Monday, October 22, 2018

I'll Get You, My Pretty! And Your Little Soul, Too!

Freddy’s Dead (1991) is tonally almost the complete opposite of A Nightmare on Elm St. (1984). Freddy Krueger is no longer a grimy mysterious stranger, he’s now familiar, and playful; a murderous Bugs Bunny figure who throws chaos into a situation for laughs as much as horror. There’s nothing really dangerous about the series at this point, it doesn’t delve into topics like drugs, teen suicide, or sexual abuse. The Nightmare films were never exactly a font for social topics, but those elements were woven into the texture of the horror. Instead, we trade that for wacky antics and a finale in 3-D.

Once again a Nightmare film reaches into Freddy’s lineage and involves him plotting to find a way to gain access to kids who were not descendants of the people who murdered him, this time by having him draw his secret child back to Springwood. It tries to pull a surprise twist by having the obvious choice for Freddy’s kid end up dead, but the true reveal still feels a little flat.

That’s not to say Freddy’s Dead isn’t fun. It’s filled with some inventive and ridiculous moments, including a huge ever-unfolding road map, a silent comedy routine, and the infamous Powerglove sequence. Even when the Nightmare series was starting to come to an end it was still far and away the most imaginative of the pop-culture slasher films. Freddy’s arrival and demise mirrored the horror boom of the 1980s, gritty and fearsome early on, and goofy and safe by the end.

It wouldn’t be the last time we see Freddy, but what would come next was honestly surprising…

No comments:

Post a Comment