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The Nightmare On Elm Street Series

post #1 of 495
Thread Starter 
Whilst I've only see three of the Friday the 13th movies I'm a regular coniseur when it comes to everyones favourite wise cracking homocidal paedophile (maybe the entire horror community splits into Elm Street people and Friday 13th people).

As a series of films they're not good, but my teenage years were spent with all of these films and New Nightmare is one of the first films I remember sneaking into. Time and the onset of critical thinking have certainly not been kind to the latter movies but I still find myself drawn to the original and number III Dream Warriors.

The original is such a great, great film. I was just watching it yesterday and it amazes me that despite some odd ADR moments the film kind of stands up and seems to reverse the usual horror paradigm for franchises to get progressively bloodier as they go on (nothing in the films that follows really matches the sheer visceral horror of Tina's death and even after a couple of dozen viewings that scene still gets really under my skin). It's bloody and kind of scary and the focus is on the kids rather than Freddy (who is sort of broadly lecherous as opposed to his more sympathetic/charismatic latter incarnations). The kids themselves are surprisingly good, they're not world class thespians but their lack of numbers means that the two we're supposed to give a shit about get a lot of focus. In fact I think Heather's* up there with Laurie in terms of great survivor girls and the remastered DVD, bizarrely, is one of the best looking DVDs I've used with my HD-TV thus far.

Number III seems to start the pattern for Freddy being the dominant force in the films (number II's general bizarreness rules it out of this equation) and whilst it's nowhere near as scary as the original it manages to retain some tension in its dream sequences (even if the Dream Warriors angle is wondrously campy). There's enough good ideas to keep the film afloat and its also never, ever, boring.

Quick question in the original Heather sort of spots some dude in sunglasses and a black suit that I've always assumed to be Fred Kruger. He's never mentioned again and I was wondering if my summation was correct or not.

So what are you guys favourite films in the series.

*Upon watching this film again recently the cast who had always seemed 'older' than me suddenly became kids, I don't think I've ever been more aware of my mortality than when I was watching a slasher film and marvelling at how young looking the cast were.
post #2 of 495
Totally with you on that last comment - All the kids in the FT13/NOES series always seemed so much older, but day by day, I see them more as the kids there were all along.

Anyway, much love here for the Nightmare on Elm Street films. The first film and New Nightmare are fantastic, and 3 and 5 have enough intriguing ideas and fun moments to make them worthwhile.

Freddy's Dead was one of the first horror films I'd seen all the way through, and I loved it at around age 10. These days, I can see what a horrendous miscalculation it is, but I still have fond memories of it. Lisa Zane's eyes still have a strange power over me.

Oh, and the remastered DVD of the first film is freakin' beautiful. Can't wait for the Blu Ray.
post #3 of 495
New Nightmare gets a lot of love among the sequels. But I've always seen Dream Warriors as the best film in the series.
post #4 of 495
New Nightmare is a great concept with intriguing ideas, but it's not anywhere approaching "good".

NoES is my favorite horror film series.
post #5 of 495
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Ripoll View Post
New Nightmare is a great concept with intriguing ideas, but it's not anywhere approaching "good".
It's like you were reading my mind...
post #6 of 495
I've never seen 4 & 5. But I really liked the 1st, hate the 2d, love the 3d in a guilty pleasure kind of way, and think New Nightmare is better than most people give it credit for. Maybe the innovative concept IS all it has going for it, but in today's hackneyed, remake saturated horror film market, that ought to, in my book, get much props and count for the forgiveness of many faults. At least whoever wrote the film in question had the creativity to come up with something we haven't seen an infinite number of times before, and the guts to take a chance on it. It is a most worthy entry in the series.
post #7 of 495
Thread Starter 
Well it was written by Wes Craven. I haven't gone back to New Nightmare in quite a while, all I can remember is that opening sequence with the glove and Craven's cameo.
post #8 of 495
I like the first one the best. I seen it when I was a kid at a drive-in with my parents and it scared the shit out of me. I would say Freddy's Revenge is by far the biggest blemish to the series though.
post #9 of 495
Thread Starter 
I don't think I've ever encountered anyone who likes that film, it's just terrible on a conceptual level, has a really weird feel and is utterly boring.
post #10 of 495
True enough, but the film's oft-discussed homoerotic subtext is fun food for thought while watching it.

