|Robert Englund as Freddy|
The population of Springwood, Ohio, especially its children and teens, has been decimated by Freddy Krueger. John (Shon Greenblatt), a runaway from the town, winds up in a youth shelter where he encounters a counselor named Maggie (Lisa Zane). She inexplicably decides to take John back to Springwood, where the two of them -- along with Tracy (Lezlie Dean), Carlos (Ricky Dean Logan), and Spencer (Breckin Meyer). who are stowaways in the shelter's van -- become victimized by the demented Freddy (Robert Englund). By now Freddy has been turned into a kind of stand-up comic and the Nightmare films were black comedies, but Englund [A Nightmare on Elm Street] and the other actors all give good performances, although at times Lezlie Dean seems to be trying too hard. One unpleasant scene depicts the sadistic torture of Carlos at Freddy's hands. Yaphet Kotto [Live and Let Die] plays a dream specialist at the clinic, and Elinor Donahue is a disturbed woman at an orphanage. Rosanne Barr and Tom Arnold have embarrassing cameos, although Johnny Depp's cameo is at least amusing. The best scene shows Freddy flying around on a broomstick a la the Wicked Witch of the West. The last few minutes are in 3D. The FX and make up work is good, as it generally was in this series, but the direction -- also as usual -- is competent but uninspired. You would think a movie in which all the young people in a town are killed and their heartbroken parents have become irrational would emerge as some kind of grim horror classic, but this is basically just another silly "Freddy" movie. Despite the title, Krueger would be back. This picture tells us more about Freddy's awful childhood, and introduces us to his now-grown child.
Verdict: You've seen most of it before. **1/2.