Friday FabOoolousness – The Boo Factor: Dark Shadows

We don’t go to the movie theater often.  When we do actually go to the cinema, we rarely pick a flick on its opening weekend.  But at least once a year there is a movie release that I absolutely can’t miss — a film that I have been anxiously awaiting for months.

Readers of my blog know that I love scary movies – horror, slashers, psychological thrillers, classics, B-rated films, etc.  These are “my movies” according to my guy, and he usually insists that I see these with my girlfriends.

Two years ago, the film was the Nightmare on Elm Street remake starring Rooney Mara, Katie Cassidy, and Thomas Dekker.  My girls and I rushed out early on a Saturday morning to witness the “new” Freddy Krueger terrorize the teens of Springwood, Ohio.

In 2011, we again met at the theater for a Saturday morning viewing of Colin Farrell as the sexy vampire Jerry Dandridge in the remake of Fright Night – in 3-D no less.  As with Nightmare, this vampy flick put a new twist on the popular original which is exactly the kind of remake I appreciate (in most instances, not in The Clash of the Titans’ case).

But I digress…

Around December of last year, I knew exactly which film my girlfriends and I would see on its premiere weekend this year – Dark Shadows.

Dark Shadows is not new; it has been around for decades, literally.  In the ’60s and ’70s, Dark Shadows aired on the ABC network as a soap opera.  Dan Curtis’ melodramatic soap put the supernatural on the map – vampires, ghosts, werewolves, zombies, witches, etc.  It also featured time travel and aspects of parallel universes, something that is extremely popular on TV today.

The soap opera launched into a phenom craze of its own, and MGM released two feature films based on the popular hit in the ’70s: House of Dark Shadows and Night of Dark Shadows.  Since then, the Dark Shadows franchise has grown to also include magazines, comics, and books.

In 1991, Dark Shadows aired on NBC as a primetime drama as a reimagining of the original series (also created by Dan Curtis).  The “new” Dark Shadows didn’t last past its freshman year, but the story grabbed a certain teenage girl in Midland, Texas who never missed an episode.  Yes, I’m talking about me…  Even today, I have my DVR set to record the ’91 series anytime it airs in syndication on SyFy or Chiller.

The Dark Shadows television series was almost brought back to life in 2004 by the WB, but the network passed on the pilot starring Alec Newman and other familiar faces: Marley Shelton (Valentine), Jessica Chastain (The Help), Alexander Gould and Martin Donovan (Weeds), Kelly Hu (Nash Bridges), Ivana Milicevic (Head over Heels), and Blair Brown (Fringe).  I am seriously bummed that this series didn’t make it.

So what makes Dark Shadows special?  Vampire Barnabas Collins

As if it wasn’t enough that Tim Burton is bringing Dark Shadows to the big screen, he cast one of the best actors of our time in the role of Barnabas Collins — the fabOoolous Johnny Depp.

Barnabas Collins, 2012

I’m a fan of vampires in general (the dark kind, not the lovey-dovey kind – yes, I’m referring to Twilight here).  The trailer has me worried that the film will be a bit “campy” for me, but I’m putting all preconceived notions aside and am looking forward to my movie date this weekend.  After all, Mr. Depp isn’t the only star cast in this cult classic: we also have Michelle Pfeiffer, Jonny Lee Miller, Chloe Moretz (Hit-Girl from Kick-Ass), Helena Bonham Carter, and Jackie Earle Haley (the “new” Freddy Krueger) to just name a few.

It’s also rumored that a few of the soap opera stars from the ’60s and ’70s will play a cameo in the film, something I truly appreciate.  Did everyone notice Chris Sarandon’s cameo in Fright Night (2011)?  Loved it – the “old” vampire Jerry killed by the “new” vampire Jerry.  Brilliant!

I don’t know what to expect from this movie, but I know I’m looking forward to it.  With the exception of The Rum Diary (in my opinion), everything Johnny Depp touches turns to gold.  Surely Dark Shadows will be another of his masterful character pieces and will leave all of us applauding him once again.  The man is simply fantastic.  Partnered again with Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter, how can it fail?

