Horror Bulletin
Horror Bulletin
They/Them, Immaculate, My Animal, The Retreat, Good Boy, and Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare
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They/Them, Immaculate, My Animal, The Retreat, Good Boy, and Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare

Weekly Horror Bulletin Issue #286

This week, we’ve got a neat mix of things, starting with “They/Them” from last year and “Immaculate” from last month. We’ll check in on a young werewolf in “My Animal” from 2023 and then run to the country for 2021’s “The Retreat.” We’ll meet an unusual pet in “Good Boy” and then watch Freddy die again in “Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare” from back in 1991. 

Check out all our books with one easy link: https://brianschell.com/collection/horrorguys

Psst: for the next five days, you can get the HourLong Press book “Ed Gein: The Biography” issue from Amazon for FREE. Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0D6966JGS

Stay tuned for more regular and bonus reviews next week!

They/Them (2023) 

  • Directed by John Logan

  • Written by John Logan

  • Stars Kevin Bacon, Theo Germaine, Anna Chlumsky

  • Run Time: 1 Hour, 44 Minutes

  • Trailer:

Spoiler-Free Judgment Zone

This was kind of good on viewing, but it starts to crumble around the edges the more you think about it afterward. It’s a slasher at an isolated camp, which has certainly been done before, but it’s different enough to be interesting. We give it a weak thumbs up.

Spoilery Synopsis

A woman drives down the country road at night and gets a flat tire. She looks in the road and sees tire spikes back there; that wasn’t an accident. She gets scared by a deer, but we see a masked killer out there as well. She gets the chop while we see that “Whistler Camp” is just over the hill. In the morning, a bunch of kids get off the bus at the camp as credits roll. 

Owen comes out to talk to the kids. “Gay people are A-OK with me. I can’t make you straight. You start hearing the words ‘gay conversion camp’ and you get the wrong idea.” He does, in fact, make it all sound very relaxing and not traumatic at all. He introduces Cora, Molly, Zane, Sarah, and Balthazar, the staff of the camp. He takes their cellphones, cigarettes, and medications. He sends the boys to the boys’ cabin and the girls to the girls’ cabin. 

Jordan wonders which cabin they should use, as they are nonbinary. Owen is completely reasonable about it, which impresses everyone, suggesting they go to the boys cabin for now. We soon meet Toby, who’s a theater nerd. Veronica hates herself for being bisexual. Kim doesn’t want to pretend anymore. Some of them are just there because their parents made them. Jordan’s family made them come. 

Balthazar the handyman creeps out watching the girl campers, and Veronica tells him off that they’re the wrong team. Alexandra gets caught showering alone early in the morning, and she hasn’t been quite honest about who she physically is below the waist. We don’t see it, but one of the staff does, and she’s sent to the boys cabin. She wants her hormone pills, and Molly gives them to her.

Then we have a camp activity montage, and it looks like everyone is having a good time. In the middle of the night, Zane wakes them all up and leads them out into the woods, handcuffed in pairs. Owen is there, and this is all some kind of self-reliance exercise. He wants them to wander around in the woods and find their way back to camp by morning, handcuffed to their partners. 

Jordan tells Alexandra that they think something is wrong with the camp; there’s not enough Bible-thumping and queer bashing. They both get a glimpse of the masked killer in the woods, but he’s gone when they look again. 

Back at camp, Cora and Sarah go through everyone’s stuff. In the morning, everyone is back at camp. Jordan gets to talk to Dr. Cora about his life and psychological issues. She’s… not encouraging to Jordan, and they get upset. All the campers then break out in song as Owen watches from outside. There is supposed to be a killer in this, isn’t there?

That night, Jordan sneaks into the park office and finds pictures of beaten, scarred, and abused people. Former campers that have been coming there for decades, Owen’s ancestors started the place. Molly comes in, and he shows her the photos; she didn’t know. She warns Jordan that things could get a lot worse. 

We see Balthazar watching closed-circuit cameras of the girls’ shower. The killer comes up behind him and lets him have it. 

In the morning, the girls all work together to make pies while the guys shoot guns. Molly goes out to a shed and finds a locked room there, at least until Cora finds her and makes her leave. Jordan is an excellent shot, and Zane seems to take offense to that. They have a little contest, and Jordan easily wins. Owen wants Toby to shoot his sickly old dog. It’s all very stressful until Jordan shoots the dog first. 

Back in the kitchen, Sarah hits on Kim; she’s not supposed to be doing that, and Kim is weirded out. Later, she tells Veronica about it, and they talk about their problems, which escalates into something naughty they aren’t supposed to do in a gay conversion camp. Stu and Gabriel do the same thing in the tool shed. 

Jordan, Alexandra, and Toby make plans to steal the bus and leave in the morning. 

Stuart finds himself in a trap set by Owen and Zane. Gabriel isn’t gay, he just has sex with guys to trap them, or something. I guess they had to make sure Stu was really gay. So they show him what aversion therapy is all about. OK, maybe this camp isn’t as relaxing as they advertised. They hook him up to a car battery and fry him good in the back room of the shed. They bring him to Molly for treatment after, and she quits on the spot, threatening to turn him into the police in the morning. 

Later, Zane and Sarah have sex in their cabin, and the masked slasher kills them both. Gabriel gets caught and ends up in the aversion therapy chair. He gets fried too, but the killer doesn’t stop with a little shock therapy. Kim and Veronica find the bodies, and soon, everyone knows that there’s a killer. Owen warns Molly that it was probably one of the kids, since two counselors are dead. 

Cora goes inside for guns, and the killer gets her next. Alexandra takes most of the kids through the woods for help, leaving Kim, Veronica, and Jordan with Molly in the camp. 

Jordan goes to the office for guns and finds Cora’s body. The killer pushes Owen down and reveals herself to be… Molly. She was a former camper here; she’s Angie, from way back. Molly was the woman killed in the pre-credit sequence and Angie took her place. Molly/Angie explains how her life went after leaving the camp. 

She figures once the story gets out, no one will ever send their kids to a place like this again. Owen knocks Angie down and strangles her until Jordan pulls a gun on him. Owen gives Jordan the “You can’t shoot me,” speech. Jordan… can’t do it. So Angie kills Owen quite violently. 

“It gets easier; you’ll see,” she tells Jordan. She wants to move on and clear up another camp. All the camps, working together. The police arrive outside, and Jordan leaves. 

The sun comes up, and we see Molly/Angie being loaded into a police car and Stu getting into an ambulance; he’ll be fine. The others all sit and talk about how they’re all fine now, at peace with who they are. 

Commentary

Wait, a bunch of kids at summer camp get killed by a maniac in a hockey mask? No one’s ever seen that before. All the campers are types; the jock, the super-effeminate boy, the trans girl, and so forth. It took a very long time for the killer to get to work after the opening scene. 

The camp actually seemed really nice in the beginning, but after about an hour, we get to see what’s really going on. I mean, everyone knows these camps are terrible, terrible places, but this camp never really seemed right. 

When the movie was over, I was pleased enough. Then, the more I thought about it, the less any of it made sense. Why would they see any need to “entrap” Stu with Gabriel, if he was self-admittedly gay already? Answer: To squeeze in one more sex scene. How many years had Owen been running the place in order for Angie to get as old as Molly and still remember him? What did this camp actually hope to accomplish over the course of only one week? Also, most of the characters didn’t even look remotely under the age of 18, so, other than Alexandra, who gave a reason, why would anyone go there as an adult? I suspect they were all supposed to be teenagers, which makes the two sex scenes a little sketchy. 

Immaculate (2024) 

  • Directed by Michael Mohan

  • Written by Andrew Lobel

  • Stars Sydney Sweeney, Alvaro Morte, Simona Tabasco

  • Run Time: 1 Hour, 29 Minutes

  • Trailer:

Spoiler-Free Judgment Zone

This is one with a slow start, and an almost disappointing first half that picks up abruptly with a strong finish. Sydney Sweeney is excellent in the lead role. We ended up liking it quite a bit and would give it a thumbs-up.

Spoilery Synopsis

A nun prays and then sneaks around after dark. She goes into the sleeping priest’s room and steals his keys. Keys in hand, she makes a run for it, but she has trouble getting the big chains off the front gate. As she struggles with the lock, four hooded figures come out of the convent behind her and break her leg. She passes out from the pain, but when she awakens, she’s been buried alive in a coffin. Credits roll, and she screams and pounds in the dark. 

