Friday, October 26, 2018

I Think the Only Way to Stop Him is to Make Another Movie.

What always scared (and fascinated) me about Freddy, as a kid, was the fact that after you learned about him as a viewer, nightmares about him were like the character reaching out to attack you personally. Seeing films, especially in a theater, puts the viewer in a dreamlike state, so in essence, Freddy Krueger is interacting with both the fictional and real world through film. This is the core of what Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994) touches on when it introduces another layer of reality into the mix and creates a film that isn’t exactly a sequel and is, in fact, something completely unique.

In New Nightmare, the previous Nightmare on Elm Street films are fictional. Actors and director play themselves…. well, fictionalized versions of themselves. The concept of Freddy is a device to keep an actual demon at bay. As long as it exists in a story it cannot do harm, but freed from its confines with Freddy’s Dead (1991) closing out the series, it now wants to keep from being trapped again in a new film. Unlike the quickly paced and often flippant tone of the later Nightmare films, New Nightmare is slow and ponderous, trying to give the feel of a real world slowly being invaded by something outside of normality. It’s a wonderful mix of meta-commentary on Freddy and horror in general as well as an effective ghost story. This is Nightmare on Elm Street at it’s most intelligent.

Freddy’s next appearance would be almost the polar opposite…

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