Wes Craven’s New Nightmare

Even though there’s one more movie after this, Wes Craven’s New Nightmare is the film that really brings the series full circle.  Originally dreamt up around the time he was writing Dream Warriors (but turned down by studio execs), this film brings back a less kind and gentle (and cartoonish) Krueger for fans.

This throwback to Tina from the first film also brings it full circle.

You might remember this one as the film where Freddy really and truly comes to life.  Heather Langenkamp stars as herself as does Robert Englund and Wes Craven.  The story starts with the filming of a new Freddy movie where Freddy’s glove mysteriously comes to life and starts killing people…but wait!  That’s just a dream that Heather is having!  Heather’s just a little anxious about all the upcoming press for the 10th anniversary of Nightmare on Elm Street.  She also has a kid now and a husband.  But she’s been having bad dreams, see?  And prank phone calls that sound like…FREDDY KRUEGER!!!!  *insert ominous music*

Honey, how many times do I have to tell you – you can’t watch Mommy kill people!

So long story short – Wes Craven is working on a new script, one that he dreams up every night and it’s all about how pure evil can be real and then defeated and this evil is taking Freddy’s form because of Heather and Freddy really thinks she’s Nancy or something and then there’s this awesome stuffed animal dinosaur that the kid has that guards the end of his bed and people die and everyone thinks Heather is crazy (cause really, you’d think that too) and then she and the kid get kidnapped to dreamscape world and apparently Robert Englund is a really freaky painter.

This kid was apparently in every movie made starting in 1989 up until he hit puberty.

I enjoy this one mostly because I think about how freaking fun it must have been for the actors to all be playing some version of themselves and then some version of a character they had played (or had been playing) for years in the past.  It’s like if I made a movie exploring my childhood and played young Misty (I wouldn’t, that would be tragic but you get the point).  This is like the epitome of t.v. reunion shows, you know?  And I like the idea of something entirely made up becoming real and everyone’s just standing there going, “WTF?  Seriously?  Dudes, this is the stupidest thing ever.”  And then of course Freddy is more like the Freddy of yesteryear – nasty and less punny.  Always a plus.

Short review I know but I enjoy this one – it’s gotta be my third fave out of the series (although technically this isn’t part of the series and is meant as a standalone).  If you’re going through the franchise, be sure to include this one! Also I find the trailer really cool…




About mistylayne

I'm a Z movie loving, horror hound, Buffy quoting, Dr. Who watching, geekazoid and seeker of all things unusual. I'm a gypsy wanderer, lover of words, Wendy of the damned and all that jazz. What can I say? I'm complicated.

Posted on 2012.8.November, in American Cinema, Horror, Oldies but Goodies and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 31 Comments.

  1. Victor De Leon

    I really like this one. One of the Nightmare movies that I revisit often. Good write up! I didn’t even mind the short review. It’s all good! 😀

  2. Your reviews have inspired me to watch the entire Nightmare franchise next week. Great review!!

  3. I actually really like this one. They really pulled off the meta premise, and it’s just a fun movie. It’s pretty sweet at the end when it all of a sudden goes from Heather’s life to the full-on fictional world.

    • YES! It was totally fun and I think this sort of thing is what Wes Craven always intended – it was a nice ending to the Freddy saga (way better than anything after #3 anyway).

  4. I’ve been meaning to watch 2 and 3. The series isn’t something I ever really got into, but I do want to eventually see them all.

  5. Great movie – great review. I think this one is probably my second favorite in the series, the first one being number 1 of course. It was by far the best sequel in my mind, but I am sure that will be debated. It was just nice to see Freddy back to being the Freddy we all knew he was.

  6. Nicely done, Cinema Schminema. Nicely done. As you know, there’s nothing I enjoy more than a good run on sentence and your third paragraph is a BEAUTY. I would like to think I helped influence that in some subconscious way – but I am sure I didn’t. Keep on rockin!!!

