Son of 100 Maniacs Part 2

The second of a series of articles looking back at the Nightmare On Elm Street films
July 08, 2010
In case you missed part 1, it can be located here:

Son of 100 Maniacs Part 1

Writers: William Kotzwinkle, Brian Helgeland, Jim Wheat, Ken Wheat
Director: Renny Harlin
Release Date: 8/19/88
Domestic Box Office: $49,369,899
Adjusted for Inflation*: $95,000,000

After a year of lying dormant, Freddy finds a way to return and finish off the last of the Dream Warriors. After dispatching Kincaid and Joey, Freddy faces off with Kristen (Tuesday Knight), who uses her dream powers one last time to bring newcomer Alice (Lisa Wilcox) into her dream. In her final moments, Kristen inexplicably passes her powers onto Alice, which sets up a whole new set of problems. It seems as though Freddy is only able to enter the dreams of the descendants of his vigilante attackers, and so now that Alice possesses the ability to bring people into her dreams, and has a knack for accidentally using them on a regular basis, she becomes a vessel for Freddy to continue killing all the children of Elm Street.

Freddy: "How's this for a wet dream?"

While the film has its moments, it's clear that the screenplay was rushed and as a result became a bit of a mess. It's also become evident that the filmmakers at this point decided that Freddy, while still the antagonist, is now the hero of the series, and as a result the teenagers are now much weaker, and far too easily killed. I did like the character of Alice though, who starts out as a shy, mousy outcast but develops well into the strong female protagonist by the film's climax.

Freddy: "How sweet, fresh meat!"

Nightmare On Elm Street 4 became the most successful entry of the series yet, and helped director Renny Harlin land a dream job of helming Die Hard 2 soon after. While it's a visually impressive film through its special effects, it still suffers through its flawed writing, but still remains one of the better sequels in the series.


Writers: John Skipp, Craig Spector, Leslie Bohem
Director: Stephen Hopkins
Release Date: 8/11/89
Domestic Box Office: $22,168,359
Adjusted for Inflation*: $44,000,000

Another year passes, and Freddy returns just in time for Alice and Dan's graduation from high school. After Freddy kills Dan in an automobile accident, Alice discovers that she's carrying Dan's child, whom Freddy is using as a vessel to get to her new friends. At this point in the series, the premise started to grow quite stale and formulaic. While Alice remains a good, strong opponent to Freddy, the rest of the characters are dull and unappealing, again solidifying Freddy's new role as the hero, or rather anti-hero. However, from a cinematography standpoint, this entry is unique in its more Gothic-inspired backdrop. Like the film Labyrinth, it also pays homage to M. C. Escher's famous Relativity lithograph.

Freddy: "It's a boy!"

In retrospect, the film is far from being one of the worst of the series, as it still possesses impressive visual effects and good direction from Stephen Hopkins, who went on to helm Predator 2 almost immediately afterwords. Although, I still believe that if they had put a little more time into the script the film could've been much better as a result.


Writers: Rachel Talalay, Michael De Luca
Director: Rachel Talalay
Release Date: 9/13/91
Domestic Box Office: $34,872,033
Adjusted for Inflation*: $66,000,000

After The Dream Child grossed less than half of its predecessor, New Line began to lose faith in the staying power of their slasher superstar. CEO Robert Shaye decided the best course of action would be to produce one more entry, and kill him off for good, hence ending the series on a high note. The result was a bit of a mixed bag though...

Freddy: "I'll get you, my pretty, and your little soul too!"

The premise of this one basically revolves around Freddy stuck in Springwood with no more children to kill, and the residents have all lost their minds and refuse to procreate out of fear of him returning. So Freddy needs his long-lost offspring to return to town so he can use their body as a vessel to start fresh in a new town. Things begin to get a tad too zany and surreal here. Any last remnants of Freddy's intimidating presence are now officially gone, and the film delves far too much into self-parody. Even the film's 3-D climax is rather anti-climactic, as in the past he'd already been killed in far more interesting ways. Not to say that this film is nearly as bad as most fans declare though, it still has its moments, and some of the comedy is effective at least. It's still a little weaker than its predecessor in terms of overall quality, however.


Maggie: "Freddy's dead!"

Or is he?...

* Approximately calculated based on average ticket price of year released versus 2010.[/b][/i][/align]
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