So much for Freddy being dead, eh?
The 7th movie in the franchise doesn’t follow the continuity of the previous movies but isn’t a reboot either. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare has the cast & crew of the original playing themselves. Freddy Krueger is a world-wide phenomenon that both kids & adults alike love. It’s all just a movie or so it seems…
There is an entity, one that has been drawn to the character Freddy Krueger & trapped within it until the movies stopped being made. Now it is free & sees Heather Langenkamp (Nancy) as its foe because of what she did in the movies.
Heather Langenkamp’s popularity has spiked thanks to the Nightmare movies. She is uncomfortable with it mainly because of the influence on her young son, Dylan. After having a nightmare that saw a new Freddy animated claw come to life, kill 2 workers on the set of a movie & try to kill her husband (Chase), Nancy wakes to an earthquake happening.
In the mess Chases’ fingers are cut in the same way as in her dream…
Heather is being stalked by a crazed fan that mimics Freddy & she is doing everything to keep Dylan away from her film who is going through his own problems. All of this coincides with a meeting at New Line Cinema where she is asked to reprise the role of Nancy in a new Freddy movie.
She is unsure, unhappy that Chase has been on board secretly & surprised that Wes Craven has been writing a new movie. Returning home she discovers Dylan watching the original Nightmare film & he has a traumatic episode afterwards. The calls increase & Dylan’s behaviour causes her to call Chase who rushes home but falls asleep while driving & becomes Freddy’s latest victim.
Grieving & traumatised Heather seeks out long-time friend, John Saxon who advises medical help. Dylan’s behaviour is getting worse & Heather is beginning to think Freddy might actually be real. After taking him to doctors she is accused of abuse & neglect. She wants to keep him awake but he is drugged against her will & falls asleep bringing Freddy out.
This Freddy Krueger is very different from what fans are used too. He is pure evil…no snappy lines, no jokes, no entertainment…he is here to kill. It is an amazing transformation & one that I fully support. It’s not just in the Krueger attitude but the look as well. Freddy has a much more modern look & his claw resembles bone & muscle. This is how Wes Craven wanted him to look & the love is clear to see.
There is a lot to praise, story-wise, even if the movie is boring at times. Tension is high & it is fascinating to be reminded of just how much influence Freddy Krueger had on children! The idea of characters playing themselves was smart & made it all the more convincing especially at the end when the worlds begin to over-lap.
Dylan is a good actor for his age but far too many scenes are dedicated to Heather reacting to his reactions. It all feels very 90’s & you can see how this film was the precursor to Scream.
My favourite thing about the movie though is the throwback to traditional Nightmare deaths. There are only a few here but the ones that do occur have real impact. The babysitter death is pure homage to the death of Tina in the original. There are plenty of homages throughout as well so keep your eyes open.
“Screw your pass”.
This is the last Nightmare movie…before the eventual reboot (I’m not counting Freddy vs Jason) & it is one of the best. It is fascinating to see exactly what Wes Craven had always envisioned & even better to see the likes of Robert Englund play himself & seem genuinely in awe of the Krueger character.
Wes Craven's New Nightmare