Elm Street: Did Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare kill the franchise?


With decades removed from its debut, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare has become a polarizing sequel among fans. But did it kill the franchise?

Welcome back to Freddy Friday. We hope you enjoy your say on Elm Street….

Madman of the ’80s

Beginning with Wes Craven’s iconic A Nightmare on Elm Street, Freddy Krueger ruled the 1980s. Solidifying his status with possibly horror’s greatest sequel, Dream Warriors, the Springwood Slasher eventually makes Paul McCartney look like Ringo Star with his popularity. But as they say, everything changes and by the early 90’s, the once king of horror was the laughing stock of lunatics. But did Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare essentially end the franchise for good?

Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare — Courtesy of New Line Cinema

Dreaming Of A Better Child

While most see the sixth trip to Springwood as the series’ biggest disappointment, that prowling prize goes to A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child. Featuring a half-baked plot involving Freddy entering a unborn baby’s dreams (not an inherently terrible idea but poor execution), the movie’s a showcase on what not to do in a scary followup.

Misusing an otherwise stellar protagonist, highlighting characters said protagonist is supposed to have known for a while but wasn’t featured in the previous entry, terrible prosthetics and bloated exposition are just a few things making the fourth sequel the series worst — far worse than when Freddy supposedly died.

From Scary To Hilarity

More from A Nightmare on Elm Street

A huge complaint Freddy’s Dead receives is the sequel makes a mockery out of a madman. That the seemingly desperate New Line offering took Freddy from a jolt of terror to a joke. Which of course is true, but the film is far from the only culprit in the iconic franchise.

Starting with the underrated The Dream Master, the man of your horror dreams has been on a downward spiral into “sidesplitting hilarity” for a while. Although Renny Harlin’s classic uses dashes of humor to full effect, it’s not as if Freddy’s Dead was the first one. In fact, it can be argued that Dream Warriors really started the trend. Don’t believe me? Watch the skeleton fight with John Saxon and the guy who looks like Bill Mahur again.

When Dead Is Alive

To be clear, Freddy’s Dead is ultimately a travesty in a series featuring the immortal original, the third entry and arguably the most underrated film of all time — Wes Craven’s New Nightmare. Watching the franchise in order only exposes this fact. But when ingesting the sequel removed from the series, it becomes clear there’s much fun to be had.

Not only is Robert Englund eating scenery, the movie is just plain fun when not taken seriously. It also features mostly solid characters and a 3D gimmick that should put the film in theatrical rotation at midnight screens across the country forever. It’s arguably the funniest of the bunch. So did Freddy’s Dead kill the popular franchise? No, the series lost its heartbeat with the previous sequel’s baby bump.

This has been another edition of Freddy Friday. We’ll see you sleepers next week in Springwood.

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Fan of A Nightmare on Elm Street? Think Freddy’s Dead essentially ended the franchise? Let the other dreamers know what you think in the comment section below.