Tag Archives: A Nightmare on Elm Street

Netflix Pick of the Week: Wes Craven’s New Nightmare

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New Nightmare released in 1994 

“Freddy, Freddy, Freddy.”

The longest film in the franchise and the only one to feature no opening credits, New Nightmare is the seventh film made featuring Freddy Kruger. Many aspects of the film play into the real life of its stars including Heather’s husband working in special effects and her having a stalker. This version of Freddy is Wes Craven’s original vision for the character and the story was originally pitched as the storyline for Dreamscape but was turned down by the studio. However, in 1994 this film was made and has become one of the better rated films of the franchise.

Freddy Kruger enters our reality when a demonic force uses him as its portal. Heather Lagenkamp returns as herself and a mother of one. After her husband’s death by Freddy’s claw while returning home things begin to go more than a little crazy for Heather. Robert Englund returns as himself and as the infamous Freddy Kruger. This time the entity he portrays is far darker than the Kruger we know from the original. There are also appearances by Wes Craven and Robert Shaye as well as stars of the original film, Jsu Garcia and John Saxon. Lin Shaye who made an appearance in the original Nightmare on Elm Street as a teacher appears in this film as a nurse.

My third favorite in the franchise after the original and Dreamscape, New Nightmare was the first film I saw with Freddy. I didn’t know it at the time or watch the entirety of the film but I do remember the first time I saw it vividly. It wasn’t until a few years later that I saw the original film and while I didn’t believe I was scared it affected me a lot more than I thought it did. New Nightmare was the second film in the franchise I saw and I fell in love with the concept and the returning characters. The story is interesting and while I prefer the original look of Freddy from the first film this look is a lot more demonic and plays into the reality of the storyline.

If you are a fan of horror and love Freddy Kruger this is a good film to settle in and watch on a Friday night. Don’t forget to grab the popcorn and shut off all the lights. Don’t forget whatever you do, don’t fall asleep.

Never Sleep Again.

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My previous blog post and most recent Netflix pick were dedicated to this gem of a documentary about the making of the Elm Street Franchise.  Serving as Executive Producer and Narrator is Heather Langenkamp who starred in three of the Elm Street films. Covering all the Nightmare films including Freddy Vs Jason. Never Sleep Again contains interviews from directors, writers and actors involved in all 8 films. It was released the month after the 2010 remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street.

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The story starts in 1984 with the making of the original film and the birth of Freddy. We learn of the origins of the story and how his character and history were developed. Never Sleep Again shows us the origin story of New Line Cinema also known as the house that Freddy built. Indeed he did. As a writer I found all the things that inspired the story and character  very interesting. Here we learn more about the beginning and all the happy accidents that went into making this film. Today there are more computer generated special effects. When you watch Never Sleep Again you will see what goes into building something from the ground up. Using what you have at your disposal. There is no computer to help them out.

 

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We get to hear from the writers of each film and how they came up with their stories. It’s interesting to hear how people interpret things differently. Something this documentary allowed us to see. We heard from the various producers involved in the films from the beginning and to those who became involved later in the film’s franchise. We saw how the directors worked with the rest of the crew to create Freddy’s world.

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Personally for me I enjoyed hearing the writers, in particular Wes Craven, discuss what inspired the stories and ideas for their films. If you are a lover of Horror, the Nightmare films or film documentaries I recommend this film. Hopefully you will come away with greater understanding of the work in film, independent studios and the birth of Freddy himself.  Jammed packed with behind the scenes footage and interviews with cast and crew Never Sleep Again is a treat for a fans of the franchise.

Have you ever wondered what inspired Freddy’s appearance? Where he got his name or why he wears that awful sweater? Watch Never Sleep Again to find out.

10 Decades, 10 films (Horror)

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The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari  1919 (German)

Genre: German Expressionist

Known for:The twist ending.

It ended and started a decade. Dr. Caligari is one of the best known and best reviewed early horror films. While researching this film some places said 1919 others said 1920 but I do know that I haven’t seen many films pre 1920 so Its best that I use this great film to start off this post. The first time I heard of Dr. Caligai was via a horror documentary. I heard about it more recently through my father who is a great lover of silent films. This film is said to have introduced the twist ending something that’s common in horror and suspense films.