Sister Cecilia is an American who has come to Italy to become a nun. The convent bought her ticket, and the immigration people think that’s strange. A priest comes to pick her up and drive her to the convent. He drives her through the big gates we saw earlier. 

Sister Isabelle speaks English and is clearly afraid of the Mother Superior at “Our Sister of Sorrows.” It’s basically an end-of-life facility where they take care of aged and terminally ill nuns. She explains the place was built over some old catacombs. There’s one nun dying of cancer, and another who’s got dementia really bad and bites people. Isabelle is grouchy and not friendly at all; “You can still not take your vows,” she warns. Sister Gwen barges in and wants to talk to Cecilia about America; she seems much nicer than Isabelle. 

Evening comes, and it’s time for Cecilia to take her vows. Father Tedeschi is there, and he seems very friendly. That goes well, and there’s a reception afterward. Tedeschi makes small talk about how he went to school to be a biologist. Cecilia says there’s nothing like all this back in the States. 

Mother Superior shows Cecilia a big nail, supposedly from the crucifixion. She faints and drops it, which means she has to go to confession. She has a nightmare about those hooded figures we saw earlier, and they stab her. The next morning, Mother Superior gives all the new nuns a pep talk. We get a “settling in” montage. 

Late one night, a crazy old nun comes into Cecilia’s room and cuts off a bit of her hair. In the morning, she throws up and sees the doctor. Afterward, she’s brought in before Tedeschi and the cardinal, who tells her that she’s pregnant, breaking her vow of chastity. She says she’s never been with a man before– ever. The doctor confirms that she was a virgin when she got there, and there haven’t been any visitors. It’s a miracle, so now she gets to wear the fancy robes!

Months later, she vomits up a tooth. When she goes to dinner, all of the other nuns stand up in respect. Later, she’s attacked in the bathtub by Isabelle. “It was supposed to be me! They have to try again with me!” 

Cecilia wants to go to a real hospital, but both Father Tedeschi and Dr. Gallo say no. She keeps seeing people with red faces under their robes. Sister Isabelle jumps off the roof to her death, and she’s a mess. Sister Gwen warns Cecilia about the place, but Cecilia already knows. Then, the priests take her away. 

At night, Cecilia finds a note written on the wall of her room behind a painting; it’s another warning. She then goes to the office and reads her own file, even going back to when she had a near-death accident as a child. She hears screaming outside and finds several of the red-mask people cutting out Gwen’s tongue. She gets a jump scare from that crazy old nun who cut her hair earlier; she’s made a special cross for Cecilia and says “No one ever leaves here.” 

In the morning, everyone hears screaming; Cecilia is in great pain with lots of blood; something is wrong with the baby. Tedeschi puts her in the car and heads to the hospital. Back at the convent one old nun finds a dead chicken under Cecilia’s bed; she faked the problem. Tedeschi gets a call on his cell phone and turns around, almost within sight of the town. 

Returning to the convent, Tedeschi explains things to Cecilia about the blessed nail. It literally was from the crucifixion of Christ. They found blood and tissue on it, and they used it to impregnate Cecilia; this old convent has a cloning lab, and they’ve impregnated Cecilia with a Jesus clone. Tedeschi went to school for biology, and he was thrown out for the ethics of his experiments. The church wasn’t so squeamish. He’s been trying for twenty years, and this is the first time it “took.” 

“May you never stray again,” he says as he brands burning crosses on the bottoms of her feet. She’s definitely a prisoner now. In the morning, she peels off one of her loose fingernails; it’s doing something to her. 

Time passes, and the baby has gotten bigger. Cecilia beats a nun to death with a metal cross, but on her way out, her water breaks. Then, she strangles the cardinal with his own rosary. She goes to the cloning lab and pours alcohol all over. Tedeschi comes in. “If you die, we’ll find another.” She burns him to death, too. No, he’s not dead after all, so she runs downstairs into the catacombs. 

After a quick chase in the tunnels, the scorched priest grabs her and cuts into Cecilia’s belly. Before he can do too much damage, she stabs him in the neck with the magic nail. She crawls through a hole in the wall, and she’s outside the convent. 

