Freddy Krueger is alive and well and raising hell one more time in West Craven’s New Nightmare, an ingeniously conceived and devilishly clever opus that proves Freddy’s Dead wasn’t so aptly named after all.
Craven’s audacious conceit is that his first Nightmare (1984) and the five sequels were works of fiction that inadvertently summoned, and briefly contained, a real supernaturally evil force. After Krueger was decisively killed in the series finale, the evil force was freed to wreak havoc on an unsuspecting world. For that reason, Craven explains while playing himself in the pic’s most darkly comical sequence, he simply must make another Nightmare pic.
Heather Langenkamp, star of the first Nightmare, returns to star as Heather Langenkamp, an actress who has a devoted cult following for her performance in Nightmare on Elm Street. She’s still on good terms with her Nightmare sequel, despite lucrative offers made by real-life New Line Cinema exec Robert Shaye and producer Sara Risher.
Unfortunately, even though she wants no part of another Freddy pic, Freddy just won’t stay out of her life. And her dreams. When Langenkamp seeks help from Craven, the writer/director admits he is transforming those nightmares into a new script.
Englund once again is in bravura form as Freddy, playing as much for nasty laughs as unnerving shocks. Langenkamp proves she is still one of cinema’s most resourceful scream queens.