5 Horror Sequels That Don’t Suck

Sequels are both the best and worst thing to happen to the horror genre. Loved the original? We’ve got more of that for you! Really love the original? We have ten more installments exactly the same as the original for you. Some horror sequels are lazy, some are outright bad (Jason Goes to Hell), I’m looking directly at you. Below are five horror sequels that we recommend for a lot of reasons. One of the key reasons is that they remain faithful to their predecessor while, at the same time, adding something new and original to the story. Now THAT is the key formula to making a successful horror sequel.

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Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever (2009)
“Cabin Fever 2″ is a messy, gory, bloody cherry on top of a demented sundae. From the opening (poor Rider Strong) to the blood bath of an ending, nearly everything about this sequel works. This is one of those slasher movies where I just don’t understand the hate. Had this movie been made in the 1980′s and directed by Sam Raimi, horror fans would be praising this as the next second coming of horror. The gore is demented, the kills are extremely disgusting, and the central love story is actually quite sweet. I was actually touched at the sacrifice that one friend gave so another could live. So the epilogue doesn’t really work (poor Ti West got his movie taken away from him and had his ending completely butchered just to go in some producer cameos) but this is splatstick at its very best. If John Waters directed a horror film in the 1980’s, it would look something like this. Bloody
recommended!

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Final Destination 2 (2003)
“Final Destination 2″ is wittier, smarter, and bloodier than its original. It is clever in the way that it ties our characters from this film with characters from the previous installments. The deaths are incredibly inventive and stand as the best deaths of the entire series. The ending in particular is a black comedy miracle that shouldn’t work but does. Granted some of the acting can be a bit over-the-top and melodramatic and some of the effects don’t hold up as well as others. Nonetheless, this is still the rare sequel that takes everything that works about the original film and adds to it. A definite must see for fans of the original.

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Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
“Friday the 13th Part 2″ is the kind of sequel that takes a lot of chances and most of them work. The film is well paced, well acted (big props to Amy Steel who does an incredible job as Ginny), and the deaths are effectively gruesome. Also, for what its worth, I’ll take potato head Jason over hockey mask Jason any day. This is a fun sequel that doesn’t exactly advance the series (the godawful Part 3 actually does more to define Jason than this one does) but doesn’t destroy its legacy either. The characters aren’t particularly memorable but they aren’t particularly annoying either. This is really the last point in the series were you actually still feel some affection for the characters. They aren’t quite stereotypes…yet. Furthermore, it contains the two best “jump scares” of the series and the ending is pretty damn scary. Sure the middle act drags a bit but don’t let that stop you, “Part 2″ is a fine slasher film that does the series proud.

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A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)
“Dream Warriors” is just all around a great sequel. I love that Nancy’s back for one last final battle with Freddy. A new addition too is the fact that Freddy is now able to target the teen’s fears and use it against them in their dreams. This makes the deaths more frightening and some of the use of special effects (the puppet scene, the television scene, etc) are just ingenious. Everything about the sequel works and when Freddy and Nancy have the one last showdown there is a bit of sadness at the end. It’s ***SPOILER ALERT**** always sad to see your hero die in the arms of the villain but it’s nice to see that Nancy isn’t willing to go down without a fight. In all honesty, the series should have ended with this installment.

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Scream 2 (1997)
Although at times I feel as though I am in the minority, I truly believe that “Scream 2″ is the best film in the Scream franchise. This is that rare sequel that takes everything that works about its predecessor and manages to take it to another level. The deaths are suspenseful, the characters are charming and likable, and the twist ending works better than it has any right to. I also truly believe that this is some of Craven’s finest directing and the “cop car” scene is a hide-your-eyes-behind-your-fingers chiller of a scene. More than that, this film is just a hell of a lot of fun from beginning to end.

Slasher Fans Unite: The Top 10 Slashers of All Time

Best Slashers

Earlier this month we asked YOU the slasher fan to decide what slasher flicks would make the top 20 slashers of all time. Last Friday we revealed numbers 11 through 20 on the list and now we are back with the ultimate top 10. Any surprises? Any films that should be on this list but aren’t or films that you believe are on this list but shouldn’t be? We want to know what YOU think! Now, we have the top 10 slashers of all time. The gore, the merrier.

