A Nightmare A Day: Day 6 (Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare)

Director: Rachel Talalay (hey, female director, nice. Well played studioheads. Oh, also directed Tank Girl, and two episodes of Doctor Who, with another two later on in the year).

Budget: $11million

US Box Office: $34.8million

  • Hey, it starts with a quote. I’ve missed these. “Do you know the terror of he who falls asleep? To the very toes he is terrified, because the ground gives way under him, and the dream begins” – Friedrich Nietzsche. And to answer the question, no, I do not know the terror of he who falls asleep. But allow me to ask a question to you, mr dead German nihilist: do you know the muffin man?
  • Oh, another quote. “Welcome to Prime Time, bitch” – Freddy Krueger. I prefer that one.
  • Odd choice for opening soundtrack: The Goo Goo Dolls
  • “Springwood, Ohio, ten years from now”. 1) so in 2025? I hate when films do this, just put the actual year you mean. Unless you’re going for a “in a distant future when technology is changed” then you automatically date the film. 2) This looks like an Atari game, and not a good one.
  • So somehow Freddy has killed a lot of teenagers and adults since the last film, we don’t get told how or shown them, because of course we don’t.
  • Damn kids are creepy.
  • “I really need to change seats” If the plane crashes you’re going to die anyway.
  • “Don’t be a pussy”. Rude.
  • This music reminds me of the Wizard Of Oz.
  • His house is somehow flying and crashing to the ground. If it lands on a witch I’m tapping out.
  • Freddy appears outside the window on a broomstick saying “I’ll get you, my pretty, and you’re little soul too”. 1) #MovieReference 2) Oh so it’s okay when Freddy says it, but when I say that to people I get told to leave Asda?
  • Wait, Brian May did the music for this? THE Brian May? Poodle-haired Queen guitarist Brian May? No way. Oh, turns out, no way, it’s a different musician called Brian May. Well that’s disappointing.
  • This guy falls down a hill. For 40 seconds. Seriously, I timed it. 40 seconds.
  • He’s a bus station and the guy selling tickets is sat behind a bloodstained window, still nicer than Wycombe station.
  • He gets hit by a bus, and is kind of stuck to the front of it. The bus stops and he goes through some kind of portal (I think) and ends up in daylight. I’m guessing he got run over into reality, as often happens.
  • He hit his head, so he now has amnesia. Because that’s totally how that works. Honestly, when will films stop using amnesia as a plot device? What kind of idiotic person would write something so cliche?
  • Hey, it’s Spencer, played by “whatshisface” from Road Trip, and absolutely nothing else.
  • “all he wants me to do is grow up and be him” and maybe stop setting cars on fire?
  • “I don’t feel like playing football and date-raping co-eds.” Well, then don’t go to school in America then.
  • This kid had a pipebomb in his room. Apparently it’s not the first one. Are we supposed to think this is typical teenage rebellion? Because it’s not, it’s terrorism. Oh wait, he’s white, it’s just “youthful hijinks”
  • “you’ll be boxing champion on the world” not with all those kicks. Silly Tracy.
  • So got a deaf guy (Carlos). And in a kind of cool scene he just removes his hearing aid and we just get silence for a few seconds. I like it.
  • Turns out he’s deaf through some kind of physical abuse from father. You know, the kind of thing people say “if we could this kids would be better behaved”. Find it strange when people say “I was hit as a child and I turned out fine” Really, dude? Because you have a strange pre-occupation with punching babies, that’s not normal.
  • Amnesia guy wakes up in a seemingly abandoned house. Good use of shadow in this scene, award yourself +5 Directing points Mrs Talalay.
  • Ok, you lost all those points through woeful CGI of him climbing invisible stairs.
  • “I’ve dealt with amnesiacs before”. Is that the word? It seems clunky.
  • A sign saying “welcome to Springwood” and the exact population of the town. How often do they have to change those things? Or is it a “throw a baby out the town as soon as it’s born” kind of deal? If I had a town I’d put a sign up saying “Full of lots of lovely people, and Dave”
  • Pretty much the entire cast (I haven’t quite figured out who the main character is supposed to be) pull into the worst looking carnival I’ve ever seen. It’s so bad you wouldn’t feel annoyed at being there, just super depressed and lonely. Or as I call it: a typical Thursday.
  • No kids, apparently this is creepy and not some kind of wonderful dream world.
  • Tom Arnold and Roseanne Barr make a cameo just before a Twin Peaks reference. Placing this film exactly in the early 90’s.
  • “I can relax you with these two fingers” oh? “I’ll puncture your heart” oh 😦
  • Carlos tries to unfold a map and all he says is “the map says we’re fucked”. Which it did, literally, someone had scrawled “you’re fucked” on it in blood. They showed this before he made the comment though, which kind of messes up the humour somewhat.
  • A teacher is teaching the history of Freddy in an abandoned classroom. Not a bad scene but it could have been so much better. The character is kind of a joke at this point so going more meta wouldn’t have harmed it.
  • “I will get some sleep then I’ll get us out of here in the morning”. He’s going to die.
  • Almost on cue: Freddy appears in his dream and cleans out his deaf ear. He then cuts it off, leading to another scene of silence. This is the last time they can pull this trick off really.
  • Slight audio now but it’s very muted, like watching the film whilst you’ve got your head in a bucket of water.
