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OMG! Level 15! - Level 15
I've been teasing it for awhile now, and if you've talked to me at all in the past week, you've been bombarded with it. For those of you who don't know, I love the Nightmare On Elm Street series. I loved it the first time I saw it many years ago, and I love it even more today. And now I bring to you, my faithful readers...
(Why yes, I DID make this in Microsoft Paint! How kind of you to notice!)
Let's set up a little atmosphere, shall we? Go ahead and listen to this while you read.
This Nightmare On Elm Street kick first started back in Halloween, but came in at full force when I recorded and watched Wes Craven's New Nightmare. Then, when I realized how close Christmas was, I became dead-set on getting every Elm Street movie. And I did.
Because I like to review things, and I wanted to watch all of these movies back-to-back-to-back, I figured, "Why not review them all in a blog on GIO?" So here we are. Let's take a look at the first film, shall we?
WARNING: THERE WILL BE SPOILERS! If you would like to watch these films, please, do so, I highly recommend them. If you want to go in completely fresh, do not read these reviews!
I reviewed this already a few months ago, and I stand by the review now, for the most part. The movie is still chilling, but some of the special effects look so silly. One thing I didn't point out in that review however, was the acting. John Saxon (Nancy's dad), Robert Englund (Freddy), and Heather Langenkamp (Nancy) all do a fine job as their respective characters, but the supporting actors don't have nearly the amount of charisma and believability as these three standouts. Nancy herself doesn't even become all that interesting or believable until the second act!
What it lacks in those departments, it makes up in the creepy, surreal story. You start to care for these characters because of what's happening in their lives, and you don't really want any of them to be killed. That's one thing I've noticed in this entire series; they set up their characters to be likable before trying to kill them off. But, I'm getting ahead of myself.
There's really not much else I can say about this one. It's a great and classic horror film, and I can't recommend it enough. However, if you can't get over some of the goofiness that takes place, I have something I'd like to recommend to you. More on that later.
From me, Nightmare On Elm Street gets 4.5 stars out of 5, for being so original and frightening for the time, and in my opinion, for being a film that still holds up to this day.
The best death in the movie? Glen's, hands down.
Not only is it awesome and terrifying, it's also one of the most iconic kills in any horror movie. Fun Fact: Glen is played by Johnny Depp.
Oh, and here's one little thing I noticed while watching it.
(Nightmare On Elm Street did LOLcats before it was cool. And before the internet!)
And Nightmare On Elm Street's ending set up a sequel for Freddy's return, and he does indeed return in...
A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge.
The story here is a little confusing, but it basically goes like this: Five years after Nancy defeats Freddy in the first movie, a new family has moved into their home. This family is the Walsh family, with the main character of the film being Jesse Walsh. He starts having nightmares about Freddy Krueger, and they get progressively worse throughout the movie.
Eventually, Freddy tries to make Jesse start killing for him, so he can come back into the real world. Being a normal human being, Jesse doesn't do it, but Freddy has ways of controlling people.
The acting is a little bit better than the first movie, but there's no really memorable moments or characters outside of Freddy and the two main characters, and even those last two aren't that great. They do their job, don't get me wrong, but there's nothing that really makes them stand out.
The story itself, while somewhat interesting, is kind of confusing and almost seems unnecessary. I can't think of any real connections it has to the third entry, so it's just sort of a one-off thing.
I only recommend this movie if you're a big Freddy fan, and want as much Elm Street as you can get. Otherwise, just skip it.
I give it 2.5 stars out of 5.
(Thanks for the help, Wikipedia!)
Best death? Grady's, though that's not really saying much. And I can't find a clip of it on Youtube, so you'll just have to take my word for it.
The next entry is, from what I've seen of the series so far, the best one since the original.
This movie is amazing. The characters, the kills, the moments, the special effects, the... everything! Unlike Nightmare 1 and 2, I had never seen Dream Warriors before now, and boy was I in for a treat.
Wes Craven returns as one of the writers for the film, and it definitely shows. This movie has as much care and effort put into it as the first one, and it keeps you interested throughout.
