Tag Archives: Nightmare on Elm Street

Never Sleep Again

Just like metal music, the horror film genre has always inspired a fierce cohort of rabidly devoted fans. That is probably the only way to explain the existence of Never Sleep Again (2010) and films like it. This doco is a four hour, exhaustive run through of the Elm Street films.

The behind the scenes film is in many respects a dying breed. There are more of them made than ever, but most are 10 minute snapshots designed for DVD/blu-ray extras rather than stand alone films in their own right. Never Sleep Again makes a few different attempts to separate itself from this middling medium, from the length, to the ‘claymation’ opening credits and interludes to the pretty comprehensive list of talking heads. As you would expect from the running time, the film is seriously in-depth. It starts with a short history of New Line Cinema before launching into a chronological treatment of all the films. Unfortunately the end does sort of peter out into a gushing praisefest of New Line and Robert Shaye. This is even more noticeable because one of the best aspects of the over three and a half hours that had preceded it is the frankness. Conflict and difference of opinion, especially between Shaye and Wes Craven are laid bare. And it is not in the scandalous gossipy kind of way. Rather it shows the different realities of being a producer who is trying to see his small, start-up studio stay afloat and a director totally focused in on the creative side of film.

never sleep posterAny film of this length or even of this type is going to have aspects that appeal to individual viewers more than others. The discussion in the film does at times degenerate into lengthy, giddy recounting of plot points, which I did not get much out of, perhaps because I have seen the films so recently. This is not the fault of the participants though, it is something that should have been tightened when editing all of the material down. It is when those involved get into analysis and discussing the creative process of generating ideas and bringing them to life that the film is a lot more interesting. A lot of the insight from Craven was really good here (including him ragging on the films he did not like), and I especially enjoyed him discussing the creative mindset that brought him back to the series with New Nightmare (1994). And yes there is a discussion of just how ‘gay’ the second entry into the series is. That was actually an interesting section as the writer was conscious of the subtext (well what was meant to be subtext) and the main character (strangely a male protagonist in a slasher) was an openly gay actor, but a vast majority of the homoerotic elements passed by those who were working on the film. The talking heads really are great and Englund is perhaps the best of the lot. He is clearly a very clever and insightful dude. As a film buff, to hear him tell how he based much of Krueger’s physical presence on a hybrid of Klaus Kinski and James Cagney, I absolutely love that shit. Other influences mentioned on the series of films (not just mentioned by Englund) include Hitchcock which sort of makes sense and Fred Astaire, which makes you ponder  a little deeper.

As a film lover, it is great to see a series of films get such adoring treatment. There are great tidbits throughout (Peter Jackson drafted a script for an Elm St film!) and the insight into practical effects is such a contrast to the relative ease in which much CGI is made. In the end, if you are after a four hour doco about the Elm Street films, Never Sleep Again is going to leave you pretty satisfied. But it probably won’t convert you if that sounds like a terrible way to spend half a day.

Verdict: Stubby of Reschs

This brings an end to my Nightmare on Elm Street reviews. Below are links to all the other reviews I did of the canon films, in order of preference. You guys are obviously slasher film fans, because the Friday the 13th series won the poll I ran to see what franchise I would tackle next. Keep an eye out for the first of those reviews tomorrow.

1. A Nightmare on Elm Street
2. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
3. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare
4. A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child
5. Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare
6. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge
7. Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

Like what you read? Then please like Beermovie.net on facebook here and follow me on twitter @beer_movie.

Advertisements

Guest Post: A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) – An email discussion

Just like with Freddy vs Jason (2003), which my cousin Damo so expertly reviewed last week here, I was not too fussed about reviewing the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010). And why would you want to read my boring old review, when you have this. Eric from Isaacs Picture Conclusions and Zoe from The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger chewing the fat about the film over email. Safe to say Zoe hated it, whilst Eric seems a little hung up on some bloke called Clancy Brown who I can only presume is an Irish folk singer from the 1950s. Not sure of the connection there.