Are you a Dark Shadows fan?  Did you prefer the soap or the ’91 retelling?  Do you plan to see the movie?  I’d love to hear from you!

Friday FaBOOolousness – Urban Legends

Watching American Horror Story this week reminded us of the power of the urban legend when a patient of Dr. Harmon’s couldn’t even muster up the strength to walk into his bathroom in fear of the Pig Man.

By definition, an urban legend is a modern tale or myth usually believed to be true.    A few favorites include:

The Bloody Mary Legend, the ghost who appears in a mirror after her name is called three times.

The Killer in the Backseat Legend, the story that begins with a woman driving home alone at night when a passerby scares her by flashing his high beams or speeding past her.  She manages to make it home, safe and sound, before realizing the other driver was only trying to warn her about the man in the backseat.

 

The Achilles Slasher Legend, the fear that a mysterious person lays in wait underneath cars ready to slash our Achilles tendons as we attempt to open the car door.

The Spider Bite Legend, the legend of the facial spider bite that swells and bursts, releasing hundreds of tiny baby spiders.

The Hook Legend, a tale of a serial killer who stalks and murders young couples.

 

The Kidney Heist Legend, the terrifying story of waking up in a pool of ice only to discover a kidney has been surgical removed and stolen.

The Pop Rocks and Soda Legend, the tale that enjoying a package of Pop Rocks candy and a can of soda together will result in an explosion of the face, throat, and/or stomach.

Hollywood has told the tales of the urban legend over and over again, and it has thrived in the success of moviegoers perhaps believing in, and definitely enjoying the frightening stories.

Candyman, the 1992 horror film starring Virginia Madsen, Tony Todd, and Xander Berkeley combines the tales of Bloody Mary and the Hook, while placing a new spin on the legends.  In this movie, the characters summon Candyman by calling his name five times while looking into a mirror.  A man with a hook for his right hand appears and seeks revenge against those who harmed him years before.

Candyman successfully spooked the begeezus out of our group in high school, and as usual the sequels weren’t quite the same (Candyman 2: Farewell to the Flesh and Candyman 3: Day of the Dead).

I Know What You Did Last Summer, the classic tale of The Hook, starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr., and Ryan Phillippe.  This movie follows a killer with a hook stalking four teenagers responsible for a hit and run the summer before.

Hollywood produced a few sequels, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (Jennifer Love and Freddie Prinze Jr. return with the addition of Brandy Norwood, the singer, and Mekhi Phifer) and I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer (all new cast), but these follow-ups lost the shock factor of the original.

Finally, let’s not forget the Urban Legend Franchise that includes tales such as the Pop Rocks and Soda story, the Kidney Heist, the Spider Bite, and the classic, Bloody Mary.

Urban Legend stars a young, popular cast of the ‘90s: Jared Leto, Rebecca Gayheart, Joshua Jackson, as well as other familiar faces like Alicia Witt, Natasha Gregson Wagner, and Freddie Kruger himself, Robert Englund.    This movie resembles more of a slasher flick, but does introduce a few of the classic urban legends within the storyline.

Similar to its predecessor, Urban Legend: Final Cut hit screens a few years later starring Jennifer Morrison, Anthony Anderson, Eva Mendes, Joey Lawrence, and Rebecca Gayheart (again). We watched as another mysterious killer makes his way across campus killing college students working on their thesis projects.

Urban Legends: Bloody Mary wraps up the franchise, but moves toward the supernatural when three friends call to Bloody Mary during a sleep over.  Instead of the usual slasher theme, this movie follows the story of a decades old murder via haunting and mysterious deaths.

Urban Legends – fact or fiction?  Share a favorite in the comment section below. 

What other movies have you enjoyed that tell the tales of the urban legend?  Is the number three the death number for an urban legend franchise (three Candyman movies, three I Know What You Did Last Summer movies, and three Urban Legend movies), or is it just coincidence?  I’d love to hear from you!

Friday FaBOOolousness – The Boo Factor: Fright Night

Most vampire movies today want the audience to fall in love with the vampire.  Take the Twilight series for example – none of the Cullens actually feed on humans (not that we see, anyway).  No, the bad vampires (like Victoria) are the evil vamps killing innocents; and the good vampires, like the Cullen family, fight these bad seeds to protect Bella and the other humans.

