Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Still Freddy's finest hour...

And it's also probably the best 'part 7' in cinematic history. Granted there isn't much competition in the limited realm of seventh chapters. Halloween H20, Friday the 13th: The New Blood, Star Trek: Generations, Police Academy: Mission To Moscow, and Diamonds Are Forever are the only ones that spring to mind. And while it may not be the only instance where part 7 is better than part 1 (Star Trek: Generations is better than Star Trek: The Motion Picture), it's certainly the only instance where part 7 is the absolute best in a franchise. Without question, Wes Craven's New Nightmare is the best Nightmare On Elm Street film of them all and one of the best horror films of the 1990s. This one is Wes Craven's masterpiece, bar none, and easily the best of the Nightmare On Elm Street series

The picture works as a deconstruction of the slasher genre, an emotionally wrenching portrait of grief, and a genuinely terrifying piece of horror of its own right. On the surface, the movie basically unleashes horror icon Freddy Kruger into the real world, where he terrorizes the real actors (Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon, Robert Englund) and filmmakers (Wes Craven, Robert Shaye) who brought him to life. In a deeper sense, this film operates as Freddy Kruger's The Shootist and/or In A Lonely Place. Like those films (as well as Jim Carrey's The Cable Guy and Adam Sandler's Punch Drunk Love), Wes Craven takes an iconic and beloved figure and places him in a more real-world environment, where we are forced to face just how unpleasant he really is (and thus acknowledge our guilt for cheering on his prior killing sprees). Freddy Kruger isn't the least bit funny this time around, and he's not dispatching half-naked teenagers for our blameless entertainment. Kruger's murders here have devastating consequences that will ripple throughout the lives of our lead characters long after the credits role. Wes Craven's New Nightmare does something astonishing: it makes us fear and hate Fred Kruger for perhaps the first time.

Scott Mendelson

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Absolutely on the money with this assessment.


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