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#10-PSYCHO (1960)
The granddaddy of all slasher films. Fifty years after thrilling audiences around the world, the film holds just as much of a punch as ever. An absolute classic that genre fans will still be talking about fifty years from now.

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#9-TERROR TRAIN (1980)
I’ve loved this slasher since I first saw it as a young child but I am honestly shocked it ranked this high. It appears that slasher fans prefer this one to the more often cited PROM NIGHT. Love the villain, love the revenge, love the setting. Also, the new HD remaster from Scream Factory is beautiful.

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#8-SLEEPAWAY CAMP (1983)
The slasher with the best twist ending in the history of umm..ever?! Campy, over-the-top, and lots of fun with a nice little mean streak.

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#7-THE BURNING (1981)
Why is it one of my favorite slashers of the 1980′s? Simple. The deaths. And I do mean the deaths. The deaths in this splatter film have to be seen to be believed. Everything that you would want to see with garden sheers to nubile teens are done to extraordinary effect.

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#6-BLACK CHRISTMAS (1974)
Black Christmas’ power is impossible to deny; its characters are compelling, the imagery poignant, and the acting top-notch. If you haven’t seen it yet, you are in for one scary “Christmas” treat.

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#5-THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (1974)
From the weird & creepy music to the seriously frightening screams of Leatherface, Massacre is one of the scariest films you could ever see.

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#4-SCREAM (1996)
As Brian C. Tyler says in his review of the film for Slasher Studios, “Everything from the opening title with the sound of a phone ringing to the quick scare at the very end is full of great storytelling, lovable characters (and actors), lots of tension, great dialog, clever film references and most importantly… lots of blood.”

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#3-FRIDAY THE 13TH (1980)
This little film was the perfect storm story, setting, characters and score. When these main aspects of a film are working together, there is not much that can go wrong. Slasher fans always hav a great time with Friday The 13th and many films owe much to the one.

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#2-A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984)
A Nightmare on Elm Street is an unbelievably original, terrifyingly realistic, and overall terrifying that, despite a weak ending, is one of the best horror flicks of the quarter of a century.

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#1-HALLOWEEN (1978)
As Joshua Dean states in his review for Halloween at Slasher Studios, “While Black Christmas may have done the “young people stalked by a killer” concept first, Halloween takes it into a different direction. It’s not really a slasher film. It’s very much a one-on-one stalker movie until the final third of the film. These girls just happened to catch the psychotic killer’s eye… and now he is fixed on them. And while directly inspired by Hitchcock’s classic “Psycho,” Halloween inspired scores of slasher films itself, starting with the more straight-forward “Friday the 13th” (a legend in its own right).”

Slasher Fans Unite: Top 20 Slashers of All Time (Part One)

The results are in everyone! We have for you today the top 20 slashers of all time as decided by YOU, the slasher fans. We will be looking at numbers 20 through 11 and next Friday we will count down the top 10 best slashers of all time! Are you ready for a blood red Christmas?

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#20–HELL NIGHT (1980)
A very underrated Linda Blair slasher that is heavy on atmosphere and light on gore. Lots of fun with a great final chase scene.

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#19–HOUSE ON SORORITY ROW (1983)
A “classy” slasher that has aged far better than most of the horror films from the same era. Great characters and a wonderful setting help make this a slasher to die for.

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#18–HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME (1981)
Great ad campaign, likable characters, and some pretty kick-ass deaths make this “Birthday” one to remember.

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#17–SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE (1982)
You bring the pizza, I’ll bring a drill. The first slasher on our list not to take itself completely seriously, “Massacre” is tongue-in-cheek but delivers the bloody goods.

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#16–FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VI: JASON LIVES (!986)
Quite possibly the strangest slasher on this top 20 list, I love JASON LIVES as much as the next slasher fan but didn’t know there was so much love for this comedy-horror sequel. Maybe it’s Megan?

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#15–THE PROWLER (1981)
A grisly and mean spirited slasher with a lot of punch and a lot of blood. Great final girl and amazing Tom Savini fx make this slasher flick a must see.

