Welcome to our 9 Deuce Horror group’s New Nightmare 9 Deuce discussion. This, of course, is a follow up to our last blog about A Nightmare on Elm Street. You know the drill by now. I ask 9 film specific questions and then have some wiggle room for 2 bonus questions that may not be film specific. I am your host, Kent, and today I am here with Dom, Kristi, Chris, and Sara. Please, if you are reading this and would like to participate in one of these, contact me.
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- I have to do it. Let’s talk about Dylan and the boy who played him. Give me an adjective to describe him because some people like him, some found him grating. Whip out the old thesaurus if you must.
Dom: I always remember him from Pet Sematary and Kindergarten Cop (Boys have a penis. Girls have a vagina) He’s like most kids in a movie you love or hate them. He was tolerable. (Wait wait wait, this ground-breaking news to me that he played Gage. My mind is blown and yet it makes so much sense. Wow, we are off to a great start. Hopefully we get to that movie by the end of the year.)
Kristi: Disturbing. I remember when I first watched this. That kid scared the crap out of me. Something about a little kid being possessed by Freddy is extremely unsettling. Kids freak me out as it is. This took it to a different level. (I know how you are with kids, so I was absolutely looking forward to this response.)
Chris: Annoying or cute. He vacillated between the 2. I feel a lot of it was the directing though. (Kids are so hit or miss in films, and I don’t usually blame the talent, it’s definitely more to do with the writing and how to relate to a child to get the right performance. )
Sara: I really love the one you used above; grating. I think, though, that like Chris said, a lot of that may have been directing. Also, it must be very difficult to be a child-actor in horror movies. (Or, really, any movie with a plotline that goes so far over a child’s head.) (Yeah, I can’t imagine, as a child, fully understanding what the adults are trying to get you to do.)
Kent: I have always found this kid grating and obnoxious. At times, his role gets a tad superfluous. Honestly, I think that they asked too much of the kid and he did as good of a job as he could, but as a viewer, I was close to pulling my hair …..oh wait. Nevermind.
- What is your favorite dream sequence or kill?
Dom: I agree with Chris. I feel this movie had way lack of death and creativity for them as well. (This may have had the worst nightmare sequences of the franchise. It survives as a good movie thanks to the story, but you are 100% right.)
Kristi: Watching the sitter get killed and dragged through the room made me a little happy. (So, as a 13 year old watching this, I was pissed to lose out on the eye candy, but enjoyed the death. As an adult, yeah, it definitely pleases me.)
Chris: The animatronic claw kills at the beginning. They shot their wad early. (I’ll ask you this, and I am sure we will discuss this at some point on FB or on XBox, but wasn’t it almost necessary to shoot their proverbial wad early? In the same way that Scream gave us that opening scene that set the tone. Tradition states that every Nightmare film has to start with a nightmare, but this one felt like it wasn’t a dream, until you realized it was a dream and you were happy.)
Sara: My favorite kill was Chase’s, but partially because while watching it, Thomas couldn’t stop laughing at ‘Freddy getting creepy with that guy’s…..junk (his term, not mine.) (I do enjoy that boy’s take on things, haha.)
Kent: I gotta go with the opening, as it set the tone that this was something different. The hospital room may have been better, it didn’t have the lasting impact.
- What was the most uncomfortable or awkward scene in the film? There are a lot of them.
Dom: The credits.
Kristi: The Freddy claw coming out of the seat to grab Chases junk. It just makes me cringe for him (I thought for sure that more people would have given this answer. Razor blades and dude’s junk do not mix. Plus, his awful singing.)
Chris: The hospital. The whole thing. Obviously no one studied parental rights before writing the script. (I think they knew the rights, but for a film, it’s just easier to ignore things because they can fall back on the whole idea of a person bitching about reality in a film with a guy killing people in their dreams. Sometimes, you just gotta go for convenience and they wanted a way to have Julie alone with Dylan. Off the top of my bald head, I can’t really think of an easy explanation of how to do that without some lack of realism. Maybe Heather had to go to the bathroom. I don’t know. Not many good options to set up the kill.)
