Welcome back fellow horror movie fans! I’m still talking about Freddy and the legacy he left behind in the horror world. I wrote yesterday that I was a huge fan of the Nancy run of the movies. Not that each movie didn’t have its charms, but I felt that Nancy was the great foil for Freddy’s revenge. She should have been the last Elm street kid to go. Alas, that is not how the series goes. I will say that after Nancy, I enjoy Alice as a character. She was part of a very controversial storyline and movie in the series, but she was fun. Someone who started off weak and learned to be strong. I am convinced in some small way she was related to the Thompsons somehow.
Anyway, I have favorite Nightmare films that I watched more than others. I have noticed over the years that New Nightmare, the technical ultimate nightmare movie (if you refuse to count Freddy vs. Jason and the remake like me) isn’t talked about as much as other films. This breaks my heart because it was a witty and genius way of Wes Craven getting his Freddy back to where he should have been all along.
I consider this installment in the series underrated, and I will give you three reasons you need to check out New Nightmare right now.
First here is a general plot summary of the film. Heather Langenkamp, who plays Nancy in the original movie, is considering doing another Freddy film. Meanwhile, a stalker is getting closer to her and her family. Little does she know that stalker is someone she already knows and fears.
Reason 1: The Meta of it All
Nothing makes me happier than seeing subjects become aware of their surrounding and overcoming whatever is blocking them from leaving (Cabin in the Woods for example). This story disregards the storyline of the past movies and brings it back to the beginning. It is less about the journey the characters have taken but more like ‘What have we did by creating Freddy?’. Which is a look at how Freddy went from just another slasher star to a cultural force in our society. He wasn’t just on our screens he had found a place in our cultural psyche.
There is a scene at the beginning where the morning talk show host was asking Heather Langenkamp (Nancy in the movies) if she thinks these movies have a positive or adverse effect on children. Before she can answer, Robert Englund pops out as Freddy and whores himself out to the crowd while they chant his name like he is a hero. Apparently, according to the fantastic documentary, that scene was based on something that happened to Wes Craven and Robert Englund. Amazing to think that even back during the first movie Freddy already had an effect on us as a society.
Reason 2: True Freddy Comes Back
Some may argue with me on this. I remember not minding the funny Freddy when I was a kid watching the series. Now it annoys me. There are scenes where Freddy is selling me a power glove from Natendio and making graphics jokes. I felt Freddy’s change from a scary force to funny, sarcastic killer was a huge negative as the series went on. I liked the idea of a few sarcastic lines but dark lines. Like, “Welcome to Prime Time Bitch” or “This is God.” Those were good lines. The worst lines for me? “We’re playing with Power Now” or “You’ve got the body, I’ve got the brain.”
In the New Nightmare, a darker, scarier and quieter Freddy is present. His words are chosen carefully and aren’t there to just make someone laugh. They are there to scare, intimidate and rethink the love you may have had for him in the past. I look at this as the true Freddy. The Freddy Wes Craven envisioned. I’m seriously scared of this Freddy, and I want to be afraid of Freddy. Not amused. This film does that beautifully.
Reason Three: A True Love Letter to the Series
I look at this movie as Wes Craven final word on Freddy. This is what he sees Freddy as and his cast of characters from the first film. This is like a wrap up in a sense. For Freddy to be truly vanquished, we needed to come home to Elm Street. One of my favorite moments that felt like a big kiss from Wes Craven was the scene between him and Heather. They discussed the movie, what both have been going through and he asks her if she could, “play Nancy one last time.” It still gives me chills.
Since everyone was playing themselves and then ultimately their characters it was fun to see everyone on screen again. You see this during the funeral scene. A lot of actors and actresses from all the films are in this scene. Almost like a family reunion including the portrayer of Freddy himself.
I take this film as the final say on who Freddy truly is and who the real heroes are in this horrible nightmare.
I like to watch the first, third and New Nightmare in a row. Believe it or not, it works as a cohesive storyline. A fascinating look at one Elm Street kid and how she truly should have been the last elm street kid to take Freddy down. This story is fun, exciting and makes you wonder how far these fictional characters have gotten into our heads.
I will always recommend this series to others, and I hope you check out New Nightmare, and it gives it another chance. It is witty as well and gives great commentary on how our culture worships these villains on the screen.
Until next time, the randomness has ended. Hope you enjoyed.