Archive for Robert Englund

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

Posted in Horror Review, Nightmare on Elm Street week with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2010 by Pass the Popcorn!

Director: Samuel Bayer

Writers: Wesley Strick

Eric Heisserer

Tagline: Never Sleep Again

Plot: A re-imagining of the horror icon Freddy Krueger, a serial-killer who wields a glove with four blades embedded in the fingers and kills people in their dreams, resulting in their real death in reality.

Cast: Jackie Earle Haley – Freddy Krueger

Kyle Gallner – Quentin Smith

Rooney Mara – Nancy Holbrook

Katie Cassidy – Kris Fowles

Thomas Dekker – Jesse Braun

Review:

It’s time to finish our Nightmare on Elm Street week (although it lasted much longer than a week) with a review that spawned this idea. The remake of the original Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) recevied pretty mixed reviews from both critics and viewers. I didn’t like it at all due to its shallowness and unoriginality, which will be explained shortly. I think you are all familiar with the movie’s plot and concept so I don’t have to further introduce it.

It is important to say that remake is very similar to Freddy vs Jason (and that definitely isn’t a good thing) so it seriously lacks the 80s atmosphere, which was one of the best things in the original. Because of this, the movie looks too modern; I can’t seem to find any reason why was this movie even made besides money and “amazing” special effects.  So it’s more than obvious that this remake is clearly unnecessary. In the introduction I said that A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) is shallow and unoriginal. What I meant by that is that offers nothing new, all of this was seen somewhere before. The several good scenes in the movie have been shamelessly copy/pasted from the original, and the rest of it was just awful. I don’t know why would anyone chose to watch the remake over the original, the cult parts of both movies are almost the same but the original also offers much more like better character development, better scriptwriting and better atmosphere. But if you do decide to watch it be ready for an unintentional laugh or two because, as it can be seen in the trailer, the remake is full with extremely cheesy dialogue like: -Oh god!- -No, just me.-; this is also similar to Freddy vs Jason. I think you are all wondering whether Jackie Earle Haley was a good replacement for Robert Englund in his role as Freddy. And the answer is: No, he wasn’t. I don’t have anything against Haley’s acting skills (I liked him in Watchmen) but the whole Freddy concept was destroyed because he was given these stupid /cheesy one liners and new looks, which were also awful and made him look like an alien. In addition to that his background was slightly changed…to worse.  So Haley isn’t good as Englund but I think that’s really not his fault. The rest of the cast are simply awful in their roles, most of them are either too static or too unbelievable, especially Rooney Mara who is a very bad choice for the role of Nancy – she isn’t special in any way, a very very bad choice for the final girl. There isn’t left much to say about this remake. All in all, it is utterly bad, even Freddy vs Jason is a slightly better movie.

It seems to me that A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) had absolutely no potential at all. It was “doomed” from the second someone decided to make it. A lot of fans were spectical with a good reason because it is blasphemous to turn a cult movie into something like this. Almost every aspect of this remake is horrible besides the “stolen” scenes and some kills (unfortunately, the kills are good in every NoES movie, besides maybe Freddy’s revenge, so that doesn’t make this remake anything special). It is just your typical “wannabe mainstream” horror movie.

My Rating: 3/10… Don’t watch it! It is easily one of the worst movies from the Nightmare on Elm Street series.

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Freddy vs Jason (2003)

Posted in Horror Review, Nightmare on Elm Street week with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 7, 2010 by Pass the Popcorn!

Director: Ronny Yu

Writers: Wes Craven

Victor Miller

Damian Shannon

Mark Swift

Tagline: The “Slicer”…The “Dicer”…And This Time, They’re Not Any “Nicer”!

Plot: Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees return to terrorize the teenage population. Except this time, they’re out to get each other, too.

Cast: Robert Englund – Freddy Krueger

Ken Kirzinger – Jason Voorhees

Monica Keena – Lori Campbell

Jason Ritter – Will Rollins

Kelly Rowland – Kia Waterson

Review:

A movie like Freddy vs Jason doesn’t really need a special introduction. By combining those 2 popular horror icons,  it quickly managed to achieve a cult status among the followers of both franchises.  Although I’m not a big fan of Jason or “vs” films, I decided to give it a watch. The results were horrible, Freddy vs Jason, despite all its potential, was a complete disaster. I think most of you are familiar with the movie’s plot but I’ll tell it anyways. The townsfolk of Springwood don’t fear Freddy anymore, they managed to erase all evidence about his existence so he can’t haunt the dreams of their children. However, even that can’t stop Freddy and he somehow finds/sends Jason to pay Springwood a visit so people could remember Krueger once more. But, after some time, they start to fight each other over few kills.