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Nosferatu 1922 (German)
Genre: German Expressionist Horror.
Known for: Nosferatu is an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stokers Dracula. The studio could not obtain the rights to the film.
Starring: Max Schreck as Count Orloc
After Stokers heirs sued a court ruling ordered that all copies of this film be destroyed. One copy survived however and Nosferatu has gone on to be one of the most influential and highly regarded horror films of all time.

When I was a little girl I stumbled upon this film by accident. I walked it to the living room while my dad was off talking on the phone. Nosferatu was on the television and I came in on the most popular scene. Count Orloc rises from his coffin and ascends the stairs. I remember running out of the room terrified. The rest is history.

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Freaks 1932 (American)

Known for: Freaks had a cast of real circus performers.

Tod Browning began his career in the circus and this film is inspired by some of his experiences. Two “normal” looking people scheme to steal the inheritance of one the “Freaks”.

After watching this film for the first time I feel like a part of me had changed. It’s a film that really makes you think. Looks don’t make a person a freak or a monster it is there personalities that make them monsters.

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Cat People 1942 (American)
Genre: Atmospheric, Suspense.
Known for: Cat People popularized the Lewton Bus effect.
Cat People was a Val Lewton picture that raised far beyond the limitations of most b pictures. Irena is a woman who believes she descends from a race of people that turn into cats when they become sexually aroused.

I had heard of this film thinks to my father and several horror documentaries. A few years ago I watched Cat People for the first time and was very pleased with the whole film most notably the atmosphere.

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Them! 1954 (American)
Genre: Science Fiction
Known for: Being the first big bug film. It was among the nuclear monster films popular in the 1950’s.
Them starts off as a suspense film. Police investigate suspicious deaths. The giant ants are not seen until a third of the film has passed. They are heard before being seen adding to the suspense.

I had the pleasure of seeing this film for the first time on a big screen while at school. I wasn’t very interested in these types of films prior.

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Peeping Tom 1960 (British)
Genre: Voyeurism, Early Slasher, Thiller
Known for: Highly regarded as the first slasher Peeping Tom ruined the career of its director Michael Powell.
Peeping Tom is the story of a serial killer who stalks and records his victims so he can keep their expressions of terror. Peeping Top now enjoys a cult following.

I saw this film for the first time in the past year or two thinks to TCM.

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Halloween 1978 (American)
Genre: Slasher
Known for: Popularizing the American slasher film.
Starring Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode Halloween is a independent horror film Directed, Written and composed by John Carpenter. Some have criticized this film by saying that encourages Sadism and Misogyny.

Halloween ranks in my top five. I saw this film for the first time when I was around ten years old. I immediately fell in love with the genre.

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A Nightmare on Elm Street 1984 (American)
Genre: Slasher, Supernatural
Known for: Freddy Kruger
A severally burnt man haunts the dreams of teenagers. He kills them while they sleep. Nancy fights back after loosing her friends to the monster inside her dreams. She learns secrets about Elm Street.

After I was done watching this film my mom entered my room and scared me as payback for all the times I scared her.

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The People Under the Stairs 1991 (American)
Genre: Comedy Horror
Known for: Having an African American kid as it’s protagonist.
A young boy goes to rob the slum lords of his apartment when he comes across the disturbing life’s they lead. There are people under the stairs that have resulted to cannibalism to live. Fool meets the crazy couples daughter and roach a boy who lives in the walls. They help protect him.

I heard of this film several times before giving it a proper chance. I am glad I did.

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The House of the Devil 2009 (American)
Genre: Haunted house and slasher elements. Satanic panic.

Known for:  Set during the early 1980’s

The House of the Devil makes it easy to forget you are watching a modern film. A college sophomore strapped for cash takes a babysitting job at an old house in the middle of nowhere. While there she begins to suspect that the residents didn’t tell her the truth.

I was recently introduced to this film. It has quickly became a favorite of the genre.

Current recent favorite. 

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We Are What We Are 2013 (American)
Genre: Cannibals
Known for: An American Remake of a Mexican film of the same name.
After the matriarch of a family of cannibals die her young daughters must take up where she leaves off. They are saddled with a domineering father whose health is failing.

I knew I wanted to see this film I just didn’t know why. I was attracted to this films interesting mystique so I gave it a shot via Netflix and I am glad that I did.