In the last Nightmare on Elm Street, we said our goodbyes to the series in a pretty mediocre way, in my opinion. Some of you have recommended strongly that this next one also going back to Wes Craven as the director for the New Nightmare is a strong entry. I’d like to believe that it really can’t go any lower than that last one. I’m going to trust that this one is a good one especially since, the few Wes Craven movies that I’ve seen have been pretty good.
Here we go! 🙂
Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994)
Director & Writer: Wes Craven
Cast: Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, Miko Hughes, David Newsom, Wes Craven, Tracy Middendorf
A demonic force has chosen Freddy Krueger as its portal to the real world. Can Heather play the part of Nancy one last time and trap the evil trying to enter our world?-IMDB
Wow! Now we’re talking! Wes Craven’s New Nightmare had me at the edge of my seat the whole time. For one, what absolutely works is the set-up of the story and the premise of how Freddy is properly reintroduced into the real world. Making him not just a fictional character in movies but one that can come to life in reality adds to the scares. With that said, all the actors in the first part comes back as their real selves to play in this one adding to the authenticity. We never see the real Freddy except till the end and even then, he’s portrayed in a much scarier way. All this works absolutely fantastic to create the perfect atmosphere that just makes us wonder when he’ll show up, what is real or not, and whether he will be reach his goal. Its all in the dark especially since, the revival of his character is in hand with Wes Craven’s ability to bring his story to life.
Another thing is that, while there was probably one or two parts paying tribute to the first movie that started up this Nightmare on Elm Street series and might even fall a little in the campy area, the whole feeling of this series has shifted in this one. Its a new take. Freddy is a nightmare. He can get you in your sleep and he’s found a way to be a part of what some kids would consider a nightmare that adults might think is just an overhyped imagination. Except we all know it isn’t, we just don’t know when we’ll see the extent of his powers now. However, it does take back from what happened in the past few movies and deduct it completely to a figment of the imagination of all the writers involved where Freddy’s character is imaginary and his existence is based on being a part of a story that traps him in one. The moment we don’t have one to trap him in one, he is let loose and he can come into the real world. Reason why, he is double the fright this time.
On top of that, while Freddy is more scary and we still debate in the first part whether he is real or not because it is still a movie character, Heather Langenkamp has a son here and this little boy is super great at looking like he is possessed or lack of sleep or scared or just having the effect that something is going to turn incredibly wrong. At the same time, we see Freddy’s primary target is the little boy, Dylan. In this sense, we turn this horrific character into something like a boogeyman (is this how you spell it?). He hides under the bed, his stuffed dinosaur protects him, he is scared to sleep. Its those nostalgic naive fear of the night feelings (I guess I still have them) that pop up from scenes like that for me.
While A Nightmare on Elm Street is what started this off and has a good thing going, Wes Craven’s New Nightmare will undoubtedly be the best in this franchise for me. For the first time, it felt like I was watching a horror movie. I was tense and nervous and really worried about the characters. It made me a little scared to go to bed at night in fear. An effective horror movie that has great atmosphere, builds Freddy up and gives us the impression that this isn’t fiction but reality is just a thought away.
Have you seen Wes Craven’s New Nightmare? What did you think of it?