She screams and screams as she gives birth. She looks down at the baby, and it ain’t Jesus. We don’t get a good look at it, but it isn’t right. It growls at her. She picks up a big rock and smashes it. 

Commentary

You could probably just show us what life in a nunnery is really like; that’d be plenty horrific all by itself. 

The first hour is predictable and even a little boring. Once the priest explains what’s really going on, it gets weird. Wow, does it get weird. 

It’s very slow moving, especially in the beginning, but it ends well. OK, it doesn’t end well, but it’s entertaining.

My Animal (2023) 

  • Directed by Jacqueline Castel 

  • Written by Jae Matthews

  • Stars Bobbi Salvor Menuez, Amandla Stenberg, Heidi con Palleske

  • Run Time: 1 Hour, 43 Minutes

  • Trailer:

Spoiler-Free Judgment Zone

This was an interesting take on the werewolf mythos, focusing more on the characters in their human form than in their werewolf form. The cast is good, with Bobbi Salvor Menuez in the lead as Heather, who is dealing with complicated romance and family drama while having a problem with the full moon. It’s well filmed, kind of retro, low on action, and we liked it quite a lot.

Spoilery Synopsis

 Heather watches an old werewolf movie. She looks out the window at the real full moon and gets a nosebleed. Heather’s mother comes in, but the girl is gone. Credits roll as the mother goes out into the woods to look for her. Something in the woods attacks the mother. 

We cut to Heather lifting weights, surrounded by women's bodybuilder magazines, chains & manacles, and a book, “Man Into Wolf.” She helps her mother get ready for bed, and Mother has scars on her belly. 

Heather and Henry go to watch a hockey game. She gets thrown out of the boys' locker room; she wants to play on the boys’ team, but the coach won’t allow it - she’s not in high school, and she’s not a boy. Later, she goes to the store, where she sees Jonny stealing beer. Then she goes home and watches women’s wrestling on TV, masturbating throughout. 

Heather works at the ice arena, where Jonny practices skating with her coach/father. When her father gets mad and leaves, Jonny goes inside with Heather, and they talk for the whole evening until Heather gets another nosebleed.

Heather walks home, where Henry warns, “You’re cutting it kind of close, aren’t you?” Henry talks about how things are different for them. Three nights a month. She then chains her arms and legs to the bed and goes to sleep. 

We hear on the news that next month is a “Red Moon” and a lunar eclipse. Jonny calls to see if Heather wants to meet her, but she sees the full moon out there. She goes out with Jonny and her friend Otto anyway, promising to be home before midnight. 

They take acid and go to the casino. Otto loses at cards and throws a tantrum, getting tackled by security. Heather notices her arm hair is getting longer. The acid kicks in, and when her alarm goes off at 11:30, Otto and Jonny don’t want to leave. She gets a nosebleed and starts running. 

In the morning, Heather’s mother finds her sleeping outside the door. She goes to the arena, and later, Henry reminds her what could have happened. Her mother is angry and won’t even speak to her. That night, Heather fantasizes about Jonny and raw eggs. 

The next evening, Jonny comes over, and Jonny wonders why all the bedrooms have big locks on the outside. Heather’s mother comes in, drunk, and makes a scene. “You don’t even know what they are.” 

The next day, the family plays hockey, and the coach watches from the sidelines and tells Heather that tryouts are next week. It’s clear that Henry isn’t healthy. Later, she and Jonny go skating alone in the arena at night. Heather’s mother shows up and makes a huge scene; she and Henry argue and yell at each other all night while Jonny consoles Heather. 

The next day, Jonny and her boyfriend Rick argue as Heather deals with hockey tryouts. She’s upset about Jonny and doesn’t do as well as she could with the hockey stuff. They get together that night and dance at the club. Heather’s younger brothers sneak into the club with a fake ID and see them kissing and dancing together. They soon go home and do more than kiss. 

Jonny starts avoiding Heather’s calls, and Heather doesn’t take it well. She talks it over with Henry, who talks about life’s challenges. She finally does get through to Jonny, who invites her to a party; Rick is there, and he really hates Heather. Jonny says some mean things and then says she’s not gay and that Heather should leave. Heather goes home and takes that really hard. 

