Bri and I have been busy watching stuff lately lol. We started with Never Sleep Again (2010) which is a documentary about the Nightmare on Elm Street films. Then we watched the first half of Crystal Lake Memories (2013) which is the documentary about the Friday the 13th movies. I say the first half because the first half of that is over 3 hours long (the Never Sleep Again documentary is also about that long lol). We'll be watching the second half eventually but after doing the first half we decided we kind of want to watch the Nightmare movies again so that's what we've been doing for the last few nights.
There's so many Nightmare movies that it's kinda hard for me to just talk about them all here but I'll just briefly say some things and try to rate them lol.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Easily the best of the series since it's the original. Wes Craven only really imagined that this would be a one-shot movie, not a franchise, so Freddy wasn't meant to have a real backstory or be this silly villain that can be bested over and over. Thus the seriousness of this film. And it works pretty well. I'd easily give this one a 9/10 (IMDB gives it a 7.5/10)
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985)
This one is always the Nightmare movie I skip if I'm watching them all again though this time I watched it and..well, it still doesn't hold up that well. It has some really bad acting, some really cheesy parts, and just.. ugh. There's almost nothing redeemable in this one, at least in my opinion. This one is a like a 2/10 for me (IMDB gives it a 5.4 which surprises me) and could be a Bad Movie Monday candidate. It gets a 2/10 instead of a 1/10 from me only because I have seen some truly awful films for BMM and this one is still a bit better than some of those lol.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)
Although I said the first one is easily the best, this one is right up there with it. This is probably my personal favorite of the series. It has some of the best lines/kills from Freddy, the concept is awesome, they brought Nancy back, and just overall this one is a true sequel and what all of the films should have aspired to. Oh and the music is pretty good too (go Dokken!). I always have fun watching this one. Definitely 9/10 from me (IMDB gives it a 6.6/10 because they hate fun).
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)
They obviously tried to capture the same magic that the third one had by making it take place not too long afterwards and with some of the same characters from the third (even though Kristen's actress was recast). Unfortunately it just wasn't as good. Having said that, it's still probably the fourth best in the series in my opinion (original, 3 and new nightmare being the top 3). And it was interesting that Alice could absorb everyone else's dream powers for herself and used them all at the end to help her. Maybe 6/10 for me (5.7/10 for IMDB)
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989)
Alice is back again and this time we get to learn a little more about Freddy's origin story. Unfortunately this film is just average for me though I have to admit that the comic book scene was pretty well done. The way Freddy is restored is just WTF-worthy and the way he's beaten is just.. okay. I don't really know what else to say about this one really. 5/10 for me (IMDB gives it 5.1/10)
Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)
"They saved the best for last" is the tagline for this film but.. uhh no. Not even close. This is the film that has the power glove scene and really jumps the shark. The plot with this one attempts to really fill in Freddy's back story but it's just.. unnecessary. Do we really need to know more about Freddy beyond what the other five movies had told us? It takes place 10 years later. Alice is long gone (apparently, as she nor her child even get mentioned) and Freddy has successfully killed every kid in the town except for 1, who he allows to live so that he can bring back Freddy's own kid (so that he can escape the town and go on to kill kids in other cities). I don't know. Maybe on paper it read better.. although from what I understand, having watched that documentary before all this, a lot of these films were just made up as they went along (and it shows lol). The kills in this one are over the top, almost Loony Tunes style, and the ending is just.. really? Also it was in 3D because why not? This film is definitely second worst for me. My rating: 3/10 (IMDB gave it 4.9/10)
New Nightmare (1994)
They finally gave control back to Wes Craven for the final main Nightmare film (we pretend the reboot doesn't exist, and Freddy vs Jason is a crossover film lol). And it's a good thing they did. Wes Craven did a fantastic job of sort of bringing the series back to its roots. Freddy was finally scary again and the concept of the film, with the actors playing themselves, was meta and interesting at the time (I can't recall having seen many films do something like this back then; obviously there's more that have done it since). I really like the newer, darker, Freddy--the way Wes Craven had imagined him at the start. Though I have to admit that some of the lines in the other films were funny so I'm kinda torn lol. But overall, this one and the original are probably the best two of the entire franchise (though my personal favorite is still #3). I give this one a 9/10 too. (IMDB gave it a 6.4/10)
As for that documentary about the whole series.. definitely 10/10. Watch it if you like the franchise and want to learn more about how they were made, the struggles they faced, the thoughts and ideas they originally had and being able to see some behind the scene footage (and missing scenes that never made it into the films).
I'm not as interested in Friday the 13th so I doubt we'll be doing a marathon of every one of those films (plus there's like 12 of them lol) but that documentary is pretty interesting too (though in my opinion not as good as the Nightmare one).