Take a Drink: for each call
Take a Drink: for each meta flourish
Take a Drink: whenever Dylan speaks freakily
Take a Drink: for each dream sequence of course
Take a Drink: for each murder (also of course)
Do a Shot: for cellular telephone devices
Do a Shot: Quade!
By: Henry J. Fromage (Four Beers) –
While they didn’t know it quite yet, the MTV generation wanted something new from their horror movies, and Wes Craven was about to deliver it to them. Two years before he shook up the horror landscape with Scream, he put in a bit of a practice run with his triumphant return to his then-flagship franchise thoroughly ruined by five increasingly terrible sequels.
In New Nightmare, he sets the action in a reasonable facsimile of our world. Heather Langenkamp stars as… Heather Langenkamp, scream queen extraordinaire who’s still doing press junkets with Robert Englund because the public’s love of Freddy Krueger (the character) refuses to die. Turns out that’s not the only thing that refuses to die…
Robert Englund is once again a highlight, but for pretty different reasons- his dual role as Freddy and, well, Robert Englund. Besides Lankenkamp’s self-starring role, franchise maven Wes Craven himself appears as himself. The plot, you see, hinges on them bringing back the team that delivered the classic original, because it turns out Freddy is an ancient demon that can only be controlled via the medium of storytelling. Just roll with it.
The way Craven twists this self-referential plot into a commentary of the somewhat baffling popularity of his child-molesting burn victim monster is very entertaining, and he gets to dig into the fabric of horror movies themselves in a way that clearly whetted his appetite enough to later make the Scream films.
Little touches like the return to the set of the first film are very, very nice, and the updated Freddy look is suitably nasty, and, at first, a far cry from the increasingly cartoonish sequels…
… until it isn’t. Wow, it becomes a fucking cartoon, and the wonky special effects and the overbearing score, laid on nice and thick, don’t help.
Suck on this, Tex Avery.
Disappointingly, after the inspired super-meta beginning, Craven feels obligated to deliver a slasher flick… and one that closely follows the same old boring template he was just lampooning. Who gives a shit about Freddy Krueger’s origins or, honestly, any of the mythology built up til now?
The kid… goddamn the kid playing Dylan was a terrible actor. I’m not even going to look up his name, because I’m afraid to learn what happened to him.
Man, what a little dumbass.
Wes Craven would eventually nail the cheeky, meta approach to the horror genre that he was going for with Scream. New Nightmare… is not quite there.