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#14–SILENT NIGHT DEADLY NIGHT (1984)
The controversial Christmas slasher that was pulled from theatrical release by TriStar after two weeks when an angry mob of parents protested at the theater. One of the more sympathetic killers of all time and it is now available again on DVD to purchase for the first time in years.

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#13–MY BLOODY VALENTINE (1981)
Another mean spirited slasher, “Valentine” was raped by the MPAA upon release and the uncut version is now available on DVD and Blu-ray. Highly recommended stuff for those that love holiday horror.

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#12–FRIDAY THE 13TH PART II (1981)
My favorite of the “Friday” sequels and it looks like you slasher fans agree. A scary potato sack Jason, a wonderful final girl in for the form of Ginny (played by the uber-underrated Amy Steel), and a jump-out-of-your-seat ending make this a near perfect slasher sequel.

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#11–PROM NIGHT (1980)
One of the better revenge slashers from the early 80’s with a great disco prom and killer theme song. Jamie Lee Curtis’ best horror performance outside of Laurie Strode and the ending is chilling.

There you have it slasher fans, numbers 11-20 on the top 20 slashers of all time. Make sure to check us out next Friday for the Top 10 slashers of all time. Until then, have a weekend filled with slashers!

Slasher Studios Presents Our Top 20 Favorite Slashers

This took forever to create and I’m sure there are going to be a lot of horror fans out there that are going to disagree with either the ranking or the choices on this list. These are not the BEST slashers I’ve ever seen but these are merely my favorites. I’ve seen just about all of these at least 20 times each and I could watch them at least another 20 more. Don’t forget, we want YOUR list of favorite slashers. Send us your top 3 to [email protected] and the top 20 vote-getters will be announced just in time for Christmas!

1. Black Christmas (1974)
2. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
3. The Burning (1981)
4. Scream (1996)
5. Friday the 13th (1980)
6. Halloween (1978)
7. Happy Birthday to Me (1981)
8. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
9. Night School (1981)
10. House on Sorority Row (1983)
11. He Knows You’re Alone (1980)
12. Killer Party (1986)
13. Slumber Party Massacre (1982)
14. Humongous (1982)
15. Sleepaway Camp (1983)
16. Slaughter High (1986)
17. Hell Night (1981)
18. My Bloody Valentine (1981)
19. Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
20. Child’s Play (1988)

***I’m happy to say that all but one of these titles have been voted for in the slasher challenge. Can you guess which movie on my list has zero votes so far?

Horror Movie Masterpiece: “Halloween” (1978) Review

If you are a horror film fan, or just a film of fan period you know what John Carpenter’s halloween is, and even if you haven’t seen it then you have heard of it. It’s one of the best films period, and my favorite horror film of all time. No horror film or any other John Carpenter film tops this film.

15 years ago, a six year-old boy named Michael Myers killed his older sister, Judith Myers, on Halloween, and 15 years later people of Haddonfield, IL still remember what happened, remember the house, and the name Michael Myers. In 1978, Michael Myers escaped from a mental hospital, and targets three teenage girls, Laurie, Lynda, and Annie. Can his doctor, Dr. Loomis, get to Michael before Myers gets his three targets on what is consider to be one of the darkness nights of the year…….Halloween.

In my opinion, no horror film tops John Carpenter’s Halloween. I love a lot of horror films, and everybody has their opinion on their favorite horror films. But John Carpenter’s Halloween is the best when it comes to horror films. First, I love the atmosphere in the film with the mix of that creepy and simple music score from John Carpenter. That score has become so well known that when people hear it they know where that music has come from. Second, I love the point of view shots in this film especially in the beginning of the film and the point of view shots from Michael Myers. I think that creates something creepy and effective in the film. Third, I love that John Carpenter and co-writer/producer, Debra Hill, went for an unknown cast in this film and of course I am glad they went for Jamie Lee Curtis (Laurie Strode) who went on to have a great career and she is the daughter of Janet Leigh, who was in another classic horror film, Psycho, from 1960.

