A Nightmare A Day: Day 5 (A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child)

Director: Stephen Hopkins (other films include Predator 2 and The Life And Death Of Peter Sellers, I know, I’m surprised too)

Budget: $8million

US Box Office: $22million

  • Ah, Alice is back from the last film. So she’s a survivor from a previous film, and I find her cute, the only way I could be more certain she’s going to die would be if she was black.
  • Odd opening credits, the names look like they’re scrawled on in childs chalk handwriting. Works.
  • Opens on Alice and Dan from the last movie naked in bed together. Brave choice assuming we’ll remember who they are.
  • Alice takes a shower, this is pretty much horror shorthand for “this woman is about to die, but don’t worry, we’ll show you her tits first”
  • Yup, the shower starts malfunctioning and she almost drowns. She managed to escape however and ends up in an asylum. Because, well of course she does.
  • Hey, there’s Robert Englund as a patient.
  • Alice is now in a nuns costume and a nametag showing she’s Freddy’s mum. She’s locked in overnight because the guards are useless nincompoops.
  • Luckily she wakes up before this film earns an X rating.
  • “that’s not what a cover girl puts in her body” True, they never put lollipops in themselves, not in mouths anyway, hey, gotta get famous somehow.
  • I feel like we should know these people but in reality we have yet to be introduced to them, seems like there was deleted scenes earlier showing who they are. As it is, they all just seem like awful awful people.
  • “look, if you don’t dream about him, he can’t hurt you”. F*cking idiotic thing to say.
  • “this boy feels the need for speed”, really, he seems more like a weed kind of guy.
  • “i was watching from behind the rafters, didn’t want to embarrass you, you know, the drunk dad showing up” subtle bit of screenwriting there.
  • The creepy singing kids are back. These kids are sometimes the creepiest thing in the films and often lure people to their deaths, yet nobody ever just punches them all in the face. I’d struggle against Freddy Krueger, but a group of seven year old girls? I reckon I could take down most of them.
  • Freddy birth scene. The doctors reaction is “holy shit, what is it”. To be honest that’s my reaction to every baby.
  • The baby looks deformed and pretty much immediately runs out of the room. I know people on facebook who would still post “oh my god, my baby is so cute and smart”. Actually that’s a point, he’s walking almost immediately, in fact he’s quite independent from birth, evil or not, that shit is advanced.
  • Freddy fully returns in a church. What is it with Freddy and churches? Yeah I know his mum was a nun but I think he’d try to avoid them. I mean, what does he see in Christianity that he likes so much? His life is based around scaring people and abusing childr-oh, I get it now.
  • “It’s a boy” Freddy looks remarkably pink faced there, is strange. Side note, apparently that line is the only one that survived from the original script.
  • “Your birth was a curse on the whole of humanity” my mum says the exact same thing to me every week.
  • “sometimes I feel like I’m living with Melicertes”. I actually understand that reference! Read about him whilst researching Sisyphus, for comedy.
  •  “Alice beckons” That sounds like a good album name.
  • This film gets +5 points and levels up just for using the phrase “dickweed”
  • Freddy criticises Dans alcohol. Rude.
  • Dan steals a bike. Tosspot.
  • Dan is fused into the bike, just to be clear, the bike he stole.
  • Time of second death: 27 minutes. I assume, I mean, it’s going to be really hard for him to escape this
  • Let’s focus on the most important part though: dan would still be alive if he hadn’t FALLEN ASLEEP WHEN DRIVING! His dream mother was right, he is a dickweed.
  • “Hey Danny, better not dream and drive”. Why’s Freddy the villain? That’s perfectly legitimate advice. Even if Freddy wasn’t killing people in dreams, Dan would have died, because he FELL ASLEEP WHILST DRIVING! I cannot emphasise that enough.
  • “you’re just a little pregnant”. 1) weirdest phrasing ever. You’re either pregnant or you’re not, it’s binary opposition. 2) So you don’t tell her alone, you decide to tell her whilst her dad is in the room. Sure that’s breaking some sort of doctor rule.
  • Creepy kid, looks like Damien from The Omen.
