Directed by: Rachel Talalay
Premise: In the sixth entry in the Nightmare on Elm Street series, the last surviving teen of Springwood (Shon Greenblatt) suffers amnesia and drifts into the city, encountering a social worker (Lisa Zane) who has a connection to Springwood and Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund).
What Works: Freddy’s Dead is a bizarre, Twilight Zone-inspired mishmash of crazy characters and it wins a couple of style points for looking like no other Nightmare film.
What Doesn’t: Although it attempts to conclude the series on a grand finale, Freddy’s Dead falls short. The film takes all the wrong cues from the previous films and is a compilation of every major mistake in the series. The picture moves Freddy Krueger front and center, constantly making wisecracks and the film reduces an intimidating villain into a colorful commentator who rarely presents an actual threat to the teens of the film. The dream sequences become more and more fantastic, removing Freddy from his conflict with the characters and putting the teens in situations that are not immediate or threatening. Freddy is lit with ugly, unforgiving lights that reveal the makeup as rubber appliances and make the character look like the Halloween masks that he has inspired. The film is strewn with pop culture references that are terribly dated and will likely go over the heads of anyone who wasn’t a teenager in the early 1990s and they only seem to be there to convince the audience that the filmmakers are hip. As Freddy’s Dead moves towards its climax, the picture incorporates a 3-D effect that is not very convincing and takes the audience on a flashback of Freddy’s youth but it does not convey anything interesting about his psychotic nature or change the way we have viewed the character in the previous films.
DVD extras: DVD-ROM features, optional 3-D or 2-D ending.
Bottom Line: Freddy’s Dead is a big disappointment and sits at the very bottom of the Nightmare on Elm Street series. There is very little to redeem the film except for a few memorable cameos.
Episode: #261 (October 25, 2009)