Thursday, April 29, 2010
New Nightmare (1994)
Wes Craven gave a big stink about them making A Nightmare On Elm Street into a franchise. In all fairness let's take a look at what he made between Nightmare 1 and New Nightmare: Hills Have Eyes Pt. 2, Dudley Flynn (his lowest point in his career), Serpent and the Rainbow (this was actually pretty good), Shocker, People Under the Stairs (thought it was OK). Now New Nightmare can best be looked at as the film that was a warm up for Scream. It's a really interesting stand alone film for what it is. This is what happens when an artist who cares about the character decides to reboot a series.
The concept here revolves around the creators of the Nightmare On Elm Street series and how they start having nightmares about Freddy Kreuger. All the principle actors are playing themselves: Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon, producer Bob Shea and Wes Craven himself. There are new appearances, the son Dylan and the babysitter Julie. Robert Englund plays 3 different incarnations. He plays himself, the new incarnation of Freddy and Freddy Kreuger. There's a scene in this that cuts straight to the heart of what Craven was trying to say about the sequels. Robert Englund is on a talk show and says "You're all my children now." Harkening back to Part 2. They're obviously sticking it to the last few sequels where Freddy had become that over the top.
It does have it's self infulgent moments. When dealing with a concept like this of course there's going to be. It also has it's share of gaps in the story. But I'm willing to forgive those flaws because there are some really good scenes here. The funeral scene in particular.
This film is much better watched alone than in sequence with the rest of the series. It's not mean to be a Nightmare On Elm Street film. You can remove Freddy and have it be about a fictional horror character and it still works. With New Nightmare, Craven came up with an interesting concept that's fun and puts the series back on track.