Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994)

wes cravens new nightmare poster 1994 movie
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 7/10

Clever post-modern story

It is hard for actors to play themselves, hospital and end sequence run too long

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Wes Craven’s New Nightmare

Studio:  New Line Cinema

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  October 14, 1994

MPAA Rating:  R

wes cravens new nightmare heather langenkamp miko hughes

“Dylan, I guess Mommy shouldn’t tell you that Freddy used the bed sheets to kill someone in the first movie…”

Heather Langenkamp (playing herself) is suffering nightmare of her past as an actress in A Nightmare on Elm Street. When she learns that Wes Craven (also playing himself) is working on a new script to bring back Freddy Krueger, Heather wonders if the nightmares that she and other cast members like Robert Englund (playing himself) are tied. After her husband Chase (David Newsom) is killed under mysterious circumstances and her son Dylan (Miko Hughes) begins to suffer walking nightmares, Heather questions if the darkness in Wes Craven’s new script is coming alive.

Directed by Wes Craven, Wes Craven’s New Nightmare was well received by critics but did poorly at the box office. Shot under the title of A Nightmare on Elm Street 7: The Ascension, the movie is generally considered the last entry in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise started in 1984.

wes cravens new nightmare freddy in the sky

It’s Freddy in the Sky with Diamonds!

I like Wes Craven’s New Nightmare. With A Nightmare on Elm Street and A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, I think this is one of the best of the series (ironically, a similar plot was pitched for A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 and denied). The post-modern approach to the script was very original and shows the seeds of Wes Craven’s Scream series. While there is little true Freddy in the film, the spirit and fun of the original film (more so than any of the sequels…even Dream Warriors) is felt here.

The movie is a bit trapped by Heather Langenkamp who never was the best actress but she does an ok job with what she has. It probably is almost more difficult for an actor to play a fictional version of themselves than a character, and Wes Craven, John Saxon, and Robert Englund (who plays a duel role as Freddy within the movie) all are forced to play themselves. Other cameos include Nick Corri from A Nightmare on Elm Street and Tuesday Knight from A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master who appear at the funeral scene.  Allegedly Wes Craven wanted Johnny Depp to appear but ask because he didn’t want to be turned…Depp however said he would have done it.

wes cravens new nightmare freddy demon scene robert englund

Gee…remember when Freddy was a demon? Neither do I…

Since it is set in the real world and Freddy isn’t a major player in the script, there are few of the crazy special effects or deaths that are often expected in A Nightmare on Elm Street film. The movie relies more on jumps and sudden scares. The hospital scenes get a bit boring and it stumbles a bit toward the end, but for the most part, it keeps moving despite the change in momentum from other sequels.

Wes Craven’s New Nightmare is flawed, but an interesting and fun attempt to switch up the Nightmare on Elm Street series. I enjoy the change for a tired series that needed a recharge. With this film, Freddy disappears and doesn’t return until Freddy vs. Jason in 2003.

Related Links:

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2:  Freddy’s Revenge (1985)

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3:  Dream Warriors (1987)

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4:  The Dream Master (1988)

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5:  The Dream Child (1989)

Freddy’s Dead:  The Final Nightmare (1991)

Freddy vs. Jason (2003)

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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