Wes Craven knew how to correctly kill off Freddy Kruger (Robert Englund). Instead of making another installment set in the fictional world why not bring Freddy to ours? After the disappointment that was Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), Craven returned to the director chair for the the first time since his original masterpiece to fix the damage that had been done to the series. We get to see Craven, Robert Englund, John Saxon, and Heather Langenkamp all portray themselves in a world where Nightmare on Elm Street is just a film franchise. It’s a really cool and inventive sequel that has a lot of fun with the premise and tries to make Freddy scary again.
Heather Langenkamp is the focus in New Nightmare. Few are slain by Freddy but when they are, they are characters that matter and people that Heather cares about as well. Her son, Dylan (Miko Porter) is also having nightmares about Kruger and it makes him all sorts of creepy. In New Nightmare Kruger was given a slick, new design. His face is much more dark and there seems to be less skin left from when he was burned alive by the parents of Elm Street. His iconic glove also looks like it is one with his hand connected to his bones and everything. The CGI used in this movie isn’t really the best an looks a little goofy; but it doesn’t take away from the experience too much as they use practical effects too (like that great scene with Kruger’s tongue).
Overall, New Nightmare is a really interesting and original premise for the Elm Street series. It was a good way to temporarily end the franchise for nine years; finally ending the series for good with Freddy vs. Jason (2003). After the original Nightmare this would probably have to be my favorite. I think Craven succeeded at making a sequel that managed to not disregard continuity and instead, just made a movie disconnected from the whole entire series.