Sara: The first time I watched it, the scene near the beginning when Heather is talking to Robert England and he’s painting; the conversation just feels so forced and uncomfortable. As an adult, I was most bothered by the hospital chunk of the movie; like Chris states above, it’s painfully obvious that they never did any real research on how parental rights work. (I really like the painting scene, maybe because of the uncomfort level.)
Kent: I found Chase’s funeral to be a tad silly. Yes, it was a dream, but the aftermath was just foolish. Thankfully John Saxson was there to help me through such a scene.
- Heather Langenkamp (Nancy) has appeared in 3 Nightmare on Elm Street flicks, and she looks and dresses differently in each one. Which Heather/Nancy do you prefer?
Dom: Dream Warriors Nancy.
Kristi: I don’t recall 3 so I’m going with one. Her style annoyed me a little in this film. This is one of my favorites in the franchise but the chosen style for her wasn’t great.
Chris: New Nightmare. It had been a while and I forgot how well she rocked the short skirt, pantyhose combo
Sara: I am a fan of new nightmare Nancy; she was kinda a hottie, and you really don’t get that from the first and third movie. Also, it’s fair to note that last night it was making me CRAZY trying to figure out where else I knew her from, and after (REALLY) thinking about it, and doing some googling, she played a similarly dressed character in a late 80’s sitcom (Just the 10 of us.) (I absolutely remember watching that show as a kid. Heather also had a really small role in Wes Craven’s Shocker, which did not age well at all.)
Kent: Basically, my answer was going to be what Chris said. You can’t fault her look in the first one, and at times, she had some good looks to her. In Dream Warriors, in never worked for me, and I always thought that to be a shame. I think that they could have made her look a tad sexier, at least early on as she practically seduces Neil.
- Was the opening dream sequence really good, really cheesy, or both?
Kristi: I enjoyed it. I hadn’t watched this film in a while so it caught me off guard.
Sara: Absolutely both, but for me that’s the best part of every Freddy movie; the REALLY good cheese.
Kent: I’m going to simply say really good. I don’t find it cheesy. Especially compared to other opening dream sequences like parts 2 and 6.
- Do you feel that they killed off Chase too soon?
Dom: It was needed when it happened to progress the movie, so no.
Kristi: It was a little irritating that he fell asleep on a 3 hour drive, heading home to a family that was clearly in distress. I didn’t find that to be too believable but I think his character was unnecessary so it was good timing.
Chris: Not really, but there definitely wasn’t enough of a reaction to his death
Sara: The timing of his death within the movie didn’t bother me nearly so much as how fast Nancy seemed to move back to everyday life with just a few ‘he lost his father’/’my husband is dead.’ moments.
Kent: Everybody touched on pretty much every valid point that I had. It needed to happen so Heather could spiral quicker, as could Dylan. It was a short enough trip, and if he feared being tired, I’m sure other options could have been made.Yes, Nancy really didn’t have a long mourning phase, or so it seemed. I think that they could have had him last longer since his character and his occupation could have really added to the story, but they chose to not focus much on it. Really, Chase’s character was totally unnecessary aside from the opening. She could have just been a single mom.
- This film was a sudden departure from every Nightmare film prior, in that it wasn’t about killing a bunch of teens. Was this a much needed break in the horror genre or do you still crave the slaying of teens in your horror flicks?
Dom: Teens in trouble are always great but they wanted to try something new and went for it. Was it the greatest thing? No. Was it the Worst? No
Kristi: Much needed break. I think that’s why I liked this film so much. It is different from the teen slaying but still a solid flick. Creepy kids make for a good horror movie to me.
Chris: Teens are annoying as hell. But horror movies shouldn’t discriminate. Some of the most effective either put children in danger or make them the danger
Sara: I think this was a departure that was sort of necessary; I mean, how many different ways can the same bad guy kill teenagers. To stay relevant, they had to try something different, I say.
