#17 – Countdown to Halloween: WES CRAVEN’S NEW NIGHTMARE

As a Freddy Krueger fan, New Nightmare is one of my favorite films. The story behind this movie is absolutely unique and creepy.

The Plot: New Nightmare revolves around Heather Langenkamp, who plays herself in this movie. She has a family: A husband, Chase, who works in special effects (played by David Newsom) and a son, Dylan, (played by Miko Hughes) who is absolutely adorable. Heather tries to keep Dylan from seeing her movies (her involvement in the Nightmare on Elm Street series was major), but throughout the movie, it becomes an impossibility.

Heather’s husband Chase is, as it shows in the beginning of the movie, working on special effects for the new ‘Freddy Kruger’ film that is being kept a secret from Heather.

He didn’t tell her anything about it because Wes Craven hadn’t had time to approach her about it yet. When he does, she is reluctant to be involved at all. She learns that his previous films were written based on actual dreams that he had. He told her that only she could play this part for the new movie, as he was dreaming about her, not Nancy (her character in Nightmare).

Heather is getting harassing phone calls and letters in the mail throughout the movie. They are by someone using the Freddy Krueger voice, and the police are aware of this. She gets a call late at night, and asks her husband to come home. He heads out, exhausted, and “falls asleep at the wheel” on the way home. Although this was his listed cause of death, what REALLY happened was that he began to fall asleep and Freddy attacked him in his dream. He was raked from his chest to his lover abdomen. Heather sees this when she goes to identify the body. It is extremely strange, though, that the medical examiner was seemingly unimpressed by the four deep long cuts through his body. Hmm…

When Heather takes Dylan to the park, he stands on top of the jungle gym reaching for the sky. He said it was to get closer to his dad. Heather does not deal with this well. When she goes to talk to Robert Englund (the man who plays Freddy in this and all of the other films), he explains that he has been having dreams. Also, that Wes is dreaming and that is how he is writing this script as well. Heather learns that Wes is to the part where “Dylan reaches for the sky”.

Heather is disturbed by this and tried at all cost to protect Dylan. He is sleep-walking, but also not sleeping very much. He has a toy dinosaur, “Rex”, who is there to protect him. When Dylan gets taken to the hospital due to his sleeplessness, Heather is looked at as a possible threat to him, and is not let back into his room. He wants his stuffed dinosaur, so he sleepwalks out of the building (is being carried by Freddy), and Heather sees him and catches him when Freddy drops him out of the sky.

When they are home, Dylan leaves a trail of sleeping pills, symbolizing bread crumbs, under the covers to find him in his dreams. She takes them and protects him after first going into Freddy’s nightmarish dream world.

The most impressive part of this film is how they made it seem like this was all happening to Heather in real life. I love that Wes and Robert played themselves, making the whole thing more believable. Forcing Heather to play Nancy one more time was incredible to watch. They picked the perfect former cast member to base this movie on, since she was in the very first of the series.

Overall, I give this movie a 4/5. I did not like the husband actor. I thought he was weak. Also, the babysitter seemed like she was not reacting appropriately to what was going on around her. I was almost relieved when her character died. The rest of this movie was phenomenal.

And for more Countdown to Halloween – Click Here

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