I also thought they really picked three great women who played likable teenage girls. Of course, you can’t forget Donald Pleasance who played Dr. Samuel Loomis. Great acting and role for Pleasance. Fourth, I love that they put the film on Halloween, which some people might consider to be a evil day where ghouls, and spirits come out to play. I think it creates something creepy having the film take place on Halloween. Fifth, Michael Myers himself. You have that creepy movement that Myer’s has in the film, and of course the mask which is a very simple white mask. But still there is something creepy about that mask that you never forget. Carpenter is able to make that mask creepy with some classic scenes like all of a sudden seeing the mask appearing from a dark room. It’s affective, and works well. After Halloween, many sequels came out and Rob Zombie has made his version of what Halloween is with Part 1 and 2. But none of those Halloweens films and no other horror film top Halloween.

—Justin Rhine

Horror Movies We Love: “I Know What You Did Last Summer” (1997)

Being that it is the 4th of July, I thought I would talk about the 1997 film, I Know What You Did Last Summer, which is a good film to watch on this day,but also it is one of my personally favorites. It is also one of the first horror films that got me loving the horror genre, and becoming a fan I am today next to John Carpenter’s Halloween and Wes Craven’s Scream.

Basically, the plot surrounds four friends celebrating the fourth of July one night and later on accidently killing a man on the road. The four friends decide to throw the body in the ocean, and hope that body drifts away. But one year later on July 4th, the friends start getting harassed and stalked about someone in a fishermen’s outfit with a hook in one hand. Does this person know what they did or could it just be a complete stranger just wanting to have a little fun on the 4th of July!!

I Know What You Did Last Summer has always been a favorite of mine ever since I rented the movie on VHS when it came out at my local video store/market where they used to have a small video section where you could rent from. Sadly, that market is no more today. But I always have the memories getting to rent this movie, and checking out the latest “Teen Bop” magazine with the “Spice Girls” on the cover. Back to the movie though, when I first watched this film I remember loving the movie so much and just having fun with it. It was one of the first horror films that really got me into becoming the horror fan I am today. I love that Kevin Williamson wrote the screenplay because he also has been involved with writing a lot of 90’s horror films like most of the Scream films, Teaching Mrs. Tingle, and Halloween H20. Williamson is the perfect man to write a slasher film because he knows how to create great character that you like and hate, fun and intense kills, and the guy just knows how to make an audience have fun because he is a horror fan too which shows in the films he has been involved with it. This film also has great music in it, and a great trailer to watch. But another great thing I love about the film is the cast overall because you have two 90’s sweethearts (Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Sarah Michelle Gellar) in the film along with Freddy Prince Jr., and Ryan Phillippe.

I thought the cast was great because you had a mix of personalities in the group of friends. You had a kind good girl, the blonde pageant queen, the good guy that you like, and the jerk in the film that you like,but shouldn’t like. Also, I love that Sarah Michelle Gellar went out to make a cameo in the great sequel, Scream 2, which Williamson wrote as well. Last but not least, I love the killers outfit because like the ghost face killer in Scream and Michael Myers in Halloween. It’s a very simple and kinda creepy outfit. For me, I think now this film doesn’t get much appreciation today and I find it a bit underrated. But I will always love it, and it’s one of the best 90’s slasher films. It’s fun a time to watch on 4th of July, and it’s one to see and have a good drink with it. “Happy 4th of July Julie!”

–Justin Rhine

Horror Movies We Love: “Halloween” (1978) Review

It’s Halloween, and your (less-than-stellar) plans are laid out for the day. You’ll be babysitting, making popcorn, and watching campy horror flicks. But something feels off… somebody’s watching you. Or are they? John Carpenter’s classic thriller “Halloween” is widely regarded as one of the best horror films ever made, and is one of the few horror classics to transcend its genre (much like “Psycho,” “The Exorcist,” and “Jaws”) and become known as not a horror classic, but a true classic of cinema. With its simple-but-terrifying story of three babysitters who are stalked by a psychotic killer, it garnered rave reviews from critics, including notorious anti-slashers Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel.

Fifteen years ago, six-year-old Michael (who interestingly, is never referred to by name after the opening scene) crept into his sister’s bedroom on Halloween night and brutally slaughtered her. To the teenagers of Haddonfield, this is little more than the story behind the token “haunted house.” Unfortunately for three teenage girls, that little boy is now grown up… and after escaping from Smith’s Grove Sanitarium… he’s coming home.