Over the next few weeks, Heather is moody, and Henry has a heart attack. He dies, and that’s hard on the whole family. Heather carries a big wolf out to a bonfire in the backyard and burns it. ‘Say goodbye to your father.” Heather cuts off most of her hair. 

When her brothers get into a fight, Heather leaves the house; naturally, it’s a full moon outside and a red one at that. She goes straight to the club. It’s 11:55, and Otto asks her how she’s doing. Jonny and Rick are there as well. 

Heather and Jonny have words, and Rick gets involved. They drag her outside, and Rick hits her. Her watch beeps at midnight, and she turns into a wolf and kills him before running into the woods. 

In the morning, Heather’s mother helps her wash off the blood. “You have to leave here tonight; it’s not safe for you.” Heather watches the newscaster talking about Rick’s death– he was attacked by a large wolf. She gets in the car and leaves town.

Commentary

The credits, music, and visuals are all very retro, reminiscent of the 80s. It’s pretty clear from the opening scene what we’re dealing with, but we don’t see much of that until the very end. It’s all very bleak, dark, and depressing. It’s a whole world of wood-grain paneling. 

It’s much more of a teenage romance drama with a few elements of werewolfism thrown in. It’s well-filmed and very creepy; the horror part of the movie is just one scene at the end. 

Werewolves don’t change until midnight, which is a new idea, but it makes it clear exactly when the change takes place, which is crucial to the story. It’s good, but not exactly action packed.

Short Film: Nosepicker (2024) 

  • Directed by Ian Mantgani

  • Written by Ian Mantgani

  • Stars Leo Adotete, Abi Corbett, Mark Garfield, Bridgette Amofah

  • Run Time: 15:46

  • Watch it:

What Happens

Some kids sit in school, and one little boy picks his nose. The girl in the next seat tells everyone how disgusting he is. The teacher makes a big deal out of it to Georgie in the middle of class. She looks under his desk, and there’s a whole pile of boogers stuck under there. Later, the teacher calls home, which causes an argument between Georgie’s parents. Georgie may have a compulsion, and the kids at school enjoy bullying him about it.

How will they all deal with it? Or will this all take care of itself?

Commentary

That’s one weird kid. Some kids collect cards, some kids collect comic books, and then there’s… this

It’s well filmed and well-acted, and it really tells you what’s happening at all times. The, um, effects shots, are really nasty and well executed. 

Oddly enough, this one reminded me of “Basket Case” (1982). You’ll know why if you’ve seen it. 

It's pretty awesome!

The Retreat (2021) 

  • Directed by Pat Mills

  • Written by Alyson Richards

  • Stars Tommie-Amber Pirie, Sarah Allen, Rossif Sutherland, Aaron Ashmore

  • Run Time: 1 Hour, 22 Minutes

  • Trailer:

Spoiler-Free Judgment Zone

The story is fairly basic, but it’s well-made. The night scenes are a little too dark. It moves steadily without bogging down. It’s not great, but it’s satisfying overall. We’d give it a moderate thumbs up.

Spoilery Synopsis

An obviously gay couple drives through the country on the way to a vacation to a gay B&B. When they arrive, someone is already watching them from the woods. Something in the woods kills them both. Credits roll. 

Renee tries to figure out how to use the coffee machine and fails; she makes a cold instant instead. Then she goes in to wake up Valerie and hands her the cup full of swill. 

The two women head out to the country and stop in a creepy convenience store. A guy hits on Valerie while Renee is in the bathroom. They are also driving to the gay B&B, which they found on a website. They get a flat tire, and Renee changes it, but they lose their balloons by accident. Connor and Scotty are the owners of the place, but they died before the credits. 

Renee looks at all the male-gay stuff and sneers. The food basket laid out is rotten, and the house isn’t cleaned up; something is wrong. 

They go for a walk in the woods, and we see that someone in the woods is watching them as well. They find a deer head strung up over the path, and they’re a little skeeved out by it. They see a deer blind, and they don’t approve of that either. Renee knows what it is because she used to be forced to hunt deer with the family. 

They think they see someone in the woods, so they run back to the cabin. Renee’s car is gone, and there are muddy footprints on the floor. Their phones are gone as well. There are people inside the house, so the two girls run back out to the woods, where they see Renee’s car sunk in the pond. They run and run until Valerie steps into a bear trap. There are a bunch of bear traps. 