Also, apologies for the craptastic formatting on this. Zoe and Eric sent it to me all pretty like, but I busted it transferring it across to WordPress.

elm 2010 poster

theipc.me ei@theipc.me
Mar 12 (6 days ago)

to Zoë

HI ZOE!!!!!!

So Tim, over at Beer Movie is looking for a piece on the Nightmare reboot – you fucking hated that thing right???
Zoee Mar 12 (6 days ago)

Like the worst fucking thing ever!
theipc.me ei@theipc.me
Mar 12 (6 days ago)

to Zoë

LOLOLOLOL!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

I didn’t hate it that much but I’ve only ever seen a couple of them. What did you hate so much??? You have to give it up a little for Clancy Brown! No??

Zoë
Mar 12 (6 days ago)

to me

Pfffff…

I hope among that couple that you have seen is the 1984 one, because that one was a solid entry!

Pretty sure one of these dudes is that Clancy guy Isaacs has a thing for. Proabably one of the ones with a pipe

Pretty sure one of these dudes is that Clancy guy Isaacs has a thing for. Proabably one of the ones with a pipe

First off, the entire film is a travesty. I mean that in the truest sense of the word. It completely desecrated everything that Freddy Krueger represented. Freddy was all wrong. I cannot stress this enough. When I think Krueger I think Robert Englund. Dark comedy (though it wasn’t always so), striped sweater, bad burns, “bitch” being uttered left, right, and centre, crazy dream sequences and not taking himself too seriously. Also, the mythos were completely fucked with. Nobody felt compassion for Freddy when they burned him to death. I swear, nobody was defending him. Let us not even go into the blatant ripping off of the old school scenes, churning them out as if they should be new and awesome and just missing the point completely. It was one of the worst reboots ever, and it still galls me to think about it.

I would love to know why you didn’t hate it… (and don’t hide behind the fact that you hadn’t seen many of the others)?

Zoë
________________________________________
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2014 12:10:05 -0500
Subject: Re: Nightmare on Elm Street 2010

theipc.me ei@theipc.me
Mar 12 (6 days ago)

to Zoë

LOL!!! When have I ever hidden from you, JB????

I had only ever seen the first two – in the theaters before your were even born (HAHAHAHAHA #love) – when I saw this one (I’ve since seen the third one with the penis worm we all got a good laugh at). I don’t know – I guess on my blog I watch a lot of very low quality SHIT movies that totally suck butt. I thought this thing looked decent enough, had some good looking actors and decent enough effects. I also liked that it wasn’t filled with a bunch of bullshit corny one-liners that came to be associated with Freddy and……………… –> CLANCY BROWN!!!!

I did NOT like Jackie Earl Haley though. This is the truth.

Also – I am currently getting screamed at on a three hour conference call about Caller ID problems. Have you ever gotten screamed at on a three hour conference call about Caller ID problems. If so, you’d appreciate NoES a little more.

I think.
Zoë
Mar 13 (5 days ago)

to me

Bwahahaha! Yeah alright, true that, I will give you that!

Yeah, yeah, #love. Oh yes, who can ever forget the infamous penis worm? Yeah, you do, but this one is right up there for me. Took itself waaaaaaaaay too seriously and just fucked up a whole lot of good stuff. Meh, it didn’t work for me. You know I bitched more watching this than I did throughout the Potter movies? My other half was shocked! No wait now… Freddy had some hardcore one liners, what are you even on about! 😛 I take it you are a fan?

Hmmmmm… he was not the greatest but certainly not the biggest pitfall of this piece of crap remake.

I have honestly never been screamed at about Caller ID problems on a three hour conference call… that sounds freaking awful… probably still not as painful as this shitty movie. I think.

Can you believe it holds a 5.2 score on IMDB? What the fuck world?!

Zoë
________________________________________
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2014 12:34:54 -0500

theipc.me ei@theipc.me
8:41 AM (0 minutes ago)

to Zoë

Sorry I got behind on this!!!! That SHITFEST Social we did wore me clean out!!!

