Wes Craven and his New Nightmare

This isn't a review. I simply love "Wes Craven's New Nightmare". I watched it over the weekend and it sparked my passion once again.

I'm just going to assume most everyone is familiar with this film. If not visit the imdb . It is by far my favorite of all the "Nightmare on Elm St.'s". Why? I'll tell you.

I'm not going to discount the awesomeness of the original Elm St. You can't deny how groundbreaking it was. The premise alone was fascinating and the villain was much more charismatic than so many slashers past. I tiptoed downstairs and tucked myself behind the couch just to sneak a peek. I didn't sleep that night. Seeing Johnny Depp get sucked into his bed was life changing, and I'm not talking about his half shirt. As horrifying as I found the images, I was drawn to them. I think many of us who love horror have had similar experiences.

Even at the tender age of 11 I was aware that Robert Englund was a genre god. Remember "Nightmare Cafe"? I was enraptured by him. Seeing him portray someone sans slicey glove was eye opening. He was just a regular guy and Freddy was just a character. So when "New Nightmare" found its way to basic cable I was floored. I mean Robert Englund AND Freddy were in it.

The premise of "New Nightmare" is pretty great too. The whole film within a film, breaking down the fourth wall thing. Seeing Wes Craven ya know, being Wes Craven . My little 13 year old mind raced with all these amazing and fresh themes. Admittedly, watching it now, it doesn't come across as mind boggling. One reason is probably because 26 year old me isn't as easily amused. Also, because the idea itself isn't new anymore. Craven used a modified version of it in "Scream" But I'll be damned if it isn't super effective in that film.

I loved watching John Saxon running around being John Saxon! The cast makes me glow. Heather Langenkamp is no Oscar winning actress, but the scenes with her and her on screen son are touching and very believable. Let's not gloss over that the son, Dylan, was played by Miko Hughes. "Pet Cemetery" is and always has been my favorite Stephen King related film. A big part of that is adorable, scalpel wielding Miko. So here is this film chock full of my favorite genre actors, how could I not love it.

This was arguably the best Freddy. Gone were the hokey wisecracks. Freddy was just an ominous force driving the film. I did take slight issues with the thick felt fedora and overcoat he popped up in. Do evil embodiments of movie characters get cold? Even though my love for this film is based on my young adult feelings towards it, I still believe it to be a good time. High points include the babysitter getting torn up in the hospital, Hughes' homemade Freddyesque "glove", Heather's "Poltergeisty" gray streak and the fact that Langenkamp has Englund's home phone number committed to memory. You can watch it instantly on netflix.

On the Web