It is remarkable how almost every aspect of Freddy vs Jason is awful. First of all, Ronny Yu didn’t show any directing skills. As a result the movie is full of strange, unwatchable camera angles and weird luminance, which I didn’t particulary like (that neon blue lighting was really over the top). Secondly, the acting was horrible, I want to know who hired those actors due to the fact that even their appearance killed every decent moment the movie could have offered. The acting in Freddy vs Jason was even more terrible than the acting in later Nightmare on Elm Street sequels (and that is hard to top). Furthermore, the scriptwriting was possibly the worst I’ve seen in my entire life. Besides the plot summary, which does sound stupid by itself, Freddy vs Jason offers plenty more stupid things: funny and predictable dialogues full of cliche (I giggled during most of them), standard characters found in slasher movies (the lead female character who is still a virgin despite being smart and cute, her dream boy, her promiscuouse best friend, the geek, the stoner..), unexplained fears/motives/goals, random characters that suddenly appear/disappear, unimportant scenes… the list goes on and on. Moreover, the lead female character cries/whines/screams in most of the scenes where she appears. That was very…irritating. Actually, the whole concept of the movie seemed somehow wrong, Freddy vs Jason could have really been better. Even Freddy’s character couldn’t have saved the movie from a complete failure that it is now. His persona and sense of humor changed a bit, he wasn’t so likeable/funny as he used to be in NoES movies.

It isn’t hard to conclude that Freddy vs Jason is a mindless film that focuses mainly on action sequences and kills done by our “heroes”. This aspect of the movie satisfies me a lot since the number of kills is a great one and both Freddy and Jason don”t spare each other in their fights. It was nice to see both of them in a single movie, despite how bad that movie actually was. I would recommend Freddy vs Jason only to people who are fans of either franchise and even then they might not like it.

Btw, Freddy > Jason

My Rating: 3/10… Everything sucks except the action sequences. It’s not worth your time.

New Nightmare (1994)

Posted in Horror Review, Nightmare on Elm Street week with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2010 by Pass the Popcorn!

Director: Wes Craven

Writer: Wes Craven

Tagline: This time, staying awake won’t save you.

Plot: A demonic force has chosen Freddy Krueger as its portal to the real world. Can Heather play the part of Nancy one last time and trap the evil trying to enter our world?

Cast: Robert Englund – Himself / Freddy Krueger

Heather Langenkamp – Herself / Nancy Thompson

Miko Hughes – Dylan Porter

David Newsom – Chase Porter

Tracy Middendorf – Julie

Review:

I was very interested in seeing New Nightmare because, as you may know, it is the only movie from the series, besides the first one, to be directed by Wes Craven. I was told that it was one of the best sequels in the whole series and that it is almost as scary as the first one. Well, those stories couldn’t be more wrong because New Nightmare came as a horrible disappointment. I, personally, find Wes Craven responsible for screwing it up so badly. This time, Freddy enters real world to haunt the dreams of actress Heath Langenkamp who now has to reprise the role of Nancy that made her popular.

In theory this plot synopsis may work perfectly (actually, I find it to be a good idea) but in practice, mister Craven made a too complex story. It is full of unnecessary scenes, parts that make no sense and plot holes. New Nightmare is, basically, a movie inside a movie, and was made a little too complicated so it can easily confuse the average viewer. Besides that, I think that Wes Craven was under a huge influence of The Shining (1980) when he wrote the script because influences are more than obvious: a disturbed child “apprehending” evil, the child having “episodes”, a similar mother – son relationship. While all those elements work perfectly in a horror classic like The Shining, they are completely useless in a movie from A Nightmare on Elm Street series. I think Craven put this child, Dylan, in the script to gain some dramatic and horror atmosphere (as all horror elements are somehow revolving around him), which turns out to be completely ridiculous. I suppose that the movie would have been much better without his irritating (and useless) character. It’s like Craven used his character just because he wanted to make another movie from Nightmare on Elm Street series, which would break into mainstream. Moreover, New Nightmare is the longest movie from the whole series, it lasts about 2 hours. Because of its “surprising” length it can get very boring from time to time due to the shallow script writing. Freddy’s personality also changed – he became more evil, dark and sinister with a new face and glove that make him look stupid. He still uses his one liners that are trying to sound funny but, in a movie like this, they just seem kinda overused. Number of kills in New Nightmare is really small and they are not original anymore like in previous sequels.