I get that it took itself too seriously – I do hate when movies are like that. Everybody just needs to lighten up, right? What did Cheri Oteri’s character say in SOUTHLAND TALES?? “The world would be a better place if everyone just got more cardio…” I don’t know… I didn’t hate it and I think that’s all I’ve got. You know what I did hate??? That second Rob Zombie HALLOWEEN!! Screw that fucker!!! But we’re not here to talk about that..

Zoë
8:56 AM (0 minutes ago)

to me

Phew! Totally don’t blame you there! That was just way too much fun considering the source material!

More cardio… maybe that is what this needed. Hahahaha. Yeah, I see that you don’t hate it, and that I despise it and that I can bitch about it endlessly but let us not go into it too much here some more. It is crap, it messed with decades worth of material, it defiled everything that it was and was a completely reboot. Screw it. I will just be quiet. If people want to read more extensively on what I had to say, they can check out my Shitfest entry here or the review I wrote on my blog over here.

No, we’re not… but I can see that that is a series we should maybe get involved with together… from the beginning all the way through!

Zoë
________________________________________
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2014 08:41:13 -0500

theipc.me ei@theipc.me
8:59 AM (0 minutes ago)

to Zoë

WE TOTALLY SHOULD!!!!!

Summer Project!!!!!!

See ya!!!

There you have it folks. Thanks so much to Zoe and Eric for reviewing the film for me. I am sure you already read their stuff, but on the off chance you don’t, hit up Zoe’s site The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger and Eric’s refined musings at Isaacs Picture Conclusions.

If you haven’t read them yet, check out my thoughts on all of the canon Elm Street films. Here they are in my order of preference:

1. A Nightmare on Elm Street
2. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
3. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare
4. A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child
5. Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare
6. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge
7. Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

Guest Review: Freddy vs Jason

As you will probably know, I just finished reviewing the Nightmare on Elm Street films. I was not too keen on reviewing the couple of non-canon films that followed featuring Freddy Krueger though. But I got some awesome volunteers when I put the call out there.

First up is my cousin Damo with this review of Freddy vs Jason (2003), the much maligned team up film, which does actually have a few defenders. Here are Damo’s thoughts.

f v j poster

Freddy vs Jason, a quick rundown before we begin.

Freddy Krueger is a serial killer, he attacks people in their dreams and if they die in the dream world, they die in real life too apparently. Krueger is from the Nightmare on Elm Street series.

Jason Voorhees kills serially also; he hails from the well known Friday the 13th horror film series. This guy automatically scores extra points because he wears a bad ass ice hockey mask, because he’s legit. And I like Ice Hockey…

Up the Mighty Ducks.goldberg

Anyway, this movie is all about Krueger’s mission to return to Elm Street (where he enjoys killing people) after an extended hiatus of not being powerful enough to enter people’s dreams. Or something. This is all explained by Kruger himself; in addition to his plan  to get Jason Voorhees to kill Elm Street locals so he can make a re-entry to the dream world. Unfortunately for Freddy though, Jason’s refusal to help him and instead continue killing for himself throws a spanner in the works. A spanner that obviously can’t be taken out like a normal person, its got to be solved by a big showdown between the two blokes. Sounds cool. Not really. Its crap.

So a storyline that’s so totally unique I hear you say; no its not. Haha.

But guess what? The characters are completely new and original. The lead girl, naïve and beautiful; the love interest who never wants to leave her side; the girl’s best friend who has low self esteem and that random pothead who is high all the time. What an outstanding film. Just joking. This is horrible.

Criticism aside, the fights and kills in the film are okay. After realizing that Jason Voorhees is overtaking him on the kill scale; Krueger initiates his fight back (cue the Freddy Vs Jason fight that took them an hour and fifteen minutes to get to). A combo of cool ways of stabbing each other coupled with hitting one another with various industrial material and/or machinery provides a somewhat okay series of moments in an absolutely horrendous film. It just isn’t that good.

f v j picLook, as far as slasher films go, this movie isn’t too bad but in every other department, this is pretty bloody terrible.

