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Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)

DVD Cover (New Line Studios)
Movie Connections:
A Nightmare On Elm Street
> A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
> A Nightmare On Elm Street Part 2:... (1985)
> A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream... (1987)
> A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The... (1988)
> A Nightmare On Elm Street: The... (1989)
> Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)
> The Monster (1994)
> New Nightmare (1994)
> The Nightmare On Elm Street... (1999)
> Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
> Freddy vs. Ghostbusters (2004)
> A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)
> Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street... (2010)
> A Wet Dream On Elm Street (2011)
> Creepy Peep Show 2 (2016)
> ...Show All Connections?
Director:
Rachel Talalay Rachel Talalay
Starring:
Robert Englund Robert Englund
Lisa Zane Lisa Zane
Shon Greenblatt Shon Greenblatt
Lezlie Deane Lezlie Deane
Ricky Dean Logan Ricky Dean Logan

4.6 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres / Traits: Horror, Slasher Film, 3-D
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Review by Chad
Added: January 18, 2007
Today's teens seem to think that movie series like Saw and Scream are the major players in the world of horror, but many forget how much of an impact ol' Freddy Krueger had back in his heyday. Sure, everyone knows who Jigsaw is, but how many mainstream recording artists have written songs about him? None? Freddy had no less than a dozen written about him, and one of them even did fairly well on the music charts. He made appearances on MTV, kids around the country dressed up as him for Halloween, and let's not forget the vast assortment of Freddy merchandise. The character became a legend in the world of horror almost as soon as his face graced movie screens for the first time, but if I were to show this entry in the series to someone unfamiliar with the legacy, they'd laugh at everything written in this paragraph and claim that I was making it all up. Yes, it was that bad.

The story begins an unidentified man known cleverly enough as John Doe (Shon Greenblatt) who happens to be the last surviving teenager of Springwood. He also has a bad case of amnesia and knows nothing about his past, other than the fact that some freaky shit happens when he falls asleep. He winds up at a youth center run by psychologist Maggie Burroughs (Lisa Zane) and a dream doctor (Yaphet Kotto), and there, John meets the other juvenile delinquents: Tracy (Lezlie Deane), Carlos (Ricky Dean Logan), and Spencer (Breckin Meyer). After talking with Maggie for a bit, he discovers that she's been having some odd dreams as well, and thanks to a newspaper clipping found in his pocket, the gang decides to head over to Springwood to see if something there will trigger John's memory of his past. Freddy (Robert Englund) shows up, the body count begins, and we have yet another uninspired entry in the series with cameo appearances from Roseanne, Tom Arnold, Johnny Depp, Alice Cooper, and the incomparable Peter Spellos along the way.

Almost every long-running movie series has at least one entry that comes with some sort of gimmick aside from the movie itself, and in this case, we get to see Freddy in 3D (for the finale of the movie, anyway). Now, I do believe that the standalone release of this title is 2D-only, but the Nightmare on Elm Street Collection comes with the original 3D version and a couple pairs of glasses so that you can see it the way that it was meant to be seen. I watched it in this mode and the effects were decent enough (not the best 3D movie that I've ever seen, but sufficient), but I can honestly say that this hurt the movie almost as much as the horrible tone of the film and the first-time director behind the camera. You see, the ending of the movie doesn't focus so much on wrapping things up in an interesting way as it does showing off some neat 3D effects. Things are thrown at the camera, there's plenty of slow-motion, and there's way too many shots of people just standing around and waving their arms about in order to show off how awesome this technology is. When a gimmick outweighs the plot, you know you're in trouble.

The other thing that bugged me about this one was the way that it was really nothing more than a comedy with some kills thrown in. I'll concede that some of the previous entries in the series have had comedic elements and Freddy was known for his one-liners before this one was ever dreamed up (pardon the pun), but this one took the idea of a humorous villain and ran with it - ran with it right into a wall like that retarded guy from Scary Movie 4. This is never so evident (or terrible) as it is in the scene where he kills a man by "attacking" him inside a video game, complete with a "power glove" and a high score. I recognize the numerous Nintendo references since I grew up in that era, but this one scene perfectly sums up what Freddy had become at this point: a joke-a-minute guy who is never funny and is downright embarrassing to watch at times.

The one saving grace for this film are the flashbacks to Freddy's past, showing both his childhood and the period of time shortly before he was burned alive. These scenes were great and definitely added to the Freddy mythos, and watching them again has definitely got me anticipating the upcoming Nightmare prequel all the more. There's a good story to be told here, and even though we already know the majority of it, seeing these scenes proves that it'll make for a very interesting movie if done properly. However, these scenes only run for about five minutes, and other than that, this movie has nothing going for it.

For completists only, this movie offers nothing more than a couple of glimpses into Freddy's past and a 3D concept that wears out its welcome before it's even halfway over. The flashback sequences are the only thing saving this from being the worst in the series, so for now, Part 2 will keep that honor. 3/10.
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Crispy #1: Crispy - added 09/10/2004, 10:17 AM
Alice Cooper has a small cameo role as none other than Freddy Krueger's Dad. In the scene where it shows a teenage Freddy Krueger in the basement cutting his stomach with a knife, his dad walks down and starts beating his son with a leather belt. Freddy, being the sick SOB that we all love, starts laughing at the abuse
Chad #2: Chad - added 09/10/2004, 01:56 PM
Ahh, makes sense. I remember the scene, but didn't recognize Cooper there, oddly enough. I'll have to rewatch / re-review this one sometime.
bluemeanie #3: bluemeanie - added 10/21/2005, 08:19 PM
If you approach this film from a comedy standpoint, it is wonderful. I think the whole idea was to turn Freddy into somewhat of a killer clown, and they did so with this film. They are some genuinely funny moments in this film, and though the level of horror is slim to none, it was still interesting to watch Rachel Talalay's approach to the whole series. Not as bad as most would say. 6/10.
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