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 699 Articles
I have been watching horror films since I was 6 years old. The story, one Saturday night, my mom and I were watching movies and she fell asleep on the couch. We had the channel set on HBO and the movie we were watching ended and the next one, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. This was some time in 1986. I watched then entire film, I was sitting on the edge of my seat. When my mom woke, she asked me what just ended and I told her, “Freddy”. That was all I talked about for weeks and finally she broke down and rented more horror films for me. She rented, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre part 2, Re-Animator, Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives and Halloween II. I watched all and fell in love with horror films forever. 5 Horror Films to Watch Inferno (1980) A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) The Beyond (1981) Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives (1986) Horror of Dracula (1958)