Horror
Wes Craven's - New Nightmare
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Dir: Wes Craven
Star: Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon, Wes Craven
Cert / Year: 18 - R / 1994
Format: DVD R1
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Successful actress Heather Langenkamp famous for her portrayal of Nancy in A Nightmare on Elm Street has been having a series of nightmares about Freddy's glove. The trigger for these dreams can be attributed to a stalker whom has been calling her home sounding like Freddy for several months. The torment Heather has been enduring has been taking its toll upon her and now seems to be affecting her young son Dylan (Miko Hughes). After her husband Chase (David Newsom) is killed in an car accident she discovers that he had begun work on special fx on a top secret film project for her old friend and New Line Cinema boss Bob Shaye . To celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the release of A Nightmare on Elm Street New Line want Heather to reprise her role one last time in a definitive Freddy movie. Work had already begun on a script which Wes is writing the script based upon his own nightmares. After speaking with Wes about the story and her nightmares Heather learns that there is an evil entity that has been around since the beginning of time in varying forms and incarnations. For centuries the evil has been contained within stories which has been the only means to stop it from materializing in the real world. This spirit of evil likes the evil persona of Freddy Kreuger and aims to be reborn in his image. Wes believes that only if they make another film can they successfully contain this evil and thwart his aspirations to existence in the real world. In A Nightmare on Elm Street Nancy successfully defeated Freddy so the only obstacle for the new incarnation of Freddy between the real world and his current purgatory is Nancy or the next best thing.....the actress that played her. As her son Dylan becomes the focus for Freddy's torment Heather is forced to play Nancy one last time.

When is a Nightmare on Elm Street movie, not a Nightmare on Elm Street movie?.......When it's Wes Craven's New Nightmare! New Nightmare is not technically a sequel to the hugely successful Nightmare on Elm Street series so it has a certain degree of originality to the story despite the fame of the primary characters and the success of what has gone before. To all intents and purposes Freddy isn't Freddy either but an "entity" which assumes the form of cinema's favourite boogeyman which is a typically clever concept by former teacher Craven. He cleverly incorporates elements from ancient mythology and fairy tales to produce a startling and disturbing story. A Nightmare on Elm Street broke all of the moulds and the rules for horror movies at the time and the last of the movies does the same again. New Nightmare breaks away from the standardised sequel "template" as the story ventures into the world of the movie maker. Wes Craven has nightmares within nightmares in his films and now he brings a movie within a movie as an added contrast it is about the people who made the Elm Street movies.

The film has some dark and broody visuals and a distinct gothic air to the piece which maintains a subtle atmosphere throughout. Wes Craven's direction is excellent as usual and at times he manages to make the film appear a little more like a documentary than a horror movie. The film is surrealistic as you would expect with a Freddy movie, which is similar to that displayed by the earlier films but has far more depth than previously attempted. Craven really manages to bring something special to this film which is another reason why this film stands out so much away from the standard genre. This is a film that could just as easily be termed as a thriller or a suspense movie as it could be termed a horror. Wes Craven later used this film as a template when creating a similar format for the Scream trilogy, but this is the original and for many still the best.

A dark and remarkable performance by Robert Englund as Freddy Kreuger which is quite unnerving and powerful when compared to his equally convincing portrayal of himself as a tender and erudite artist. Despite the end credits accreditting the role of Freddy Kreuger to "himself" it is of course Englund who fleshes him out.......we hope. Ironic as it may be, Heather Langenkamp shines in the role of herself and displays a wider range to her talents than previously exhibitted. I have to admit that I think she may well be a seriously underestimated actress, and she has come a long way from the Nancy Thompson we first saw in 1984. Although I am no fan of child actors I must admit that Miko Hughes provides a good performance as Dylan and at times he manages to appear quite unnerving. He appeared convincingly sinister in Pet Sematary but he has a wider scope to deal with here and manages more than adequately. One to look out for in the future perhaps. Good performances by John Saxon and an interesting acting debut by Wes Craven himself.

Wes Craven brings a finely crafted and intelligently written story to the screen again. After 10 years and some horrendous sequels he returns to the fold to write and direct possibly the most unique of all of the Elm Street movies. A couple of the CGI effects let the film down a little but the well written story more than adequately holds the film together. This marks a triumphant return to the series which he created but if only he had come back sooner he could have spared us the misery of the last couple of sequels.

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Rating: 5 out of 5

DVD
Picture 1.85:1 Great digitally remastered transfer
Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 + Original Stereo Stunning Dolby mix.
Great commentary track by director Wes Craven and director of photography Jacques Haitkin plus stars Heather Langenkamp and John Saxon.
Cast & Crew Biographies.
"Jump to a Nightmare" scene selection.
Cool interactive menu
Verdict As this disc is part of The Nightmare on Elm Street "Platinum Series" boxed set the disc is different to the standard release and the minimal extras on this disc are reflected by a seperate disc within the collection which contains the extras for this and the other movies.

Reviewed by Logan Back Top Home