Director: Wes Craven
Written by: Wes Craven
Weapon of Choice: Finger Knives
Based upon: Original
Other movies in this series:
A Nightmare on Elm Street
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child
Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare
Freddy vs. Jason
Rish Outfield's reviews
The whole Freddy Phenomenon of the 1980's caught me 100%. Like many kids now in therapy, I watched the films, read Freddy magazines, books, and comics, and of course, made my own razor-glove. But at some point, probably in the middle of an episode of the unbelievably awful "Freddy's Nightmares," it suddenly wasn't cool anymore. I never really got over that. That's why "Elm Streets 2-7" were never reviewed for the page--I wouldn't allow it. Sorry Robert Shaye.
But after seeing the first film for the zillionth time, tyranist got me to break down and rent this one with him. And, as sequels go, it's not too bad. As "Elm Street" films go, it's pretty darn good.
I like how it plays around with the mythos of the series, the fans, the filmmakers, the notoriousness of it all ("You didn't let him watch your movies, did you?"), and the best parts involved the old movie, characters, and fun parallels ("Screw your pass," etc.). And, of course, it's neat to see Heather Langenkamp again. As I only like the first "Elm Street" and not the sequels or TV show, it is she that I most fondly associate with the series, not Robert Englund. There's something about her that I like, though I don't know what it is. It may just be her ordinary-ness, her non movie star quality. Does that make sense?
Wes Craven has something of an uneven body of work, but he's one of those who could make ten more stinkers like The People Under the Stairs, and I'd still like him. He's got a personality, I guess, like Langenkamp does, that is unexplainable. And Scream certainly helps. He plays himself in this film, and he does a surprisingly nice job, as does the rest of the cast. Pet Sematary's Miko Hughes plays Heather's son, but sometimes I wanted to smack him. Sorry.
It was good to see John Saxon here again.
Even with all this neat stuff and all the hard work Craven put into this film, Krueger still remains less scary than he was before he was diluted by sequels and the TV show (not to mention cartoons, comics, breakfast cereals, Halloween costumes, and Elm Street prophylactics ["don't you create a bastard son of a thousand maniacs"]). My theory was that killers are scarier when they don't say anything at all (take Michael Myers, or Jason, or the Terminator), and the more they talk, the easier it is for us to shrug them off. It may not even be that, either. There was simply some magic in the first Nightmare on Elm Street, that never reared its head again.
I'd Recommend It To: Fans of the first film, (definitely) before I'd recommend any of the other sequels.
The tyranist's thoughts
Right up front you should know that I refuse to call this movie "Wes Craven's" because we all know it is. To me it is A Nightmare on Elm Street 7 or more simply New Nightmare. It is kind of fun to watch the evolution of a film series. Some of them, like the James Bond series, stay pretty much the same. Some get better, like the Lethal Weapon series. Some get better and then worse again, like the Prom Night series. Some get much worse as the series progresses, like the Friday the 13th series. And some just fluctuate wildly, like the Halloween series. The A Nightmare on Elm Street series was firmly headed down the gets worse path when this movie was made. Suddenly, it was interesting again. For the first time in years, Freddy wasn't just a laughable villain who we were expected to cheer for. Instead, he was really invading our world and was threatening again. I don't suppose that this will hold up to to many viewings, but it is a pleasant surprise when you've been enduring the rest of the series. In fact, it is almost enough to just watch the first and seventh entries.
Total Skulls: 12
|Rips off earlier film|
|Horror film showing on TV/in theater in movie||A Nightmare on Elm Street|
|Future celebrity appears|
|Former celebrity appears|
|Girl unnecessarily gets naked|
|Death associated with sex|
|Unfulfilled promise of nudity|
|Characters forget about threat|
|Power is cut|
|Phone lines are cut|
|Someone investigates a strange noise|
|Someone runs up stairs instead of going out front door|
|Camera is the killer|
|Victims cower in front of a window/door|
|Victim locks self in with killer|
|Victim running from killer inexplicably falls|
|Toilet stall scene|
|Car stalls or won't start|
|Cat jumps out|
|Stupid discovery of corpse|
|No one believes only witness|
|Crazy, drunk, old man knows the truth|
|Music detracts from scene|
|Death in first five minutes|
|x years before/later|
|Dark and stormy night|
|Killer doesn't stay dead|
|Killer wears a mask|
|Killer is in closet|
|Killer is in car with victim|
|Villain is more sympathetic than heroes|
|Blood hits camera|
|Poor death effect|
|No one dies at all|
|Little kid lamely survives|
|Dog/Pet miraculously survives|
|"It was all a dream" ending|
|Unbelievably happy ending|
|Unbelievably crappy ending|
|What the hell?|