  • “the parents of the murdered kids got together and killed him”. Wait, no they didn’t, it was just parents on the street. The girl from the first film, her parents had a role in Freddy’s death, and unless she had a brother/sister we weren’t told about, they weren’t parents of murdered kid, just parents of a kid. Unless they were just there for the pure rush of murdering someone.
  • Time of second death: 38 minutes. Greta, who’s characterisation is pretty much “her mum wants her to be a model so doesn’t let her eat”, dies through being force fed. Again we have other odd circumstances as she fell asleep at a dinner party. So even if she hadn’t died, her manners surely did.
  • Mark (a comic book geek) discovers Freddy. Alice saves him by drawing herself into one of his comics.
  • Jacob (the creepy kid from earlier), appears again. Turns out he’s Alice’s son.
  • “Do unborn babies dream?” “yeah, they do”. Congratulations film on making abortion that bit harder for women to get, so far they’ve only had to deal with being screamed at and mentally abused. Well done.
  • The doctor asks Alice’s friend to fetch her file, isn’t that what assistants etc are for? This is America so she’s literally paying for her friend to get her file for her.
  • Alice falls asleep and gets sucked into the ultrasound where she discovers her baby is being fed the souls of the victims. Someone had to write that scene.
  • “the pregnancy might be too much for you, being single and everything”. I dunno, I’d say the “friends all dying in mysterious circumstances” is a bigger deal.
  •  “we got a phone call from the doctor, he said you’re having paranoid delusions”. Does patient/doctor confidentiality mean nothing in this film?
  • A newspaper article about Freddy’s mum. Headline “a victim of the evil within us all”. No she was the victim of a hundred rapes due to incompetence.
  • Yvonne (a diver girl who hasn’t really done much yet), has a nightmare where she tries to escape Freddy by jumping off a diving board into a swimming pool that changes into a puddle. Turns out Freddy isn’t killing her, just taking her hostage, which works for all of about 5 seconds.
  • Mark starts reading from on his many comics (all of them Marvel apart from the one he actually reads) and it basically is the plot of the film in comic book form. He gets drawn into it “Take On Me” style, but disappointingly the film doesn’t have the balls (or imagination) to go full A-ha so just settles for his dream sequence being oddly coloured, by which I mean everything in black and white except for him, like some kind of non-holocaust and non-penis Schindlers List ((odd that the two most complained about aspects of that film from American Christians anyway) both involve showers))
  • Mark actually uses logic and transforms into a gun-using comic book character. Alas he doesn’t realise he’s just a side character so dies. Time of death: 65 Minutes. This one is actually kind of cool as Mark gets turned into a paper character and sliced by Freddy, the colour draining from him like blood. Kind of inventive.
  • Back to the asylum, Freddy is pushed into a pile of the maniac rapists and disappears into the horde to be torn apart. Is that how he dies? Seriously?
  • Okay no, he appears alongside Jacob like nothing has happened.
  • Jacob tries to run to Alice, but they’re both trapped in a kind of MC Escher situation. Side note: there should be an intellectual rapper called “MC Escher”
  • “Kids, always a disappointment”, I wish this film would stop quoting my parents.
  • Freddy tears himself out of alice (where it turns out he’s been hiding all this time) in a weird body-horror-esque move. I knew she’d die 😦 just waiting for the inevitable now. Poor lovely Alice.
  • Oh wait she’s saved. Yvonne found the body of the nun and freed her spirit, by touching the body.
  • The nun appears to Jacob and helps him defeat Freddy. So after being beaten by being shouted at, a kiss, his bones being moved, and a mirror, Freddy is beaten by something more powerful than any of them…..a nun and a child. Fred Astaire died the same way.
  • “schools out Krueger” Random fact, that line only exists because the actor was a minor so wasn’t allowed to say “fuck you”
  • Ends with creepy kids again. Then rap
  • Side note: the soundtrack to this album contains a christmas number one
  • Alice survived 😀 Yay!