Renee can’t get the trap open, so she goes back to the car to get a crowbar as the sun goes down. Renee dives into the pond and finds the crowbar, but she sees someone out there with a rifle. By the time she gets back to the bear traps, Valerie is gone. Someone comes up behind Renee. 

Renee wakes up later, all tied up in what looks like a barn. She can see out a window and looks at two men and a woman who seem to be in on the kidnapping. The woman brings Renee water, but she’s definitely not there to help. She calls Renee a disgusting pervert and then leaves. 

We see that they have Scott tied up to torture; he’s not really dead yet. No wait, now he is, all clearly recorded on video. 

Renee works at her bones and breaks her own thumb to get out of the cuffs. She spends about half an hour in the dark barn before she finds a way out. Of course, she’s on camera, and Layna, the woman accomplice, sees the whole thing. The two women wind up fighting and Renee gets the better of her “host.” 

Renee gets out and hears Valerie screaming in another barn. Connor is there with her, and he’s still alive as well. James, the guy from the convenience store, puts on a helmet with a mask and chops Connor into pieces with an ax for their video camera. Layna staggers in and tells the two men that Renee has escaped, so they all go outside to look for her. 

Renee, of course, is inside the barn and tries to get Valerie loose. They get organized and wait for their kidnappers to return. They might have been able to run away, but instead, they choose to stay and fight back. 

Renee goes inside the house, with the lights on, and it’s still nearly too dark to see what’s going on. They look at the computer and they see that these people run a whole homophobic livestream with thousands of viewers. They pick up a big old computer monitor and smash Layna’s head with it. They ax James in the head, leaving only Gavin, the big one, behind. 

The two girls find rifles and head back out into the woods to find Gavin. Renee wastes her two shots and Gavin gets the drop on her. He comes out of the woods, and Valerie shoots him from the blind stand. Renee drags him to the camera and makes sure she executes him for the homophobes to watch. 

Renee and Valerie help each other to the road, where they flag down a truck for help. They get in the back of the truck and head to the hospital. 

Commentary

The first half hour was fine; it all looked good and was nicely shot. Then the sun went down, and things mostly happened in the dark. 

I like that they fought back and didn’t simply try to run away. You know how in these movies, they whack the bad guy over the head, drop the weapon, and run away, only for the baddie to get up again? Not this time. It was also nicely paced and didn’t drag out more than it needed to. 

On the other hand, it’s really just a fairly basic abduction-torture film. Other than nominal motivation for the baddies, the whole gay vs. homophobe thing is really pretty irrelevant here. In this kind of movie, the bad guys’ motivations don’t really matter anyway. I guess the director’s plan was to show how bad homophobia is, but it really just seemed like another kidnapping movie to me. 

I liked the ending, but the movie is fairly bland otherwise.

Good Boy (2022) 

  • Directed by Viljar Bøe

  • Written by Viljar Bøe

  • Stars Gard Løkke, Katrine Lovise Øpstad Fredriksen, Nicolai Narvesen Lied

  • Run Time: 1 Hour, 19 Minutes

  • Trailer:

Spoiler-Free Judgment Zone

This starts out weird, but is it harmless and consensual? It seems that way. But since this is a horror thriller, we know it’s not going to just be a strange romance. It’s well made, starting out tame and unfolding nicely. We liked it quite a bit.

Spoilery Synopsis

A man cooks a steak and sides. It all looks delicious. He puts some in the dog’s bowl and calls the dog. What is clearly a man in a dog suit comes over and eats from the bowl. Credits roll. 

Christian eats his steak and then pulls out his phone to check out the dating apps. Later, he and the “dog” sit on the couch, brush the dog’s teeth, and do all the usual “pet things.” At bedtime, the dog sleeps on the floor next to him as Christian texts one of the girls on his phone. After a little back-and-forth, they agree to meet. 

When the time of the date comes, Christian kisses the dog on the head and goes to the restaurant. Soon, Sigrid joins him there. She works and goes to school, but he says he doesn’t really do anything. He invites her home, and he lives in a mansion, which surprises her. 

