Posts tagged “Wes Craven

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge: 3.5 Stars


A Nightmare On Elm Street Collection - Front Blu-ray Cover (UK)Five years have passed since Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) was sent howling back to hell.  But now, a new kid on Elm Street is being haunted every night by gruesome visions of the deadly dream stalker.  And if his twisted soul takes possession of the boy’s body, Freddy will return from the dead to wreak bloody murder and mayhem upon the entire town.  When “A Nightmare on Elm Street” made a killing, horror fans shrieked for more. Soon the diabolic Freddy was resurrected with a vengeance, along with some of the most terrifying special effects ever to splatter the screen. Look for Robert Englund minus his Freddy face in the opening sequence. He’s a real scream!

1985  –  Certificate: 18  –  USA
Rating Details:  Strong violence and horror

I’ve often considered Boxing Day to be a sort of inferior sequel to Christmas Day.  Well, okay, to tell the truth I’ve never actually thought that at all.  In fact, until about two minutes ago the idea had never even crossed my mind.  But there I was, sitting here and trying to think of something to write about this film and life in general and it just popped into my head.  I lead such a dull and monotone existence that it’s not always easy to come up with interesting stuff to say on the spur of the moment; there’re only so many things I can comment on about the weather and the amount of e-mail I get at work.  I did the washing-up about an hour ago, but that didn’t really give me the sort of emotional connection with the subject matter I was really looking for.  I do wish I could learn to rinse up a glass after I’ve used it though, it would really reduce the amount of washing-up I need to do quite considerably; but I’ve never been one for doing that when there’s a clean supply in the cupboard ready for use.  Even when I was young I was like this.  I guess I was just a hardcore rebel, fighting the system, looking to piss off The Man, running through the dark streets at night, giving the finger to society; or maybe I was just lazy.  Anyway, as I was saying, I’ve often considered Boxing Day to be a sort of sequel to Christmas Day; and all I really wanted to point out is that sequels are generally not as good as the originals, which is a bit like Boxing Day and Christmas Day.  Which brings us to this film.

Freddy’s revenge eh?  Sounds like serious stuff and to be fair at this point in the franchise Freddy was still the evil ne’er-do-well he started out as in the first movie; his later penchant for clever one-liners had yet to really take hold.  Trouble is, he spends most of this film trying to physically escape from inside some young lad, rather than terrorising loads of teens.  True, he does take time out to turn up at a party and trash it, but most of the time he’s inside rather confused teen Jesse.  Then again, this is the gay Nightmare movie, so it’s perhaps not so surprising after all.  If you view the film from this prospective it makes a lot more sense; if you’ve never done that, try it and see.  (By which I mean watching the film; I’m not suggesting everyone goes out and has a homosexual experience just so they can understand this film better, although if you want that’s fine too.)  I did quite enjoy the school bus scene the beginning, which does a clever job of turning a normal trip on a bus into a, em, nightmare one.  Then again, I could have just as much ‘fun’, albeit at a far lower speed, travelling on a Night Bus in London in the early hours of a Saturday morning.  All in all it’s a pretty average film, but the two main characters are quite engaging in their own way and I suppose you have to respect the makers for trying a slightly different angle this time around.  And it does have Fred Krueger in it of course.

Recommended for those that watched “A Nightmare on Elm Street”, obviously.

1 cat, no chainsaws or decapitations.  Well I think it’s a cat but it’s not a very nice cat.  I guess it suits Freddy though; I can’t really imagine him playing nicely with a cute kitten.

Top badass moment?  It has to be Lisa Webber driving to the old steelworks in the middle of the night, to confront Freddie and rescue her crush Jessie.  Not only is this a completely stupid thing to do under any circumstances, but he’s already told her he’s killed two people, including a mutual friend, whilst standing in front of her covered in blood; he’s also tried to kill her too, he’s trashed her home and when she tried to make out with him he wasn’t even into it.  That’s true friendship for you and friendship is badass.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (5.1/10)


