Continuing along the lines of our Countdown to Halloween. As you’re reading this very blog post, Wes Craven’s New Nightmare turns 20 today. It’s a marmite movie, you either love it or hate it. Written and directed by the original Nightmare on Elm Street creator Wes Craven.
Although it is the seventh film in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, it is not officially part of the series, instead portraying Freddy Krueger as a fictional movie villain who invades the real world and haunts the cast and crew responsible for his films. In this film, Freddy is depicted as closer to what Craven originally intended, being more menacing and less comical, with a greatly updated attire and appearance. The film revives various people originally involved in the motion picture ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street” playing themselves, including actress Heather Langenkamp who reprise her role as Nancy Thompson. New Nightmare must have been so much fun to make, to use most of the original cast and crew 10 years on. It must have been interesting to bring everyone back on board now that New Line Films had dramatically evolved into a massive multimillion dollar company, as opposed to working out of the back of a small company van set from the original movie.
The whole movie exists as a pastiche, in smart in the way it mimics and runs along parallel to the events in the original Nightmare (There’s even a scene with Julie’s death that mirrors Tina’s) and in a way at the same time, Wes cements shut finally the Nightmare franchise door for good.
The movie was well ahead of it’s time by several years and still stands the test of time. It did what Wes’s predecessor movie ‘Scream’ did a few years earlier, providing a meta-critic of the franchise and the horror genre and the whole Hollywood lifestyle. It’s an extraordinary work by Craven and reminds us how unpredictable he is. I mean who would have thought he’d bring Freddy back after never wanting to do a Freddy film ever again.