NEW NIGHTMARE, 1994
Starring: Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, Miko Hughes, David Newsom, Tracy Middendorf, Fran Bennett, John Saxon, Jeff Davis
Freddy might be dead on film but not in reality.
A fan of the “Nightmare…” franchise since I was a child, I was recently given as a present the box set for this series of films and sat down and watched them in their entirety over the course of a couple of weeks. What struck me was that they have this completely watchable element to them which is hard to come by in contemporary slasher films as the narratives of these movies try to include in their duration far too much and that they should stick to what works. However, in the case of Wes Craven, you really cannot object to anything that the man does.
In the film, Wes Craven has decided to make another “Nightmare…” movie. Enlisting the best special effects people in Hollywood, those who originally starred in the movie are intrigued at the press attention they are receiving but they trust him and know he will direct an excellent and profitable film. However, Freddy is not tormenting just those on set but the original stars. Freddy is no longer a bogey-man figure but a real-life monster. He terrorises to such an effect that even Robert Englund starts to have nightmares. Heather, who played Nancy in the series, decides that she must destroy Freddy for the sake of her child; whether she will do that is down to the luck of the Gods.
A welcome return for Wes Craven as he directs another of the “Nightmare…” franchise with such ease and gusto, this version of his own creation is not run-of-the-mill but takes a different slant on ideas and shows that Wes’s speciality is not limited to just slasher films as seen in the likes of “Scream” and the first instalment of the “Nightmare…” genre but he can include these elements into a cohesive narrative which includes a parental figure trying their best to provide for their children.
Unlike in previous “Nightmare…” films, Englund actually has the chance to act rather than be completely evil. He seems genuinely terrified when he is being visited by Freddy in his dreams and the same can be said about Heather’s screen father John Saxon. Even he starts to worry for his life and tries everything in his path to stop Krueger once and for all.
Langenkamp, as per all of her roles in the previous “Nightmare…” franchise, laps up this opportunity as she seizes the day and gives another stellar performance as the heroine only this time she has her son to look after. No matter what life throws at her, Heather survives this and does her best to try and destroy this evil monster once and for all.
Nancy’s son Dylan is played by Miko Hughes. Here, at the age of eight years old, Hughes shows what an excellent actor he was. At times, Freddy possesses him and Dylan starts to act as though he is Freddy. For any child to do this would be tricky but he mimics the voice and actions of Freddy and shows that despite his age displays all the hallmarks of having thespian pedigree. Since the release of this movie, Hughes has appeared in mostly television projects but he is still young and is more than capable of being given that opportunity that will catapult him to a wider audience.
A different take on the Freddy Kruger series of films, it is by far a better watch than the 2010 version of “A Nightmare on Elm Street”; that in itself makes it a classic.
CLICK the LINKS and EXPLORE