Scream 2: 3.0 Stars


Scream 2  -  Front DVD CoverToday the world woke up to the fact that however good Polish workers are, you wouldn’t want to employ one to fix your roof.  This afternoon, England managed yet another lacklustre performance and gained a draw against Poland.  However, the real highlight of the football coverage came yesterday, watching ITV’s commentary team, lead by Adrian Chiles, desperately trying to fill two and a half hours, sitting in a studio watching it raining outside.  The highlight was Chiles’s genuine query to the rest of the team, “What’s the difference between heavy rain and a downpour?”  It gave a whole new meaning to the word “inane”.  Sadly, we were not treated to any great insight or wisdom on this matter either, which just goes to prove that men really can’t talk about anything other than football.  Although it has to be said that a group of men employed to commentate on an international football match probably do represent the pinnacle of male development, so it’s hardly surprising that something as complex as the weather might elude them.  I also enjoyed FIFAs attempts to entertain the crowd with its throw-back to the golden age of silent cinema; watching the referee regularly come out with a ball and then randomly throw it into the air and watch it land with a splash without bouncing, was a wonderful pastiche of the early greats, such as Charlie Chaplin Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton.  It was raining, the pitch was clearly getting more and more waterlogged, what did he expect to happen? (If he was an astronaut he’d be the one to go outside and take off his helmet, just to check that there really wasn’t any air there.)  Not a smile did he flash either, not even for a moment; I couldn’t tell if he was totally raging inside at the futility of what he was being told to do, in front of millions of people, and getting soaked doing it, or he really was taking it very seriously.  Jeez, he needs to lighten up a bit.  He had all the demeanour of a detective investing a serious crime scene; which considering the nonsense with the automatically closing roof that they didn’t close, he sort of was.  This film also features a number of serious crime scenes.

1997  –  Certificate: 18  –  USA
Rating Details:  Strong Bloody Violence

Try as I might, I just can’t work up any real enthusiasm for this film.  I feel it ought to be a lot better than it is, which just added to my disappointment.  There’s nothing really wrong with it, but nothing really right with it either.  It just kind of exists because “Scream” exists, a bit like the relationship between dead leaves in autumn and trees.  It’s not really very scary, it’s not really very funny, it’s not really very gory and it’s not really very hip.  It doesn’t help that I get “Scream” and “Scary Movie” mixed up in my head, so in my mind it’s become a sort of inoffensive Frankenstein film made up of several others; (let’s not forget the two further sequels to “Scream” and the three sequels to “Scary Movie”.   That’s eight nearly identical films, so it’s no wonder I’m confused.   Watching it felt like one of things you just have to do from time to time, not something to get worked up about or anything, but just something you do and not give much thought to, like going to the toilet I guess.  What I did hate was that it was non-anamorphic, so with its widescreen aspect ratio I ended up watching a picture the size and shape of an enlarged match, without a head.  God, I can’t be bothered with anymore thinking about this film right now.

Recommended for people who saw Scream, I guess.

No cats, decapitations or chainsaws.

Top badass moment?   Whatever.  It might as well be Cotton Weary finally getting what he wanted (greedy asshole) and becoming a sort of hero(ish).  That’s badass(ish). 

Scream 2 at IMDB (6.0/10)


Pulse: 4.0 Stars


Pulse - Front DVD Cover (USA)What marketing idiot (née liar) first suggested highlighting the ‘fact’ that low-energy light bulbs last longer than old-fashioned, incandescent ones? If they’re that good, how come I’ve had five blow in the last two months?  And it’s not like those are the only ones I’ve had to replace over the past few years either.  On Saturday evening the latest of these failed, the Omicron 40W über-bulb-monster I had in my lounge.  In doing so it took out the trip-switch too, leaving me to grope around in the dark for ages for a 5A fuse; (thanks to the amazing ability of rechargeable batteries not to actually hold their charge, my torch went flat after about a minute of use.)  I’m sure the Omicron is less than two years old and it cost nearly £20 too.  It’s all very well making changes to your lifestyle in an effort to ‘save the planet’, but now I’ve got to go and spend about £60 on five stupid light-bulbs.  That would have bought well over 100 in the ‘old days’.  What a rip-off.  No wonder they’re called low-energy bulbs, because they never bloody work!  In a spookily similar way, this film features modern technology that does us no good at all too.

