Movie Review – Wes Craven’s New Nightmare

1994 New Line Cinema

Three Stars
Ten years after the original made its debut and three years after Freddy’s official death Wes Craven’s New Nightmare arrived on the scene.Wisely this is not another sequel or a prequel but instead a clever stand alone movie that twists around the premise of the previous six movies. Once again Heather Langenkamp returns this time playing…Heather Langenkamp. That’s right she plays herself (or a version of herself anyway). In this movie she is a wife and mother who gets caught in a dastardly scheme by an evil ancient entity that for the last ten years has been “captured”so to speak by the mythology and cultural manifestation of the fictional character Freddy Krueger. It seems it likes the character and wants to keep the persona only in the real world. To enter our world it must come through the person it sees as the gatekeeper, none other than Heather Langenkamp who it views as his greatest nemesis because of her role as Nancy Thompson. Sounds kind of screwy huh? It does indeed but it also works quite well due to a good screenplay and the return of many Nightmare veterans both from in front of and behind the camera (and some that were in back are now in front).

This movie is a lot of fun for a number of reasons. It’s good to see the veteran Nightmare actors returning for one more go. In addition to Heather Langenkamp Robert Englund plays himself and the New Freddy and John Saxon returns in a dual role. Wes Craven and producer Robert Shaye step into non cameo rolls and manage to hold their own. I like the return of the darker more sinister Freddy, even though it’s not quite the same character. This is a very inventive movie both visually and the in the way it skillfully fits the Nightmare world into the real world. It all works and makes for a very entertaining final farewell from the Nightmare gang.

The good:

Great makeup for New Freddy.

Freddy actually looks good in the new coat and hat.

Creepy moments like this were sadly lacking in the last three Nightmares.

Robert Englund plays himself…

…haunted by himself. Nice touch. Cool painting.

Wes Craven can act. I don’t see any awards in his future but he’s not bad

I love the scene where John Saxon reverts to his Nightmare character and Heather turns around to find herself at a familiar address.

The not so good:

  • The scene where Dylan crosses the highway is a bit goofy.

Simba, remember to look both ways before crossing!

Need a lift?

The new punk rock group The Seven Freddy’s.

So Heather gets slammed by a car but walks away relatively unscathed? Actors are so tough.

I’m so glad this wasn’t New Freddy’s new glove…

…but I can’t say this is the greatest either. His original was far better.

Random thoughts and observations:

Cute babysitter = Dead meat.

Who didn’t see this coming? Nice nod to the original. There are a lot of cool references to the first movie.

New Freddy’s ancient digs. “It’s only a model.”

Heather just keeps getting tongued by Freddy.

New Freddy gets barbequed…

…and show it’s true self.

New Freddy goes boom. The end, no sequel. How refreshing.

I found it funny how Wes Craven mentions to Heather the watering down of a concept to make it more palatable and acceptable. I wonder what he was referring to?

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