Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994)

Only 3 years after The Final Nightmare the man who created Freddy and hadn’t been involved in the series since Dream Warriors, Wes Craven, returned to pen and direct a new Krueger movie.

This turned out to be the final movie for nearly a decade for the Dream Master and also marks the final outing of Robert Englund’s Freddy in a singular movie (the next movie and last movie Englund played Freddy is the crossover Freddy vs Jason.)

The movie moves away from the setting of the original run of movies and reinvents Freddy and the situation in a new and well done manner.

Unlike the original films were the question lay between reality and dreams this film, in a prelude to Craven’s Scream series, looked at the line between reality and films.

Whereas beforehand Freddy was killing teens in their dreams in New Nightmare Freddy is coming out of the movies to kill the actors/actresses/prop guys etc.

The one thing that you will hear time and time again about this movie is that Krueger was portrayed more in this movie to what Craven wanted him to be then he was in any other movie. If he meant non-existent then fair enough. I do think the best Freddy’s were in the first and third film where he was a force to be reckoned with but I do really feel like this concept as good as it is and as great as the film was did work better with a man made villain for it. The new and improved claw was really cool I will admit to that, I think it was so much better then the original if I’m honest though the original served its visual purpose well. Other then that, a new design to the make up on Freddy’s face the only real difference I saw between this one and the others is the trench coat.

I might not have been paying enough attention.

Trying to blur the lines between dreams, reality and reality and movies just didn’t work.

That isn’t to say the film was bad because it wasn’t in fact it was one of the best Freddy films there is. It just took a completely different road and instead of being a classic Slasher film became much more a psychological horror. If it wasn’t for the fact that it was Freddy you’d be on the edge of your seat for the majority of the movie trying to figure out what the hell was actually going on and wondering if Heather was just mad. As it was we knew that she wasn’t because we knew that Freddy was coming for her.

The acting is 100 times better then the previous two films which fell completely flat. Heather Langenkamp was wonderful and the scenes were she revisited her Nancy was so perfect. Miko Hughes put all the other child actors in this series to sham having one of the best roles so far in all the movies he excelled and for most of the movie the fear and horror came from the fear of what will happen to him and his faithful guard Dinosaur Rex. The moment you find Rex slashed to pieces on the floor with no Dylan in sight is the moment you start to panic.

For me the story was OK and a lot of what was in the movie was refined and used better in Scream. The whole scene of Craven explaining how he was coming up with the dream and everything all felt a bit too heavy and the scenes in the hospital were hard to watch, not for the reasons they should have been but because of the ham fisted way they had written it.

It is one of the better films though.

A part of me feels like Freddy should have been left dead at the end of Dream Master, that would have been a good ending for him. We did need another Freddy movie after the awful Final Nightmare but New Nightmare took it in a completely different direction and was really not a follow on from the movies beforehand.

But for a writer/director who never wanted these movies to become a franchise he did a good job of updating it for the new generation and as I keep saying the formula basics of the movie went on to spawn a second juggernaut of a franchise in Scream.

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