2006  –  Certificate: Not Rated  –  USA

Hollywood remakes of Japanese horrors get a bad press, which isn’t always fair; but some film snobs like to trash them anyway, out of principle.  This one was no exception.  It’s true, most of the characters in it are somewhat one-dimensional and don’t always act very logically; and being a film about technology it’s aged very quickly too; it’s all pre-Smartphone era stuff.  Worst still, the plot has more big holes in it than an undersized fishnet bodystocking on an elephant; (steady on, don’t get too excited about that thought).  However, the acting’s okay and the special effects fine.  I actually really liked it.  It’s genuinely sinister, the cinematography and sound is great and the ending suitably apocalyptic.  The car crash works really well too.  The overall tone of the film is its best feature though, dark, disturbing, increasingly isolating and ultimately offering little real hope; the very ending reminded me of the ending of “The Terminator”.  If you can get into this and overlook its weaker elements, you’ll probably really enjoy it.  I don’t get the creeps from watching films very often, but I did from this one.  (Memo to self: don’t watch spooky films with headphones on, in a dark room with just an eerie green light bulb, low-energy of course, for company.)  When I went to the toilet after watching it, I did feel a little uncomfortable with my back to the door; I’d have hated to be grabbed by one of those dead people things when answering the call of nature.  I haven’t watched the two follow ups or the original Japanese version yet, but I will at some point.

Recommended for people who like creepy films. Boo!

1 cat, no chainsaws or decapitations.  The cat looked and sounded pretty gross though, having been locked in a cupboard for ages, poor thing.  :-(

Top badass moment?  Just because you’re on the run, escaping from unearthly, inhuman ‘dead things’ and you’ve just seen you’re best friend suddenly turn into a cloud of ash, that’s no reason to neglect dental hygiene.  It was good to see reluctant hero Mattie grab her toothpaste and toothbrush from the bathroom as she made her escape.  Taking the advice your dentist gives you seriously, is badass.  Imagine having to deal with a bad toothache at the same time the world is facing Armageddon; that would really suck.

Pulse at IMDB (4.5 / 10)


A Nightmare on Elm Street: 4.5 Stars


A Nightmare On Elm Street Collection  -  Front DVD CoverIt’s a bona fide classic.  It’s got Johnny Depp in it (scream, swoon, faint, etc) in his very first film role.  There are 570 reviews of it in the Internet Movie Database.  It introduced us to Fred Krueger, a movie icon who, before he started churning out clever one-liners in later Nightmare films, was a genuinely scary bad-man.  Instantly recognisable in his red and green sweater and battered hat, he’s graced countless Halloween and fancy-dress parties ever since.  This was the very first DVD I ever bought and probably the first one I ever watched.  I bought it, along with a few others and a DVD player, with £400 worth of Selfridges vouchers I’d won in some competition or other.  It saved me from the hell of VHS tapes and introduced me to the beauty of DVD.  If Hell really exists, it will include being forced to watch all your favourite movies, over and over again, on a small and tinny TV that’s too far away from where you’re sitting, via worn out VHS tapes; that’s true horror.  I occasionally watch something on video these days and it’s a eye-watering and physically unpleasant experience.  This was my first time watching Nightmare on Blu-ray.  Reference quality it’s not, but doing the latter was not unlike meeting your first ever girlfriend or boyfriend again after many years and finding out just how much they’ve changed since you knew them, but then realising that they’re still really amazing and look great for their age.  (I can’t actually remember who my first girlfriend was; by which I mean, of course, that there were many, many women, so it’s hard to narrow it down to just one person.)

1984  –  Certificate: 12  –  USA

Rating Details:  Strong sadistic horror and bloody violence

Gosh, I don’t think I can really make any sort of subjective comment on this movie, such is the pedestal I’ve put it on.  It’s not one of the best films ever but it’s probably one of the ten most iconic ones.  It’s still a scary movie; watching it still makes me jump, followed by the verbalisation of the experience as an expletive or two.  Considering I know where all the scariest parts are, this is pretty good going.  Yeah, it’s great!

Recommended for; actually, everyone should watch it, even people who hate horrors or 80s films.  It’s one of those things everyone who’s ever expressed an interest in films should do. 

No cats and no decapitations.  There is however, what can best be described as a ‘liquefaction’ of someone.

Top badass moment?  Fred Krueger IS the physical embodiment of badass.

A Nightmare on Elm Street at IMDB