Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare

1991, R, 96 min. Directed by Rachel Talalay. Starring Robert Englund, Lisa Zane, Shon Greenblatt, Yaphet Kotto.

REVIEWED By Marc Savlov, Fri., Sept. 20, 1991

More so than any other type of film, monster movies undoubtedly produce the greatest amount of sequels. From James Whale's Frankenstein to John Carpenter's Halloween, and from Merian Cooper's King Kong to Sean Cunningham's Friday the 13th, the sequel has always been part of the game. Ditto, of course, with the Nightmare on Elm Street series, of which this new offering promises to be the last. As much an American pop icon as Willard Scott or Stephen King, Freddy Krueger -- Hollywood's resident Sandman From Hell -- has devolved from the horrific, ill-defined phantasm posited in the original film, into a bland and annoyingly predictable boogeyman loved by kids everywhere. (Has everybody forgotten the character's lurid origins as a jovial child molester, a la John Wayne Gacy? Apparently so.) As for Freddy's Dead, there's not much to say that you probably haven't already guessed, except, maybe, that it's even worse than you thought it might be. Jumping wildly from dreams to reality and back again, director Talalay and crew never seem to figure out what they want to do. There's a well-intentioned stab at trying to sort out the various intricacies of Freddy's mortal life, but even these are scattershot and ultimately unenlightening. Plotted by the brain-dead, the story seems more like a crazed collection of cast-off ideas and scenes than a serious attempt at horror filmmaking. The last twenty-odd minutes of the film were shot in cheesy, anaglyphic 3-D, which only adds to its overall annoyance/headache level. Not a good idea, people. Freddy's Dead is hardly a fitting capstone to one of the genre's more original notions, but after six tries, what should we expect? Something better than this tripe, surely. “The Final Nightmare?” Please.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Rachel Talalay Films
Ghost in the Machine
Exploring new realms of unoriginality, Ghost in the Machine begs, borrows and steals bits and pieces from other, not-all-that-much-better films (The Lawnmower Man and Wes ...

Marc Savlov, Dec. 31, 1993

More by Marc Savlov
Boy Erased
Joel Edgerton goes to gay conversion therapy's heart of darkness

Nov. 9, 2018

Bodied
Battle rap comedy takes no prisoners

Nov. 2, 2018

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, Rachel Talalay, Robert Englund, Lisa Zane, Shon Greenblatt, Yaphet Kotto

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle