Another review from the request bank, quickly running out of those, comes one of the few Nightmare movies I had the opportunity to see in the theatre. I remember the weird push for 3D on it and even have some of the tie in merch. Considering how much the first Nightmare scared me years before I turned around and embraced Krueger. I had books, I watched the TV show after I was supposed to be asleep (it was really bad), even had comics for it.
So with that much love for the franchise so far, especially part 3 and 4, how did what was reported to be The Final Nightmare hold up?
We can start with the director on this one Rachel Talalay, one of the few female directors in the field and even more important in the field of horror. She was also one of the producers on Dream Warriors and Dream Master of the Nightmare series. This film would mark her directorial debut, she would go on to give us Tank Girl then is largely relegated to TV for her career to date. In the documentary Never Sleep Again you can tell how passionate she is about the series and how much she believes in the franchise. Sadly, I am left to wonder how we got this product and design. It makes no bloody sense even on expanding Kruegers story, nothing is sold.
So let’s look at the script where Talalay has the story credit, with screenplay by Michael De Luca. De Luca would also give us In the Mouth of Madness and Judge Dredd (the silly one). Largely he is a producer and based on the turn out of this film he should stick to that. The story is nonsensical even for a Nightmare film with some of the worst possible dialogue in the franchise. I love that they let Freddy quip by part 3, part 4 was ok, part 5 was bad, this is worse with near product placement levels of dialogue from Krueger. I have seen old Warner Bros cartoons with less sound effects and slapstick. Any evidence of subtlety is just gone with effects that break even more of the rules of the franchise at a level that pushes to the ridiculous. I really could keep tearing into this part, but we should move onto the acting.
Englund clearly was in it for the paycheck. He was here to mug for the camera nothing more; I mean he is having a good time but it’s just comical now. Shon Greenblat as John Doe at least tries to play it as straight as he can along with other previous leads. He brings a level of self awareness to the not so subtle dream states that makes him watchable in that early 90’s teen kinda way. Lisa Zane, older sister to Billy, plays Maggie; and I swear I think Freddy took her ability to emote. Every line reads flat. Honestly, no one does a great job here, even Yaphet Kotto, Breckin Meyer, and completely random cameo’s by Johnny Depp, Rosanne Barr, and Tom Arnold. It just doesn’t work on any level.
Even the effects have gotten laughable. As mentioned I’ve seen Looney Toons with less ridiculousness. This movie is a freedy cartoon given to us in 3D. The make up is horrendous. Nothing and I mean nothing works. Even Krueger looks like he is wearing a twenty buck halloween mask.
This movie is awful. Just awful. It isn’t the worst of the series, that belongs to 2, as this is at least watchable in how bad it is vs. being some kind of fetish film. It looks cheap. It is cheap. You can see the Matte painting back drops. The sets look left over from the even worse TV series. There’s so very little redeeming about this MST3K worthy film. It is just so silly. There’s nothing even remotely scary about it.
The best way to see this is with alcohol or sleep deprevation so you just don’t care.
There are no nightmares to be found in this film.