4 Film Favorites: Nightmare on Elm Street 1-4
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Titles include: A Nightmare On Elmstreet, A Nightmare On Elmstreet 2: Freddy's Revenge, A Nightmare On Elmstreet 3: Dream Warriors, A Nightmare On Elmstreet 4: The Dream Master
In the trinity of modern horror films, there's the father (Michael Myers of Halloween), the son (Jason of Friday the13th fame, a knockoff), and the unholy spirit, Freddy Krueger of the Nightmare on Elm Street films. The spectral man who haunted the nightmares of unsuspecting teenagers with deadly consequences, Freddy (as played by Robert Englund) was a truly frightening bogeyman and icon for the '80s. Unlike the hockey-masked Jason, who dispatched horny teenagers with mechanical and monotonous ease (he never talked, never took off his mask), Freddy was a truly creative and diabolical villain, with a sadistic and blackly funny personality. The hallmarks of the Nightmare on Elm Street series were imaginatively gruesome suspense pieces, set in the overactive imaginations of the teen victims. The first film of the series, Wes Craven's truly intelligent and scary film, was so hugely successful it begat not one, not two, but six more sequels, each pretty much diluting the originality and horror of its predecesor. (Horror fans will fondly remember Drew Barrymore's assertion in Scream that the first Nightmare film was great but all the rest sucked.) Still, there's fun to be had in the remaining films in the series, seeing as a number of aspiring filmmakers cut their teeth on the continuing saga of Freddy. Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption) and Chuck Russell (The Mask) worked on the third installment, Dream Warriors (starring a young Patricia Arquette), and Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2) came to prominence with the ingeniously macabre fourth film, The Dream Master, coscripted by Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential). Craven and original star Heather Langenkamp did return for the last film, New Nightmare, which presaged the tongue-in-cheek postmodernism of the Scream films and resharpened Freddy's ability to scare. --Mark Englehart
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As for the films themselves, well, obviously Nightmare On Elm Street Part 1 is the greatest of any Nightmare film. Part 2, Freddy's Revenge, actually gets a lot of flack and is sometimes called the weakest in the series. I disagree. I think it is actually one of the better ones as it carries nearly the same tone as the first. The third film, Dream Warriors, sets a precedent as it starts the "dream" movies as I like to call them. It loses the boyfriend/girlfriend dynamic of the first 2 movies and brings in a group of disturbed children to try to cope with and defeat Freddy. The fourth and last film in this collection, Dream Master, continues after the events of number 3 and again, a group of new kids has to defeat the menace that is infecting their dreams with such nightmares.
A second "Four Film Favorites" is also available which include Freddy 5-8 : Dream Child (1989), Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994) and Freddy vs. Jason (2003). Buy if you are a Freddy fan!
So the series was good for four films. That's why this 2 disk set works very well. I get all the good movies in the series on 2 disks (in one case). Saves me money... I don't have to buy them separately. Thank you and goodnight (but whatever you do, don't fall asleep).