Greatest Movie Series
Nightmare on Elm Street Films
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) | A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985)
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987) | A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989) | Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)
(Wes Craven's) New Nightmare (1994) | Freddy vs. Jason (2003) | A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
|Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)
(aka A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 6: The Final Nightmare)
d. Rachel Talalay, 89 minutes, 105 minutes (original release)
Film Plot Summary
The film opened with a quote from Friedrich Nietzsche:
It was followed by a Freddy Krueger quote: "Welcome to Prime Time, bitch."
The time was approximately ten years (circa 1999) after the previous film. In the town of Springwood, Ohio:
After years of Freddy killing children and teens in Springwood, only one child of Springwood remained - an unnamed teen (referred to as "John Doe"), who was having a disturbing nightmare:
John woke up on the edge of town (next to the town sign) with a bloodied head after hitting a rock and suffering a concussion, and he was unable to remember who he was or how he got there. He searched in his pockets and found a local Springwood newspaper clipping headlined: KRUEGER WOMAN STILL MISSING. He stumbled down a deserted two-lane road toward a distant town.
In a Recovery House Youth Center for troubled youth, there were a number of teenaged patients, treated and counseled by Dr. Maggie Burroughs (Lisa Zane):
The trio (Spencer, Tracy, and Carlos) were plotting to run away from the shelter in a pre-dawn escape.
In his littered office with various pieces of high-tech computer equipment and 3-D goggles, middle-aged, hippie dream therapist Doc (Yaphet Kotto) spoke to fellow counselor Maggie about his unconventional technique to reach the teens: "I can reach these kids through their dreams." He even suggested that he could aid Maggie regarding her reoccurring dream. He spoke about his wall poster - a drawing of three "ancient dream demons" who roamed the dreams of the living until finding the "most evil, twisted human imaginable. Then they give him the power to cross the line and turn our nightmares into reality."
Maggie was called to an evaluation room to treat the newest patient, "John Doe," who hadn't slept for three days, and had no memory. His only recollection was that he was "the last...survivor." He wanted to stay awake, knowing that if he fell asleep, he wouldn't wake up: "If I fall asleep, there's gonna be trouble." The newspaper clipping tipped Maggie off to his origination point, Springwood, marked by a water tower.
As she slept at her desk, Maggie (with John) both had dream visions:
The next day, Maggie again evaluated "John" by questioning him about his dream of a room, house, and a little girl (brown-haired with red ribbons) - also "something about the town from my article," and the water tower. She and Doc were both unnerved and uneasy about "some connection" between Maggie's and "John's" dreams: "And his dreams mean bad news." He confronted Maggie, who was sick and tired of hearing about dreams, telling her: "You may not be ready to face what this boy will show you." However, she proposed to amnesiac "John" that they take a van on a two-mile drive to Springwood to revive his memory: "It's gonna trigger something."
During the trip after passing the Springwood town sign, "John" fell asleep - and awoke in another hallucinatory nightmare:
When the dust settled, the three stowed-away teens (Tracy, Carlos, and Spencer) in the back of the van tumbled into view. Although Maggie was angered by their dumb stunt, they continued onto Springwood and arrived at the town's Spring Fair, a pathetic attraction with only a few run-down booths (a dilapidated bumper car ring, rotting pies, a cigarette-smoking clown, etc.) - and no children!
A repulsive and slightly weird Childless Woman named Ethel (Roseanne Barr) confronted the three teens near an inoperative payphone, ready to adopt them: "Would you like to come and live with us? It's been so long since we've had children in the house." When her enraged husband, Childless Man (Tom Arnold) dragged his unstable wife away as she protested, "I want my children back!" he argued: "You know they bring him!" A loud town school bell tolled, causing the town's inhabitants to react fearfully - Spencer noted: "We're in Twin Peaks here."
The plan was for the three teens to drive themselves back to the shelter, while Maggie and "John" would walk to the school and have another car sent for them. Tracy drove the van into the town center's square (twice), where a bronze statue of a saluting Boy Scout was engraved: "THE CHILDREN SHALL ENDURE." They appeared to be driving in circles, and had difficulty leaving the town. When Carlos struggled to unfold a map for directions (in a mini-dream nightmare), it kept getting bigger and bigger and soon filled the entire back of the van. One of the pages of the map had a message in blood-red letters: YOU'RE F--KED. When he was startled awake and told them disorientedly, "the map says we're f--ked," Spencer decided to change places with Tracy and take the wheel, although he later admitted how they couldn't escape the town: "There's no way out." As darkness fell, the trio eventually left the van and walked into an abandoned house on Elm Street in the neighborhood.
