Wes Craven’s New Nightmare is based on a true story. Not really, but it’s still one of the most inventive horror movies made at the time. Just when you thought the A Nightmare on Elm Street series couldn’t come back from its mediocre sequels, Wes Craven makes this movie. What makes Wes Craven’s New Nightmare so unique is that it’s actually set in the real world. Where Freddy is a beloved fictional character that’s recently been killed off in the movie Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare.
Actress Heather Langenkamp, who played final girl Nancy Thompson, plays herself and so does Robert Englund who’s played Freddy since the beginning. Even director Wes Craven and a handful of actors/executives play themselves in the movie. After doing an interview for the movie’s 10 year anniversary, Heather starts getting nightmares and weird phone calls. So Wes Craven explains to her that Freddy Krueger is a real evil entity that’s drawn to his films. The only way to save her son is for her to play Nancy one last time and act out the original A Nightmare on Elm Street.
As bizarre as this idea is, it actually works very well. Wes Craven knew the only way to bring back better horror movies was to challenge the established formula. An idea that would give him great success 2 years later with Scream. He even saw it as an opportunity to portray Freddy the way he originally intended. As a serious killer with a trench coat and a skeletal bladed hand. It’s an interesting look, but its better he went with the design we all know today. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare is a nightmare come to life.