Maybe the only thing I enjoyed in New Nightmare was seeing the cast from the original Nightmare on one place. However, I really wanted Robert Englund to have more cameo time without his mask on but, unfortunately, he wasn’t a really important character. I fear there are no positive things to say about New Nightmare besides that. Al though I think this movie could have been much better I still prefer it over Freddy’s Revenge and Freddy’s Dead.

My Rating: 4/10… New Nightmare had much potential but it turned out to be one of the worst movies from the series.

Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)

Posted in Horror Review, Nightmare on Elm Street week with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2010 by Pass the Popcorn!

Director: Rachel Talalay

Writers: Wes Craven

Rachel Talalay

Michael De Luca

Tagline: They saved the best for last.

Plot: Freddy Krueger returns once again to haunt both the dreams of his daughter and Springwood’s last surviving teenager.

Cast: Robert Englund – Freddy Krueger

Lisa Zane – Maggie Burroughs

Shon Greenblatt – John Doe

Lezlie Deane – Tracy

Ricky Dean Logan – Carlos

Review:

After reviewing The Dream Child few days ago, it is time for the next movie from the Nightmare on Elm Street series, Freddy’s Dead. This is the only movie from the whole series to be directed by a female director, Rachel Talalay, and, unfortunately for her, the movie is painful to watch. When the movie was released (1991) its plot was set in the near future, 1999 to be more specific. So “in the future” Freddy had killed all Springwood teenagers but one guy and now his new goal is to use his daughter to get more victims. However, in the end she kills him by bringing him to the real world and destroying him with a pipe bomb. The movie’s title is Freddy’s Dead, therefore I didn’t spoil anything important, the ending was pretty much obvious.

As you may conclude, the movie’s first problem is its title. It simply gives out everything important what will happen in the movie and leaves us with no tense, no twists and no interesting parts – the movie didn’t even start and it was already boring. Yes, I know that Freddy was defeated in almost every other movie too but this time is greatly different. Freddy’s Dead was supposed to be “The Final Nightmare” and an “end” to one of the greatest villains ever, although few reboots did occur after that. I think the goal of the stupid title was to bring as much box office money as possible (it made $12,966,525 in its opening weekend). In addition to the movie’s title, the script writing is horrible. It absolutely has no point and its full of cheesy dialogues, situations and characters – you should really see it for yourself. Furthermore, there are only few kills during the movie, which were poor. They are not awful but they can’t be compared to the ones from other movies due to the fact they aren’t so interesting and fun anymore. Freddy’s concept also changed a little, he is not the ultimate dream master anymore but a lesser demon controlled by the greater ones who gave him eternal life or something like that. Yawn. Now you can see how ridiculous the script writing really is.

The only thing I liked about Freddy’s Dead is that we find out more about Freddy’s background. Through some flashbacks you can see his childhood, growing up and family life so you can expect some scenes where Robert Englund isn’t wearing his mask. Ironically, those scenes were the most interesting ones in the whole movie. Towards the end, the writers even wanted us to feel sympathy for Freddy but those parts were so stupidly done that I almost threw up. There is nothing much to say about Freddy’s Dead anymore except don’t see it all costs, it is one of the worst movie in the series.

My Rating: 3/10… It is painful to watch. Freddy’s Dead is almost as bad as Freddy’s Revenge.

A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child (1989)

Posted in Horror Review, Nightmare on Elm Street week with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2010 by Pass the Popcorn!

Director: Stephen Hopkins

Writers: Wes Craven

John Skipp

Craig Spector

Leslie Bohem

Tagline: It’s A Boy!