Meanwhile, on a deserted town street, Maggie and "John" came upon a large colored chalk drawing on the concrete of Freddy Krueger (with his red/green striped sweater, fedora, and clawed right hand), with the words: "One Two Freddys Coming for You." At the high school, a brick wall was covered with graffiti: "3, 4 Better Lock Your Door." In one of the classrooms, an insane teacher (Matthew Faison) lectured to two empty chairs (he called his class "Freddy 101"), and when he unrolled a map, it was inscribed: "Five Six Grab Your Crucifix." A scrapbook on a desk contained clippings of reports of the town's missing children, and told of a search for the alleged killer, Freddy Krueger, who had mutilated or slaughtered them. The article that "John" had carried with him fit perfectly into one of the clippings on the page. Maggie told him: "You were here." A plaque in an "In Memorium" display showed that all the deceased in the town were within a ten-year period, as "John" noted: "Freddy happened here." As the teacher continued his lesson with a Freddy Krueger time-line drawn on the blackboard, he explained how Freddy had a child taken away from him (the reason for his murderous rampage?) that was put in the town orphanage: "Freddy had a kid."
The three teens decided to rest in one of the houses (marked by a For Sale sign), which began to transform itself after they entered. It became the notorious and sinister 1428 Elm Street home, where blood dripped down the front door, walls and windows cracked, and the For Sale sign caught on fire. Carlos went upstairs to look for a place to sleep, while Tracy observed: "This place makes the shelter look like the Ritz." Off the upstairs hallway (similar to the one in "John's" nightmare), Carlos found a bedroom with a dusty bed and fell asleep. [He would become Freddy's first victim, forced back into his own past to relive his traumatic upbringing.]
All that was left of Carlos in the bedroom was his hearing aid, found by Tracy.
In the downstairs living room, Spencer was smoking pot and falling asleep on the sofa - and would become Freddy's next prey:
In town, Maggie and "John" visited the Springwood Orphanage, established in 1929, to find out about the "dead killer's kid." John tensely noted: "We might be talking about the same thing." Maggie thought the whole town had become obsessed by the Krueger character, including "John," who suspected that there was a reason why he was alive (when everybody else was dead) - could he be Freddy's child?
They were met by an Orphanage Woman (Elinor Donahue), another insane Springwood adult, who was singing "Skip to my Loo" to an imaginary group of children (due to the fact that all the real-world children in the town had been slaughtered by Freddy). She recognized "John" and greeted him: "Oh, you've come back," although she remembered Maggie more clearly: "What a pretty little girl you were!" When "John" asked, the woman wouldn't specifically disclose the "real identity" of Krueger's child.
Maggie picked up a crude, colored-crayon drawing (by a child named K. Krueger) of a Krueger family portrait of three individuals - a mommy, a daddy (wearing a red/green striped sweater) and a child (of unknown gender). "John" was certain that he was Freddy's kid: "It's me. I'm his kid. That's why he's kept me alive. He's trying to play some sick game with me." Maggie tried to reassure "John": "He's dead. And you're not his kid."
When they went outside to leave, Tracy drove up in the van, relieved to have found them. "John" was worried about Freddy getting to Carlos and Spencer before they did - and they hurriedly drove off together. Shortly later, Maggie emerged from the cellar into the backyard of the Elm Street house, similar to the backyard of her nightmarish dream with the nearby water tower, as she realized: "Whoa, I'm here."
To get Spencer out before he was killed, "John" proposed entering his dream - weirdly believing that Freddy wouldn't hurt him ("I'm family"). Tracy deliberately knocked him out with a plank of wood - to enable him to enter into the dream world to help Spencer. Tracy accompanied him - although she used an "easier way...concentration meditation" taught to her by Doc:
Maggie shook Tracy and awakened her to the real-world, but when "John" couldn't be brought back, they decided to pick him up and take him with them in the van back to the shelter.
As the camera focused on "John's" face sleeping in the rear of the van, he awoke in his bedroom as he had done at the beginning of the film - had he been dreaming everything?
With Maggie driving, the van screeched to a halt near the Springwood town sign.
Freddy told Maggie that Freddy's child was not a male. He then possessed Maggie by flying into her head as their van left Springwood and crossed the town's outer limits, shattering and exploding the invisible or supernatural dream border.
Back at the shelter, Maggie reported to her supervisor Kelly (David Dunard) about how "John Doe," Spencer, and Carlos had disappeared, and then discovered to her amazement that he didn't even remember them as patients or new arrivals: "Those kids were never here." However, Doc remembered them, as he explained to Tracy and Maggie: "Because I can control my dreams. I'm not fooled by this thing you saw." Doc thought that Freddy was "f--king with the line between dreams and reality" and had not only killed them, but "erased" the teens. He knew that Freddy attacked people's minds, capitalizing on their fears.