I was able to do one thing constructive during my viewing of Freddy vs Jason which was add the question “Is the writer of Freddy vs Jason dead yet?”

This film is the first in many years that has left me with my head in my hands wanting to cry in a corner.

I wish I could tell you to watch this movie, to share it with your friends and to enjoy your 97minutes of bliss, instead I will tell you to burn it in bucket that’s fireproof just in case the fire spreads. Its good to be fire-smart.

Verdict: Schooner of Tooheys New

Damo now has his own blog over at The Horenco Effort where he is publishing his movie reviews and will also be featuring other gnarly stuff such as his tunes.

Wes Craven’s New Nightmare

new nightmare poster

Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994), unsurprisingly given the title, signals the return to the series of creative maestro Wes Craven and is also the last film in the Elm Street canon (at least that is how I see it, apparently the film is not technically regarded as canonical). Not only that, it takes the series to some really unfamiliar territory, not bad for the seventh film in the series.

New nightmare creepy kidRight from the start, New Nightmare is a different beast to what has come before it, beginning by toying with and subverting one of the most iconic pieces of imagery that the series has. It wears its meta, postmodern heart on its sleeve and manages to do it in a way that is pretty unpretentious the whole way through. Star of the first film Heather Langenkamp returns playing herself and is joined by Robert Englund and John Saxon doing the same, as well as staff from New Line cinema. Throughout the film, it blends classic Elm Street mythology with these more meta flourishes into something that is both intellectually stimulating and plenty of fun. Narratively, the story begins to unfold with Langenkamp and her family seemingly being haunted by Freddy in real life. Here the film could have easily settled into pretty much the standard narrative of the series, with some postmodern trimmings. However the insertion of writer director Wes Craven into the film sees it retain its originality as it combines an almost Stranger than Fiction (2006) like conceit with the notion of age old, eternal evil which is almost reminiscent of a folk tale of some description. The narrative construction is not without its issues. Early on I became intrigued with how they were going to deal with the Robert Englund/Freddy Krueger dichotomy. It didn’t really bother me watching it, but now that I think about it, I actually don’t think that is resolved which is a little disappointing.

New nightmare babysitter

You do sense some ego in the project from Craven. Not only does he pull off a Lee Daniels and insert his name into the title of the film, he also gives himself a really quite key role. It does not particularly detract from the film but it was in the back of my mind. His screentime is not all that epic, but when you think about what his character means to the film, he is integral to how it unfolds.  Speaking of thinking, this film really makes you think a lot, if anything a little too much. There were allusions and postmodern, meta references that I truly think I need another viewing or two to really unpack properly, they are that dense.  That said, the more straightforward aspects of this are equally fulfilling, especially early with the almost mockumentary autobiographically influenced parts focused on Langenkamp, like the TV interview that she participates in. The line about Wes Craven no longer doing horror films brought a real smile to my face as well, reminiscent of James Wan’s recent decision to take leave of the genre as well (come back James, we need you man). As well as all of that, the film is genuinely scary and brings a quite visceral style of horror in parts that is new to the series. Some moments are undone by the presence of CGI graphics that look about SNES standard, but most of the frights are much more effective.

Wes Craven’s New Nightmare is a frightening and highly original way to cap off the original series. The premise is bold and whilst aspects of the film threaten to be a little overdone, overall Craven does an assured job of holding this all together. He is clearly the man with this series, having directed my three favourite entries. Given the only major quibble with the film I could muster is that the much hyped T-Rex vs Freddy showdown never materialises, this one is well worth your time if you have not seen it.

Verdict: Pint of Kilkenny

Coming up over the next couple of weeks are some guest reviews of films featuring Freddy Krueger considered outside of the canon, so keep an eye out for those.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of my Elm Street reviews (ranked in order of preference):

1. A Nightmare on Elm Street
2. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
3. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare
4. A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child
5. Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare
6. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge
7. Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

Like what you read? Then please like Beermovie.net on facebook here and follow me on twitter @beer_movie.