Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy concludes the Nightmare on Elm Street series (that should’ve been done by Halloween, damn you Frankenstorm!! *shakes fist at the skies*). I’ve pondered long and hard over just how to review this one as 1) it’s a documentary and 2) it clocks in at four hours. Obviously, bullet points wasn’t going to cut it for four hours (my gosh, can you imagine??) and with so much information it’s hard to know what to say about it. So…
That said, I love this documentary, it’s one of my favorite ones ever (and I watch A LOT of documentaries). And that said, unless you really dig Nightmare on Elm Street or are just highly interested in the movie making process of one of the greatest horror franchises of all times, you probably won’t enjoy this. What Never Sleep Again does is start with the original Nightmare and continues on with behind the scenes and cast and crew interviews all the way up through the rest of the series. It’s also the story of how New Line rose to fame.
It’s fascinating and it covers everything from how they did that totally sweet kill scene of Tina in the original Nightmare (they built a rotating room, just fyi, which I find so f’ing cool – I love old school effects!) to the homosexual undertones in Nightmare 2. The film also presents photographs, storyboards, conceptual art, publicity materials, archival documents, and behind-the-scenes footage that have never been previously shared. Never Sleep Again expands on Wes Craven’s motivations in creating the first Elm Street film. It also explores behind-the-scenes of the original film and all of its sequels. Through interviews, the film shares how cast and crew brought their own worst nightmares to life on screen and examines the impact the series and its mythos have had on pop culture and the horror genre in general. The documentary also explores the rise and fall of Robert Shaye’s New Line Cinema and its reputation as “The House That Freddy Built”.(wikipedia.org).
And really that’s all I can say. This film is a plethora of information and if it’s an insider’s look you want to have this film is the film for you.
I have to admit to being vaguely disappointed in I am Nancy mostly because it wasn’t anything at all like I was expecting and I didn’t really receive any insight into Heather Langenkamp (other than she’s either great at making fun of herself or she’s a seriously whiny and maudlin person, it’s so hard to tell at times but this whole thing is supposed to be “tongue in cheek” so I’m leaning toward the making fun of herself). This is the documentary that Heather made that focuses on her experience playing Wes Craven’s legendary teen heroine, Nancy.
IS IT FUN?
Oh hell, yes. There are references from pop culture to crazed fans at conventions who at times do some strange things to Heather wondering if anyone would ever get a Nancy tattoo instead of a Freddy one….it’s super fun. There’s also a SONG – a theme song called “I am Nancy” – that alone is worth it!
IS IT INSIGHTFUL?
Not really. I mean you learn a lot of cool random facts (Wes Craven’s daughter chose Johnny Depp and Nancy was created based off something she once said). And I discovered that Robert Englund is apparently the nicest guy on the face of the planet, seriously, dude seems hella kickawesome! There’s also an interview with Wes Craven (extended interviews with Craven and Englund can be found in the special features). But overall, I didn’t learn anything really about Heather which is what I went into this wanting to know (since she made the thing and all). If you’re not a hardcore fan, there’s really nothing here for you.