The same can’t be said about Tom Holland’s 1985 classic, Fright Night.

That’s not to say that the viewers don’t secretly love Fright Night’s vampire lead.  Jerry Dandridge (Chris Sarandon) possesses all the qualities we love in vampires; he’s sexy, seductive, brooding, and he’s not afraid to sink his teeth into a nightly feed.

But, Jerry is not the character that the audience is supposed to cheer on during the big showdown at the end of the movie.

Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale) lives a normal teenage life with his single mother, Judy (Dorothy Fielding), quirky best friend, Edward, aka “Evil Ed” (Stephen Geoffreys), and girlfriend, Amy (Amanda Bearse), until one night he notices the new neighbor moving in with what looks to be coffin-like boxes.

Being a horror fan, Charley immediately questions whether or not a vampire has just moved in next door and he begins investigating.  He reaches out to a television vampire hunter, Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall) for ways to prove, or disprove, that his new neighbor is indeed a blood-sucker.

Watching women disappear after joining the mysterious man next door, Charley decides to sneak over and put some of Peter’s ideas to the test.  His suspicions are confirmed when he notices Jerry’s image does not reflect in a mirror.  But, unfortunately for the teenager, Jerry learns that his young neighbor has been sneaking around when Charley leaves behind a piece of his mirror.

Jerry stalks Charley, terrorizes him, and makes his life a living hell.  He lures those closest to Charley by turning them and compelling them to do as he wishes.

Charley’s only hope is to trust Peter.  Armed with holy water, crosses, and wooden stakes, Charley and Peter enter the vampire’s house with one goal – kill.

Fright Night is not a feel-good vampire movie.  It’s mysterious, dark, and at times spooky.  Even the music was eerie, particularly the instrumental “Come to Me” by Brad Fiedel.

The movie won awards, spawned a novelization, a sequel, a comic book series, and a computer game.

What has this child of the ‘80s so excited about Fright Night today?

DreamWorks (Steven Spielberg) has remade the classic film, and cast Colin Farrell as Jerry.  Colin Farrell!  Who doesn’t think this is the best casting for the sexy, dark role of Jerry?

The casting all around is FaBOOolous: Anton Yelchin (Terminator Salvation, Star Trek) plays Charley Brewster; Toni Collette (The Sixth Sense, United States of Tara) plays Jane Brewster; David Tennant (Doctor Who, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) plays Peter Vincent; and, Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Role Models, Kick-Ass) plays Evil Ed.

A few other notable roles to watch for include: James Franco’s (Freaks and Geeks, Spiderman, 127 Hours) little brother, Dave Franco, playing Mark; Sofia Vergara’s (Modern Family) little sister, Sandra Vergara, playing Ginger; and, Lisa Loeb (1994 hit song, “Stay”) playing Evil Ed’s mom.

Fright Night 2011 hits theaters August 19th.

Are you a fan of the 1985 classic? Do you plan to see the 2011 remake?  What do you think about the casting of Colin Farrell to play Jerry?  What’s your favorite vampire movie of all time? How much does the music play a part for you? Do you like the traditional role of cinematic vampires or the newer heroic roles? I’d love to hear from you!

Friday FaBOOolousness – The Boo Factor: The Lost Boys

Perhaps every decade has a right to claim its movies faBOOolous, but the ‘80s reigned supreme with slasher franchise giants such as Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street – both of which still live on today in our generation of remakes.

Today, we’re focusing on the 1987 supernatural great, and one of my all-time favorite vampire movies: The Lost Boys.

Michael (Jason Patric), Sam (Corey Haim), and their mother, Lucy Emerson ((Diane Weist), move to Santa Clara, California to live with their grandfather (“Grandpa” played by Barnard Hughes) following Lucy’s divorce.

Michael: On their first night in town, the brothers head out to the town boardwalk, where Michael sees Star (Jami Gertz) dancing in the moonlight.  Seduced by her moves, he follows her, where he meets David (Keifer Sutherland) and his friends for the first time.  The next night, Michael runs into David again; only this time, David challenges Michael to join him on a motorcycle ride.  Wanting to impress Star, Michael agrees and later follows the mysterious teens back to their underground lair.  Peer pressure and temptation ensue, and Michael drinks from the wine bottle that David and his friends pass around.

