Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare

So yeah, I know I promised that I’d have the Nightmare on Elm Street 3 review written up sometime over the weekend, but that got unexpectedly delayed by an offer to spend the weekend with my friends Jasmine and Paul, neither of whom I’d seen in months. I also didn’t get to do this one yesterday as I’d planned because I got a bit lazy. In my defense, this isn’t exactly a movie that inspires effort.

Set ten years from now, all of the children of Springwood, Ohio (this is a somewhat abrupt departure from Springwood, California, where the series had taken place up to now) are dead and the adults are undergoing a mass psychosis. Unfortunately, we have to wait to see that, as we then focus on a surprisingly alive last surviving teen who is chased out of town by Freddy and winds up several towns away at a center for troubled teens. The head of the center hears his story and decides that the only proper response is to take everyone on a road trip to Springwood to help him work through all of his mental problems, with somewhat predictable results.

The main problem with this film is in how it’s played entirely for laughs, rather than in maintaining even the barest bones of suspense. It’s to the point where we get wacky cartoony sound effects whenever Freddy tries to kill someone (speaking of, just like in Dream Child, there are only three kills in this film – that’s forgivable when the film is good, it’s not forgivable here). Hell, at one point he outright sucks someone into a video game and then kills him with the Power Glove. Granted, points there for style, but the more serious, nasty Freddy of the first couple films is much preferable.

There’s also the problem with the climax. This film was made partially in 3-D, which meant if you saw it when it was first released in theaters like I did, then during the last twenty minutes a bunch of stuff lunged at you. This stops being entertaining and starts being obnoxious when they remove the 3-D from the DVD and leave you with a bunch of stuff lunging at you while still maintaining the same visual plain as everything else. Despite this supposedly being the “final” nightmare, I’m glad they brought Craven back in to do one final film to give it a proper send-off, because this would have just been an embarrassing way to end it all.

Oh, and the end credits give us a montage of clips from every film in the series, just to remind us of how much better the earlier films were. Very nice.

Rating: * ½

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