Actually, it often soars beyond subtext to inadvertently become the theme of the movie, so go figure.
post #11 of 495
New Nightmare's the best in the series. I'm a big fan of the grouping as a whole, but WCNN has the best ideas, the best Langekamp performance (not saying much), the best score, and maybe the most exciting sequence with crossing the freeway.
post #12 of 495
The first NOES I ever saw was Dream Warriors, and it remains my favourite and by far the most inventive in the series. It's also notable for having introduced the world to Frank Darabont, who co-wrote it with Craven.
post #13 of 495
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quarant View Post
The first NOES I ever saw was Dream Warriors, and it remains my favourite and by far the most inventive in the series. It's also notable for having introduced the world to Frank Darabont, who co-wrote it with Craven.
Not entirely true. Craven came up with a lot of the basic ideas and themes for the movie, but a lot got changed in later drafts, which is where Darabont came in.

As far as the series go, I maintain that the original is by far the best, and dig New Nightmare, but I've watched Dream Warriors far more times than any other in the series. But that movie has an unfair advantage over any of the others - Dokken!
post #14 of 495
I'd probably go with the first. All the talk of the new one makes me want to go back and plug the gaps, chiefly ...New Nightmare.
post #15 of 495
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnemyoftheStamos View Post
Not entirely true. Craven came up with a lot of the basic ideas and themes for the movie, but a lot got changed in later drafts, which is where Darabont came in.
Hmmm, interesting... Wonder whose idea it was to alter Freddy's personality so radically.
post #16 of 495
Freddy's Revenge is a masterpiece compared to Freddy's Dead. I have to appreciate Freddy's Revenge, because it was the sequel to a hugely popular mainstream horror film that's a metaphor for homosexuality. The movie is not good, but something like that takes more balls than New Nightmare's post-modern frenzy.
post #17 of 495
I'll definitely stick up for part 2 for being a very intriguing metaphor for coming out of the closet.

As for the rest, I think they're all fun in their own way, but 1, 3, 4 and New Nightmare are the best. Freddy's Dead is by far the worst. Completely awful and horribly dated.
post #18 of 495
post #19 of 495
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dark Shape View Post
New Nightmare's the best in the series. I'm a big fan of the grouping as a whole, but WCNN has the best ideas, the best Langekamp performance (not saying much), the best score, and maybe the most exciting sequence with crossing the freeway.
Agreed. I actually own the soundtrack and I used to listen to the freeway track while driving on the interstate. Gets your blood pumping.

I like how Wes made the film not just a horror but threw in a bit of suspense and thriller-esq moments. I also like what they did with Freddy. He was a much darker, more sinister individual. And actually making him into a demon really makes you forget his comical side altogether.

The only downside to the movie is it looses its steam once Heather gets into HIS world. And the laughable demon effect when he gets burned alive. Still love the film though and it is the best.
post #20 of 495
Love the series. Agree with the above sentiments that 1 and 3 were the strongest but I have an affinity for part 2 'cause of the gay subtext. I know a lot of people who favor part 4 over 3, which baffles me.

Here's a weird thing; I have watched part 5 (The Dream Child) repeatedly, even recently, and my mind simply will not retain any information from the film. I can remember some details, but most of it just leaves my conciousness immediately. Even part 6, as terrible as it is, will at least stick in my brain. Part 5 just evaporates entirely. It's a non-film.
post #21 of 495
I actually watched part 5 with a friend recently, and though I swear I'd shown him the movie before, he believed he'd never seen it. Maybe it really does evaporate from people's minds.

As for part 4, I can easily see someone enjoying it more than part 3. It's the most accessible and slickly produced entry in the series. However, it doesn't feature a skeleton bitchslapping Craig Wasson, so it is deeply flawed.
post #22 of 495
Remember #5 quite well for some reason, though i haven't seen it in YEARS. It includes: Motorbike-Freddy, Skateboard-Freddy, Mean Chef-Freddy and MC Escher-Freddy. God, the dreams in that one were stupid.
post #23 of 495
Thread Starter 
I've seen these films a dozen times each and yet the only thing I can remember from part 5 is the guy getting killed by his own motorcycle and I've got a feeling that actually happens in Part 4.