The next morning, Michael is sensitive to the sunlight, and his transformation begins.

Sam: The younger of the Emerson brothers, Sam, finds solace in a local comic book store on the boardwalk where he meets the Frog brothers: Edgar (Corey Feldman) and Alan (Jamison Newlander).  The Frog brothers claim to be vampire hunters, and provide Sam with tons of reading material to prepare for living in Santa Clara, a town plagued by the night’s creatures.

How else does one explain all of the missing person flyers?

Sam shrugs the crazy brothers off, until later that night when his dog, Nanook, begins growling ferociously at the bathroom door while Sam bathes.  Bothered by Nanook’s reaction, Sam robes up only to find his brother Michael hiding in the darkness.

Spooked by the combination of the Frog brothers’ tale and by Nanook, Sam runs from Michael.  He locks himself in his room, calls his mother, and looks out the window to see his brother floating in the air.  At this point, Michael knows something is very wrong, and he returns to David’s lair seeking answers from his new so-called friends.  Instead, he finds Star, who immediately commiserates with Michael and the two bond (physically and emotionally).

Sam seeks the Frog brothers’ help, but refuses to follow their advice, which is to kill Michael.  Sam does, however, believe them now that Santa Clara is crawling with vampires, and asks for their help in saving his brother.  In the meantime, Sam begins questioning anyone he comes in contact with, including his mom’s new boyfriend, Max (Edward Herrmann).  The Frog brothers accept Sam’s invitation to dinner where they test Max with Holy water and garlic, infuriating Lucy and embarrassing Sam.

Michael decides to join David and his gang on another outing, even after the group taunted him on a motorcycle ride and forced him to hang from a railroad bridge. This time, he witnesses the young vampires feed on a group of teens at a camp site.  He refuses to kill, but now knows exactly what is happening to him.

Michael returns home, where Sam and the Frog brothers hatch a plan to kill David, clearly the head-vampire.   Things go from bad to worse when their murderous attempt fails, and Michael realizes David will seek revenge and hunt him at nightfall.

The fight scenes at the end of The Lost Boys were faBOOolously choreographed and had brilliant special effects for its time.  I don’t want to give the ending away for those who have yet to see the movie (are there really those out there who have not seen The Lost Boys?), but will wrap with the famous closing line: “One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach, all the damn vampires.”

And, who can forget Jason Patric and Corey Haim’s blue eyes just before the fade to black?  The closing scene solidified those two as ‘80s heart-throbsRight girls?

It would be wrong of me to end the post without mentioning the music.  The Lost Boys has one of the best motion picture soundtracks of the ‘80s with musical greats including INXS, popular hit songs such as “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” and “People Are Strange,” as well as the ever-haunting theme song, “Cry Little Sister.”

Who’s your favorite character in The Lost Boys? Did you guess the head-vampire correctly, or were you surprised at the end?  Did you want a Husky after falling in love with Nanook? What are some of your favorite quotes from this ‘80s classic?  Did you watch any of the sequels?  Do you have another favorite ‘80s scary movie?  I’d love to hear from you!

Friday FaBOOolousness – The “Boo” Factor: When Death Decides

How many of us are paranoid about something?  We all are, right?

Do movies help or hurt with our paranoia?

I shudder to think about spiders (thanks, Arachnophobia!), scorpions (thanks, Clash of the Titans!), snakes (thanks, Snakes on a Plane!), sharks (thanks, Jaws!), and severe storms (thanks, Twister!).  I could keep going, but you catch my drift. 

But, does paranoia stop us from watching these scary movies?

Usually not!  Most of us have babysat and been alone in the dark of someone else’s living room and pictured Michael Myers, right?  Or gone to bed and prayed Freddy is really only a fictional character? Or maybe we’ve gone camping near water and crossed our fingers that Jason is tied tightly and cemented to the bottom of the lake, right? 

What do we do when Death decides it’s our time?

If the question alone isn’t enough, the Final Destination franchise doesn’t help the paranoia, at all! 

