This is the first installment of our head-to-head review between the A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th franchises. Check out what Sophie had to say about the corresponding Freddy film here!
It was twenty-two years ago that the world was taken to a new and unexplored world with the release of Jurassic Park. What began as another summer blockbuster for director Steven Spielberg quickly became a phenomenon that continued his signature genre melding style of adventure meets B-level monster flick. A theme park focused around the creation of dinosaurs was the prehistoric zoo that no one knew they needed.
When it comes to horror based documentaries most are centered around a film in the genre or a fandom. Director Rodney Ascher released his first full length documentary in 2012 called Room 237 that detailed the theories of Stanley Kubrick fantatics. The hidden messages and themes buried within The Shining were thrown at audiences to be scrutinized and praised. While many of the theories were over the top and hard to swallow, Ascher maintained an objective and unbiased approach to even the most radical ideas presented.
While the 2003 remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre may not have made fans and critics scream for a sequel, it did make enough money in the box office to garner a continuation in the reboot of the Leatherface mythos. Some decisions in the remake gave future filmmakers of the franchise some obstacles to overcome. Leatherface had been incapacitated after losing an arm to Erin's meat cleaver, Sheriff Hoyt had been killed by Erin, and ultimately a calm and collected Erin escaped the madness to inform police of the Hewitt's deviant ways.
The infamous Sawyer clan, led by Leatherface, had been through several attempts of recapturing the magic of the original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. By the dawn of the new millenium, the world of horror films had shifted from slashers to the supernatural. In 2003, the notorious production company Platinum Dunes (created by director Michael Bay) released their first attempt of reviving certain horror franchises. Their first film was The Texas Chainsaw Massacre which was met with poor reception by critics and fans.
Remaking horror classics in the past decade has been a business all its own. The subversive form was to take an aged piece of horrific celluloid and freshen it up with a hip cast and darker approach to the mythos. Of course, not all of the remake attempts have been home runs. Typically the idea of “reimagining” an original concept turns out to just be a gender swap of characters or tweaks to the same outcomes as before. While these decisions do not ruin the film, they ultimately leave a giant stamp across the screen stating: unnecessary.
The third iteration of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise attempted to give it's lead slasher a standalone film in the same vain as Freddy, Jason and Michael. When that ideas success fell through, it seemed that approaching the other popular slasher trope of the 90's was its best bet. Explaining the origins of a killer or what drives them to kill was the cap to the major franchises during the mid to late 90's and in 1994 Leatherface was given the same treatment.
What a lovely day for such a lovely film. Mad Max: Fury Road is the revamp of George Miller's Mad Max world he created over thirty years ago. Such a wide gap between releases poses issues for Miller's creation; mainly in the fact that most general audiences have either not seen the original films or don't remember them. His approach with Fury Road was to harness the spirit of the original films and concoct a new telling of the life of Max Rockatansky.