A Nightmare A Day: Day 4 (A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master)

Directed by: Renny Harlin (other credits include Die Hard 2 and Deep Blue Sea)

Budget: $13million

US Box Office: $49.3million

  • The last film started with an Edgar Allen Poe quote, this one; the Bible “When deep sleep falleth on men, fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake”. I prefer the Poe.
  • Odd song for opening credits.
  • Last film started with arts and crafts and paper mache, this one starts with chalk drawings. The Nightmare On Elm Street Films obviously have a “take your daughter to work” day on set every film.
  • Agin this film opens on daylight. Cannot say how much I love that.
  • Patricia Arquette’s character has magically transformed into Tuesday Knight. Notable as they look absolutely nothing a like besides being white and having blonde hair.
  • This series hates tricycles
  • And here comes the black guy from the third movie, obviously here to rectify not dying in the third one, as is horror tradition.
  • Oh, and the the guy Freddy kissed into a coma is here too. This is the most sequel sequel of the sequels so far.
  • “you’re going out dressed like that?” dude, she’s in a jacket and a full length dress, it would be difficult for her to be covering any more skin. Unless you want her to be more nude, in which case, dude, she’s your daughter.
  • Discount Christian Slater.
  • Discount Christian Slater is reading “Soviet Psychiatry”,  I’m not sure “killing your poor by implementing a poorly thought out five year plan which starves millions” is an effective psychiatric tool.
  • “Asthma is an inherited condition”. I learned something today.
  • “hey, you’re sucking on the wrong nozzle”. Hah, it’s funny because she’s got asthma and your response is to be a dickhole
  • “lighten up, no-one died”. Erm, yes they did.
  • 80’s karate montage!
  • The black guys dog pisses fire onto Freddy’s corpse which awakens him. No, seriously, that happened. I’m not pleased I had to type that sentence either.
  • The guy uses his super strength to push a car onto freddy. I guess this movie’s over now then, right?
  • Time of first death: 19 minutes. Freddy remembers he’s in a horror film, and as per tradition, has to kill the black guy first.
  • So, coma guy from last film is dreaming of a naked woman seducing him. Considering the last time this happened he got put in a coma you’d think he’d be somewhat cautious.
  • Time of second death: 21 minutes. Freddy pulls coma guy into a water bed and drowns him. But not before saying “how’s this for a wet dream?” Which, if I could kill people in their dreams, that’s exactly what I would say too. Oh, more boobs by the way. I’ve seen this guy dream of boobs twice, and both times he’s been harmed, there’s a moral behind this, but I can’t figure out what it is.
  • “how do you know about dreams?” “well when it’s all you have you kind of become an expert”. Don’t be silly you also have lovely long hair and a nice cardigan.
  • Not-Patricia Arquette freaks out when Roland and Joey aren’t in class. For all she knows they could just be late, or in prison, but nope, she assumes dead. She’d have felt mighty foolish if she was wrong.
  • Robert Englund in drag as a nurse. Yup, that happens.
  • So her mother has been slipping her sleeping pills. That’s all kinds of disturbing.
  • Also, what the hell kind of sleeping pills is she on that she is forced asleep within 5 minutes? One’s I’ve had has taken at least half hour and even then you had to put effort in.
  • “just dream of somewhere nice” is useless advice, pretty much the equivalent of “if you’re depressed, just cheer up” (if you’ve ever said that to someone, go impale yourself on a stick, not even joking).
  • As if to prove my point, Freddy “Jaws” his way onto a beach and pushes her under the sand. Instead of this killing her through suffocation etc, she goes to a boiler room.
  • “why don’t you reach out and touch someone?” I dunno, I got in trouble for doing that on the train one time.
