ne of the more irritating conventions of Teen Slasher
films is that our teen lead is determined to "spread the word" about
the killer, even though no one will believe her, not having seen or faced the
killer as she had. Of course our teen will not be deterred by something as minor
as lack of evidence or the absurdity of her statements, and will keep spouting
the gospel until she looks crazy to everyone around her. The use of this
convention is doubly irritating when a character, having survived a battle with
said killer, continues to spit out the whole "he's coming to get me"
line to people prone to disbelieve her since, as previously mentioned, they
haven't met the killer yet. The reason for the constant use of this
convention is simple: lazy writing.
More examples of lazy writing courtesy of Leslie Bohem
("Daylight") is the continued use of foreshadowing, once again proving
that subtlety is a thing of the past with the franchise. Gee, I wonder if that
kid who keeps drawing those comic books will die in a way relating to
comic books? And did he mention that he was terrified of blood? Or how about the
girl who boasts she's a great swimmer? I wonder if her nightmare will involve
water somehow? Or how about the leggy friend whose mother keeps pushing her into
the modeling biz? What I'm trying to say is, just once I'd like to be surprised
by how the background "friends" characters get killed off. It's
getting so blatantly obvious that I can't even appreciate the creative aspects
of the kills anymore.
4: The Dream Master" got serious about the bodycount, then "NOES
5" has taken a big step backwards. We get three -- count'em, three
-- dead bodies this time around. (That Freddy, he's really slacking off, I tell
ya.) Returning is Lisa Wilcox as Alice, who is about to graduate with boyfriend
Dan (Danny Hassel, also returning). As the film opens, Alice finds herself
reliving some of the events that led to Freddy's birth, including the
accidental trapping, and then rape, of Freddy's nun mother. Freddy himself,
thought killed, has somehow resurfaced in the dreams of Alice's unborn child,
and plans to be "reborn" in the place of Alice's baby.
It should be obvious by now that the writers have
effectively stopped caring about how Freddy comes back from the previous
sequel's "death" scene. Their one main concern is how Freddy is going
to be "killed off" this time around. Having established different ways
Freddy could be "killed for good" (this paragraph in itself is worth a
big *snicker*) in the last 4 installments, Part 5 once again invents a new
"surefire way" to kill Freddy. Helping to off her own son is Freddy's
mother, whose remains were locked away somewhere, and now must be found.
The thing about "NOES 5", besides its complete
lack of scares, or even an attempt at maintaining its "horror"
elements, is that the film actually opens very well. Director Stephen Hopkins
paints a very elaborate dream sequence involving a very naked Lisa Wilcox (or at
least a very attractive body double). Unfortunately the rest of the movie is
dead weight, consisting of Alice trying to convince anyone and everyone within
earshot about supernatural killer Freddy coming after her baby, and Freddy
himself dropping one groan-inducing one-liner after another. Comedy has replaced
horror, and action set pieces have replaced nightmares. At one point, Freddy
even goes "extreme sportsman" on a victim.
Although we are told more about Freddy's mother and the
events that led to her rape by "100 maniacs", it's nothing series
creator Wes Craven hadn't filled us in already in "NOES
3". Only now instead of being told we get to see what happened to dear
ol mom. I suspect writer Bohem and director Hopkins were also trying to turn the
franchise into a movie replete with metaphors and motifs, what with all the
water and birth references. Which leads me to this conclusion: they must have
forgotten they were contracted to add to an established horror franchise,
because there sure is nothing very horrific about this installment.
As our Fair Hair Lead, Alice falls somewhere between Nancy
and Kristen in the spunk-o-meter. And yes, if you were wondering, despite having
gone through this whole "you can do anything in your dreams" thing
more than once, Alice still proves to be a slow learner -- if you can call it
learning at all. This is even more frustrating because one of her friends, the
comic book geek, seems to grasp the notion of taking control of your dreams
faster than she ever did, or still seems capable of doing.
Of further interest is that Robert Englund, who plays
knife-for-fingers Freddy Krueger, finally gets top billing. This is only fair,
not to mention a long time coming, since Englund is the franchise's real star.