It all started in 2000 with the release of Final Destination and the curse of Flight 180.  Alex (Devon Sawa, Nikita), Clear (Ali Larter, Varsity Blues & Heroes), and their classmates gather at the airport for their senior trip.  But before take-off, Alex has a premonition that they’re all going to die.  Pandemonium breaks out and Alex and Clear, along with a few of their friends, are booted off the flight.  Guess what?  Alex’s vision saves their lives; the plane explodes and everyone left on board dies. 

Matters continue to worsen when Alex’s friends start to die in freak accidents – in the order of their original seat number on the doomed flight!  One accidentally hangs himself in the shower; another is splattered by a moving bus; one is stabbed by a kitchen knife (that’s right, no one was controlling the knife; it did it all on its own); one is decapitated at the scene of a train wreck; and one is pummeled by a neon sign. 

To add to the paranoia, in 2003, Final Destination 2 hit the movie theaters.  Kim (A.J. Cook from Criminal Minds) envisions a massive wreck on the highway she and her friends are about to pull onto so she stalls her vehicle.  Crisis averted, right? Nope! Not minutes later, an 18-wheeler causes an accident.  Kim, as well as a few of her friends, survive the crash, including Officer Burke (Matthew Landes, Special Unit 2) who would have died had it not been for Kim’s actions.       

Knowing the past mysterious deaths of the survivors of Flight 180, Kim and Officer Burke visit Clear in the mental hospital, but Clear only warns there is nothing they can do to escape Death.  And, guess what?  One by one the survivors of the wreck die in freakish accidents.  One can always count on at least one character death by impalement, decapitation, explosion, or by being crushed by some object.   One of the deaths that grabbed our attention in FD2 followed a car crash when an emergency worker accidentally set off the airbag trying to remove a survivor from the wreckage, knocking her head into one of the metal pipes thrown through her car from a truck involved in the accident — brutal!

 

The fun doesn’t stop there!  In 2006, Final Destination 3 introduced cinema-goers to a new crowd of unlucky teenagers.  Wendy (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), Kevin (Ryan Merriman, Pretty Little Liars), and friends board the roller coaster at a local theme park.  What happens next? Wendy has a premonition; some get off the doomed ride; and, the rest fall to their death.

Kevin tells Wendy about the others and warns that everyone that managed to escape the roller coaster will start to die.  And?  They do!  The death scene in FD3 that still haunts me to this day is when two girls get trapped and roast to death inside a couple of tanning beds –talk about a case of vanity kills! 

The Final Destination was released in 2009, and thinking this was the last installment in the series, I was sure not to miss it!  Nick (Bobby Campo), his girlfriend Lori (Shantel VanSanten, One Tree Hill), and their best friends, Janet and Hunt, are attending a Nascar-like event where Nick envisions debris on the track causing a wreck, that leads to mass chaos, and eventually explosions killing nearly everyone in the crowd.   

Like clockwork, one by one the survivors die in even more crazy accidents.  The climatic tension surrounding the hot mom’s (Krista Allen) impending death was pretty great.  Will she get chopped up by the loose ceiling fan?  Will the hair dresser accidentally stab her with her scissors?  Or will she escape?  Well, we know that’s not going to happen.  Instead, she dies when a flying rock rips through her eye after being tossed by a lawn mower across the street.  I normally wouldn’t mention the almost situations, but TFD filmed one potential death scene that really freaked me out when Janet’s sun-roof opened and malfunctioned inside a drive-thru car wash.  She managed to escape, but the thought of what that would feel like is haunting.   

Everyone dies in The Final Destination, another reason why one might think this movie wrapped up the franchise.  But, guess what? 

Final Destination 5 in 3D hits theaters this August!

What do you think now: Do movies help or hurt with our paranoia?

Which of the Final Destination movies do you like best? Because of these movies, do you think twice now when flying? Do you fall farther behind or drive past the trucks hauling metal pipes? Do you check the tanning bed to make sure you can open it once inside? Do you watch a roller coaster and envision something horrible happening?  Will you take your car through a drive-thru car wash and stare at your sun-roof the entire time?  Do you avoid walking under large, dangling signs or cranes lifting large objects? What makes you paranoid?  Will you see Final Destination 5?  I’d love to hear from you!

