“The Confession of Fred Krueger” is the first fanfilm in a decade to capture my attention. I watch tons of them in a year and I feel appreciative towards the efforts. But, only “Confession of Fred Krueger” has made me look past the source material and enjoy the narrative. Horror films rarely get mined for deeper adaptations outside of the Universal Classic stable. While the nostalgic push might have one mine the 80s new classic horror stable, there should be an effort to hold back.
Director/Writer Nathan Thomas Milliner takes a cue from that page by leaning away from the gore and overkill of a later Krueger. Working with the stellar Kevin Roach, Milliner plays in an era that Peter Jackson once dreamed to bring to the screen. Fun fact: look online for Peter Jackson’s early work on Freddy’s Dead. Back on topic, Kevin Roach nails what made the human side of Freddy Krueger matter. But, there feels like too much of a push to use the victim cover.
While Krueger never bought into the victim mentality of a shaky childhood and implied abuse, Roach’s interpretation uses everything he can wrap around his razor glove. The postmodern appeal of a serial killer monster knowing how to emotionally manipulate resonates a bit deeper than the original version. However, there need to be less throttle there. Still, I’d take over a pizza faced goon making Wizard of Oz references and staging Dick Cavett cameos.
Thomas Dunbar and Todd Reynolds make the police station scenes shine. While Reynolds has the thankless job of being the Harvey Bullock-esque heavy, Thomas Dunbar threatens to steal focus away from Kevin Roach. The film shines when the two are facing over the interrogation table, as each actor doesn’t want to break away for a moment. Whether it’s a carefully placed evidence folder or a lone cigarette, everything is a tool between in their battle of the wits.
Then, there is Lito Velasco’s stunning score. So many fanfilms forget to balance music with what they filmed, as it seems like an afterthought. Luckily for this film, Velasco stepped up to the plate and produced a horror symphony that could easily match Bernstein’s original work in 1984. I had a qualm here though, as Velasco’s work sounded much cleaner at points than the original Bernstein. Bernstein made his name in the AIP era and while his sounds were quality, the synth and quick nature were apparent in that original score.
Ultimately, “The Confession of Fred Krueger” is not meant to be canon or the definitive take on the Springwood Slasher. It’s like they used to say in the DC Comics of yesteryear…they’re all imaginary stories. What matters is that the imagination begets an amazing piece of horrific art. The imagination of Milliner did that today and we’re better for it. If you’ve got a fanfilm that you’re trying to put out onto the open Internet, the bar has just been raised.
Release Date: OUT NOW!