Edit: Apparently it was in part 5. Does part 5 also have Comic Book Freddy?
post #24 of 495
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquafresh View Post
Here's a weird thing; I have watched part 5 (The Dream Child) repeatedly, even recently, and my mind simply will not retain any information from the film. I can remember some details, but most of it just leaves my conciousness immediately. Even part 6, as terrible as it is, will at least stick in my brain. Part 5 just evaporates entirely. It's a non-film.
Not weird at all since I have the same problem with 4 and 5. But I think this comes down to them being carbon copies of the Dream Warriors template. Parts 1,2 and 3 are pretty different beasts all together. Freddy's Dead stands out because of how much it ventured into eyerolling self parody, and New Nightmare is definitely its own thing. But Dream Master and Dream Child are completely interchangeable. Well, except for the fact that Dream Master is very, very red and green and Dream Child looks like it was filmed through shit smeared bed sheets. Which comes as no surprise when you remember that Dream Master is a Renny Harlin film and Dream Child is a Stephen Hopkins' joint.
post #25 of 495
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike Marshall View Post
Edit: Apparently it was in part 5. Does part 5 also have Comic Book Freddy?
Yup, aka Skateboard Freddy.
post #26 of 495
I don't understand all the hate on "Freddy's Dead". I find it easily more watchable than NOES4/5- sure it's silly, but it brings a better idea to the table. "What happens when all the children are gone?" I don't understand all the cameos, though, either. What the fuck is Roseanne and Tom Arnold doing there? I mean, Alice Cooper could kinda make sense, but the other cameos (even Bob Shaye) are just befuddling.
post #27 of 495
Does part 5 have the Aha video-like sequence with the comic book guy?

Also remembered about part 5, cute redhead survivor girl from part 4 has gone blonde. Disappointing.
post #28 of 495
The constant tone of morbid humor in the 4th film keeps it from being very scary. I always thought Tuesday Knight was extremely cute, though.
post #29 of 495
Part 5 *did* give us "bastard son of a hundred maniacs". That's the only thing I remember.

And I completely agree on 4 & 5, except for the fact that part 4, for all its flaws, the badass reanimation sequence. Not all effective from a horror standpoint, but that movie's at least entertaining.
post #30 of 495
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquafresh View Post
Does part 5 have the Aha video-like sequence with the comic book guy?
Indeed it does. For whatever reason, I prefer this entry to the 4th, but as others have stated, they're essentially the same movie. I think the comic booky guy's dream sequence and the crazy Freddybike put it over the edge.
post #31 of 495
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Clark View Post
And I completely agree on 4 & 5, except for the fact that part 4, for all its flaws, the badass reanimation sequence.
IS that the dog pissing on his grave in the junkyard? If so, I always loved that.

It's been a long while since I've seen any of them aside from 1. A buddy has the set, I may have to borrow it.
post #32 of 495
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninhead View Post
I don't understand all the hate on "Freddy's Dead". I find it easily more watchable than NOES4/5- sure it's silly, but it brings a better idea to the table. "What happens when all the children are gone?" I don't understand all the cameos, though, either. What the fuck is Roseanne and Tom Arnold doing there? I mean, Alice Cooper could kinda make sense, but the other cameos (even Bob Shaye) are just befuddling.
Freddy's Dead is awful for many reasons, but its biggest crime may be the retconned backstory that the writers yanked from their asses. They did something similar (though infinitely more bananas) in Jason Goes to Hell. Freddy's Dead also stands out as terrible due to those cameos you mentioned, and the horrendously cheesy "humorous" moments that include Freddy playing Nintendo and imitating the Wicked Witch of the West. Remembering all of this is like having bad 'Nam flashbacks.
post #33 of 495
No Kincaid love in the room?
post #34 of 495
The best thing I can say about Nightmare as a series is that, as bad as they get, there's always some entertainment value present. Freddy's Dead is a wonky, bat-shit crazy cartoon, but I still find myself laughing at some of the zaniness against my better judgment.

You can't really say that about Halloween 5 or Friday the 13th Part VIII.
post #35 of 495
Quote:
Originally Posted by FilmNerdJamie View Post
No Kincaid love in the room?
Lets kick that motherfucker's ass all over Dreamland.
post #36 of 495
This thread is great as since the past week, I've been revisiting the dvds. Mostly skimming through them, and today I got through Dream Master. I like the idea of 4 and 5 essentially being the same film, but 5 has more of the "original" Freddy of 1/2 rather than the jokey one-liner spewer.

Also, for all of the gay overtones, part 2 is still quite scary, and Freddy is just as sinister and creepy as he was in the first one. Maybe even more so.