Friday FaBOOolousness – The “Boo” Factor – Friday the 13th

Who’s the killer in the original Friday the 13th?

Answering this very question incorrectly cost Drew Barrymore’s character her life in Scream.

It all started in 1980, when innocent camp counselors worked to open an old camp site; a camp that had been closed after a young boy, Jason Voorhees, drowned in the lake.  How did Jason drown?  Two camp counselors that were supposed to watch him decided to have sex instead.  Devastated by her son’s death, Jason’s mother, Mrs. Voorhees took matters into her own hands to ensure the camp didn’t open again — to protect other children from counselors who were more interested in their summer shenanigans than watching the children.  One by one, she stalked the unaware teenagers, placing blame on each of them for her son’s death.  Mrs. Voorhees managed to brutally murder each counselor — all except for one.   Alice managed to escape Mrs. Voorhees’ murderous rampage and turned the tables on the crazed mother.  In what began the true Friday the 13th style, Alice decapitated Mrs. Voorhees’ with a machete.

And then begins the Curse of Camp Crystal Lake.

In Part II, the supposed dead son of Mrs. Voorhees, is actually an adult, and very much alive.  Following in his mother’s footsteps, Jason slaughters Alice, his mother’s murderer, and returns to Camp Crystal Lake.  He lives in peace, until years later more teenagers arrive to open the camp — BIG mistake.

Part III picks up right where II ended, and is crucial to the series.  Why?  Jason finds a hockey mask, the hockey mask, to cover his disfigured faceJason continues to slice through dozens of teenagers over the years, proving he’s invincible along the way.

 

The series continues with: Part IV:  The Final Chapter, Part V: A New Beginning, Part VI: Jason Lives, Part VII: The New Blood, Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, Part IX: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, and Part X: Jason X.  With twelve feature films and a television series, Friday the 13th is considered one of the most successful franchises in movie history.

 Twenty-three years later, the franchise continued with a match-up that fans had been talking about for years: Freddy vs. Jason.  The battle of the century takes place in both Freddy’s dream world, and Jason’s home, Camp Crystal Lake, with only one victor.  Or was there?

In 2009, Friday the 13th was reborn again.  The newest installment featured popular television stars for the new teenage audience:  Jared Padalecki (Sam Winchester, Supernatural), Amanda Righetti (Grace Van Pelt, The Mentalist), and Danielle Panabaker (Julie Stark, Shark).  The film didn’t disappoint this Friday fan, and had classic elements of the older versions — most recognizably, Jason’s resurrection after being buried in the water, from which he rises and grabs a survivor before the screen fades to black.  Did you jump?

In addition to the machete and the hockey mask, what is the other most famous element of Friday the 13th and Jason Voorhees?

Ki ki ki, ma ma ma – The dreadful, eerie, creepy music.  There have been many debates over what the actual sounds of the Jason music are.  The ‘ki’ sound comes from the word ‘kill’ and the ‘ma’ sound from “mommy’; a line in the original movie spoken by Mrs. Voorhees in her child’s voice, “Kill her mommy!”

Unknown actors are often cast in slasher films early in their careers.  The Friday franchise is no different.  Who are two very famous Friday alums today?

Kevin Bacon (I)

Corey Feldman (IV and V)

Jason Voorhees remains one of the most frightening characters today.  He’s gigantic, has super strength, obtains supernatural abilities, and isn’t afraid to kill.  He always has his machete, but he will also never shy away from bows and arrows, spears, pitchforks or chainsaws: anything that will cut right through his victims.

Despite all the death, someone always manages to escape Jason’s clutches.  Wanna know the secret, kids?  I’ll give you a hint – the same rules apply from the movie Scream.  Don’t believe me?  Watch & see!

Do you think of Jason when you go camping? Will you ever send your child to a summer camp on Crystal Lake?  Who do you think is stronger and more dangerous – Jason or Michael Myers from the Halloween franchise?  Which Friday movie was your favorite & why? I’d love to hear from you!

Friday FaBOOolousness – The “Boo” Factor #2

The endearment “Sweet Dreams” changed drastically in 1984 when audiences met Freddy Krueger for the first time.