  • Time of third death: 37 minutes. (couldn’t find a decent video for it, is pretty much the second fatality in that video). And in only two minutes more than it took to get to the first death in the second film, we’ve killed off the remaining cast from the previous film.
  • It’s so nice of the families that all the victims got buried next to each other. Is that how cemeteries in the US are organised, not by family or anything, but by cause of death?
  • Okay, so now all the previous cast are dead, this is like a new start. Which of the cast is next to die, Alice, the girl who can lucid dream? Discount Christian Slater? Debbie who hates bugs? Or Sheila, the black girl? I’ll give you a clue, it’s not the first three.
  • Time of fourth death: 44 minutes. Freddy kisses a school girl to death. I think he was originally written as a child molester but for some reason the studio wouldn’t allow it so he was just made a child killer (which is totally fine for some reason) but they still slipped in a few implications of molestation in there. Such as this scene. Anyway, as Freddie kisses her all the air goes from her lungs and she dies. Basic kissing mistake number one there: try not to kill the other person.
  • “i saw it, it was my dream”. Dude, phrasing, that makes it sound like you wanted it to happen.
  • Side note: the girl who plays Sheila, her real name is Toy Newkirk.
  • “how you going to fight me without your weapon Freddy?” Yeah, all he’s got now are his dream powers. You’re an idiot, discount Christian Slater.
  • Time of fifth death: 56 minutes. Rick tries to beat a serial killer who has magic powers with karate. This goes about as well as you’d expect.
  • “for Rick was in his prime, beloved by all” I dunno, I thought he was kind of a tool.
  • “Every day she changes”, yeah, for some reason she’s effected by her close friends and family dying, what a weirdo.
  • Karate montage! (set to the same song as earlier)
  • Okay, she seems to get her friends traits and abilities when they die. Luckily she only gets useful ones, she doesn’t like develop asthma or broken bones, that would suck.
  • Oddly brilliant scene here. Alice is at cinema and falls asleep. She gets dragged into the screen into a black and white movie. She looks through the screen to the audience and it’s her dead friends applauding the screen, and the body building-bug hating girl asleep.
  • They could have done more with the movie-allusion. They barely did anything with it, no references to old films or tropes. Colour me disappointed.
  • Alice dreams she works at the diner for the rest of her life. And oddly adult fear.
  • Freddy’s victims heads are now meatballs on pizza, he goes to eat the black guys head “I love soul food”. That’s racist!
  • Time of sixth death: 68 minutes. How crap this death, this death, holy crap. It’s almost Cronenberg-esque in execution and content. Pure body horror as she’s turned into a cockroach killed.
  • Alice and Dan get caught in a time loop so are unable to stop the cockroach death. When they finally get out of the loop they drive into a tree. Lesson one of driving: don’t drive into trees. Dan gets put in a coma, Alice goes home.
  • Alice tools up. Alice is badass. I like Alice.
  • “get away from him you son of a bitch” soooo close to an Alien reference.
  • Dan gets woken up and leaves Alice alone in the dream world. Oh no, however will a lucid dreamer who knows martial arts be able to survive without a football player helping her?
  • “welcome to wonderland, Alice” Did the writers call her Alice just for that? If so, well played.
  • “I am eternal”, yeah but only when dogs piss fire on you. And that surely only happens like once a week or so. What happens when we bury you at sea or behind a vacuum cleaner.
  • Alice stops Freddy with a mirror and a nursery rhyme. Richard III died the same way.
  • “I have more reasons to stay awake now” Oh, I’m sorry, was “not dying” enough of a reason?
  • We end with something truly terrifying: Sinead O Connor.