Plot: Alice, having survived the previous installment of the Nightmare series, finds the deadly dreams of Freddy Krueger starting once again…

Cast: Robert Englund – Freddy Krueger / Featured Maniac

Lisa Wilcox – Alice Johnson

Kelly Jo Minter – Yvonne

Danny Hassel – Dan Jordan

Erika Anderson – Greta Gibson

Review:

I’m sorry for being absent again this past few days. But now I’m back with the review of the Dream Child, the 5th movie from the Nightmare on Elm Street series. Freddy is revived and back again to haunt the dreams of Springewood teenagers. Now he uses Alice’s unborn baby to get to “fresh meat”. Despite this plot summary, which may sound stupid and dull, I found Dream Child to be an ok, watchable movie.

When I started watching it, I thought to myself that it could be the best sequel in the NoES series so far. It begins with one of Alice’s dreams, which was very creepy and disturbing. In it we see how Amanda Krueger, Freddy’s mother, was overwhelmed by 100 maniacs in the asylum where she worked. Robert Englund even had an awesome cameo in those scenes as one of the maniacs.  After that, in another dream, we see more disturbing scenes like Amanda giving birth to Freddy. That second dream somehow revives him and he is back again. This is what Nightmare on Elm Street is all about. Twisted creepy scenes perfectly combined with dark humour. The movie managed to completely amaze me by then. After Dream Master (an ok movie which really lacked any kind of horror elements) Dream Child came to me like a breath of fresh air. This sequel also features some of the best murders in whole series. Freddy almost didn’t use his razor glove at all but killed his victims in all kinds of humorous and interesting ways. Unfortunately, there are only few deaths that occur during the movie. His “new style” had much more potential and shouldn’t have been wasted on few kills.

Even though it seems that Dream Child has only some minor flaws, it definitely isn’t a very good movie. It had a very strong and decent beginning but as soon as we meet our main characters, it all goes downhill. They are a bunch of one dimensional, undeveloped idiots full of cliches, which were quite annoying and boring to watch. And the worst of all, the character who annoyed me the most survived the whole movie. In addition to their shallow personalities, acting was awful. I know I can’t expect some special characters from a movie like The Dream Child but at least they could have been a bit less irritating – two previous parts from the series didn’t have problems like this. I have to say something about Alice’s son, Jacob. In some scenes his appearance helped create a creepy atmosphere but in other one he seemed completely useless…so I don’t know what to think of him. Besides that, as the time was passing by, the movie was getting worse and worse. Some scenes didn’t make sense at all,  the whole plot synopsis is bad and accomplishing some things seemed too easy (like finding out how to defeat Freddy and doing so). In conclusion, the movie suffers from a huge script writing problem. It is interesting how can a movie have such a good start and continue/finish being below average. All in all, I give it a same grade as I gave to The Dream Master.

My Rating: 5/10… Nice beginning but almost everything else sucks.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)

Posted in Horror Review, Nightmare on Elm Street week with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2010 by Pass the Popcorn!

Director: Renny Harlin

Writers: Wes Craven

William Kotzwinkle

Brian Helgeland

Jim & Ken Wheat

Tagline: You shouldn’t have buried me, I’m not dead

Plot: Freddy Krueger returns once again to terrorize the dreams of the remaining Dream Warriors, as well as those of a young woman who may know the way to defeat him for good.

Cast: Lisa Wilcox – Alice Johnson

Andras Jones – Rick Johnson

Danny Hassel – Dan Jordan

Rodney Eastman – Joey Crusel

Tuesday Knight – Kristen Parker

Review:

Nightmare on Elm Street week continues with A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master! After being “put to rest” in the previous part, Freddy is back to kill the remaining Dream Warriors and some “fresh meat”. Our main female character in this one is Alice Johnson, a girl who comes from a troubled family and has problems with day dreaming. Alice, just like Kristen from Dream Warriors, has some special powers, which could help her kill Freddy.