Shy bookworm Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis, in her star-making film debut) has a boring night ahead of her- or so she thinks. As the day progresses, she finds herself increasingly paranoid that she is being followed. Her friends Annie (Nancy Loomis) and Lynda (a *totally* wacky P.J. Soles) pay her suspicions no mind, as they prepare for a night of drinking and sex… but they too are being watched. As the night continues, Laurie and her young charges Tommy (Brian Andrews) and Lindsey (Kyle Richards) watch horror movies, carve jack-o-lanterns, and make popcorn… and Laurie has all-but-forgotten her suspicions… but her stalker has not forgotten about her. Soon, a suspicious phone call prompts her to check on Annie and Lynda… and the real terror begins. While Laurie and her friends face the murderous stalker, Michael’s psychiatrist (Donald Pleasence) tries to convince skeptical police that the town is in mortal danger.

This seemingly-vague description actually gives more or less the entire plot, but no matter. Halloween is a style-driven movie. It has about enough plot to fill a thimble, but it doesn’t need any more than it has. Director John Carpenter and cinematographer Dean Cundey compensate for this with a very polished, but moody, style. Long, wide tracking shots and eerie blue lighting fill the film. The score is as simple as the script, but simplicity seems to be this film’s strong suit, and the score is no exception. It’s minimal and repetitive, but is amazingly effective. What’s interesting with Halloween is that, for the most part, it is rooted in reality. This is a story of real girls being stalked by a real killer. Only in the film’s final moments does it suggest the possibility of the supernatural. Everything happens as it would in a real-life scenario. The killer does not know his victims, and they do not know him. He happens to fixate on the first girl he sees, the unfortunate Laurie, who inadvertently introduces him to more prey. It’s obvious, though, that Laurie is the one he wants. Despite some extensive toying with Annie, and a fair bit with Lynda, the cat-and-mouse game between Laurie and Michael is apparent from the first act of the film. He fixates on her from the very beginning, and saves his most horrifying tricks for her.

Another interesting thing… Michael is much more interested with toying with his victims than he is actually killing them. He plays games with Annie, trapping her in a small laundry house, locking her car door, making noises outside… he teases Lynda, masquerading as her boyfriend covered by a sheet. He actually allows Laurie to see him, though. Little glimpses throughout the day… and by the film’s second act, she’s constantly seeing him… and I am convinced that at least two of these instances are in her head, from her increasing paranoia. Why is he after her? No reason. She’s just *there*. The sequels will offer another (contrived, lousy) explanation, but that was never the case in this film. She just happened to walk up to the Myers house and catch his eye.

Now, despite the all-around excellent filmmaking and scoring, the two lead performances (by Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasence) easily put the rest to shame. Curtis is believable and sympathetic as the innocent, naïve teenager, and her calm, stunned final line (“It WAS the boogeyman.”) still gives me goosebumps. Pleasence is slightly campy, but just enough to sell the character’s obsession with his murderous patient. Nancy Loomis and P.J. Soles are adequate as Annie and Lynda, but they lack the honesty and emotion that Curtis and Pleasence bring to the film. As the silent, slow-but-steady Michael (known in the script as “The Shape”), Nick Castle is calm, eerie, and moves with a fluidity that none of the sequels have ever managed to capture.

While Black Christmas may have done the “young people stalked by a killer” concept first, Halloween takes it into a different direction. It’s not really a slasher film. It’s very much a one-on-one stalker movie until the final third of the film. These girls just happened to catch the psychotic killer’s eye… and now he is fixed on them. And while directly inspired by Hitchcock’s classic “Psycho,” Halloween inspired scores of slasher films itself, starting with the more straight-forward “Friday the 13th” (a legend in its own right).

All-in-all, this is a simplistic, but very effective, psychological thriller. It’s not a true slasher film, which is why I think it stands out. I must agree with Ebert, though. It is my favorite film of all time, and is one of the best films ever made.

–Joshua Dean

Horror Films We Love: “Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn” (1987)

Only Sam Raimi can remake his own film AND mix in a sequel all in under 90 minutes. This is a great film, it features a great amount of horror, while incorporating some wacky humor. Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell and Producer Rob Tapert are known for their love of Three Stooges comedy and we get a nice taste of that, unfortunately they overdo it in the 3rd film, which is all comedy.