Distraught in her own office, Maggie remembered that "John" had told her: "It's not a boy." She raced to her mother's home to search for her own Adoption Decree, realizing that she was a young adoptee named "Jane Doe," but her mother (Marilyn Rockafellow) had no knowledge of the identity of her parents. As Maggie wandered in the rain, she passed a newspaper vending machine, where the Springwood newspaper headlines read: "NINE, TEN, NEVER SLEEP AGAIN."
That night as Maggie slept, she encountered a dream world:
Maggie woke up in her bedroom and called out for Tracy, who was in her own nightmarish world:
Maggie and Tracy both rushed to talk to Doc, who was in the shelter's rec room.
Doc awoke up in the real-world in his office where his alarm clock was loudly beeping, and where he was hooked up with electrodes to a computerized brain-sensor machine. Tracy and Maggie entered Doc's office, where he held up the torn piece of sweater and proposed a way to get Freddy - "If this can come out, he can come out" - Freddy could be killed if he was brought into the real-world.
Maggie volunteered to confront Freddy, plug herself into Doc's brain-wave computer monitor, and then have Doc pull her out at the right moment: "You've got to be holding him to carry him out." Doc instructed Maggie to wear a pair of 3-D glasses once she was in the dream world, to get inside Freddy's mind: "You get inside of his (head)." Maggie insisted that she go alone, without Tracy: "It's gotta be me and him."
Maggie went to sleep to confront Freddy in the dreamworld, where she encountered various stages of Freddy's life, seen in his memories:
Tracy, Maggie, and Doc raided the shelter's locked arsenal of confiscated weapons to use in hand-to-hand combat against Freddy. Maggie, with a spiked baseball bat in her hands, found Freddy cowering and bleeding on the floor in the basement behind some boxes (Maggie: "You're real here"). He tried to gain her sympathy:
But Maggie was enraged and continued to battle him. She disarmed him of his clawed glove with one violent swing of her bat, and it sparked to a stop on the floor. Freddy, now with a burned face, was still menacing Maggie: "I didn't need the glove to kill your bitch of a mother and I don't need one now." He grabbed her by the neck, and threatened: "Give Daddy the glove back, princess," although she fought back and wrestled him, and pinned him with knives and other sharp implements to a support beam.
When he tempted her with wearing the clawed glove ("Go ahead, put it on, it's in your blood...That's it, put it on. Feels good, doesn't it? Yeah, come on. Let your Daddy show you how to use it"), she obliged and then stabbed him deeply in the stomach with it. After Tracy threw her a lighted pipe bomb, she also impaled it into his chest, adding: "Happy Father's Day" with a quick kiss on his cheek. Just before a massive dynamite explosion that killed him (# 5 death), Freddy spoke directly into the camera: "Oh, kids." The three dream demons inside of him were freed and seen flying out of Freddy, unable to revive him in the real-world.
Maggie, Doc, and Tracy evaded the deadly blast, and Maggie's 3-D glasses magically reappeared on her face (and were removed by Doc). She smiled at her friends with glee: "Freddy's dead."
Film Notables (Awards, Facts, etc.)
With a production budget of $5 million, and box-office gross receipts of $35 million (domestic).
Although this was intended to be the final (sixth) film in the series, it was followed by Wes Craven's New Nightmare in 1994, and by the hybrid film Freddy vs. Jason (2003). The film was severely criticized for its general offensiveness, gimmickyness and cartoonish approach, and for irresponsibly disregarding much of the previous films' rules and events.
The film's poster displayed Freddy's birth and death dates: BORN November 2, 1984, DIED September 13, 1991, with the tagline: "They saved the best...for last."
The last approximately fifteen minutes towards the conclusion of the film, a journey into Freddy's brain taken by Dr. Maggie Burroughs (when she donned 3-D glasses) was originally theatrically shown in 3-D.
There were brief cameos from Roseanne Barr (as a desperate childless mother), Barr’s then real-life husband Tom Arnold (as a childless husband), Alice Cooper (as Freddy's alcoholic foster father) and Johnny Depp (as a Teen on TV in an anti-drug public service announcement, credited as Oprah Noodlemantra).
During the end credits, excerpts or clips were featured from other A Nightmare on Elm Street films, to the tune of Iggy Pop’s Why Was I Born? (Freddy's Dead). The last scene displayed a picture of Freddy inscribed with R.I.P.
Body Count: 5 (4 killed by Freddy). The fourth was a memory of Freddy murdering his wife Loretta. Freddy's death was the 5th, killed by his "daughter" - Dr. Maggie Burroughs (Katherine Krueger).
Dreamworld Freddy Krueger
Dr. Maggie Burroughs
(Cassandra Rachel Friel)
(Ricky Dean Logan)
Freddy's wife Loretta Krueger
Series-Introduction - Index to All Films | Series-Box Office