Review: ‘Dylan’s New Nightmare: A Nightmare on Elm Street Fan Film’ (2023)

Dylan’s New Nightmare‘ is a new ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street‘ fan film from Writer/Director Cecil Laird, the mastermind behind the YouTube channel “The Horror Show“, and is produced by Vincente DiSanti of Womp Stomp Films, who delivered the fan-favorite ‘Friday the 13th‘ fan films, ‘Never Hike Alone‘ and the prequel, ‘Never Hike in the Snow‘. It stars Miko Hughes (‘Pet Semetary‘, ‘Wes Craven’s New Nightmare‘) as Dylan Porter, and Canadian voice actor/filmmaker Dave McRae as Freddy Krueger.

Nearly 30 years have passed since the events of ‘Wes Craven’s New Nightmare‘, and Dylan Porter once again begins to have nightmares of the demonic entity that took the form of popular horror film antagonist, Freddy Krueger — the demon responsible for the death of his father, and who tried to kill him and his mother when he was a child. As Dylan experiences the haunting nightmares, he finds that he has nobody to turn to — not even his psychologist, Dr. Sarah Silbe (Cynthia Kania), or his mother, Heather Langenkamp, who is currently institutionalized for a hereditary mental illness (a plot point mention in Wes Craven’s 1994 film), and it is only a matter of time until Freddy returns to the real world.
The direction and cinematography for this fan film are exceptionally well done. Cecil Laird and his Director of Photography, Ben Meredith, really deliver a good looking, well-shot film that oozes with professionalism. It’s easy to get lost in the quality of filmmaking — to the point where you sometimes forget that this is only a fan film.
Additionally, the score from Ryan Perez-Dalpe is excellently atmospheric and truly compliments the growing tension and horror that we see on screen. In particular during the sequence in which Freddy rises in the real world. It’s a really well-shot and, quite frankly, badass moment as is, and the score is the icing on the cake.

The make-up effects and Freddy design from Nora Hewitt is great. In fact, I personally think that the make-up design here is better than what we’ve got in some of the official sequels, such as ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child‘ and ‘Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare‘. I really hope that when the series makes an official return, she’s brought on-board as part of the effects team.
With the acting, I think everybody is pretty good here. Miko Hughes does very well in his return as Dylan, and carries this film firmly on his shoulders. Cynthia Kania does well as the lead supporting character, Dr. Silbe, and there’s even a fun performance from ‘Friday the 13th part V‘ alum Ron Sloan in the opening nightmare sequence. The true standout here is Dave McRae in his performance as Freddy; not only does he nail the mannerisms and body language of Robert Englund, but also with his voice as well. While he’s clearly not Robert, his performance is solid and seamless in the role, and he steals the show when he’s on screen.
The only complaint that I have about this fan film isn’t really much of a negative on the film itself — and that’s with the film’s length, which runs at just a little over 30 minutes. I get it: it’s a crowd funded fan film independently produced on a small budget, but dammit, I was invested with the story and I didn’t want it to end. Perhaps that’s a testament to the quality of filmmaking from everyone involved, in front and behind the camera, and I can only hope that Cecil and his team return for another — hopefully longer — sequel in the near future.
If you’re an ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street‘ fan and are open to fan films, I highly recommend checking this one out. It is available to watch for free on YouTube.

About Seth T. Miller 90 Articles
I am first and foremost a proud father of two daughters who may or may not be possessed by demonic entities/deadites -- time will tell on that one, but I am pretty confident that one of them translated the Necronomicon. I enjoy short walks to my movie collection, reading in goddamn piece and quiet, and watching the same movies and tv series over and over instead of discovering new stuff.