Review : Freddy’s Dead : The Final Nightmare (1991)

Freddy’s Dead : The Final Nightmare is the sixth installment in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise and was, at the time of its release, supposed to be the last time we see Freddy Krueger on screen. The film was directed by Rachel Talalay and released in 1991. It was also New Line Cinema’s first film released in 3-D.

Ten years after the events of The Dream Child, Freddy has killed every single child in the town of Springwood except for one teenager. After a nightmarish encounter with Freddy, the now amnesic boy ends up in a shelter for troubled teens. Convinced he is Freddy’s son, the teenager goes back to Springwood with Maggie (who works at the shelter) and three other kids. They soon find out they are unable to leave the strange town and are now Freddy’s preys.

Wow. I don’t even know where to start with this one. Before going into more details, let me warn you : this film is bad. Really, really bad.

First, Freddy is no longer the star of a horror film but a comedy. There is not a single scare, Freddy himself is a cartoony character and the film is set to have as many early 90’s pop culture reference as possible. There was always dark humor in the Nightmare on Elm Street films and it did more comedic with each sequel but they took way too far this time. This is the Looney Tunes version of Freddy Krueger and this is not what I want from this franchise.

The storyline is, for lack of a better word, weird. One problem is that there seems to be little no zero connexion to the previous films. This could have easily been fixed : instead of making a random teenager, why not have the main character actually be….Jacob ! This seems so obvious, I don’t understand why the writers didn’t think of it. Now, let’s talk about the elephant in the room…Freddy has a daughter ?! WTF ? This information comes out of nowhere and is thrown at us randomly. Didn’t they realize this made absolutely no sense since it was never mentionned in the course of five films ?! The only positive that comes out of it is that we get more backstory on Freddy and I did appreciate that.

The characters are forgettable and not worth cheering for as they are barely introduced and have no development. The acting is passable (except the John Doe character, he was terrible) but most of the dialogue is poorly written. The worst is Freddy’s cringe-worthy one-liners. One scene most people hate but I almost enjoyed was the NES bit. Unfortunately, it would have been a million times better if they made a horror game instead of a simple platformer.

Now, the final act of the film is 3-D. I don’t have a 3-D version of the film but even in 2-D (if not more so) you can see how gimmicky it is. The 3-D is not incorporated into the scenes, the scenes are designed around the 3-D. A character actually puts on real 3-D glasses to signal to the viewer to do the same…you know they’ve hit rock bottom when you see something as stupid on screen. She needs 3-D glasses to see in the dream world ? Really ? Freddy died all right, now from being killed on screen but by having its legacy butchered by lazy writers and a studio whose only concern was to release one film after the other as quick as possible to cash in on Freddy’s popularity as long as possible. Sad way to end a franchise…thankfully, 3 years into the future and another entry comes along to end on a better note…kinda.

Freddy’s Dead is the worst entry in the franchise. The writing is terrible, the comedy is cartoony and over-the-top and Freddy barely uses his glove. Stay away from it, it sucks.

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