A Nightmare A Day: Day 7 (Wes Craven’s New Nightmare)

Director: Wes Craven (Scream, and of course all of the sequels, Music Of The Heart (seriously)

Budget: $8million

US Box Office: $19.7million

  • So this is it. Super excited for this. If I remember correctly this is one of the most meta horror films until Scream practically made it essential.
  • Starts on a movie set. Always fun.
  • Heather Langenkamp is back, she was Nancy in the first and third films. Side note, her and her husband now have a special effects/Make-up business and have worked on Cabin In The Woods, Dawn Of The Dead and Angels and Demons. And here she is, having her on-screen husband show her on screen son special effects and make-up.
  • “it must have been picked up by an AD’s walkie talkie”. If that’s the case then you really need to work on your safety precautions.
  • Possible two deaths here, but not counting them as we’re not sure if they actually die. We see some of the effects from the nightmare, but not on the two supposed dead, so I’m not counting it. Basically: the previous scene was a dream, the claw came to life and killed two tech guys. Tech guys always die on set, we had four set guys crushed to death by a giant clock during Projector. But how else were we supposed to get a clear shot of a clock? Do a close up? Pfft, amateur hour.
  • “you were probably half awake and saw I got my finger cut, dreams are like that”.  He’s true, dreams are strange.
  • Someone phones her home phone and quote Freddy at her. Come on, man, if you’re going to be an abusive dickweasel and abuse people over the phone at least be original.
  • “you played that girl in that movie with the guy with the pfft” wow, it’s like you’ve known her all your life.
  • “I’m hardly a star” Come on, you’re in the back of a limo, you’re clearly either a star or 10 teenage girls.
  • “that movie’s the best, when all that blood comes out of your boyfriends bed” Creepy limo driver is creepy.
  • “we’re approaching the 10th anniversary of the original nightmare on elm street, five very popular sequels” yeah but only four of those sequels were any good.
  • “is there going to be another sequel?” How would she know she was just the actress, you know she didn’t write any of that shit right?
  • “would you trust your co-worker with your son?” What the f*ck is this dude implying? He does know there’s a difference between reality and fiction right? That’s like saying you wouldn’t trust Anthony Hopkins to make you dinner.
  • Ewww, he just touched her legs.
  • It’s odd seeing the hero worship of Freddy, I don’t just mean in this film, I mean in real life. There were actually children’s halloween costumes of Freddy. I mean, really think about that. There were children dressing up as a child molester. That would be like forcing immigrants to wear a UKIP badge (whereas we all know UKIP would much prefer if they wore yellow stars. Yeah, that’s right mother f*ckers, I’m making a holocaust reference)
  • Really cool shot of Robert Englund as Freddy standing in front of spotlights, the lights making his claws look like they stretch out into the infinite abyss. Seriously cool shot that I would love to emulate one day.
  • “just because it’s a love story doesn’t mean you can’t have a decapitation or two”. Considering our first film was a love story set during a school shooting, we wholeheartedly agree with that motto.
  • Oh, those deaths did happen. Time of first and second deaths: 5 minutes I guess? No video available online though.
  • Heather seems really confused by the concept of someone wanting to talk to her.
  • The kid was scared shitless today, and now you’re reading him Hansel and Gretel.
  • Oh, she’s aware of this, but the kid likes the story. Thereby backing up my theory that kids are stupid.
  • “And then their father covered them with kisses and they were safe” I dunno, didn’t Freddy used to do that to people too? (minus the safe part)
  • The kid is guarded by a dinosaur. Well done, kid, guarded by a species known for being dead. Smart move. Kids are stupid.
  • Time of third death: 30 minutes. Heather’s husband falls asleep whilst driving and Freddy kills him. Little sympathy for this death, he fell asleep whilst driving, he deserves to die, I’m just grateful he didn’t kill anyone else. The death isn’t available online.
  • Heather falls asleep at the funeral. I swear, half the near deaths in these films wouldn’t occur if people had some god damn common courtesy.
  • Heather gets scared when her son Dylan climbs something very high in a park and falls off whilst she’s talking to someone. That’s not Freddy, that’s just bad parenting.
  • Robert Englund makes a creepy painting of Freddy. But for some reason he doesn’t seem to realise it until he’s finished painting. This would be like me writing a story, getting to the very end then reading it and going “holy shit, this is a story about a girl called Sybil. How did that happen?” it’s like, “bitch you were creating it so could have guessed what it was like 10% of the way through.
  • Only just realised. This film didn’t have any opening credits.
  • In a nod to the original, Heather gets tongued by the phone.
  • “you haven’t shown him any of your films have you, the horror stuff? She’s done other films you know!
  • “sometimes what a child says will give a clue to what ails him” You mean, speak to someone to find out what’s wrong with them? Genius!
