This is clever and I’m so glad Wes is back in the drivers seat. It’s crazy, that after a week of Elm Street movies, I’ve come full circle from the effective, inspirational first movie to this final offering which is closer to the Scream franchise in essence that the Elm Street machine but more mature, cleaner and gorier that the rest of the in between fillers. As Craven say’s himself during the movie in a cameo, to paraphrase ‘The franchise gets watered down, but this time, Krueger is darker’.
The film is basically the story of the actors from the first film, here ten years later, Wes wants them back in another final installment. But whilst Wes works on the script, the spirit of Krueger is back to haunt the nightmares of all those involved, from Special effects crew, to actors Robert Englund, John Saxon and Heather Langenkamp, but the script reflects the crazy nightmares which are taking place. Is this reality? Is Krueger real? It’s not long before reality is blending with the fantasy of the Elm Street movies, with Heather becoming her former character, Nancy.
The balance is dead right here. Krueger is eviler and nastier than ever before with a new set of claws and an interesting twist on the makeup. No more comical, loveable villain, this time, we have all the evil from the first. It’s nicely filmed too. Craven is a master behind the camera and knows how to pace a film, which flows perfectly.
What I liked about this film was it’s dominant force. It makes the rest look even more ridiculous with great style and self reflection, as a respectful homage to it’s former first film. It laughs in the face of what has happened in between and cleans up all the anger which the fans have mustered all these years, finally putting an end to the bad dream which was unfortunately New Lines greed.
The self tribute offers some brilliant reimaginings of events from the original. The scene with the babysitter trashed in the hospital, levitated and dragged along the ceiling, here is done with such credence and perfection. I also love the eternal phrase ‘screw your pass!’
Langenkamp is amazing in this film. She has matured into a cracking actress and as always, I’ve said this before, it’s credit to Craven for picking the talent of the unknown actor and encouraging growth through nurture. Englund is also very fine here, its great to see him getting his teeth into a solid role rather than making himself look stupid with a bad script.
Realistically, if you fancy taking in some of the Elm Street sights, you can’t go far wrong than to stick with the first and skip to the last, the rest is just a bad dream.