Review Detail

9.1 2 10
raymix_elmstreet4_front
FanFix April 02, 2022 1519
(Updated: January 16, 2023)
Overall rating
 
8.6
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
Ray Danger has made a very admirable effort to fix up what is typically considered to be a pretty mediocre sequel. The use of quick cuts and music changes is largely effective and makes for an enjoyable watch.

QUALITY

While not on par with the blu-ray, the visual and audio quality is nonetheless very high across the board. There was a single shot right at the start that seemed unusually low res, but it is brief. I assumed it was due to cropping out the opening credits.

I'm a big advocator for subtitles and I also would have preferred to have had the surround track included, but I understand that this was a very personal edit and that Ray has a strong preference for the original stereo.


VISUAL

Ray has attempted to bring more consistency across the franchise by creating his own newly branded title cards for each entry. What I saw here is arguably a bit too slick and digital considering the age of the film, but it is nonetheless well executed and cleanly presented.

There were a few things I picked up when watching:

- I wasn't a fan of the font used for the Job verse quote. Gives off a bit of a word processor/powerpoint vibe.
- 2:36 - is there an event pan here? The camera seems to randomly dart across the image. It looks like a digital glitch rather than a shaky cam.
- The on-screen date is brief, small and at the bottom of the screen. I didn't feel like I had time to notice it and read it, so would personally have made it a bit larger and more central. I'm nitpicking though.
- 11:57 - The dad's dialogue appears to be out of sync here. It's possible this is in the original, but I don't remember noticing it. It is also pretty subtle as the character is in the background and not in focus.
- 12:13 - the sound of the dart impact comes before the dart hits the board
- The karate dream sequence is effective with the newly applied red colour toning. The added slo-mo and whiteout when Alice wakes up is a nice touch, but feels a tad rushed. If the whiteout went on for a little longer before transitioning to the next scene I think that would flow a little better
- 1:02:43 - this shot seems to be held on for an unnatural amount of time. It also seems to be static, but occasionally twitches with a subtle frame blend. Was this slowed right down and then looped?


AUDIO

Rescoring and foley replacement generally comes across very well, especially considering the stereo track was the source, but there were some moments that took me out of the edit:

- from 1:40 there is a jarring clash of two different parts of the score
- 56:59 - sounds like a jump in the audio
- 1:02:22 - there is a noticeable jump in the score
- 1:08:33 - Alice says something as she holds the mirror up but it is obscured and cut off. A bit odd
- 1:11:51 - the music seems to come in at a reasonable volume, but the last line of dialogue is barely audible as a result. It might work better for it to kick in after the line.


NARRATIVE

The film is significantly better paced than the original and I have a suspicion that Ray may have made more cuts than is indicated on the cutlist. Mainly in terms of little trims here and there to shots, which I think was very effective (or if I'm imagining things, maybe the other general cuts just had a great impact than I expected). The intent was to bring more focus to the theme of identity and I think this was nicely achieved. I do feel that there are some unnecessary scenes of exposition at the start, but I also know that trimming this down further would put the film in danger of no longer being feature-length! Overall, this is an improvement on the original. A few more thoughts below:

- I understand the reasoning between cutting the time loop dream sequence, and therefore needing to get rid of Freddy in the road, however, the crash now seems a bit out of the blue. If there was a shot of some oncoming traffic then it might sell it better.
- I appreciate Ray's feelings around the deus ex machina at the end, but without it Freddy's defeat has no explanation at all. Throughout the film, the mirror seems to symbolise Mary's own battle with confidence and identity, so why would we have any reason to believe that showing Krueger his own face would defeat him? At a push I could maybe believe that showing the mirror gives something back to the captured souls and so they choose to fight back? But there isn't a lot for the audience to go off of. While we have seen the souls on Freddy's body in the previous film, the cutting of a similar scene at the beginning of this film and also the soul pizza basically means we have no foreshadowing for them consuming him at the end. Keeping the original context of Freddy's defeat would have been preferable IMO. A bad explanation is better than no explanation.
- The credits display info for the songs used in the film, but these don't reflect Ray's new music choices. It would be nice if these could be updated to reflect the editor's changes
- Adding Freddy's locker claw mark to the end of the credits is a nice touch :)


ENJOYMENT

Subjectively, there are still some moments that I would have cut. Odd lines, mainly. The biggest is probably the Krueger nurse scene, which isn't particularly effective nor does it add anything vital to the narrative. I would put it on par with soul meatballs and the beach scene as being a step too far into silly territory.

Ultimately, there is only so much you can do with the material you have to work with; but thanks to Ray, the film now comes across a lot tighter, and several scenes that previously felt awkward now flow in a more natural way. Scenes like Freddy's death are considerably more effective. The music changes are all made in good taste, being old enough to not feel out of place but also give a less cheesy vibe that gives the impression of a film that's aged a lot better. The final Foals track is a modern inclusion but still feels in keeping with the general sonic vibe.

Nice work, Ray :) Thanks for sharing.

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