Wednesday, September 7, 2011

1, 2, Freddy's coming for you.

Depending on who you ask, the slasher genre started in either 1974 with Black Christmas or '78 with Halloween. Either way, it grew old fairly quickly as writer's ran out of holidays to make a movie out of. As proven by the decision to do Friday The 13th. By 1984, it was definitely wearing out it's welcome. Until Wes Craven decided to build on the formula with A Nightmare On Elm Street. It managed to fix things so much, that the genre made a brief return to popularity, and would explain why Michael and Jason also got a bit of the supernatural. Of course, it also created Chucky and Leprechaun. So maybe it made things worse. Anyway, I got considerably bored and went and watched all eight of the damned things. So I guess what, I'm doing a rundown.

OK, the first one was pretty good. Even if you haven't seen it, you know what this one's about, so I'll ignore plot and move right on. It kept the characters to a minimum, and more importantly, they were a bit more fleshed out then your average slasher teen. This one does still have a few problems. Some aspects of the idea aren't as well developed as they could have been, which is a recurring problem with most of the movies. Also, the $1.8 million budget for an effects heavy movie kind of shows, not that that's a huge problem. After all, I like classic Doctor Who. But the biggest thing that gets me is the ending. If you've seen it, you know what I'm talking about. Of all the ways to beat Freddy, that was pretty weak. Unfortunately, it became a bit of a recurring theme throughout, being somewhat repeated in the immediate sequel, and the basis for the 7th(?) and 8th.

A whole year later, we got Freddy's Revenge (I can't be bothered doing the proper title, you're just getting subtitles). This time around, Freddy wants a more corporeal form to roam free once more. To do so, he needs to possess the latest teen to move into Elm Street. This is one of those sequels that seems only vaguely connected to the others, which would explain why it's not particularly well liked. However, if you look at it as a separate film, it's also pretty good. It's also known recently for it's undertones. The writer kind of took his own experiences of coming to terms with his sexuality into the script. In other words, Freddy was an allegory for doubting one's own homosexuality. Overall it's a bit of an improvement on the first one, especially in the effects, so it really got to set the standard for the rest.

When along came, The Dream Warriors. Wes Craven didn't really want this to be a series, so he returned to hopefully end it. At least they didn't put Final in the title. Apparently, it's six years since the first film and Nancy's now a bit of a psychiatrist who's moved to an institution that seems to be having problems with dangerous dreams. So she teaches them that it's freaking dreams, you can do all sorts of stuff, so the last Elm Street kids find a new way to turn the tables on Freddy. Also, they dabble into the origins of Freddy, it's quite dark, even for something like this. If you only ever see one Freddy flick, this would be the best bet. It's actually quite well written, even if it marks the beginning of jokey Freddy, mostly in the form of Arnie type puns. I'm just wondering why it took them three movies to decide people do amazing stuff in their dreams.

Stay tuned for tomorrow when I do the next three in the series. Hell, I'll have time to watch the remake so I can do three on Friday as well. Until then.

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