than acting but he is the villain and the characters around him help to describe more of his motivation and the tragedy of his existence. Everybody still doesn’t believe that he exists but that changes pretty quickly as he teams with another killer and wreaks havoc. The acting is pretty melodramatic kind of like an Evil Dead 2. It is a refreshing horror movie because nobody in it is really begging to get killed and a lot of targets are fairly innocent. Still, it’s not quite as good as the first one. The first one had more mystery to it but this one seemed to have a little more spectacle. The sequel was pretty good though and worth watching if you want to see what happens after the first one.

Halloween Short Film of the Week:

Electric Shadow Films – Slender Man

Music of the Week:

GWAR – Madness at the Core of Time

Helloween – Dr. Stein

Warlock – Burning the Witches

Vamps – Inside of Me

Jex Thoth – When The Raven Calls

Weekly Updates:
– This week’s theme is “Sequels to Movies I Reviewed Last Halloween”
– I started watching season 11 of Supernatural
– I started watching season 2 of Flash again
– I continued watching season 2 of Gotham
– I finished season 2 of The Following
– I finished watching season 1 of Penny Dreadful
– FNAF: Sister Location came out this week

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors

October 19, 2015

This past year, we lost a legendary horror writer, producer and director in Wes Craven. Craven created several horror franchises that are still well known today. He created The Hills Have Eyes (a movie I almost reviewed in this spot) about mutated killers that has been slightly ripped off over the years. He created the Scream franchise which isn’t really my cup of tea but it helped to revitalize horror in the nineties. He also created a list of creepy but interesting horror films, most of which are being remade these days. The greatest thing he accomplished, at least in my opinion, is the Nightmare on Elm Street series of films.

Freddy Krueger is an interesting character. Sure, none of the movies have an intricate character study of the guy but he’s always there and he’s always a very clear character. He was a school janitor who preyed on children in life. The parents of Elm Street rose up against him and ended up burning him to death. Of course, there’s more backstory than that but the end result turned him into a dream demon. He seeks to punish the descendants of the people who killed him and then after that it seems he seeks to conquer the world. Robert Englund always performed the roll with a sarcastic, punny wit wrapped around a bitter, angry core. He really likes killing teenagers but it’s also now part of what he is. They keep expanding on the mythology while keeping it fairly loose for the next writer.

I honestly thought I had seen Dream Warriors, afterall I had heard the Dokken song enough times. When Wes Craven died I knew that I had to review one of his films for Halloween and I started to look through his filmography. I thought of doing something recent like Red Eye and I thought of doing something more obscure like Shocker. The longer I looked at the poster for Nightmare on Elm Street 3, the more I was sure that there were gaps in my knowledge of the series. This was great news. I quickly tracked down the movie and decided to watch it for me and for this Halloween review series.

The movie is pretty great. After the first Nightmare, Wes Craven took a hike from the franchise because he didn’t really believe it was strong enough to be a franchise. He was right. The first film was fun and interesting but it was pretty basic. It created the concept we all know and love but they didn’t go far enough with it. Dreams are weird, scary, sad and silly and sometimes they are a huge vat filled with emotions. It feels like this is the movie where they finally decided to make things surreal as hell. A lot of the effects are filmed in reverse or with stop motion blended surprisingly well with live action. Where possible they used ridiculous practical effects that are straight out of somebody’s dream journal.

It feels like Freddy really ramps it up in this one. He seems to take a lot of his kills and tortures from the things his victims loves or yearns for. He tries to turn whatever is in their heart into their biggest fear or often their doom. It actually ends up being way more creepy than the usual route of turning someone’s fears against them. He could fill the movie with spiders, clowns, rats and all sorts of horrors but he creates horrors out of a lot of innocent things. He attacks children while Nancy (Heather Lankenkamp), the heroine from the original film, sits by helplessly for most of the film. The real, creepy concepts of lucid dreaming and sleep paralysis play heavily into why this movie is so creepy but also why it’s so creative and innovative especially at the time.

I definitely recommend this movie and most of the Freddy movies. It’s got all the great familiar elements and they even threw in a young Lawrence Fishburne who does a great job.  I haven’t seen a couple of the sequels and I definitely haven’t seen the recent remake. I’m glad Wes Craven returned to this series when he did and he will definitely be remembered fondly.

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