Retro Review: Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994)

We all thought Freddy’s Dead would be the Final Nightmare…get it.  New Line Cinema killed off Freddy Krueger in Freddy’s Dead and most of us wanted more.  Wes Craven had one last story left dealing with Freddy and the Nightmare series.  It was a good way for him to “book end” the series.  He wrote and directed the first and final Nightmare movie, both entirely different and both very good.

Wes Craven’s New Nightmare takes place in a fictional real world.  A world where Heather Langenkamp is working on a new Nightmare movie with Wes Craven and her husband, an FX guru.  The opening scene is fantastic as it takes us back to the opening scene from the original, A Nightmare on Elm Street.  Freddy is building a new glove, this time it is a robotic hand and a blade on the thumb as well as the four fingers.  When the scene pulls back we see the crew behind the production, including Heather and Wes Craven.  But, this is all a nightmare after the robotic hand has a short due to fake blood and it kills people.  Heather then wakes up from her nightmare and there is a big earthquake.

After the nightmare she has an appearance with Robert Englund as Freddy on a TV talk show.  Then Robert Shaye invites her to talk about bringing Nancy back to face Freddy one last time.  Wes Craven is working on a new script, which prompts Heather to say, “Wes is having Nightmares again.”  Which plays into the title of the movie, Wes Craven’s New Nightmare…hohoho!

The movie itself, it is so much different from the rest of the series and was a huge risk.  Fans wanted to see Freddy come back after Freddy’s Dead and he did, but it was not the same.  At first watch, I did not like New Nightmare too much, I was young and did not understand.  What Wes Craven did, was bring Freddy into the real world.  Rather having the same ole song and dance, this was showing a way the film could affect its actors.  Heather has a stalker in the movie who harasses her as Freddy.  She talks about not showing her son the Nightmare films.

New Nightmare is truly a very good movie that, to me, gets better with each viewing.  It is a top 100 horror movie for sure.  I do think it is a good way to book end the series with the original.  Both films are innovative and directed by Wes Craven.

The Nightmare series had its ups and downs, the bulk of the series ending on kind of a sour note with Freddy’s Dead.  Wes Craven did a fine job bringing Freddy back for one last time and turning everything we knew about the series on its head with New Nightmare.  It is a smart, self aware horror film and a must for fans of the Nightmare series.  If you’re one of those fans who gave up after Dream Warriors and skipped New Nightmare, change that.  It is available on Netflix and to me, a must watch! has a rating of 6.4

Third best of the 9 movies featuring Freddy Krueger, 8.0

I have now reviewed three of the Nightmare Franchise and I will possibly do them all.  A Nightmare on Elm Street is my favorite horror film and horror franchise.

For more content about the Nightmare series, click the links below

Retro Review: A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Dead (1985)

Retro Review: A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: Dream Master (1988)

A Nightmare on Elm Street Worst to Best

The Second Remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street

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About Ray Marek III 252 Articles
I am a lifelong horror fan. I have written for a few web sites, Kung-Fu Comrades, Nightfall Unlimited and Rage of Rayzor. Freddy's Revenge was the first Horror Film I watched, I was 5. When my mom found out I liked horror films, she began challenging me. Soon to follow were the likes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Dawn of the Dead. Horror is in my blood, I want to share that with blood...horror. I write unpublished comics. Lifelong dream is to write comics for a major comic book publisher or build my own comic book company.