Tag Archives: Wes Craven

Netflix Pick of the Week: Scream

Released in 1996

Since I’ve been on a Wes Craven kick I’ve decided to choose this nineties gem and Kevin Williamson written slasher starring Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, and David Arquette, Skeet Ulrich, Matthew Lillard, Rose McGowan, Jamie Kennedy and Drew Barrymore as my Netflix Pick of the Week. A standout picture that has now become cliche due to the saturated market of teen horror that has tried to imitate it, Scream is a great movie born out of a clever script.

Self aware and witty, this nineties slasher knew what it was doing. Scream is more than your typical horror film, while playing with some of the rules set in to motion before slasher scripts were a thing, Scream found its own way in to the heads of its audience. While there are certain things you may question (check out cinema sins Everything Wrong with Scream) the good far out ways the bad. An enjoyable movie that I return to at least once a year, Scream is a classic thanks to great direction by Craven and a fun script by Williamson.


The cast of characters are far more complex than the characters of this films predecessors. Randy, played by Jamie Kennedy, is the know-it all film buff. He is the odd one out in a group of friends including final girl, Sidney Prescott, who is still reeling from mother’s murder one year prior to the events of the film. Her boyfriend Billy Loomis, with his perfect teen heartthrob hair, is the brooding type while his best friend Stu is the goofball. Tatum is the best friend and the perfect foil to her good girl friend, Sidney. Apart from the high school students is Dewey, a sheriff and brother to Tatum, and Gale Weathers, a reporter who believes Sidney was wrong about the man she accused of killing her mother. There is also a special appearance by Henry Wrinkler as the Principle and a cameo by Director Wes Craven who appears as a Janitor that looks suspiciously like Freddy Kruger.

The film is brutal but not gory. Funny and is dramatic without becoming overly cheesy. There are many ways this film could have gone wrong but while refusing to take itself seriously, Scream is able to standout in a difficult genre.

Checkout MTV’s Scream, on Netflix, A Nightmare on Elm Street and New Nightmare by Director Wes Craven are on Netflix and The Vampire Diaries and The Following created by Kevin Williams are also available on the streaming website.

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

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.


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.



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.