A Nightmare A Day: Day 3 (A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors)

Director: Chuck Russell. (Other credits include The Mask and The Scorpion King)

Budget: $4.5million

US Box Office: $44.7million

  • Ooooo, new New Line logo. This one looks less like the intro to a Commodore 64 game. Huge improvement.
  • Edgar Allen Poe quote “Sleep. Those little slices of death. How I loathe them”. This film gets points for reminding me that Eternal Darkness exists. Oh, and it’s a clever use of Poe.
  • Hey, Heather’s back.
  • This film’s so old they spell it Larry Fishburne.
  • The opening of this film seems to be a woman making pancakes. Yet through the use of music and clever angles it’s still creepier than Annabelle.
  • Oh wait, not pancakes, gluing newspaper pieces onto walls and doing other arts and crafts. Point still stands, f*ck Annabelle.
  • Mouthful of coffee grounds and swig of coke. Disgusting.
  • Wooo, heavy metal music. (Into the fire: dokken)
  • Has Patricia Arquette aged at all?
  • Dead bodies hung from the ceiling in an abandoned house. Well this film is just going to start off creepy isn’t it?
  • Wait, are they doing the first death this early?
  • Nope, she wakes up, just with slit wrists.
  • Hey kids, it’s Larry Fishburne, before he looked like a black Charlie Brooker, talking to someone who’s not entirely unlike Judge Reinhold.
  • Who’s the girl in the flannel? Looks like Kristen Stewart but 80’s.
  • Oh, guess she was just an extra.
  • Yay, Nancy/Heather’s back. I love recurring characters. Especially when they make sense. In the time between her last experience she’s actually done research into dreams etc, that makes a lot of sense and is good characterisation.
  • “kid last week sliced off his own eyelids so he could stay awake”. Holy hell that’s disturbing, I have to use that.
  • In a film, I should clarify.
  • A bike comes in, trailing three bits of blood along the floor then it kind of collapses into the floor. The real nightmare is shoddy workmanship at bike factories.
  • First death: 31 minutes. Seriously? I thought it was about 15. I suppose they’ve had to introduce a lot of new characters here so it doesn’t feel as long as it’s actually been. As big a fan as I am of the second film (especially since the rewatch yesterday), the opening act does drag a bit, although it’s worth it once it reaches it, like a two-legged dog playing fetch. This death always makes me wince and is definitely my favourite so far. Philip, who we’ve seen as being a puppet maker is being used by Freddy as some sort of marionette puppet, with his veins/arteries etc for strings. He’s then led up to the top of a tower and the strings are cut. Everyone who see’s him thinks he’s sleepwalking, which begs the question: if someone is sleepwalking through to an open window of a tall building, why would you not keep an eye on them? The security here is ridiculously bad. Yet another horror-movie death which could have been stopped by health and safety regulations.
  • Hey, flannel girl is more than an extra. Is odd as she was speaking in a previous scene and I didn’t recognise her not dressed like a lumberjack.
  • “then it was suicide, Philip quit, he gave up” Dude, not cool!
  • “he killed himself. Now, that’s a cowardly thing. That’s an empty thing” Dude, stop right there. I feel if you say anything else I’m going to wish harm upon you as a character.
  • “He let himself down. He let all of us down” I hope you get your penis caught in a combine harvester.
  • Time of second death: 38 minutes. Jennifer. Shame, I liked her, she seemed like a mix between Jennifer Tilly and Patricia Arquette. Probably the most famous death in this film due to Sassy Freddy. It’s the “welcome to prime time, bitch!” death.
  • “what faith do you follow?” “science”. How did I not remember that line is in this film? That’s brilliant.
  • Now we have the scene where everyone shows off their special dream powers, hence the “Dream Warriors” of the title. These films have been weird but every one has been unique and had it’s own purpose, they haven’t repeated themselves much. One can walk (and is a wizard), one is strong, and Taryn (the flannel girl) has knives and punk rock hotness.
  • And we have tits. Which is horror movie shorthand for “we don’t have much confidence in this, so we’re using nudity so that horny teenage boys will want to watch it”. I’m not against nudity in film, but in a lot of cases (sadly, it does have to be said, particularly in horror), it’s ridiculously exhibitionist and serves no purpose. I’m going to say this just the once: if you’ve ever watched a horror film just to see nudity, you’re an idiot. You know there are some films available online (and in certain shops) which contain nothing but nudity, right? And some even racier stuff, like kissing and hugging. If you want tits, buy tits, admit it, don’t watch a hour and a half film just for the 2 seconds of nudity, that’s idiotic, uneconomical, and just a little bit sad.
  • So Freddy pretended to be a woman, kissed this guy and then put him in a coma. There’s a myriad of different ways he could have put him in a coma. But for some reason he chose to use the method which required him kissing a teenage boy and tying him to a bed (with his tongue).
  • And here we have the origin story. Freddy’s mother was locked in an asylum and raped hundred of times, hence the nickname for Freddy “the bastard son of a hundred maniacs”. A few issues I have with this, 1) the age old myth of “all mental patients are dangerous maniacs” which was remarkably prevalent in horror before the 2000’s (seriously, count how many scary stories involve “an escaped mental patient”, not just films or books, but urban legends too). 2) “the bastard son of a hundred maniacs”. I guess we’re just ignoring the theory of mendelian genetics then? At most he’s the son of a singular maniac who’s sperm was strong enough to kill the sperm of the others.
  • Now we have another character from the first film return. It seems like they should have swapped this and the second one around.
  • So the bones must be buried in hallowed ground? Christian mythology is rife in horror films, so the next time someone says hollywood is scared of promoting Christianity, kick them in the temple.
  • Time of third death: 71 minutes. Lovely Taryn is injected with drugs as Freddy channels his inner Road Warrior. Why does everyone I love die? Oddly enough this scene is responsible for the film being banned in Australia as it was seen to promote drug use. Because obviously the first thing impressionable children think when they see someone die of a drug overdose is “drugs are awesome!”
  • Time of fourth death: 73 minutes. The guy in a wheelchair dies, because of course he does.
  • Harryhausen-esque skeleton now. Odd.
  • “I killed you once before you son of a bitch”, famous last words.
  • Time of fifth death: 82 minutes. The guy said the line in the previous note. Kind of a dull death for a returning character.
  • Time of sixth death: 86 minutes. And there goes Nancy. Normally when people return for horror film sequels they either survive or die in the opening scene. Here she’s the last death. Sad times. She had a semi-heroic death I guess but shame such an iconic character almost went out with a whimper.
  • The nun from earlier was Freddy’s mum? No, just no.
  • And the film ends with……a light turning on.

This film seems like it should have been swapped with the second. It’s a more direct sequel to the first film, seems to completely ignore the second film entirely. The series has to be commended for doing something different at least. All three films have been completely different stories. The second one was about possession, this one’s more about groups fighting back. This was the first Nightmare On Elm Street film I ever watched as my family had it on VHS back in the day. I don’t know where my family got it from, or why this was the only one they had. I guess some questions are just not meant to be answered, questions like “why are there so many songs about rainbows?”

