Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Don’t Panic (1989, Rubén Galindo Jr.)

Don’t Panic is a quasi Mexican remake/different take on A Nightmare On Elm Street, to a certain degree. This movie works even though a decent chunk of the film made me think I was viewing a teen romantic comedy instead of a slasher movie. Well the violence gets dialed up to eleven later on and there is a pretty good and thrilling hospital scene as well. Poor Michael has a rare gift where he can communicate with the spirit world, and it’s this gift that causes a lot of trouble.

This movie has plenty of gore, really weird and eerie moments, a nice love story between Michael and Alex, and even a solid finale. I was surprised at how much action occurs in this flick, and the kills are rather bloody and shocking at times. Sure this doesn’t quite match the famous movie series that inspired it, yet Don’t Panic has enough good moments to keep it watchable and entertaining. Hey even the ending has that bizarre dream feel!

Wes Craven’s Final Nightmare

Back in high school when I was starting out as a young freshman getting more into horror movies I saw a film called Scream. I also watched Scream 2 also that night, and both films left a good impression upon me. Shortly after I also viewed for the first time one of his classics, A Nightmare On Elm Street. This is a creepy and effective horror movie with a freaky jump scare near the end and some great performances from its young cast. Therefore last night I was bummed when I discovered that Wes Craven had died from brain cancer. It’s truly a shame as the guy helped shape and influence horror many times over.

I’ve seen other films of his over the years, from the other Scream movies to cult flicks such as The People Under The Stairs and The Serpent and the Rainbow. Both underrated and enjoyable movies that are examples of how Craven also was able to work in social and political commentary into his films. I also had a blast viewing Scream 4 in theaters-it’s a fine send off for the current bunch and it’s why for better or worse that there is a Scream TV show.

There is also other famous Craven films such as his classic revenge flick The Last House On The Left and A New Nightmare, which I dig a lot. Thanks to the Scream films Craven and Kevin Williamson helped bring horror movies back from the fringe in the 1990s, and for that alone he deserves to be celebrated. Few people have the luck and the talent to be a part of two major series and to change an entire genre more than once.

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