The story is very well put together, and I wouldn't be able to do it justice by trying to explain it here. Just trust me when I say it's fantastic. Nancy also makes a return, which is a nice callback for the fans.
And while Nancy and every other character is great in the movie, the one that really steals the show is Roland Kincaid, played by Ken Sagoes. Everything he says is extremely harsh, but it's also awesome and hilarious.
I hate that I couldn't go more into detail with this review, but I feel it's almost necessary to go into it as fresh as possible. I'd only seen one review of the movie, and I got a ton of enjoyment out of it. Of course, I only recommend this film if you've seen and liked the first one. Otherwise, there's really no point, you're clearly not going to like it.
I give this entry 5 stars out of 5, even though the original is still my favorite. It has a nostalgic hold on me, what can I say?
The best death is a tie between Phillip's and Jennifer's for me. Watch these clips and judge for yourself.
And now for the last movie in the first DVD collection I had.
A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master. I couldn't find a large enough picture of the movie's poster, so here's a picture of Freddy in sunglasses.
If you couldn't already tell, this is where the series gets silly and confusing.
The story picks up about a year after Dream Warriors, and follows the surviving cast of that movie, while setting up new characters. Freddy's out for revenge against the remaining dream warriors, and won't stop until he kills them and collects their souls. Yes, Freddy collects souls now. Don't ask.
The dream warriors themselves, after defeating Freddy, have returned to normal life, and are now going to the same school. Here, they meet a bunch of new friends, which are obviously just being set up to be killed. Once Freddy kills off the remaining cast of the third movie, he learns that Alice, this movie's main character, has somehow gotten their dream powers and can do the things those characters did in their dreams.
Freddy uses Alice to get to the new batch of souls, and kills them off one by one. As the characters are killed off, Alice collects their powers, and eventually becomes the Dream Master. If you read this summary without laughing, I applaud you.
Yes, this is the point in the series where it's going straight for fantastical elements, gore, and comedy. It's not that they aren't trying to be entertaining, because it's still very entertaining, it's that it's not trying to be scary anymore. Well, not unless you have insectophobia... *shudders*
Silly plot line aside, the characters themselves aren't bad, and the writing it pretty funny. The main problem I had with this movie was the way they killed off the three Dream Warriors characters. Two of the most likable characters and Joey are killed off extremely unceremoniously, and it almost hurts to see them die with little to no fanfare.
I give this movie 3 stars out of 5.
With that said, the best death in this movie is easily Debbie's.
This would have been where this blog ended, but since I plan to review five movies in the next blog, I felt it'd be a bit uneven if I didn't review something here. That's when I had the brilliant idea of reviewing this!
When Freddy Krueger was first announced as a downloadable Mortal Kombat character, I nearly lost my mind. Two big elements of my mid-childhood were coming together at last, and I couldn't be more thrilled. Then I remembered I didn't have Mortal Kombat, and my interest started to fade.
Fast forward to Christmas, where I knew I could get Mortal Kombat and a $20 PSN gift card. Literally the first thing I did on Christmas morning was boot up my PS3, input the code on the card, and download Freddy. I didn't even put in the game before I doing so!
And I don't regret it one bit.
Freddy Krueger is a great fighter, who's both agile and deadly. As someone who usually plays with Scorpion, it was a fairly easy transition of characters, and Krueger will most likely be my main choice once I learn all of his moves. While his design is mostly based on Jackie Earle Haley's Freddy, most of the moves are reminisent of the original series (granted, there's only one entry in the new series, but I digress).
You can tell the team a NetherRealm are fans of the character, and weren't just putting him in as a cool novelty. If you have Mortal Kombat and five dollars to spare, I highly recommend downloading Freddy.
And that's it for this entry of the Nightmare-A-Thon. Tune in next week as I review five more films, and list the best-to-worst films in the series. Everyone loves lists, right?
I hope you all had fun reading this blog as much as I did writing it, and I'll see you all next week.