I love how the film makes use of the extra budget it is given, but still manages to look and feel like the original film, with some great special effects and good scares. Of course, the film is known for its comedy, the most disturbing, but also laughable scenes in the whole franchise shows Ash, who has finally snapped cutting his possessed hand off with a chainsaw and a maniacal laugh, like he is beating to death his worse enemy.

I also love how the film uses different colors for the blood, in the commentary track it is said they did this because they wanted to go nuts, without fear from the MPAA, whose reasoning’s make no sense, even if it shown to be blood, if its not colored red its ok.

Bruce Campbell will forever be associated with the role of Ash, this is because he isn’t a hero, he isn’t a good guy or noble . He doesn’t even care what these “evil dead” do, just leave him alone. He is like John McClaine in the “Die Hard” franchise, he is a regular everyday guy who is thrown into situations, but while John risk his life because family is in danger, Ash is all about saving himself. The 3rd film does show some character growth, but considering this mixes part 1 with a sequel, he is still growing as a character.

Once again Sam Raimi gives some amazing and unique shots throughout the film, you can tell this is during his experimental film making days, but the different shots shown and they all work well.

I would consider this to be the best of the series, but only slightly over the 1st, let it be known I wasn’t scared of any of the films, what I love about this film is how it doesn’t take itself seriously, but still is trying to tell you a good story. You stll don’t know anything about these creatures, are they zombies, are they possessed bodies? I love that, it leaves it up to us to decide. The first film did some amazing jobs in its own right and is also incredible for all the same reasons, but this was the first film in the series I saw and it is one of those rare sequels that are equally as good and in some cases better than its predecessor.

–Eric Curto

Horror Sequels We Love: “A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master”

I will say this, I don’t think this is the best of the series, so before you say “WTH WHY IS THIS POSTED BEFORE SO AND SO. ” The reason I am posting this is for one simple reason, this was my first exposure to horror, I wasn’t scared when I saw this, but I knew it was wrong to watch(I was like 6 years old). I can remember sitting down one night, my mother having gone out and a babysitter watching me and my sister and baby brother and suddenly WPIX (my channel 11)airing this, grant it it wasn’t unedited and many of the cool FX scenes were taken out, but when I saw Freddy stalking and toying with his victims I remember loving it, now it may sound sick that I got joy from it, especially since those who know me, call me a goody good, bu I loved the idea of him basically teasing those he was about to kill and than to see Alice kicking his ass like she was Bruce Lee (I loved Enter the Dragon already )was fucking awesome.

I still love this film, its definitely the pop star of the franchise as it had a killer soundtrack and was made to capitalize on the franchises fame it had recently garnered. Tuesday Knight, Lisa E. Wilcox, Robert Englund and the rest of the cast were amazing in the film.

The writers, although, there were script problem, still managed to get out a somewhat cohesive story and let you care for the people. Of course, the scene that comes to mind, aside from the kick ass ending was the roach motel and the movie theater scenes, the scenes are played so well, from a pop/R&B death scene to a tense scene between the heroine and killer.

Alice Johnson is played very well by Lisa Wilcox, who really comes into the role, its a shame that her character, while still strong is easily “defeated” in the fifth film and needs to be rescued in a sense, although, I guess you can say the same for the Dream Warriors who die so easily in this film. While I do know Patricia Arquette is usually peoples favorite Kristen, Tuesday was my first Kristen and played the character strong and assertive, Patricia’s Kristen is whiny, even after Nancy appears, while she does grow later on in the 3rd film, she still cries a lot(I guess if I were chased in my dreams by a killer, I’d cry too), but Tuesday plays a more developed character, someone who is taking responsibility for her gift/curse, its sad to see her character go. Its even more upsetting when the back of the VHS and DVD’s reads that Freddy is going up against Kristen, when she is not the main hero against him.

Robert is of course incredible as always and makes you really get into the character, especially for a first timer like I was. Its an easy film to get into, if your mind is open to this type of entertainment(its hard when your father, who you live with can’t stand horror and thinks its a waste of time).

–Eric Curto