She asks if he lives there alone, and he says yes, other than his dog. When she asks what kind of dog, he says that’s a little hard to explain. Kissing soon leads to bed-play as the dog watches from the next room. In the morning, she wakes up and sees the “dog.” Christian introduces his dog, Frank. Sigrid wants out and leaves, not even wanting to hear the explanation. 

When Sigrid gets home, her dorm roommate wants to hear all about the big date. Neither of them have ever heard of a fetish like that. Aurora tells Sigrid about Christian being a multimillionaire. She starts watching videos about “puppy play.” They both soon come to the conclusion that maybe Sigrid can overlook some things for a rich, handsome boyfriend. 

Sigrid calls, and they arrange a second date. Christian explains that Frank is a dog– all the time. “He doesn’t act like a dog; he is a dog. It’s what he wants.” He says that she must treat Frank like a dog, never like a human. Frank is a little too friendly, but Sigrid says that’s OK. Christian says he and Frank met as children. 

Aurora suggests that Sigrid play a little harder to get, and Sigrid tries, but it’s not easy. She asks Christian if Frank has sex, and he doesn’t think so; he never leaves and has no visitors. He asks if she wants to have sex with Frank, and she jokes that she would. He invites her to go away to his cabin for a trip. 

The couple and Frank go to his smaller home. He suggests they be “phone-free” during this trip. Frank is very playful. When Christian goes for more wine, Frank pulls open his mask and says they need to get out of there because Christian is insane. Not long after, Sigrid vomits, a film tell-tale that she’s pregnant with Christian’s baby. Or maybe it’s just nerves. 

Sigrid finds that she’s locked in the house and can’t leave. She wants her phone back, but Christian makes excuses. He says he thinks she’s addicted to her phone. She does talk Christian into letting her take Frank out for a walk. Frank warns that they can’t run, they should attack him while he sleeps. 

When Sigrid doesn’t make the bed right, Christian gets really upset– no, he’s just messing with her. Is he crazy or not? So far it could go either way - Frank could be lying. Dinner is awkward. Later that night, Christian plays a recording of what Frank said to her earlier. He also has the knife Sigrid hid under her pillow. They go in to see Frank, in a cage. Frank bites Christian, and Sigrid uses the opportunity to steal the key and run outside. Christian drags Frank out to the barn and tortures him. Yep, Christian is nuts. 

Sigrid has no idea where to go, so she picks up a big stick in the woods and heads back to the barn to free Frank. She whacks Christian with her log and helps Frank up. Christian, however, doesn’t go down easy and soon regains control of the situation. 

Some time has passed. Christian gets up and feeds both of his dogs Sigrid and Frank, including Sigrid’s baby, who wears a puppy suit.

Commentary

It starts off weird, and then Frank talks. Then it gets weirder. We wondered if the talking dog could be trusted or not, but he seemed like an honest man-in-a-dog suit kinda guy, so we decided to believe him. Once we figured out what was really going on, it got a lot stranger. This was something different, and we liked it.

Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991) 

  • Directed by Rachel Talalay

  • Written by Wes Craven, Rachel Talalay, Michael De Luca

  • Stars Robert Englund, Lisa Zane, Shon Greenblatt

  • Run Time: 1 Hour, 29 Minutes

  • Trailer:

Spoiler-Free Judgment Zone

They lost the thread of the scares the original movie had. They try to be funny, or satirical, and it falls flat. It’s just really not very good at all. This is a sad finish, or intended finish, to the series. A missed opportunity.

Spoilery Synopsis

Springwood, Ohio, ten years from now. There’s been a bunch of mysterious killings of children and teenagers. There was one surviving teenager. A young guy on an airplane is not having a good night; he’s the last. He falls through a hole in the floor and– wakes up in his bedroom. He looks out the window and sees Freddy Krueger riding by on his broom, like in Wizard of Oz. After his house crash-lands, he rolls down a mountain. He gets hit by a bus driven by Freddy. “Go fetch,” commands Freddy, who knocks the guy back into the real world. 

We cut to Spencer’s father lecturing him about getting out of the juvenile rehabilitation facility. Maggie is Spencer’s caseworker. She sticks up for him when the boss finds a pipe bomb in Spencer’s room. Tracy and Carlos are there as well. Maggie talks to Doc, the man in charge, and he laments that he doesn’t get enough time to help the kids. Maggie complains to him about her own recurring dreams. He’s a dream psychologist. 

