Just when you
thought it was safe to go to sleep, Freddy Krueger is back to haunt your
dreams and freeze your blood.
Lisa Zane is
a child psycologist tormented by reoccuring nightmares. But not until she
meets a new patient with the same horrific dreams does her quest for answers
lead to a certian house on Elm Street - where an evil that defies the grave
is about to be unleshed upon the world.
I brought many mixed feelings to the television with me when I originally
saw this film back in late 1996. On the one hand, I was thrilled to get
another chance to watch my man Freddy doing what he does best; on the other
hand, I was emotionally traumatized by the thought of this literally being
the end of Freddy Krueger. Still, I enjoyed the film immensely, and now
knowing that Freddy wasn't finished after all - I can go back and really
have fun with this film. A lot of fans find fault with Freddy's Dead,
but I am not one of them. It does go a little overboard a time or two,
but this film exhibited from start to finish - a different character, atmosphere,
and feel from all five of its predecessors, breathing vivid new life and
infusing great energy into all things Elm Street. It's really a quite different
Freddy that we find in this installment. Jumping ten years into the future,
we find Freddy pretty much fat and happy; he has been very busy in this
lost decade, pretty much wiping out the young people of Springwood and
infesting what is left of the town with his insidious spirit. This Freddy
is strong and powerful, going out of his way to really enjoy his soul-reaping
escapades. A Nightmare on Elm Street 5 made the mistake of going
to extremes somewhat half-heartedly; Freddy's Dead also goes to
extremes, but it does so with gusto and without the pretences that weakened Elm
Street 5. Freddy truly enjoys himself in this installment, making this
perhaps the most entertaining of all the Elm Street films.
The most significant
aspect of Freddy's Dead is the remarkable insight we get into Freddy's
past. The movie drops something of a bombshell on the audience, showing
us a part of Freddy's history we never knew before. This plot point doesn't
work perfectly (suffering slightly from "what came first the chicken or
the egg" syndrome), but it does work. We also gain insight into Freddy's
childhood (Alice Cooper plays his step-father), which was not a particularly
happy one. While many a victim of such childhood abuse would now go on
Oprah and sob for the cameras, Freddy chose a different path. He didn't
want apologies or understanding, he wanted revenge and blood. Personally,
I think he made the right choice.
Don't look for
any players from past movies, as there is no direct continuity between Elm
Street 5 and Freddy's Dead. Here we get to start all over again,
in a world where only one Springwood teenager still lives. He tries to
run, but he can't hide, and Freddy soon pulls him back where he belongs.
Freddy wants a ticket out of town so that he can continue killing on a
much larger scale ("Every town has an Elm Street"), and there is only one
way out for him. This makes for a strong and attractive storyline, one
which is even further enhanced by the film's explanation of the source
of Freddy's nightmare powers. Of course, a few kids have to die, and they
do so in the most ingenious of ways. Freddy's first appearance in this
film is a must-see, and the kills he cooks up are elaborate, comical, and
pretty darn satisfying. Fred's almost playful at times, truly delighting
in his murderous handiwork. The video game kill sequence takes a good idea
a little too far, but I thought the other kills were all very impressive,
much different from what has come before, but very satisfying.
find this a much better film than Elm Streets 4 and 5. It's sort
of a huge going away party for one of horror's greatest icons. Even Roseanne
and Tom Arnold show up to be part of the fun (but, sadly, neither fall
victim to our anti-hero). The big 3-D sequence that closes out the film
is also great fun and wonderfully different from the "same old same old"
endings of past years. I'm not completely satisfied with the method of
Freddy's supposed destruction, but Freddy's Dead is basically a
celebration of Freddy's unique contribution to the horror genre. I'm still
not sure why the studio set out to end Freddy's reign of terror for good,
though. A lot of experts seem to think that fans love to hate Freddy, so
a desire to see him given a decent send-off might fit well into such modes
of thought. There are plenty of us, though, who not only love Freddy but
actively root him on. For us, Freddy's death was a hard pill to swallow;
thankfully, Wes Craven returned home in the nick of time to save Freddy
from a premature "death," giving him the chance to soar to even greater
heights in Wes Craven's New Nightmare and Freddy vs. Jason.
- Johnny Depp makes a cameo in a TV commercial. Depp played a character in A Nightmare On Elm Street who was killed when he fell asleep watching TV.
- In the last portion of the movie, from the point at which the lead female puts on the special glasses, to the time at which she takes them off, was originally filmed entirely in 3-D. The effect was removed for video release. In the UK video release the 3D effect was included in its entirety, and included 3 pairs of special 3D glasses with "freddy's dead" in red writing on the side in the nightmare on elm street writing font
- On 12 September 1991 a day before the U.S. release of the movie, Los Angeles declared it Freddy Krueger Day.
- Peter Jackson was originally hired to write the screenplay for this film. He wrote a draft, but it wasn't used.
- Breckin Meyer's first theatrical role.
- Alice Cooper makes a cameo as Freddy's abusive pimp father.
- When shown theatrically audience members were given one pair of red cardboard 3-D glasses with movie taglines printed on it. The inside arms had adhesives for attaching to standard glasses. There was also an advertisement for "House Party 2" printed on the outside of one arm.
- When released to home video the 3-D sequence was shown in standard format. However the Laserdisc version had the full 3-D sequence along with the regular version. 2 pairs of 3-D glasses were included with the disc. The glasses were similar to the ones given out at the theatres, minus the adverts, adhesives and taglines. They were also printed on a thinner cardstock. This was the only way to view the 3-D sequence prior to the DVD release.
- Producer Bob Shaye makes a cameo selling bus tickets in a booth.
- A 16-year-old Jacob Johnson, the son that was born to Alice Johnson in the previous installment, A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, was a major character in the original script. In this first draft of the film, Alice, now in her thirties, was killed by Freddy. Taryn, Joey, and Kincaid from A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors also returned as the "Dream Police." In the script, Taryn was the "Blade Cop," Joey was the "Sound Cop," and Kincaid was the "Power Cop." Director Rachel Talalay has stated that she greatly disliked original script and that the rewritten version "saved the day."
- Rachel Talalay is the only female to direct a film in the Nightmare on Elm Street series.