Friday, October 03, 2014

Wes Craven's New Nightmare

Got the Fright Flick Festival off to a good start with 1994's WES CRAVEN'S NEW NIGHTMARE. I remember seeing this when it originally came out and liking it, mostly because I've always had a soft spot for meta-fiction, a self referring text, and this is a movie within a movie about the fictional serial killer Freddy Krueger trying to cross over from his world into ours. Actors Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, and even John Saxon all play themselves. Director Wes Craven even gets in on the act, appearing as himself as he is forced by an 'ancient evil entity' to write a script bringing Freddy back from the dead.
   I liked the original Nightmare On Elmstreet, but each sequel that followed seemed to get sillier and less horrifying. When the series ended, I didn't even notice.  However Craven, apparently unhappy with the way things had gone, wanted to do one more Freddy film, returning the character to his more horrific beginnings. Less funny. More Scary.
   The movie does a pretty good job, though the writers felt compelled to create a 'story arc' for the 'character' of Heather, which pretty obviously wasn't the real life of actress Heather Langenkamp. Not the way I would have handled it.
   There are some scary scenes though and the sets and nightmare effects come off well, occasionally even manages to capture some of the feel of a real dream world. All and all a great way to get the festival up and running.

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