The visuals, like the rottweilers with the faces, the mutant cat eating the mutant rat in the boiler room, the pool party massacre, and Freddy's burning at the end. Not to mention the whale sounds and the bus going through the desolate looking offroad. Christopher Young's score is friggin' tops too.
post #37 of 495
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dark Shape View Post
You can't really say that about Halloween 5 or Friday the 13th Part VIII.
Jason punches a man's head off in Friday the 13th Part VIII. If that isn't giggle-worthy entertainment, I don't know what is.
post #38 of 495
I'd rank them as follows:

A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 3: The Dream Warriors
A Nightmare on Elm Street
A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 4: The Dream Master
A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge
Wes Craven's New Nightmare
[BONUS: Freddy Vs. Jason]
A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 5: The Dream Child
Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare

I think Dream Master is pretty good. It's probably the most surreal of the series.
post #39 of 495
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Clark View Post
Part 5 *did* give us "bastard son of a hundred maniacs". That's the only thing I remember.
I believe 3 gave us that.
post #40 of 495
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luca S. View Post
I believe 3 gave us that.
Yep. It was just part 5 that acted it out.
post #41 of 495
DREAM WARRIORS is the only one I've seen as a non-juvenile. Held up pretty well. Crippled Wizard Master kid got off way too easy though. Deserved a far more gruesome death than what befell him.
post #42 of 495
Dream Warriors has the best set pieces, best story, best Freddy, best characters, and perfect balance of malice, cheese, humor, and horror.
post #43 of 495
Don't forget Craig Wasson!
post #44 of 495
Dream Warriors is Aliens to the original Nightmare on Elm St.'s Alien. They're both great but they approach the concept with completely different aims.
post #45 of 495
The original is the best because Wes Craven had style. The last gasp of 70's atmosphere. A more mainstream Phantasm-- surreal dreamlike quality raises the level of terror. The film works.

By the time you get to Dream Warriors, the abundant flourishes of 80's glam diminish the mood. (You don't frighten people with Dokken!) The jokiness of Freddy increased to the point of annoyance. He was one step above Chucky.
post #46 of 495
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abbott & Prospero View Post
Dream Warriors is Aliens to the original Nightmare on Elm St.'s Alien. They're both great but they approach the concept with completely different aims.
I would not say that the approaches are quite as different as Alien and Aliens, but that's a pretty good analogy. There are certain parts of A Nightmare on Elm Street that have aged terribly (Freddy's first appearance is really lame until Tina starts getting the shit torn out of her, and that's a big thing to screw up) so I prefer the more consistently entertaining Dream Warriors.

Dream Warriors, Freddy wasn't annoying yet. It was Dream Master that did that.
post #47 of 495
post #48 of 495
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Ripoll View Post
I would not say that the approaches are quite as different as Alien and Aliens, but that's a pretty good analogy. There are certain parts of A Nightmare on Elm Street that have aged terribly (Freddy's first appearance is really lame until Tina starts getting the shit torn out of her, and that's a big thing to screw up) so I prefer the more consistantly entertaining Dream Warriors.
I wouldn't say its lame at all. Some time a "less is more" approach works best. The first time you see the movie--like with TCM--you imagine you are seeing gruesome shit not really there. The attack works psychologically because you don't know what the fuck's going on. I wouldn't argue with anybody who said its the best direction of Craven's career.
post #49 of 495
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Elvis View Post
I wouldn't say its lame at all. Some time a "less is more" approach works best. The first time you see the movie--like with TCM--you imagine you are seeing gruesome shit not really there. The attack works psychologically because you don't know what the fuck's going on. I wouldn't argue with anybody who said its the best direction of Craven's career.
"Look at this."

*Lops off finger*

*Patrick groans and shakes his head*
post #50 of 495
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Elvis View Post
By the time you get to Dream Warriors, the abundant flourishes of 80's glam diminish the mood. (You don't frighten people with Dokken!) The jokiness of Freddy increased to the point of annoyance. He was one step above Chucky.
I'm in agreement with this sentiment. I can't get behind the tone of the original being replaced by this. But...

Quote:
The original is the best because Wes Craven had style. The last gasp of 70's atmosphere. A more mainstream Phantasm-- surreal dreamlike quality raises the level of terror. The film works.
Where the hell did Craven's style for this one come from? Swamp Thing? Many of his films before and after Nightmare looked like crap. How is Hills Have Eyes 2 only three years before Serpent & The Rainbow?
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