Ah, The “Nightmare on Elm Street” franchise, one of what I call the “Big Three” of the slasher genre, along with “Friday the 13th” and “Halloween”. Those who have seen all of these movies, or even just a fair few, know that the endless sequels were almost all tosh. If there is one thing worse than the slasher sequel though, it’s the horror remake. All three of these franchises have been remade and “A Nightmare on Elm Street” is the last to get this treatment, and oh boy oh boy, I can’t wait to tell you how disappointing it is.
Westerns haven’t died out as much as I thought they had, now I think about it. I mean, they did but they are still popping up around the place. I remember in “Argo” in a scene when they are trying to come up with a fake movie idea to cover up their plans to enter Iraq, they decided not to feature a horse because that would automatically make the film a western, and “nobody makes westerns anymore”. That was just after John Wayne had died, one of the kings of the genre back in its hay day. Now though, films like “3:10 to Yuma”, the “True Grit” remake from the Coen brothers, the overtly lengthily named “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” and even “Rango” which is by all means a fine Western. These are all fine Westerns, but the beauty of “Django Unchained” is the way it truly brings us back to what a Western was and still can be. It’s not just about dusty brown backgrounds, small towns with saloons and a Sheriff with a star badge, though that is a big part of it. The nostalgia “Django” will bring to lovers of classic Westerns will be just one of the things that make the film truly great and in this day and age, unique.
There are few times I find myself happier than when I expect a film to be bad, and it turns out to be of actual quality. It’s a rare occurrence, usually I am not too far away from the general consensus of the audience and even if I am, the critics tend to represent my opinion more reliably. “Planet of the Apes”, which was directed by none other than Tim Burton (Frankenweenie, Edward Scissorhands), isn’t just not terrible, it is a genuinely good film that just suffers from a few evident flaws that cause it to lag just behind the heights of the original.