Dream Master easily follows the direction in which Dream Warriors, as a movie, went. So this part is also full with hilarious quotes, Freddy’s funny one-liners and innovative kills. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think Dream Master has the greatest number of deaths in the whole series so far and all of them are surely the movie’s most memorable moments. I think it’s needless to say that Freddy lost his horror aspect entirely in this sequel. Now he rather looks like a stand up comedian, which isn’t bad at all because it depends on what do you expect from this movie. Similar to Dream Warriors, if you want to watch a serious horror, better skip Dream Master but if you are interested in watching a simply fun movie, you go for it. This sequel also offers much more amusing characters than the ones from it’s predecessor. Although character development is utterly bad, I couldn’t predict who would survive and who would die so some scenes and “twists” (if you can call them that way) were “shocking” to me.

Despite Dream Warriors had less interesting characters and many flaws, it still is a better movie than Dream Master. This one simply won’t entertain you enough if you’re not a Nightmare on Elm Street fan. It has an average story, bad acting, interesting kills and some funny moments and that’s it. Similar to the Dream Warriors, Dream Master had a script that had potential but failed in making it a more amusing movie, which would appeal to everyone. It’s very easy to compare them: they are pretty much the same because of all the similarities they have. Dream Warriors, however, made something new and innovative in the series. On the other hand Dream Master simply follows that formula. Furthermore, don’t expect anything special from Alice’s power, which I mentioned in the review’s introduction, they were just somehow useless. Oh yeah! I forgot to mention that the movie has a terrible ending. It is almost as bad as the one in Freddy’s Revenge, which left me really disappointed, and if it had been different I would have surely given Dream Master a better rating. While Dream Warriors was good from start to end, Dream Master had lot of ups and downs and generally it’s a worse movie than its predecessor.

My Rating: 5/10… Dream Warriors is slightly better. Better check that one out.


A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)

Posted in Horror Review, Nightmare on Elm Street week with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2010 by Pass the Popcorn!

Director: Chuck Russell

Writers: Wes Craven

Bruce Wagner

Frank Darabont

Chuck Russell

Tagline: Freddy’s just around the corner…

Plot: As Freddy Krueger continues his murdering, the kids, led by Freddie’s main opponent in the first film, prepare to fight back.

Cast: Heather Langenkamp – Nancy Thompson

Craig Wasson – Neil Gordon

Patricia Arquette – Kristen Parker

Robert Englund – Freddy Krueger

Ken Sagoes – Kincaid

Review:

We start our Nightmare on Elm Street week with the third part of the series, which is named Dream Warriors. First of all, I have to say all reviews made during this week are dedicated to my dear friend Ydolon who introduced me furthermore to the Elm Street series. Now back to the review. Dream Warriors is the directing debut of Chuck Russell (he is famous for directing The Blob remake and The Mask) and I must say I’m satisfied with his work on this movie (it is also important to mention that Frank Darabont, the famous director, was one of the writers).

One of the best things in Dream Warriors is that the actress Heather Langenkamp is back as Nancy Thompson. Although I didn’t like her very much in the original Nightmare, it was nice to see her reprising the role that made her famous. Her comeback was surely one of the movie’s highlights. After the events, which occurred in the first part, she became a psychiatrist specialized in dream therapy who works in a local hospital with children who also have problems with Freddy. All of those children have some sort of powers and abilities in their dreams and with their help Nancy decides to get rid of Krueger once and for all. In addition to the plot summary, which sounds interesting by itself, Dream Warriors is a much better movie than A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. Apart from being an infamous serial killer, Freddy’s personality changed slightly. He became an even more likeable character with all those funny one liners and interesting kills, that was an excellent improvement. Besides that, we learn something about his background, to be more precise: that he is the bastard son of 100 maniacs. Besides all that, this sequel features some very creepy/weird special effects and a catchy nurzery rhyme, which perfectly fits the movie’s atmosphere.

Although Dream Warrior is better than the 2nd part it is still much worse than the original A Nightmare on Elm Street. I think that the script writing could have been a little more advanced because the “dream fighting” idea had huge potential but during the movie it all just feels somehow undeveloped. Speaking of undeveloped, some characters were pretty useless, they were just free kills (but I guess that just works that way in average sequels of classic slashers :D). And by the way, dont’ expect this movie to be scary at all, it does have some minor horror elements but they are nothing more than pure fun. Even though I said many positive things about Dream Warriors, I found it to be nothing special. It is still just your average slasher sequel, which is stupidly amazing (or amazingly stupid – you chose :] ).

My Rating: 6/10… A fun movie you’ll probably enjoy.