  • It may have seemed like I was insulting it earlier, but the use of silence and near-silence is REALLY effective in this. Great showcase of how less can be more. We’re so used to audio cues to tell us how to feel that genuine silence unsettles us as an audience.
  • Freddy throws his ear back to him, he puts it on and all audio is magnified to him, to the point where a dripping tap causes pain.
  • Freddy drops a pin from above but Carlos managed to catch it before it hits the ground. Freddy then threatens to drop a handful of them, Carlos shouts out “you wouldn’t do this would you?”, appealing to a child killers sense of kindness. Which I can’t imagine not working. Pretty genius, this kids going to live forever.
  • Time of death: 36 minutes. Well I’m shocked that plan didn’t work. Instead he’s killed via nails down chalkboard, which is the same way….ah, I can’t be bothered to finish that joke, it’s like the third time I’ve done it in this blog, just finish that sentence with whatever celebrity you feel would die like that (I recommend 1947 Academy Award winner Loretta Young)
  • Hey it’s Johnny Depp cracking eggs on tv in one of my favourite scenes so far. He’s doing one of those “this is your brain on drugs” PSA that were popular in the 90’s. Freddy reacts in the only way someone would, and hits him with a frying pan before saying “what are you on? Looks like a frying pan and some eggs to me”. Classic Krueger.
  • We then get the classical hymn, In The Garden Of Eden by I.Ron Butterfly
  • Time of death: 45 minutes. Spencer gets sucked into a video game and killed there. Mr.Forgetful and Tracy attempt to get into the dreams to stop it. Tracy through meditation, Mr. Forgetful through being hit in the head. Disappointing lack of video game references here. At least to specific games, there is a logical reference to the ill-fated power glove which I’d have been disappointed if they didn’t make. They don’t even seem to be doing much about the loss of control. Okay, there’s a few moments where he’s obviously being controlled by Freddy, but we don’t see them from his point of view so we don’t get to feel his helplessness. I mean, the idea of being controlled by someone else and being led to your death is genuinely terrifying but this film doesn’t really do much. The scene where the tv fills with blood is quite good though.
  • Time of death: 50 Minutes The amnesiac asshole dies. Basically dropped from a great height onto spikes after finding out he’s not Freddy’s son, and is somehow disappointed with that news. The death isn’t on youtube so instead enjoy dancing from the second film that I forgot to put in the blog.
  • So one of the characters from this is Freddy’s daughter. In one of the most asinine explanations ever he’s able to kill people on any street named Elm Street.
  • A really creepy father/daughter sexual assault scene. Ends the way that things like that should end, with her beating him with a kettle.
  • The secret weapon they’re going to use to defeat Freddy: 3D glasses. Seriously, the old green and red ones. 3D Glasses, the enemy of dream demons and fashion.
  • That’s the trouble with 3D films. No matter how impressive they’d look in 3D, you have to account for the fact that a lot of people will be watching them in 2D. That’s why Coraline works so well I think, and everything Pixar does. 3D works best when it makes the film better when you watch it, not by making it worse in 2D. Too many 3D films now just feature people falling down things going “wooaaaaaaah”.
  • Freddy is being taunted by his school peers in flashback of his life. Ordinarily this is where the film is like “see, the true evils of bullying”, but he just killed a classroom pet with a hammer, so the lesson seems to be “don’t bully sociopaths, kill them instead”.
  • We see Freddy again, this time being beaten by his stepdad. Again, horrible, but….he did kill something with a hammer. His stepdad is Alice Cooper by the way.
  • Freddy strangles his wife. Just to reiterate: actual body count: 3. Flashback body count: 2, and a pet.
  • Freddy gets offered the chance to be, well, Freddy, by some kind of weird floating tadpole things which you know were made entirely to look impressive in 3D.
  • Freddy dies again. His daughter stabs him with his own glove (the only glove based death in the film) then shoves a pibebomb in his chest. Thus we get the worst bit of 3D in the film as he explodes but his head flies towards the screen, then his head comes out of his mouth and flies towards the screen again.
  • We get a montage of the much better films that predated this.

Definitely the worst one so far. Some wonderfully directed bits so can’t really fault that, I feel part of it is down to the nonsensical 3D. It’s a shame as there were at least four ways it came close to being a lot better:

  1. The original script by Peter Jackson (in retrospect not using his must have cost them loads) involved Freddy being severely weakened and the kids of elm street beating the shit out of him every night. I feel that’s a unique start and could have revitalised the franchise.
  2. The carnival. Nobody died at the carnival. All that creepiness for nothing.
  3. The idea of Freddy having a kid who’s worried about taking on his legacy could have been really interesting and said a lot about whether evil is genetic or not.
  4. The idea that the town has no children in and all the parents desperately want kids but can’t in case Freddy comes back. FANTASTIC idea for a film. Terrible idea for a nightmare on elm street film, but fantastic idea.
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