 

Happy and carefree high school students in Springwood, Ohio transformed overnight into terrified teenagers afraid to fall asleep.  It all started when Tina dreamed of being chased by a horribly burned man wearing a green and red striped sweater, teasing her with his razor-sharp knives in lieu of fingers on his right hand.  Tina escaped his clutches just in time, and woke up with tears in her night-gown.  How can something that occurs in a dream actually happen?

Tina’s best friend, Nancy (Heather Langenkamp), experienced a similar dream the very same night.  Nancy dismissed her nightmare as just that, a nightmare.  Being the good friend that she was, Nancy agreed to spend the night with Tina so that she wouldn’t be alone.  Joining the girls, of course, was Tina’s boyfriend, Rod, and Nancy’s boyfriend, Glen (introducing Johnny Depp, ladies).  Tina fell asleep feeling safe with her friends nearby, and Freddy appeared again; only this time, Freddy didn’t miss slashing Tina with his razor-sharp claws.

Do you remember that scene?  Tina, wearing the oversized, white button down shirt, flailing about, blood spraying everywhere, levitating, crawling on the ceiling, and finally crashing into her bed — dead.  Her boyfriend standing helplessly by, watching an invisible knife slash through his girlfriend, screaming her name, “Tina!” – completely terrified and confused.   

The nightmares continued for Nancy, finally convincing her that she and Tina were dreaming about the same man.  Continuing to have nightmares, Nancy saw the burned man kill Rod; and, later found Rod dead in reality too – just like Tina.

Finally, Nancy’s mother confessed that the man haunting and stalking her in her dreams was Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) – a child murderer that was burned and killed at the hands of the children’s parents.  Together, Nancy & Glen devised a plan to trap and kill Freddy, but Glen made one fatal mistake – he fell asleep.

Do you remember that scene?  Glen lying on his bed in his midriff jersey t-shirt with his television & gigantic head phones, sinking through the bed as Freddy sucked him in, the blood rushing through the mattress with the velocity of a fire hydrant.

Alone, Nancy battled Krueger to the end, living to see another day; actually, Nancy survived to see another few installments of the Nightmare franchise: Nightmare 3 and New Nightmare.

Do you remember the eerie nursery rhyme?  The little girls dressed in beautiful white baby-doll dresses playing hop-scotch and jumping rope in the parks?

“One, Two, Freddy’s coming for you.

Three, Four, Better lock your door.

Five, Six, Grab your crucifix.

Seven, Eight, Gotta stay up late.

Nine, Ten, Never sleep again.”

Say what you will, that rhyme still spooks me to this very day!  Not to mention the fact that I have a hard time remembering the actual lyrics to the peaceful, children’s song.

Wes Craven created the Nightmare franchise with his horrifying screenplay and his directing brilliance.  Robert Englund may still be recognized today as his character, Freddy Krueger, more than he is as Robert Englund, the actor.

A Nightmare on Elm Street opened the door for nine feature films, including a 2010 remake produced by Michael Bay, Andrew Form, and Brad Fuller.  The original Nightmare will always be great; but, the remake included more of the back-story of Freddy Krueger, and the children he preyed on, making the 2010 film very exciting for a Nightmare-aholic like myself.

Wake Up!

The Nightmare franchise has also featured an array of popular actors over the years in addition to Langenkamp, Englund and Depp, such as Patricia Arquette, Laurence Fishburne, Jason Ritter, Breckin Meyer, and Lochlyn Munro.  Additionally, Rosanne Barr and Tom Arnold appeared briefly in Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare.  The 2010 movie successfully catered to today’s teenage audience by casting the brilliant Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy (in an absolutely FaBOoolous performance assuming the role from Englund), Katie Cassidy (Gossip Girl), Kellan Lutz (The Twilight Movies), Kyle Gallner (Jennifer’s Body), Rooney Mara (The Social Network), and Thomas Dekker (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles).

Hopefully, the franchise will live on.

Do you believe that if you die in your sleep, will you die in real life?  Do you prefer the 1984 original or the 2010 remake?  Do you fear Freddy, Jason, or Michael more?  What’s your favorite scary movie?   I’d love to hear from you!

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