Kent: Had they stayed the course with what they had been doing, the film would have bombed, especially since Freddy was dead. Killing kids and adults can make for truly satisfying storytelling. Teens, well how much can you really invest in a teen’s character? As a kid, you relate to the kid. As an adult, you can relate to the adult and the kid, and if you’re a parent, there’s that added relation. Teens are just obnoxious. This was absolutely necessary in order to make a part 7. I really am in need of a good “kill a lot of teens” slasher flick though.
- Was this version of Freddy scarier than previous incarnations?
Kristi: When it first came out, it definitely freaked me out more so than the previous films. That kid seriously f*☆*ed with me. Now, I really don’t find any of them scary.
Sara: I went into this prepared to say ‘yes, he was scarier’ but then once I re-watched it, he wasn’t. I did, however really like the way that they tied the scare-factor of Freddy into Wes’ dreams. It wasn’t something I had considered before I saw this movie originally; that Freddy was a way for Wes to get the bad dreams out. (I would highly recommend finding the book for this film. It was one of the few books that I read as a teen that wasn’t for school. I simply didn’t like reading books at that point in my life. The extra bits that they add to the narrative from the writer’s perspective reminded me of what you talk about.)
Kent: I really thought that we would get a lot of yes responses. Dream Master Freddy is the scariest. He knew your weaknesses, toyed with you and still F’d you up.
- Looking back at your horror history, the 80’s was a golden age, and the 90’s had a few gems, but the genre didn’t pick up until the late 90’s and into the 2000’s. A lot of people credit Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer for bringing horror back. Do you feel that this film deserves more credit for helping to alter the genre or is in just another sequel in a well known franchise to you?
Dom: Just another film in the franchise. Interesting that they tried to make this film seem more “mature” than the previous ones. Like they looked at the earlier films and decided they were too “corny” and wanted to be more on the scare/intellect side of horror. But where would they have gone from here if they made a “sequel” to this film? Do you as Movie studio say it was a movie of a movie about a myth and wasn’t real? Do you even acknowledge it all? Is this the Halloween III of the Nightmare Series? (There’s a lot to soak in there. I wonder if Wes would have been willing to make a sequel to this if the studio asked, or if Wes really wanted this to be it. It is an outlier, just not as out there as Halloween III, but it’s an apt analogy and I will toss out Friday the 13th V due to Tommy Jarvis. But you have me thinking about this, and it’s a weird situation of how do you sell a movie based on a franchise that you have made popular.)
Kristi: Absolutley! In its time, it was pretty awesome!
Chris: It tried to differentiate itself from the earlier incarnations of the series and ended up being a mixed bag. For as many innovative movies as Wes Craven did, most were pretty formulaic I want to argue against your point about Wes being formulaic. I want to, but I simply can’t. I would say that Last House on the Left and Hills Have Eyes offered up something less formulaic than everything after that. Nightmare, Shocker, Scream, The Girl in the Photograph, and I am probably missing some all had a very similar formula. While I often complain about the predictability of modern horror, it’s really only when they are critically acclaimed. The reality is that I do love seeing certain formulas. Wes’ formula was something that I was a sucker for.)
Sara: I liked this film better than either of the two you mentioned above (Scream and I know what you did last summer) but don’t know that this deserves credit for bringing back horror, though I’m positive that it likely introduced a whole new group of people to Freddy movies, and that should always be celebrated. (I gotta say, I always thought that the “I Know What You Did” franchise was fairly cheesy and borderline awful, but they have aged surprisingly well if you are in the mood for that film formula. Well the first 2 did.)
Kent: I don’t think that Scream happens without this film being made. This was the turning point, I would say a huge inspiration for Scream. This was the first domino to fall, but it doesn’t get the respect that it deserves for being a catalyst. I consider this much more than a sequel. I also feel that this film inspired another favorite of mine, Behind The Mask: The RIse of Leslie Vernon. I highly recommend that one. Still, this probably doesn’t deserve credit for bringing horror back, but just know that without this, we wouldn’t have the landscape of late 90’s horror.
- Should they ever consider making another Nightmare on Elm Street, even in like 30 years, or should it belong to that time period?
Dom: The remake was ok. Like all remakes you compare it to the original and rarely does it ever seem as good or better. Nightmare on Elm Street is a product of it’s time. Nostalgic 80’s/90’s. So no, no other film UNLESS you can make it tie into the original franchise with the same cast. (Something that you didn’t out and out say, but knowing you, I think that you would agree, a remake would have to be rated R and as you know, studios are more and more reluctant to make a really good rated R film nowadays. The money is in PG-13. There are always exceptions, but the 80’s didn’t mind just going rated R. It’s a big reason why the 80’s is the golden age of horror. If they did remake it, I think it would be wise to utilize Lin Shaye’s brilliance in telling stories. She’s the white female horror version of Morgan Freeman. I just said a lot there.)
Kristi: This is a hard one. I would love to see another one but with all the crappy remakes and such that have come out, or are coming out, I don’t think so. And with Wes passing.. I feel like we should leave his legacy alone. If there was some way of honoring him and making the film not suck, yes. (You bring up a point that I hadn’t considered in all of this, and that’s Wes’ legacy. I agree with you on that.)
Chris: With the right script, cast, and director it could work. Mostly I think people would fuck it up like they did with the 2014(?) remake. (2010, I had to look it up. It was the first film that I took Raylene to, mainly because Freddy creeped her out as a child and I’m a total asshole.)
Sara: I say no. Just no. Even with good intentions, it generally gets screwed up and then I’m disappointed. (To that end, it’s going to be tough to have a good enough director and writer to really do it justice, and for the well established people, are they willing to tarnish their legacy remaking a cheesy, yet beloved horror franchise? Quite frankly, Halloween was very fortunate to have a guy like Rob Zombie remake the film.)
Kent: For years, I had suggested that Nightmare on Elm Street was a perfect candidate for a remake because of all the cheesiness of the original. Like there was an opportunity to really nail it and potentially perfect a great story with a bigger budget and better technique. I stand by that notion, that idea. The reality is that no remake is going to even make half of the old fans happy. Your idea of what a good sequel should be could very well be freshly squeezed garbage juice to me, and vice versa. OK, my remake would kick a lot of ass, but it still wouldn’t appease the masses. It’s all a subjective mess. We saw what happens when you remake it. Look at Rob Zombie’s great remake of Halloween and how much shit it takes. Honestly, if you look at the Nightmare remake, it is not a bad film. I will argue this until I am blue in the face. It’s not a bad film, but it could never reach the majority of people’s lofty expectations. We have learned that you can do some things to keep your fans happy if you follow along with the Star Wars franchise. The prequels are widely despised despite not being terrible films. They simply pale in comparison to the holy trilogy. OK, maybe Episode 2 was a bad film. Anyway, along comes Episode VII and they rehashed enough stuff from the original to appease the old fans, but enough new stuff to create new fans and keep the fans wanting more. Then they did Rogue One and killed it. I say all of this because it is entirely possible to do it, but the odds are extremely against it. In the same breathe, would a film about Freddy when he was alive doing all the bad shit, up to the finale of the parents exacting their revenge, would that film be of interest to you? I say that if you get the right talent, that could be the horror version of Rogue One and could be a hell of a film.
- Would you be up for another Nightmare on Elm Street blog at some point down the road? Most likely part 3, 4, or Freddy vs Jason?
Dom: Sure. Any of them.
Kristi: Not so much. There are so many other great films to explore. Time to move on.
Kent: I’m glad to see that 3 of you would be down. As long as these blogs keep going, it’s almost a guarantee that we will be touching on Dream Warriors at some point. Maybe next year for the first year anniversary or something. A break is a good thing. It would simply be insulting to my integrity if we never tackled that one and a handful of others. I have no qualms to suggest that we will inevitably tackle Pet Sematary, Carrie, both Halloween’s, Friday the 13th, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Ring, Psycho, Phantasm, Child’s Play, Saw, and so many more. My hope is that as time goes by, we find ways to tackle more content. There are so many amazing horror films to discuss, and Nightmare on Elm Street 2, that I am very excited.
We will be holding a vote in the Facebook group this week to determine the July 1st film. I hope to see you back on June 15th for The Babadook. Thank you so much for reading.
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