  • So Wes Craven is writing about a genuine ancient demon who has attached himself to the series. I dunno, even ancient demons wouldn’t want to be seen with the franchise after the abomination that was The Final Nightmare
  • “I think the only way to stop him is to make another movie” That’s how I deal with problems too.
  • They literally just showed the conversation they just had as being part of the script Craven is writing. Nice. The middle-est of high fives.
  • Okay, those special effects death were definitely genuine. Either that or they were coincidentally slashed to death.
  • “Dylan’s in an oxygen tent right now” and you didn’t think to tell the mother? The medical staff in these films are the worst.
  • “Freddy, the man from your films?” Bitch she was only in two of them, and her appearances weren’t consecutive. If you want to be annoyed at anyone be annoyed at Lisa Wilcox, she was in both 4 and 5 (before she started a footwear jewellery retailers called ToeBrights with her fellow Nightmare On Elm Street 4 cast member Tuesday Knight, true story).
  • “every kid knows who Freddy is, he’s like Santa or King Kong”. Yeah but now everything thinks of King Kong as something Peter Jackson did, and f*ck that (apparently, I haven’t seen it, but haven’t heard good things).
  • The babysitter Julie attempts to stab a nurse with a syringe “i don’t know what’s in this one, do you?” I like her. She’s fun, adorable and strange
  • She’s going to die isn’t she?
  • Time of death: 80 minutes. Julie dies in a kind of cool homage to a death in the original, being made to crawl along the ceiling and walls. It’s pretty cooler here though through a much better use of angles.
  • A nurse seems surprised by the concept of sleepwalking.
  • Only just figured out that when Heather phoned Robert Englund, the button tones created the original theme song. Nice
  • “hey man, is she okay” Yeah, that’s right everyone, worry about the adult in the middle of the road, not the child that’s also in the middle of the road. I mean, I get it, kids are dispensable, but still, rude!
  • One of the actors (playing himself) slips into his character from the first film. This would have been more effective if they did it earlier I think. This is the main event that causes Freddy to come into reality, and it occurs almost an hour and a half into the film. That’s longer than some of the original films. I get you want a slow build etc, but if you kill two people in the opening scene you can’t then switch to a slow burn. You have to chose between the two, either immediate deaths or slow burn. Can’t have both. This is why the second and third ones worked out so well for me, they were really slow burners but they didn’t feel the need to attempt to “make up” for it by killing off loads of people in the second half, they maintained the pace throughout and were all the better for it. Although I don’t think this film had opening credits so it’s possible this is all just a massive pre-credits sequence.
  • Heather slides down a concrete water path. That was either super fun or super painful to film.
  • Heather is literally reading from the script, incorrectly. “There was only….her….life” she doesn’t pause between the her and life. I don’t think she should either, but that’s how it was written.
  • Freddy looks more tendon-ey and less burn-ey in this one.
  • Freddy, destroyer of dreams, haunter of nightmares, stopped by a small gap.
  • Damnit Freddy stop tonguing children.
  • Snakes, why did it have to be snakes?
  • Freddy wraps his tongue around Heather in a scene that’s actually ridiculous and renders all comments that this film is a dark and serious one moot.
  • Dylan stabs Freddy in the tongue. That’s not the cool part, the cool part is the psycho music playing in the background.
  • More awful special effects.
  • They all go home and find a script which details pretty much exactly what happened.
  • Music comes in far too loudly after quietness. Not in a “jump scare” way, more in a “that was awkward” kind of way.

Actually disappointed with this film. It’s quite meta but isn’t really meta enough. And the whole notion of it being a script brings up interesting ideas about the concept of free will which the film doesn’t seem to pick up on (second time that’s happened in this series). It’s definitely better than the last one, but I don’t like it quite as much as the first few. Luckily Craven would perfect the meta analysis of horror with Scream (which is what I’m thinking of doing for this blog series next halloween). It just seems tonally uneven, uncertain if it wants to go for suspense or gore. It either needed ramp up the deaths (otherwise the opening half hour is basically a woman being scared by two people not turning up to work) or go the other way and make us doubt whether it’s happening or whether she’s just having hallucinations. The characters in the film think she’s just gone crazy, but what if we, the audience did to? It would tell us a lot about the pressures put on scream queens, people who are known for being the scared victim. Overall I think it’s a very good idea that just needed slight tweaking. A part of this is probably the potential, and the advertising campaign. It promises something a lot darker, a lot grittier, but in truth a lot of it is just more of the same. It promises darkness and then just hits the dimmer switch slightly.

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