Well, after writing about A Nightmare On Elm Street Part 2 and trying to build a credible case for its uniqueness making it a lot less awful than is made out, I thought perhaps I should write another little article. Just like with societies, it is hard to know what is good or even average without having something bad to compare it to. This is where the sixth film in the series, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, comes in handy. I think in order to understand what a piece of shit it really is, one needs to understand the full meaning of the description given in the Wikipedia. In the presently-available Wikipedia entry, Freddy’s Dead is described as “a 1991 American slasher comedy horror film”. Although it is up for debate whether this is really two or three distinct genres that the film is unsuccessfully trying to blend, a big part of the problem is that the people responsible for making the film do not understand how to do any of these genres well, leave alone all three at once.
If you have seen An American Werewolf In London, then you have already seen an example of a combination of comedy and horror done well. And the reason the combination worked there is because (get this) the horror element was taken perfectly seriously. The four actors that can be considered principals are quite clearly taking an absurd situation as seriously as they can, even when they are acting out scenes intended to induce laughter. Griffin Dunne, the gentleman playing the character of Jack, performs the thankless task of explaining the plot and the conflict the central character, David, is facing. But the manner in which lycanthropy is treated seriously by the story, and the conflict between survival instinct and doing the right thing is treated seriously by the characters, means that jokes such as David’s conference with the departed spirits of those he has dined on whilst in wolf form are all the more hilarious in an inobvious way. Put simply, An American Werewolf In London is a good film because it respects the intelligence of the audience.