Movie Jail: This week’s defendant is…Freddy Krueger!

Movie Jail

This is Movie Jail, a unique maximum security prison that houses some of the worst writers, directors, actors and producers from Hollywood and beyond. Their crimes? The offenses vary from convict to convict but most of these inmates have contributed negatively to the film world to some capacity and his or her misdeeds have covered a long enough period of time that the authorities had to intervene. In each column a defendant is put on trial, arguments are made, and then it is up to YOU, the jury, to decide if the person is guilty or not guilty of crimes against cinema. Their lives are in your hands, dude.

The Defendant

The Case

The Prosecution: A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge, A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, Freddy vs. Jason, A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you'll see Freddy Krueger appear on many "Best Horror Movie Villains" lists around Halloween, but the prosecution firmly believes it is time we sent the sweater wearing bastard to Movie Jail. There have been nine movies and a television series featuring Freddy, and although the character himself may be loved, most of his films are not, except by the most hardcore of fans. Freddy's first movie (and arguably his best) was A Nightmare on Elm Street, and horror fans instantly fell in love with the villainous character who wasn't a silent serial killer with a sharp blade like Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers. But after his 1984 debut, things get very, very mixed for Mr. Krueger.

The second film deviated from the storyline of the original, which probably wouldn't have annoyed some fans so much if it was a good movie, but instead it's just a poor retread of the original. However, the third and fourth films were solid sequels, and more humor was introduced to the franchise. Those films had a decent mix of laughs and horror, but it still was frights first, Freddy funny moments second. Then came A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, which would be the worst film in the series if it wasn't for the pathetic sixth entry, Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare. Both films are uninspired and lazy, and reduced the character to a wisecracking boogeyman almost on par with Warwick Davis' Leprechaun.

Wes Craven's New Nightmare may have been a great return for the character, but the prosecution feels the film was the last one that truly give us a scary Freddy. He has only appeared in two films since: Jason vs. Freddy and the 2010 remake starring Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy. Freddy vs. Jason should have been a great battle between two classic horror villains, but instead the film is just more teens we don't care about being sliced up and Freddy using kung-fu against Jason.

The remake tried to go darker and had less humor, but in the end it just felt like another generic horror movie instead of one featuring an iconic horror villain. And was the prosecution the only one that was slightly creeped out (and not in a good way) with idea of the character being a child molester in the remake? Freddy has always been a villain that you kind of root for, but it's a little harder once child touching is introduced. It's sort of like supporting Kevin Bacon in Sleepers, or Kevin Bacon in The Woodsman or…well, you get the point.

The prosecution feels there isn't anywhere else to go with the character (except maybe to space like Jason and Leprechaun), and he should be put to rest. Freddy has given movie goers many restless nights, and it'd be one thing if at least half his films were good, but they aren't by a long shot and Freddy Krueger definitely needs to go to Movie Jail.

The Defense: A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, Wes Craven's New Nightmare, Freddy's Nightmares (television)

Ladies and gentlemen, the prosecution better be ready for some angry e-mails because there is no way in hell Freddy Krueger deserves to go to Movie Jail. Every horror movie franchise has some bad films, but the defense feels Freddy's offerings have been better than Vorhees' or Mike Myers'. The original film is obviously a classic, but the first sequel isn't nearly as bad as the prosecution makes it out to be. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors and A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master are both fantastic horror movies with twisted visuals, and are possibly the two best films in the series besides the first.

Yes, the fifth and sixth films aren't masterpieces, but we are talking about horror movies here. The defense isn't saying we should ignore flaws in films, but horror movies are judged differently, especially by critics. A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child might only be at 31% at, but fans still really dig the film.

Should we really put an end to such a creative and fun character? Even though the remake isn't a great movie, the defense could see another film featuring Freddy that could be awesome, if done right. Robert Englund owns as the character, but the defense thinks a different actor could do a great job in the role as well. The issue with the films though, has been balance: Freddy needs be terrifying, but he should also have his one-liners. Odd comparison maybe, but he's a little like the Joker: a disturbed person who finds humor in the violence he commits. When done right, there are few villains as memorable and scary as Freddy Krueger.

But another film isn't completely necessary, and the prosecution is right in saying there isn't that many places left to go with the character. I mean, there has been five sequels, a remake, a "real" version (Wes Craven's New Nightmare) and a versus movie featuring the character, so it's not like other options haven't already been explored for Freddy. However, the television series Freddy's Nightmares was actually pretty good, and with how well some recent horror dramas on television have been received, the defense thinks another series with Freddy could be a great idea, especially if it was done as an anthology like the first one or Tales from the Crypt.

There's a reason why every year you'll see Freddy Krueger on "Best Villain" lists and countless fans dress up as him for Halloween: it's because he's a fantastic character. Some of his films may not be as good as others in the franchise, but Freddy is and will forever be awesome, and should not be sent to Movie Jail.


Should we put the least fashionable horror villain of all time in Movie Jail? Have some of his films been so bad that he deserves to go to prison, or is it just natural for shitty sequels to follow excellent original horror movies? Is there anything new that can be done with the character that won't upset hardcore fans, or is the idea tank empty for Freddy? What's it going to be, ghosts and goblins of the jury, GUILTY or NOT GUILTY for Freddy Krueger?


*The cases for and against a defendant going to Movie Jail by the author are not necessarily his views and opinions but they are some of the beliefs that one would use to effectively make an argument for both sides. Not quite a devil's advocate but you get the point. Anyways, this is all in fun so don't take it too seriously. We have a separate jail for those people called "Troll Tower" and believe me you do NOT want to go there.



Opinions were very mixed for last week's trial of Justin Timberlake, but in the end the jury decided the actor/performer does not deserve to go to prison, and has declared him NOT GUILTY of all charges. His SNL appearances certainly helped, but most of the jury also thought he did an excellent job in The Social Network, In Time and Black Snake Moan, and are excited to see him in the upcoming Coen Brothers film Inside Llewyn Davis. Keep your nose clean Timberlake, because we're still going to keep an eye on you, just in case you decide to do The Love Guru 2.


GUILTY Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy, Vince Vaughn, Tim Burton, The Farrelly Brothers, Michael Bay, Jessica Alba, Ice Cube, Gerard Butler, Halle Berry, Marlon Wayans, Julia Roberts, M. Night Shyamalan , Katherine Heigl , Cuba Gooding, Jr. , Tyler Perry, Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson, Ashton Kutcher, Happy Madison Productions, Jennifer Lopez, Bruce Willis, Paul W.S. Anderson, Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker

NOT GUILTY Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Nic Cage, John Travolta, Oliver Stone, Ben Stiller, Jim Carrey, Wes Craven, Matthew McConaughey, Robert Rodriguez, Kristen Stewart, Roland Emmerich, Kevin Costner, Sandra Bullock, Hilary Swank, Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves, Kevin Smith, Channing Tatum, Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson, Anna Faris, Robin Williams, Charlize Theron, Ray Liotta, Jason Statham, Paul Walker, Will Smith, Salma Hayek, Michael Cera, Johnny Depp, Ryan Reynolds, Milla Jovovich, John Singleton, Jon Voight, Jack Black, Brian De Palma, Jerry Bruckheimer, Nicole Kidman, Justin Timberlake


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