The police bring in the kid from the airplane, but he doesn’t remember his own name. He doesn’t know where he’s from, but knows that he was the last survivor. Maggie calls him John Doe, and wonders why he doesn’t want to fall asleep. He’s carrying a newspaper article “Krueger Woman Still Missing” that was from Springwood’s newspaper. 

Maggie goes to sleep and dreams about herself as a child. John also has a nightmare. Doc thinks there’s a connection between their dreams. Maggie takes John to Springwood. Turns out, Spencer, Tracy, and Carlos are hiding in the back of the van. They stop at a sad little carnival to make a phone call. John notices that there are no kids at this carnival. 

Roseanne Barr and Tom Arnold come out of nowhere and talk about hiding the kids. One of the kids suggests that maybe they’re in Twin Peaks. Maggie and John stay at the carnival, as the three hoodlums take the van and leave; they pass the same landmark over and over– they can’t leave. 

Maggie and John encounter a schoolteacher who tells them that Freddy had a child. Tracy and the guys park the van on Elm Street and pick out an empty house to break into. As soon as they go in, the outside of the house changes to Freddy’s old place. Carlos immediately decides to take a nap, and Freddy takes his ears. Then we get a handful of picking-on-the-deaf-kid jokes until Carlos’s head explodes. 

Spencer watches Carlos on TV as he nods off to sleep. Johnny Depp comes on the TV, doing a “your brain on drugs” ad until Freddy smacks him. 

Maggie and John go to the Springwood Orphanage. John thinks maybe he’s Freddy’s son. Tracy drives up in the van, wanting help. Freddy then takes over the TV, showing Spencer a psychedelic music video. Then the TV shuts off, and Spencer is inside Freddy’s video game. 

John tells Tracy to knock him out so he can help in the dream world. Once again, John wakes up in his bedroom, and his house starts flying. Then it catches fire. He jumps out the window. Freddy denies being John’s father; he used John to bring Freddy to his daughter. He then kills John. 

Freddy then possesses Maggie, who goes back to the rehabilitation center and tells her boss about Carlos, Spencer, and John Doe. He doesn’t even remember those kids existed. Doc remembers them because he can control his dreams. Maggie goes home to talk to her mother. Maggie again dreams of her father, Freddy Kueger. Loretta promises not to tell what she found in the basement. Young Maggie finds newspaper clippings of victims, razor gloves, and lots of other bad stuff down there. 

Freddy and Maggie talk; he wants out. “Every town has an Elm Street!” Tracy dreams of her abusive father, whom she beats to death with a coffee pot. He turns into Freddy, and they fight. Freddy attacks Doc next, explaining that the “dream people” gave him the job. Doc wakes up and gets with Maggie and Tracy for their next move; they want to bring Freddy out to the real world. 

Hooked to a sleep monitor, Maggie goes back to sleep holding a pair of 3D glasses. She wants to get inside his brain. She flashes back to see Freddy as a child, killing a hamster. Then she meets Freddy’s abusive father. We then see Freddy being burned alive and his encounter with the “dream people” who made him what he is today. Maggie grabs Freddy and pulls him into the real world. 

Maggie encounters a very human-looking Freddy, who says he tried to be good. She doesn’t fall for it. He attacks her, but she’s stronger than he is now. They fight over his glove until she puts it on. She uses it on Freddy and then sticks some dynamite in his chest, which blows the little dream people right out of him. 

Commentary

At the end of the previous film, Freddy might have had a son, Jacob. It was left a little vague. John Doe is never explicitly named in this film, but it’s supposed to be the same character. This was released in 3D and was also intended to be the end of the series. 

Freddy’s reduced to nothing but a comic figure here, spitting out one bad pun or catchphrase after another. It’s got a handful of celebrity cameos, including Rosanne Barr, Tom Arnold, and Alice Cooper. 

It’s almost a parody of the previous films, nearly a live-action cartoon. We’ve never even heard mention of the little dream-worm people before this, but it turns out they’re what gave Freddy his power. 

It’s really pretty awful. It’s not scary, it’s not funny, it’s just sort of a time waster.


Stay tuned for more reviews next week!

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Horror Bulletin
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