Stories always manage to influence our lives in one way or another. We quote lines from our favorite movies. We keep books that moved us in incredible ways but in the end it comes down to one thing, the characters. It is those vibrant and fascinating people, be them good or bad that stay with us the longest.
But what if there was a reason for that? What if in some incredible way the characters we adore were actually real? It's a fascinating question posed in a motion picture from the most unlikely of genres, horror. Yes, it took one iconic character to explore the idea of living stories with the 7th film in the Elm Street franchise, New Nightmare.
It's been ten years since A Nightmare on Elm Street changed the horror landscape and at last the story has come to its end. But while Freddy is dead, the fans are having trouble letting him go and with rumors of a new film on the horizon, one of the original stars, Heather Langenkamp, is being asked to return to the role she made famous, Nancy Thompson. But she is not without her reservations, the more she becomes involved with the project, strange occurrences begin to happen to her friends and family and with good reason. Freddy lives, but in different fashion. He is an ancient demon that is drawn to his films, and with no more Krueger movies being made the demon is ready to step into reality and wreak havoc and it has chosen Heather as its one true nemesis, and it will be up to her to end this nightmare, once and for all.
This is a movie that I originally had my reservations about when it first came out, despite the fact that series creator Wes Craven was attached to it simply because, the tale should have been done with the sixth film and once more it seemed like we were about to be treated to more of the same. Fact is, I was horribly wrong, New Nightmare ended up being a fresh and horrifying take on the Krueger mythos and it only gets better with every viewing.
First off, the complete reinvention of Freddy for this movie is solely thanks to Robert Englund and his acting skills. Sure they changed the makeup and the outfit, but this is a new Krueger, one that is cold and calculated and evil on a level we have never seen before and man, it makes for some creepy moments when this creature is on screen, but the wonders of this story doesn't end there. Craven's script and idea, while super fourth wall, works on every level and the notion that stories protect us from the horrible things that lurk in the shadows is simply fascinating. When you throw all those things into the mix, you're left with a solid horror film and one that makes the franchise proud.
Yet at the same time it is perhaps a more fitting goodbye to Krueger and the evil that he stands for since this film essentially wraps up the original films mythos and the movies that followed it really. I guess one could call it the Rocky Balboa of the Elm Street films because what came next for the character was nothing anyone could ever expect, but it is a fitting statement for that comparison to say the least. Either way, watch this one, for its fresh take on the character and the fascinating ideas it proposes.