'Freddy' dies with class


September 14, 1991|By Janet Maslin | Janet Maslin,New York Times News Service

The "Elm Street" series, now in its sixth chapter with "Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare," is apparently coming to a close before it runs out of gas, thus displaying class not usually found in the horror genre.

Having resisted fire, holy water and premature burial in earlier installments, Freddy (Robert Englund) has successfully whittled the population of Springwood, U.S.A., down to a few demented adults (Roseanne and Tom Arnold make brief appearances, as does Alice Cooper) and only one teen-ager, an amnesiac known as John (Shon Greenblatt).

Branching out into a shelter for wayward youngsters, Freddy seems on the verge of a new career. But in stalking John along with these other new victims, he runs into trouble in the form of his own long-lost child.

Attempts at a family reunion culminate in a sustained, effective 3-D sequence that sends Freddy's child into Freddy's unconscious to lure him out of the world of dreams.

Mr. Englund, playing the Halloween favorite whom audiences love to hate, sustains Freddy's peculiar charm once again, even when appearing without ghastly makeup in scenes of the slasher's early years.

Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare'

Starring Robert Englund

Directed by Rachel Talalay

Released by New Line

Rated R

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