Sadly, I cannot say I found myself surprised by this one. From the start, I can tell you that you will probably be let down by it. I’m not saying you shouldn’t see it; but, if you’re working on a budget, I would recommend you Redbox it or wait for it to show up in a pawn shop dollar bin.
This is one of numerous horror films to take place in the hospital/sanitarium setting. There was a short-lived TV show, on Fear.net I believe, that had an impressive cast of horror icons. Robert Englund is the only one that stayed on for the film.
Directed by Robert Hall, this film has the feel of a film thrown together for the SyFy Channel. Hall, who has developed quite a name for himself as a great effects guy, may just need to stick to what he does best. He’s not a terrible director by any means. He’s only about a million times better than me. It is just obvious, according to his history, that his area of expertise is in effects. The ones in this film were even pretty good, which shows me that he may have had some influence on their creation as well. The only thing I would have liked to see in regards to the gore would have been at little less computerized blood. It is the reliance on too much CGI, that isolates this particular viewer. I am not someone who is completely against it. I am, however, someone who gets annoyed by it when overused. It is the over-reliance on such effects that make me begin to equate it with a made for TV film. This film, sadly, definitely felt like a made for TV film for me. It seemed like they even threw in a sex scene just to make it seem too edgy for TV.
So what did I like? Freddy fucking Krueger of course! Robert Englund actually did some acting, in this film. Playing a tormented doctor with a slight drinking problem, I was pretty impressed with some of his attempts at seriousness and drama. This may not surprise other people, but I have a slight bias when it comes to Englund. I know it is stupid to say; but, I really have never been able to look at him as anyone but Freddy Krueger. This creates a prejudice within me, every single time I see him without the burns and the glove.
So by the end of the film, numerous characters that you don’t care about, face their fears through a new scientific treatment. This treatment, of course, has some issues. This gives you the chance to watch these people, that you still don’t care about, go through some stereotypical horror movie moments. It all leads up to a climax where Freddy Krueger morphs into something that looks like it came out of a Resident Evil game.
So if you aren’t doing it already, I urge you to work your horror habit on a budget with this one. Don’t buy it from Best Buy. Just rent a physical or streaming version of the film, and then wait for it to pop up at the flea market for a dollar. Trust me, there will be plenty of people selling it. I give it a 3/5 and recommend purchase only for the Englund fanatic, or the patient collector that can wait for the right price.