A Nightmare A Day: Day 2 (A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge)

Director: Jack Sholder (Other films include Generation X, a made for TV film based on an X-Men spinoff series and By Dawn’s Early Light)

Writer: David Chaskin

Budget: $3million

US Box Office: $29.9million

  • Opens on daylight. I like that for two reasons: 1) I think more horror should take place during the day. Daylight makes the audience feel comfortable, and horror should be about breaking people’s comforts. It’s easy to get a scare from darkness, because it’s not really you or any techniques you’re using that’s doing so, half the job is already done for you. If you make people scared in broad daylight, you’ve done a good job. Also people feel at home in daylight, so it becomes easier for them to empathise. 2) It connects to the end of the first film quite well.
  • “Special appearance by Clu Gulager”. I have literally no idea who that is, I don’t know whether it’s because of my Britishness or my age.
  • Fat kid at the back of the bus playing music loudly, thereby predicting my daily commute to work.
  • “He’s right behind us”. No he’s not, he’s in the aisle over from you and behind you. You suck at directions random bitchy high school girls.
  • Runaway bus gone for so long the natural light changes and then it stops perched on a rock tower as it collapses. Actually a really well thought out set-piece.
  • “jesse are you okay?” he wakes up screaming every morning, so I’m guessing not.
  • I don’t know who the girl is who’s playing Lisa but she looks adorable. Like a pre nosejob Jennifer Grey
  • He slapped his cheeks with a little too much affection there.
  • A guy pulls down another guys shorts, showing his ass off, then a really bad fight starts. Ended by their coach pulling them apart and saying “Assume the position” Nothing strange there.
  • Eleven minutes in we find the connection between the two films. The same house. Not the least tenuous connection I’ve seen between horror films but It kind of takes me out of the moment as it firmly establishes the house as somewhat “special”. Which it is to us, as it was the house of the main character in the first film. But it messes with the reality as there were 4 deaths in the first film, a lot of them took place in different places. So that house wouldn’t have more attention to it than the locations of the other deaths. So it kind of reminds me that this is definitely a film. It’s possible I overthink things.
  • Freddy goes into Jesse’s dream, holds him close and strokes his eyebrows whilst saying “I need you Jesse”
  • Completely pointless scene of Lisa swimming in her back garden.
  • So he just found Freddy’s glove in the basement. I suppose that now makes sense for why Freddy seems to be anchored to the house, but it raises more questions. Primarily: why the fuck did the woman in the first film keep it? I touched upon this in the previous blog but I need to go into more detail: if you were part of a vigilante group that burnt someone alive, would you go into the house of the deceased and then take something? No, because you’re not a psychopath, unlike the mother in the first film. Seriously, she’s crazy.
  • This film has yet more shirtless men. So at least the fan service is equal for both genders.
  • This film turns into The Birds as the family parrots goes crazy and claw people.
  • This film turns into Birdemic as the family parrot explodes.
  • “it’s that cheap seed you’ve been buying”. I love that that is somehow a logical conclusion to a bird exploding into flames. Imagine that with any other animal. Your family kitten explodes “Damnit Veronica, I said DON’T buy Tesco’s own brand cat food”
  • Wait, so his teacher sees him at an S&M bar and makes makes him run laps around the school gym to punish him (I’m guessing for underage drinking). Let’s look at this from a bystanders point of view: they just saw a teacher take a student home from a bar. Because that’s not dodgy.
  • This film is actually REALLY gay. Not in a “this is lame” way, more in a “there is so much homoerotic subtext.
  • It just got gayer. The gym teacher has been tied up in the showers, stripped, whipped then been hit by multiple balls. Which leads us to this:
  • Time of first death: 35 Minutes. That actually shows remarkable restraint (I would be ashamed of using that pun after the death of someone who was tie up, but the police officer in the next scene brought a naked Jesse home to his parents and told them to “put a short leash on him” so I’m not as ashamed as they should be). But yeah, the restraint: that’s over half an hour before the first death. Almost twenty minutes later than the first death in the first film. Usually horror sequels start killing people as soon as possible as that’s why the audience are there, I commend this film for waiting so long to do it.
  • Okay the mum from the first film did die. Considering she showcased the hallmarks of a serial killer, I’m glad.
  • Jesse can’t quite manage sex with Lisa and goes straight into Ron’s bedroom as he sleeps. I refuse to accept the undertones aren’t intentional.
  • Time Of second death: 57 Minutes. Ron killed, not shown explicitly really but we see Freddy’s claws come through the other side of the door so fairly obvious.
  • And now the sausages spontaneously combust just after someone complains about the heat in the pool. This film is really doing a lot with heat and temperature, kind of odd, I like it. Temperature is such a simple thing to manipulate for the purposes of death scenes and yet it’s rarely utilised in films.
  • Freddy just bit Lisa. Considering what he is supposed to have done to underage children whilst alive this is slightly weird.
  • The Lisa Vs. Jesse/Freddy scene is really creepy. Might be my favourite scene from the two films so far. Well scripted, well shot and well performed. Really effective at showcasing characters too.
  • After a quite dramatic scene we get almost complete silence in a scene where people are just standing around. It’s a shame more horror films don’t utilise calmness and silence in useful ways and can be effective.
  • Time of third death: 65 minutes. I don’t even know if this guy has a name. Just slashed across face once. Quite notable in that this is the first death that’s taken place in public (at a pool party, oh so THAT’S why they had the scene with Lisa in the pool earlier, I thought it was just to show the actress in swimwear) with everyone able to see Freddy. If this scene was done in a modern film you’d have to imagine people would film it on their phones, which would actually be a pretty interesting way to set up a sequel. Freddy lives on the fear of people, so that kind of multiple exposure across the internet could do wonders. It would be like The Ring mixed with Unfriended (only a lot lot better than Unfriended. Seriously, f*ck that film)
  • Time of (presumed) fourth and fifth deaths: 66 minutes. Not much detail is put on these and it can hard to miss the two deaths here: two unnamed characters fall into the swimming pool as it boils and are burned to death. Both of them occur within a second of each other and aren’t the focal point of the scene. Missed opportunity for some truly disturbing scenes there. Although it could be argued that the quickness of the deaths helps us feel part of the film as the characters aren’t paying much attention to what’s happening so why should we be able to? The shared panic of two. Folie A Arghhhhh.
  • Time of Sixth death: again, 66 minutes. This time it’s just someone falling into fire. Not likely to be on Freddy’s showreel.
  • Seventh death: 66 minutes 32 Seconds. Wow, after no deaths for a long time this film is really making up for it. My fondness for this death is far more than it deserves. It’s just someone being trampled by the other party guests in their panic to escape. I like when horror films do this, have the characters killed accidentally by the actions of others. It helps us feel the panic that’s taking place. Also there’s a lot of bravado in discussion of horror films, “yeah, I would easily escape”, but what if in doing so you cause the death of someone else? Then you’re not a hero, you’re a douchnozzle.
  • Eighth death: 66 minutes 36 seconds. Again, unnamed person, this time just stabbed in the gut. Good for showcasing the chaos, not much else.
  • Ninth death: 67 minutes (yay, we escaped the 66th). A Kerry Von Erich lookalike tries to calm Freddy down, this goes as well as you expect it to and he gets thrown into a BBQ grill. The first sign of Sassy Freddy as his response to “I’m here to help you” is to say “Help yourself, fucker” then kill them. Sassy!
  • Freddy dies from spontaneous combustion. They’re really pushing the fire/temperature element of this film. It’s working. Also should be pointed out that both time’s Freddy has been defeated it hasn’t involved someone directly fighting him. As such he’s the only villain who could be defeated by a pacifist time lord with a sonic screwdriver and a police box.
  • Tenth death: 79 minutes. Lisa’s friend who’s name I can’t recall right now has Freddy’s hand pop out from her chest, Alien style in a scene reminiscent of the opening.
  • Bing Crosby’s “Did You Ever See A Dream Walking? plays over the end credits. Strange but oddly works.

