Why is it always raining in the city? Why does Morgan Freeman’s grizzled, near-retirement detective always wear a hat and a raincoat, and why does impetuous Brad Pitt always stride through the drizzle bare-headed? Why is the first two-thirds of this movie a nifty if formulaic murder mystery, almost an Agatha Christie whodunit threaded through with creepy mythology and the visual styling of a Nine Inch Nails music video? Why is the last third nothing, nothing like you would have expected based on the first two thirds? Why, even now that we’ve seen it over and over and memorized every twist, does the greasy, filthy look and droning, grinding sound of this movie still fill us with dread? Why is the actor playing the murderer unbilled, and why is his character called John Doe? Why is there only one murder shown on screen — and why do we always arrive just a little too late to save anyone? How does a movie as dire and merciless as this still enthrall us so completely? How did this project, the first script from a film school grad and record store employee, end up launching the career of a titan of contemporary cinema like David Fincher? And what’s the one question that we’re not going to finish by asking?
A Nightmare on Franklin Street 2019 is presented by Voodoo Ranger and J.J. Taylor Distributing Florida, Inc. Promotional consideration is provided by Spooky Empire and WEDU PBS.