Tuesday, May 04, 2010
Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)
Freddy has been awful busy since his failed attempt at fatherhood as Springwood has just one teen left and the adults are experiencing mass psychosis due to the disappearance of all their children. We learn this in the only feasible way possible to start the final(?) chapter of a horror franchise, that is, through computer animated statistics. Anyway, Freddy releases the last surviving kid into the outside world to unwittingly bring back his now adult daughter and as an added bonus, some stowaway teens that are trying to escape the group home they are stuck at in the next town over.
Once back in Springwood, the runaways are ordered to take the van straight back to the home (Hey, just because they were trying to flee by hiding in the back doesn't mean they'll still run when you hand over the keys, right?), but Freddy has them running in circles as Springwood is trapped by some sort of dream forcefield. It took six films, but at least somebody finally tried getting the hell outta Dodge, even if they weren't necessarily running from anything just yet. They decide to hole up on Elm street until morning while Maggie (Freddy's daughter) and John Doe teenager try to figure out the shared connection they seem to have with the town. This proves to be difficult as literally the entire town has gone wacko. We know this because every single citizen talks to imaginary children. I think it's safe to assume the screenwriters did not minor in Psychology.
Anyway, most of the teens are disposed of in properly madcap fashion before Freddy possesses the body of his daughter, as this is the only route by which he can escape Springwood. His plan is a fresh start in another Ohio suburb and it will be up to Maggie and another volunteer doctor, who got a dream therapy book from the library and therefore is now an expert, to save the rest of the youth in the group home.
I really cannot justify myself here as it goes against everything I have been railing about the last few sequels, but I kind of like Freddy's Dead. It may just be that it transcends its awfulness (and it is awful in practically every regard) into the arena of cheese cinema at its finest.
To be fair, the premise of properly ending a franchise that has had little cohesiveness through the first five entries is a difficult one. We are treated to several scenes of Fred Krueger before his death with some typical choices (Yes, we all know serial killers start by abusing animals) and a few portraits of him as a doting father. It is not unreasonable to project a child killer in this way as there have been real life examples of family men who have done hideous things to strangers, but the necessity really is not there. There is nothing about her presence or actions that mark his defeat in any specific fashion. She acts as every other final girl has by throwing everything she could get her hands on at him (Ninja stars? Really?) and coming out on top. As well, there is nothing "final" about his death other than those ridiculous floating snakehead things coming out of him (an explanation for how he came to be Freddy was all but impossible to satisfy, but still, what they came up with was pretty weak).
Nevertheless, I was entertained yet again by this entry. If only I could figure out why...