Post film notes: done some research and the homosexual undertones were intentional. The theme of repressed homosexuality runs throughout the film. This has been confirmed by Robert Englund and the writer of the film, David Chaskin (which, considering this was his first film should be highly commended for the work he did here). Some people have argued this even effects the casting, with the lead of Jesse played by openly gay actor Mark Patton (described by some as the first male scream queen). In summary I actually really like this film. The scares are unique and there’s some fantastic scenes. Not sure if it works as a Freddy Krueger film, but if have this as a standalone film and it’s superb.

A Nightmare A Day: Day 1 (A Nightmare On Elm Street)

So, halloween is approaching. The night of scares, the night of horror, the night of staying indoors with all the lights off and pretending you’re not in. To prepare for this we thought we’d do something special. On Halloween itself I’ll be posting a blog about my love for Eternal Darkness, and on Monday they’ll be a blog about Silent Hill. But we thought we’d go a bit further than that. So I’ve started “Nightmare A Day” Every day until halloween I’ll be watching a film from Nightmare On Elm Street series and basically writing up my thoughts as I watch them. If this goes well we’ll be doing this again for other releases. It just felt right to do it with this because the iconic images contained, and as a tribute to the recently departed Wes Craven. We start at the beginning (obviously), enjoy:

Nothing is as creepy as this though
Nothing is as creepy as this though

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  • Kind of masterful opening, you’d expect there to be a reveal of the gloves later on, but nope right there in the pre-credits sequence. Kind of cool. Add five awesome points. Although I have to deduct those points for the images being ridiculously small. I don’t know if it was a problem with the conversion to DVD or not (I doubt it, but let’s be kind), but it’s quite offputting, so it loses those points almost immediately.
  • “introducing Johnny Depp”. So you’re to blame for Mortdecai
  • And there’s a random goat. For a lewton bus. Or to put it another way: Wes Craven had a low budget and access to a goat for some reason.
  • Is that a f*cking synthesiser? You’ve lost more of those awesome points I gave you earlier. I suppose this is why when people talk about this film they don’t mention the soundtrack like they do when talking about Halloween etc.
  • That sounds like a laser blast sound used as a jump scare. I get it was the 80’s and the sound guys had cocaine blocking their ears, but still.
  • Who the hell brings a gardening tool to a party? This douche, (Rod) that’s who. I hope he dies.
  • Girl is so pleased Rod brought a gardening tool she let’s him put his Rod/tool inside her. What a hoe.
  • Freddy coming through roof is fantastic image it has to be said.
  • “Morality sucks”. Wow, this film’s so 80’s it even quotes the Conservative Party slogan from the Thatcher era.
  • Time of first death: 16 minutes. Details: actually really damn creepy. She’s being attacked in the dream world but we only see it from the real world. So instead of an intense fight we just see her writing about screaming as blood appears on her, then she kind of crawls backwards up the wall and across ceiling. Really creepily done and a brilliant set-piece.
  • Freddy cuts himself a lot in this film. I get why, is an effective way to scare someone, but it’s done so quickly it kind of loses it’s creepiness. It’s too quick and clean which robs of it of any impact.
  • Bathtub scene, with no nudity. If this film was shot today I’m fairly certain this scene would be mostly nipple shots, I hate hollywood sometimes.
  • So her friend died and she’s being hunted down, so she decides to watch a nice relaxing movie: The Evil Dead.
  • “what happened to your arm?” “i burned it in english class”. And he doesn’t make a joke about it, damn you Johnny Depp you suck.
  • “Oh god I look 20 years old”, as someone who’s nearly 30, f*ck you! Wait, wouldn’t it be good to look slightly older at that point as it means you might get served alcohol?
  • Time Of Second death: 43 Minutes. The “rod getting hanged” scene: the nike shoes were on screen a bit too long for my liking and makes it seem like product placement. Didn’t like this death that much mainly because it happened to a character we hadn’t seen in a long time, (in contrast, Tina was one of the first people we saw and it could be argued that she’s taking the role of the main character until her death).
  • Why is Rod the first guy to get a funeral scene when his characterisation literally begins and ends with “penis”?
  • “mommy killed him” mommy also hides alcohol around the house and decided to keep a souvenir of the person she killed twenty years ago, so something tells me she’s not a good person.
  • “you’re the jock, you have a baseball bat or something” that’s racist!
  • Johnny Depp’s character comes to his room and wakes him up in order to tell him to go to sleep.
  • Although his dad is only in it for about 2 scenes so far and already seems like a massive jerkass.
  • Time of the death of Depp: 70 minutes. This is probably the most iconic death in the series, he gets dragged into the bed and blood splatters everywhere, but personally it doesn’t do much for me.
  • She managed to do a lot of booby trapping in a house in only twenty minutes. And all just after reading a book about it. I’m fairly certain this section is a horror version of Home Alone, if the horrific version of Home Alone wasn’t Home Alone 3.
  • Wait, did she just shout the villain into non-existence? See, this is why English horror films are different. If shouting at a villain killed it all horror films set in Britain would last about 5 minutes. Yeah, they’ll be people apologising as you kill them “oh, I appear to have got my blood on your knives, ever so sorry old chap” “oh, you appear to have dropped your weapon, here you go” but all killers make a mistake, in American films it’s usually something like not taking opportunities to kill, in British ones it would be when the killer makes tea and puts the milk in first, then they’ll be shouted at so much they’ll die without a sequel. Actually someone should do that, a short horror film where the killer stalks someone and in the end they just shout out “OH F*CK OFF YOU F*CKING F*CK before I beat your head in, I’m hungover and got work in a few hours, I don’t need this shit”
  • So, that’s an ending. Bad body-double aside this is just weird. The only way it makes sense is if you take it not as the dream of the lead character, but as a dream of the mother. Which makes more sense as she is revealed to have died in a later film, but also makes less sense as she’s dreaming about her daughters friends waaaaay too much. Unless she’s dreaming of them all as she feels guilty for their deaths and that haunts her every waking moment. I might be giving this film too much credit.
  • Surprisingly low amount of deaths. If we include the mother’s death that’s only 4 in the entire film. Yet still chilling.

Quick summary: odd music choices but works in parts.

nightmare