Friday, November 9, 2012

Wes Craven's New Nightmare

Description from Netflix:
Freddy's back and he's badder than ever!  Nancy, the historical nemesis of the man with the satanic snarl and pitchfork fingers, discovers that a new monstrous demon has taken on Freddy's persona.  Can Nancy stop this new threat in time to save her son?  Nightmare director Wes Craven and [Heather] Langenkamp also play themselves in this final installment of a horror classic.

Notable actors: Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon, Wes Craven,
There are also a handful of small cameos from some former Nightmare folks, including Lin Shaye, Tuesday Knight, Jsu Garcia/Nick Corri, Amanda Wyss, and some I'm sure I missed.

My thoughts:
A quick note to clear up the Netflix description: this is not really Nancy.  This is Heather Langenkamp playing herself, not Nancy returning to take on Freddy.

With that out of the way...
The concept of this movie is terrific.  Wes Craven always said that his horror movies came from his nightmares.  It has been 3 years since Freddy's Dead came out, and both he and Heather Langenkamp start having nightmares.  (As we find out later, Robert Englund has been having these nightmares, too.)  Heather finds herself pitted against Freddy.  But this Freddy is different.  This Freddy is meaner.  Darker.  And he's trying to invade the real world, through her son Dylan.

According to Craven, there's an old theory that some ancient evils are kept at bay by storytellers.  If people are telling their story, they remain trapped.  But, once those stories stop, the evil awakens.
And that is what is going on here.  There is an ancient demon who has taken the form of Freddy Krueger, and he has become familiar with our world.  It has been long enough since the last Nightmare movie that he has begun to awaken, and has decided to invade our world.  The only way to defeat him is to make another movie.  But, to do that, Heather has to live it, and has to defeat the evil in order to finish the movie.
Got that?

It is carried out much better than I just explained it.  After watching the series slowly turn into Freddy saying countless punchlines, they brought back a dark edge with this movie.  It feels a little darker.  A little more real.  We see Heather fight for her son, and eventually end up at her old house on Elm Street, playing the role of Nancy one last time.

There are some great homages to the series.  On top of the iconic house, we see John Saxon again, playing a sort of father figure to Heather as she deals with this.  We also get some deaths that are made to look like some of the memorable deaths from the series.

It's a fantastic new take on a series that seemed to have run out of ideas at this point.  This is my second favorite movie in the series (just barely losing to the first installment).  I love this movie.  It can be watched as a standalone movie, but it's a lot more fun if you watch the rest of the series first.

Rating: 5/5

I'll finish up my Nightmare watching with Freddy vs. Jason, then I plan on doing a little wrap-up on the series as a whole.

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