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Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare(1991)
In part six of the Nightmare on Elm Street series, dream monster Freddy Krueger has finally killed all the children of his hometown, and seeks to escape its confines to hunt fresh prey. To this end, he recruits the aid of his (previously unmentioned) daughter. However, she discovers the demonic origin of her father's powers and meets Dad head-on in a final showdown (originally presented in 3-D).
For more about Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare and the Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare Blu-ray release, see Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on February 17, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: Robert Englund, Lisa Zane, Shon Greenblatt, Lezlie Deane, Ricky Dean Logan, Breckin Meyer
Director: Rachel Talalay
» See full cast & crew
Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare Blu-ray Review
Least, but not last.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, February 17, 2013
Now I'm playing with power!
So this is where Horror franchises go to die, a place where the frightening has become comical, blood and guts go 8-bit, back stories are revealed to be incredibly lame and thoughtless, and killing an iconic villain is as easy as waking up while holding him tight and, oh, yes, some gimmick about 3D glasses. The old kind. No, this isn't how A Nightmare on Elm Street fans wanted Freddy to go out, in a blaze of, well, not glory, that's for sure. The series had proven largely resilient until now, even considering a couple of midlevel entries scattered amongst several quality films and an overall positive franchise arc. But Freddy's Dead takes the series to its lowest point. The kills are tame, the story lame, certainly no way for a series of such fame to die. Fortunately, it would be revived and recovered by Wes Craven's next installment (and revived again thanks to a surprisingly good vs. film). This was no way to kill a legend, and at least in hindsight the movie may be seen as just an inconvenient deviation away from an otherwise fine series.
In the town of Springwood, Ohio, all of the teenagers are dead, and the parents are on edge. But word has it that one teenager has survived. An unnamed teenager (Shon Greenblatt) awakens from horrific nightmares and finds himself living on the street and eventually brought into a youth rescue center where he falls under the caring hand of the gentle Maggie Burroughs (Lisa Zane) who calls him, simply, "John Doe." He also meets some of this fellow patients, including Spencer (Breckin Meyer), a young man with an overbearing father disappointed in his lack of direction; the hearing-impaired Carlos (Ricky Dean Logan) who can hear only with the help of an aid; and Tracy (Lezlie Deane), a tough girl martial artist with a history of abuse. One of the shelter's doctors (Yaphet Kotto) suggests Maggie attempt to reach her John Doe through dream therapy. Maggie, John, and the three patients take a ride to Springwood hoping to solve the mystery of John's dreams -- and Maggie's own nightmares -- but come face to face with the deadly Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) with whom some of the youth center guests share a dark and disturbing history.
Quite a few problems plague Freddy's Dead, not the least of which is the way the film handles its climax and the disappointing ease with which it fulfills on its own title's promise. Largely, however, the film simply recycles all of the ideas from the previous films, this time, however, leaving out a survivor (or survivors) from the previous film and beginning with a clean slate of victims for Freddy's razor-fingered mayhem. Rather than general high schoolers, however, Freddy's Dead cobbles together a group of psychiatric ward misfits, all of whom are completely forgettable throwaways and remembered for the manner in which they are killed rather than the way the script builds (or fails to build, as the case may be) them up. It's quite unlike The Dream Master, a film in which audiences cared about the characters, at least as much as fans can care about Horror movie teenagers. Here, it's all about sequences in which Krueger kills them in a video game or devastates them through their fragile sense of hearing on the way to the promised-in-title climax.
The acting isn't particularly great, either, but the film does at least exude an air of cinema polish and professionalism. Writer/Director/Series Producer Rachel Talalay (Tank Girl), another rookie filmmaker but no stranger to the series, implements a few good ideas both on page and on celluloid but drifts too far towards comic mischief and further away from the darker and more sinister tone of previous films, even those that themselves worked to lighten the series' horror burden in favor of more humorous motifs amidst the figurative and literal darkness of the deadly dream world. The movie delivers lighthearted fun and mixes things up enough that the picture's carnival-like haunted house atmosphere isn't a total loss, but fans expecting something a little more dramatically intense may be disappointed with the emphasis on humor and the push away from more hardcore gore. The film's violence is tame compared to earlier entries but the absence of any stomach-curdling blood-and-guts does, at least, fit in with the more jovial, playful mood.
Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare Blu-ray, Video Quality
Though it may be one of the lesser Nightmare films, New Line didn't cut any corners for its Blu-ray release. Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, like the other films in the series, fares well on Blu-ray, offering a pleasing, cinematic-style image that rarely misses the mark. As with the others, a light grain structure remains, resulting in a pleasant texture and generally rock-solid details. A hint of softness accompanies many a scene, but fans should be satisfied with the crisp detail revelation in faces, clothes, and general surfaces. The image enjoys positive clarity both in its bright and dark scenes alike. Colors are fine, not particularly vibrant but not in any way negatively faded or bland. Whether colorful sun-lit exteriors or harsher and warmer and darker interiors, the palette is portrayed accurately for whatever environment in which it operates. Black levels are deep and flesh tones never too far from normal. The image suffers through very little banding, the print is clean, noise is minimal, and in every way this is a winning transfer from New Line.
Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Another Nightmare film, another punishing but highly enjoyable DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack. Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare delivers an entertaining, well-engineered track that pulls the listener into the film with full surround support, fine clarity, and a barrage of clean, accurate bass. The track presents a very big, very spacious soundstage that becomes every in-film environment, whether a youth hospital or the hellish battleground in which the heroes battle Freddy Krueger. Whether deep cracks of thunder or the shrieking highs of Freddy's claws against a chalkboard, the track handles both extremes with equal proficiency and welcoming sonic punishment. The track offers some nice ambience in the hospital and an enjoyable sense of reverberation when Freddy cackles like the Wicked Witch of the West in one shot. General dialogue plays crisply and evenly from the center. This is a strong, well-balanced, and highly enjoyable track. The review disc did experience a brief audio drop-out at the 12:10 mark. Otherwise, this one's good to go.
Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare contains a brief collection of extras.
Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Hey, at least Freddy's Power Glove worked better than its real-life counterpart. That's probably the highlight of Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, perhaps the most forgettable series entry, a film that pushes the comic mischief to the extreme and fails to end the series with anything even remotely considered "satisfying." Fortunately, history proved that neither fans nor Hollywood were ready to part ways with Mr. Krueger; his future films are better than this, both series creator Wes Craven's own New Nightmare and Runny Yu's vs. film. Still, Freddy's Dead makes for a generally entertaining movie, even if it does operate fairly far from series norms. New Line's Blu-ray release of Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare delivers quality video and audio. The supplements are a little short. Worth a rental on its own, but fans will want to buy just for completion's sake.
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