Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Craven, you mastermind.
Movie #7…how many people can get that far into a series and actually like what they watch? From my understanding…not a lot. I couldn’t see anyone really looking forward to New Nightmare after the nightmare that was Freddy’s Dead. There was only one man that could pull it out of the muck for one last she-bang to end the series off on a good note, and that man is none other than Wes Craven, the creator himself. What he does for this final film is nothing less than genius, I just wish he picked a better protagonist.
This film takes place in our world. Where A Nightmare on Elm Street is just a movie created by Wes Craven. Heather Langenkamp returns as…herself, as does Robert Englund. The series has been finished for a while now, and the initial nightmare that gave Craven the inspiration to make the movies has returned. Why? Because the movies have finished. You see, the demonic entity that Freddy was based off of can only be suppressed through the art of storytelling, so as long as there are movies, the real “Freddy” monster stays away. Now he’s back, and after Heather, because she was the one to give Nancy the strength to beat Freddy in the original series. Meanwhile Wes Craven writes the script to New Nightmare…yeah, the script to the movie that we’re watching.
Even though this has some similarities to say, Stranger Than Fiction, this film came out 12 years before the other. Not to say that anyone ripped anyone else off. I love movies and television episodes like this…the ultimate breaking of the fourth wall. It reminds me of Last Action Hero when the real (and well-known) actor playing the character is the main character of the movie. It makes the movie so much more different and unique, yet almost no films have done it since. A Nightmare on Elm Street needed this concept. It ended the series on a good and interesting note. The only thing I wish that was different, and this is major, is the decision to cast Langenkamp.
I get it, I do. It’s Nancy – the most prominent actress and protagonist in the series. I am not saying she isn’t the most memorable, I’m just saying she’s not the best actress and brought this movie down. How about Johnny Depp? This movie would have literally been perfect if they used Depp. He loves making these weird-type films, and he was in the first movie quite a bit as well. I love you, Wes Craven, but when it comes down to the casting for this series…you’re a lost pup. I think Craven got lucky with the brilliance of Englund as Freddy, because after 10 years of movie after movie, no one but he was really memorable in a good way. Even that boy in this film suffered from acting problems, and I was just waiting for him to wave his index finger and with a raspy voice, say, “Danny isn’t here, Mrs. Torrence”.
The makeup also changed for Freddy in this film…and I’m not entirely sure I like it. It’s like bone and muscle tissue or…something. It doesn’t look burnt, it just looks maybe…painful. I did, however, like Freddy finally returning to the dark side of the force and actually acting evil for once. He was supposed to be pretty dark in this film, and for the most part he was. I kind of wish they showed more of him, since a lot of the movie, Englund really wasn’t in much. I’m guessing that’s because they were trying to be suspenseful, but if they were, I couldn’t sense it.
Overall New Nightmare had one of the best and interesting concepts a series like it has ever had. It changed things up, made things fresh, and reintroduced a dark villain we so dearly missed. However, you may feel cheated in regards to what direction the movie could have went. What it does is alright, but you’re still not scared. You’ll probably think: “This is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen”, but you’ll sleep like a baby. This is my second favorite film in the series because of its radical difference than the typical system of empty scares. It’s a great movie on its own.