    • Wait, my third paragraph is a run-on sentence? Do I do that? Seriously, I am the worst writer ever. Or maybe just the worst editor ever. *shrugs* Thanks, E! 😉

      • But BUT I LOVED IT!! (Maybe it’s not a run on sentence and I thought you did it on purpose as an homage me) : (

      • *giggles* E!!! I am teasing you and I’m mocking me. I really am the world’s worst editor – I hardly ever do more than look it over once and proclaim it to be a masterpiece. 😉 There was a point when I was writing paragraph 2, I think that I definitely felt like I was stealing your style. There were lots of exclamations. 🙂

      • I am the worst typer and editor in the world – trust me on that!! : )

        I would never point out anything negative – I love run on sentences and yours probably isn’t – it just looked and read like something I woud write. I love lots of ands and some thens and some more ands and some commas and some buts and some more commas and some more ands and some thens and then some more thens and some ands and some commas and then some ands and we eventually end with a period. That’s my thing : )

      • Nothing wrong with a good run on sentence. 🙂

  7. Cool review. I think New Nightmare is a superb sequel. At the time, when I read that Wes Craven was returning to the series I was really shocked because a) New Line had pretty much shafted him after the first film (as much as I like Part 3, Craven’s script for that film was greatly changed and simplified and, imho, is less effective for it) and b) the series had degenerated into such mediocrity that I really couldn’t imagine why he’d return. Freddy was a joke (literally): what else was there to say?

    So the way that Craven turned the series inside out and upside down and, not only returned Freddy to his terrifying roots, but made a clever critique on the series (and horror story telling in general) is a work of near-genius. Its incredibly smart, never eye-rollingly pretentious, genuinely chilling, and contains some incredibly suspenseful sequences (the scene in the park with the kid on the climbing frame has an almost Hitchcockian build-up – definitely reminds me of a sequence in The Birds). Craven had grown as a director in the years since the first Nightmare (Serpent & The Rainbow, is a good example of how his technique had grown): I think this sequel is much better directed and written than Part 1. The acting is better here too: I always felt that Langenkamp was awfully wooden in Part 3 (liked her in the first film) but she’s wonderfully convincing here, and I utterly buy her as the frantic mother (I believe she had been stalked in real life, which Craven took as a dark inspiration: it feels more personal and more terrifying because of it). I even like the way the end implodes in on itself with a surreal re-telling of the end of Part 1 (though its a shame they didn’t have the budget to do justice to the “epic” Hansel and Gretel ending).

    New Nightmare is definitely my favourite of the Nightmare sequels (and I prefer it to the equally “meta” Scream that Craven made soon after). Glad you like it too! I’ll have to check out your other reviews!

    • Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! 🙂 It’s definitely a superb sequel. I didn’t watch it (or any of them) till much later during college so I wasn’t aware of how much the script for Dream Warriors had changed…I don’t remember them talking about that in Never Sleep Again (the documentary) but maybe they did. I’m about to rewatch it so I’ll find out soon enough!

      I can see where Nancy would feel a little wooden in the 3rd one. She was older and Freddy is more about teens, I can see where she might have questioned the wisdom (oh but I’m also about to watch “I am Nancy”, her documentary about all of it so maybe that’ll answer the question as to why she was less Nancy in 3!).

      Glad you enjoyed it (and the review)!! Thanks and stop by again!

      • I think I found Wes Craven’s original script for Part 3 online years ago. I’ll be honest, I can’t remember much about it, but I do seem to recall it had more today with finding Freddy’s childhood home (which was a farm house or something). I think it was darker in tone. I like the Part 3 that was made – its easily the best of the sequels (bar New Nightmare) but its the point where, for me, it tips a little too much into comic humour (though of the very blackest nature). Freddy became to “fun” as a character for me – I much preferred him as the dark, nasty, vile sadist of parts 1 and New Nightmare.

        Funnily enough, the only Nightmare film I haven’t seen is the recent remake. It feels weird to have every horror film of my childhood/teenage years being remade at the moment. Surely there are some good original ideas out there???!!!

      • I still found Freddy scary in 3 (or maybe just scary again after the disaster that was 2). It definitely starts tipping there into the campy cheesy territory for sure but the part with the veins and the puppet walking for example? Creepster.

        Oh my goodness, do NOT watch the remake. Stay far away – it’s horrible. And one would think there are good original ideas out there but alas, the masses seem content with the same contrived, remade, redone stuff spoon fed to them so unless it’s truly indie we aren’t getting anything original and good. *sighs*

      • Sigh. That’s what I feared the remake would be like. A shame. Very true. Problem is these days, even when something cool, indie and effective comes along its quickly turned into a production line of lame sequels: Saw springs to mind. I thought the original was terrific and genuinely clever, and yet it soon degenerated into yearly, and increasingly nasty, retreads. I got as far as Saw 4 before giving up!

      • Valid point. I really enjoyed the first Saw also and I don’t think I made it past the third one even. It just became worse and worse.

  8. I am a bit meh about this movie, but you did put up a solid review Misty as always!


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