rom the very first musical chorus in the soundtrack you
know "NOES 6: The Final Nightmare" is not like the others. For one,
it's the franchise's first entry in the '90s and the soundtrack is all alt-rock.
Then again, the complete lack of subtlety in Death Foreshadowing is still very
prominent, as well as Freddy's ever-increasing wise-assing. Wait, did the girl
just say she didn't like to be touch? And did that hearing-impaired kid mention
something about his abusive parents? Hmm, I wonder if that kid's obsession with
video games will come back to haunt him. Oy vey.
Also very noticeable is that the kids are no longer just
dumb teens waiting to be slaughtered, they're now aggressive and angst-ridden
teens waiting to be slaughtered. Despite the increase in anger and "let's
get it on" mentality, the kids still remain atypically stupid, which means
they'll still die. But at least they bicker and make asses of themselves with
supposedly "clever" dialogue meant to showcase their
"90-ness" in the meantime. Once more, the question of Freddy's
resurrection is no longer an issue, as the writers didn't even bother with an
explanation this time around. He's just...back. Uh, right. Now the only possible
original touch is waiting to see what groovy ways they've come up to "kill
him for good" this time.
The fact that the movie was released back in 1991 as a
gimmick tie-in with 3D glasses probably tells you all you need to know about the
movie. Made two years after "The
Dream Child", which set the stage for the series' transition to silly
comedy rather than horror, "NOES 6" continues to go for silly
slapstick instead of scaring the audience. Now nothing more than a shell of its
original self, the franchise has become an in-joke. The storyline, about Freddy
having a child that was orphaned, reinforces this notion.
The story is this: John Doe, a teen suffering from amnesia,
doesn't know that he is the last of the Elm Street children. Having escaped the
town, John is now under the care of therapist Maggie (Lisa Zane), who, we come
to learn, is actually Freddy's daughter. (Why didn't I warn you about possible
spoilers? Because I don't care enough about this film to warn you ahead of time.
So sue me.) We also learn that John hadn't escaped, but that Freddy had purposely
"sent him out" into the world in order to lure in more victims. Having
finished off the last of the Elm Street kids in the 10 years since the events of
the previous installment, Freddy is now itching to slay more kids.
Despite a surprising twist that explains Freddy's
motivation for his original child-killing spree, "NOES 6" remains
laughably lame. Even the presence of the inexplicably sexy Lisa Zane and the
always engaging Yapphet Kotto (TV's "Homicide") as a dream expert
fails to liven things up. The direction by Rachel Talalay, who was a producer on
the series for some time, is choppy and oftentimes incomprehensible. The running
time, just a shade under 85 minutes of actual movie, means there's little time
for characterization or development. The kids are introduced with their quirks
-- along with their very obvious vices -- and everything else is left to the
imagination. Or to 3D glasses, if you will.
Speaking of which, while 3D technology might have been
"groovy" back in 1991 and in the theaters, it just looks silly here.
If anything, "NOES 6" looks less polish than its '80s predecessors,
which is something I never thought I'd say. Even the dream sequences, usually
the saving grace of the "NOES" films, are flat and uninteresting this
time around. Gone
are the surrealism and the unreal quality of impossible visuals, replaced by
childish fantasies like being trapped in a video game. Don't even get me started
on the complete obliteration of the wall that exists between events in the dream
world and those in the real world. Here, it doesn't even matter.
"NOES 6" is better left forgotten, thrown away in
the junk heap of sequels that should never have been made. The script was
written by Michael de Luca and Rachel Talalay, two "executive types"
who are probably used to running a movie production, but not writing an actual
movie. It shows. "NOES 6" might just be the worst of the
bunch, and an inspired cameo by original star Johnny Depp only adds to the
goofiness of the whole thing.