‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’: ‘Freddy’s Dead’ Doesn’t Come Alive Much

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Rachel Talalay’s ‘Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare’ – Courtesy of New Line Cinema


Micheal De Lucha’s Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare script is a true embarrassment to the series. From a story pitch by the film’s director, De Lucha’s script is a cheesy uninspiring wreck. Truly, it feels more like fan fiction than a legit component of the Wes Craven creation. Seriously, this stuff could be read on Reddit right now and that’s isn’t a compliment.

It’s hard to even call Freddy’s Dead an Elm Street film. Not only are the jump-roping girls nowhere to be seen, Freddy doesn’t use his glove to kill in the entire film. He does, however, kill victims as players in a video game (the power glove moment is both extremely corny and pathetic product placement) and with the power of sound.

And I’d be more forgiving of the “sound death” if Krueger wasn’t running his glove on a chalkboard while simultaneously humping the thing. This is, after all, the film where Freddy is a bus driver and says “no screaming while the bus is in motion” and ” I’ll get you my little pretty, and your little soul too” in a The Wizard of Oz parody. Yes, the once scary dream demon is on a broom and wearing a silly witch hat…Good God this movie super sucks.

-The endicredits. Better than the actual film.

Not only that, but the film neglects the franchise rules. There’re certain rules to follow when making another film set in the world of the original. Wes Craven is world creator and subsequent sequels often pay zero respect. When you do that, you’re simply not respecting the intelligence of your audience.

In Freddy’s Dead, people enter one another’s dreams as if it’s The Matrix. It’s as if they forgot the series gives that talent to Kristen, which passes onto Alice. It’s not as all the Dream Warriors can bring people into their dreams. In Freddy’s Dead, it’s old hat.

But this terrible sequel breaks other rules as well. Often in the film, Freddy appears without anyone really dreaming at all. John Doe literally says, “I told you not to let me fall asleep” and then others are affected by this. It makes zero sense. Freddy formally made dreams sadistically intimate to his prey. Now, it’s nothing special. The movie basically throws out the Craven bible, but who needs it? (sarcasm in the highest order).

Then there’s the narrative itself. I always laugh when money hungry producers just put a movie out and forget about the film after the film. They’ll desperately stuff sequels with unnecessary villain exposition and neglect to create new, series impacting protagonists. Doing this builds an intimacy between the viewer and the main character, resulting in a bigger impact.

More from A Nightmare on Elm Street

Not here, as we get a stupid story about Freddy and his lost, long ago adopted, daughter. On top of that, further idiotic explanations of how Freddy got his dream hopping power. Much like Rob Zombie’s misguided Halloween films, the villain is essentially the protagonist.

While it could be argued his daughter, played by the sister of actor Bill Zane, is the main character, I reject this. Her motivations and intentions come too late in the game to have any impact on the film other than a forced one.

Lastly, I’ll make it quick as I could ramble on all day about this film, the ending is terrible. While the whole film makes the once terrifying Freddy seem like a joke, the end makes it that much more. Not only that, but it’s so obvious the film was a cash grab made on the monetary stability of the ’80s 3D market (film release is 1991 but apparently Bob Shaye thought the market was still there….it wasn’t).

The third act literally shows Maggie put on 3D glasses before she sleeps and told it’s protection in the dream world. I swear I’m not making this up. Either they’re thinking it would be super cool or the audience is be too stupid to realize to put the glasses on in the theater. Either way, it’s frustratingly stupid.

If it’s not entirely obvious, I despise Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare.