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the original NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET and its sequels

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  • the original NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET and its sequels

    Who remembers a time when Freddy Krueger did not exist in the horror lexicon? Before Freddy, Jason, and Michael Meyers, the traditional monsters were still Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolfman and Godzilla. Halloween (1978) and A Nightmare On Elm Street changed all that.

    A Nightmare On Elm Street was a true original in 1984. I'd seen a lot of horror films by then, but the dream logic of this film was something new. I went to see it reluctantly because I was not a fan of Wes Craven's films. The quality of his work varies greatly, but Nightmare impressed me and I had a great time with it. I didn't keep up with the sequels. I saw one, but I'm not even sure which one. What sticks in your mind about this series? What stands out in the sequels? What are the strengths and weaknesses?

    Which sequel should I watch?
    "I've been to college, but I can still speak English when business demands it."
    - Raymond Chandler, 1939.

  • #2
    I still find the original a very effective film. I was a kid when it came out, saw it on VHS as a fairly new release at a friend's house (my parents wouldn't let me rent it, his would) and it freaked us all out. Depp's death scene still gets to me and some of the imagery I still find very unsettling.

    Once you get to the sequels though, it's a very mixed bag. 2 is just odd, but as stated in the other thread pretty dark and sometimes interesting. 3 takes the series in interesting directions but gets campier as the movie progresses and starts to turn Freddy into almost some sort of supervillain, not the same thing as a movie monster, really. They go down hill from there until you get to New Nightmare, which is interesting and effective.

    If you're going to delve into the sequels, do it in sequential order. You'll get more out of them that way.
    Rock! Shock! Pop!

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    • #3
      Oh, and as an afterthought, see this documentary if you have even a passing interest in the series. It's excellent.

      Click image for larger version

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      Rock! Shock! Pop!

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      • #4
        According to DVDaficionado, all DVD editions have been edited. I meant to ask in my initial post, what's been changed in the home video version, does anyone know?

        Warner Brothers is releasing a box-set of 1-4 on Blu-ray October 10.
        "I've been to college, but I can still speak English when business demands it."
        - Raymond Chandler, 1939.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Richard--W View Post
          According to DVDaficionado, all DVD editions have been edited. I meant to ask in my initial post, what's been changed in the home video version, does anyone know?

          Warner Brothers is releasing a box-set of 1-4 on Blu-ray October 10.
          As I recall, the only cut is Tina's death scene when she falls from the ceiling onto the bed, sending up a pretty good spray of blood. I haven't seen the uncut version since 1988, but I remember that vividly....it was very effective and unsettling.

          I am a huge fan of the first film, it blows my mind with how original it was every time I watch it. I didn't enjoy the second one, but do own the third installment on DVD...I like it for what it is, but as Ian said, it does get pretty campy. Also enjoyed New Nightmare, but the rest of the sequels are garbage with very little to validate watching them.

          That Nightmare Legacy, though, the documentary, is fantastic and very thorough. Even though I disliked the sequels, the interviews on the documentary are enjoyable and worth seeing.

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          • #6
            I re-watched them all recently. The first one holds up great as does the third one (which is my favorite), New Nightmare is as stated above good as well, but it didn't hold up as well as I hoped when revisiting it, still the third best in the series though. I think all of the other sequels have scenes and ideas that are good in one way or the other, but as films they fail to deliver.
            Collection: http://geten.dvdaf.com/owned?rc=1

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            • #7
              Probably my gateway drug into horror films, the sequels I think have hurt the reputation of the original film which would be held in higher regard I think if the rest of the films hadn't been made.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Randy G View Post
                Probably my gateway drug into horror films, the sequels I think have hurt the reputation of the original film which would be held in higher regard I think if the rest of the films hadn't been made.
                Agreed. They took something genuinely scary and turned it into a joke.
                Rock! Shock! Pop!

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                • #9
                  Well, I still hold the original in high regard.
                  "I've been to college, but I can still speak English when business demands it."
                  - Raymond Chandler, 1939.

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                  • #10
                    Personally my favorite is Part 3. Has a really nice balance, likable characters, amazing practical effects work, and also it was the one that I remember best when I was six years old and got into Horror.

                    2 is interesting. It's not really successful but it has moments. Part 1 I want to like and I remember liking it back in the day. But I really detest Heather Langemkamp's performance. Just greatly detest her in that film, but I like her in Part 3 and 7 so go figure. 7 is another film I want to like but the child actor really took me out of it.

                    Jackie Earle Haley was the only positive thing about the remake and I really want to see him return as Freddy in a film that isn't a remake.
                    "Ah! By god's balls what licentiousness!"

                    Marquis de Sade, The 120 Days of Sodom.

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                    • #11
                      I've seen all of these, but most of them I haven't seen since they first came out so I can't really comment. I did, however, re-watch 1, 3, and New Nightmare not too long ago. To me, the first one is still a classic...held up really, really well for me (with the slight exception of the booby-trapping in the finale -- seems to be an obsession of WC and always strikes me as silly). 3 on the other hand really disappointed. I remembered that as being pretty good, but apart from a fun performance from Saxon I didn't find a lot to like that time around. Dunno...might have just been my mood. I like New Nightmare quite a bit...wasn't as good as I remembered, but still quite enjoyable.

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                      • #12
                        First one was great...and STILL watchable today...they got the tone and everything right with it....

                        PART 2 was a bit disappointing at the time...but have later grown to love the dark, twisted undercurrents to the story...

                        PART 3 entertaining at teh time...but has dated badly...The start of "wisecracking" Freddy...and his downfall...

                        part 4/5 are a waste...except for the SFX and dream sequences that could be very imaginative...Freddy became a joke though

                        FREDDY'S DEAD....never been brave enough to watch it!!!!

                        NEW NIGHTMARE...nice try to resurrect "scary" Freddy...but already much to late.....

                        FREDDY VS JASON....Surprisingly good use of Freddy in this "comic book like" episode....Nothing scary about him really...but nice to see him embrace the spirit of the movie...

                        The TV pilot by TOBE HOOPER that was a prequel to nightmare on elm street was pretty good too...Nice to see Englund without makeup on fill the role!!!

                        REMAKE...ERM, no thanks!!!

                        ...NEXT QUESTION....do we need another one???

                        Not sure...would love to see them do EITHER a very scary one...OR a FREDDY VS JASON type movie....

                        PLEASE get someone either
                        a) very talented
                        or
                        b) very unusual to do it...not some music director hack job!!!

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                        • #13
                          Ronny Yu was an interesting choice to do Freddy Vs. Jason but you get the impression as you watch it that he was maybe compromising things a bit. Compared to some of his HK stuff, it's nowhere near as inventive or interesting to look at. It was fun in its own right, but not on the same level as Bride With White Hair or something like that. I liked what he did with Bride Of Chucky though...
                          Rock! Shock! Pop!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ian Jane View Post
                            Ronny Yu was an interesting choice to do Freddy Vs. Jason but you get the impression as you watch it that he was maybe compromising things a bit. Compared to some of his HK stuff, it's nowhere near as inventive or interesting to look at. It was fun in its own right, but not on the same level as Bride With White Hair or something like that. I liked what he did with Bride Of Chucky though...
                            Yeah..BRIDE OF CHUCKY was well done!!

                            FREDDY VS JASON turned out the best it could I think...Entertaining comic book style movie..Ronnie Did the best he could with it but, like you say, he didnt have the same control over it as he probably would have in a HK movie......But when you watch the REMAKE, you could see it could have been FAR worse.....

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                            • #15
                              Rock! Shock! Pop!

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