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Film: Wes Craven's New Nightmare

Wes Craven: I think the only way to stop him is to make another movie. Now I swear to you I'm gonna stay by this computer and keep writing until I finish the script, but... when the time comes, you're gonna have to make a choice.
Heather Langenkamp: Choice? What kind of choice?
Wes Craven: Whether or not you will be willing to play Nancy one last time.

Wes Craven's New Nightmare is the seventh A Nightmare on Elm Street film, released in 1994, ten years after the original.

In the real world, people behind the Elm Street films are preparing for a new installment. As this goes on, it becomes apparent that Freddy Krueger has seemingly come over the wall separating reality and fiction, and is now haunting the actress Heather Langenkamp, who played Nancy in the films.

Despite being one of the better received Elm Street films, the film wasn't as big at the box office, garnering 16 million dollars with its 8 million budget.

This film provides examples of:

  • Adult Fear: Although Heather's troubles are being caused by Freddy, they're based on real-world fears that don't actually require a supernatural presence. The doctors can't tell what's wrong with her son, her son wanders off into traffic, she loses her husband in a car accident, she's got a stalker and an earthquake damages her house.
    • Your young son climbing to the very top of a jungle gym will give any parent palpitations, much less him leaping off.
  • As Himself: Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, John Saxon, Robert Shaye and Wes Craven all appear as themselves. To keep with the "real world" theme, Freddy Krueger is also credited "as himself".
  • Badass Longcoat: Freddy is wearing one.
  • Big Bad: The Freddy Krueger in this film is one even moreso than the Freddy Krueger in the mainstream continuity. It is an ancient entity of evil, which according to Wes Craven has existed in various forms throughout history. It is therefore behind many other monsters, and has spread more misery and destruction than Freddy ever did, who's mostly confined to Elm Street.
  • Callback: Many to the first film and to the sequels. This includes the Freddy and Alice morphing head from The Dream Child appearing as a prop at the beginning and Robert Englund quoting the "You are all my children now!" line from Freddy's Revenge.
  • The Cameo: Jsu Garcia (who played Rod in the original film) and Tuesday Knight (who played Kristen in The Dream Master) appear in the funeral scene. Johnny Depp almost appeared as well, but Wes Craven didn't ask him.
  • Child Eater: Freddy tries to eat Heather's son Dylan alive before she stops him.
  • Collapsing Lair: The ruins where the climax takes its place start exploding when "Freddy" is defeated.
  • Credits Gag: Due to the metafictional nature of this film, Freddy Krueger is credited "As Himself".
  • Creepy Child: Dylan becomes one as the movie progresses.
  • Deconstruction: The theme of the film is the fact that, as one character says, “Every kid knows who Freddy is. He’s like Santa Claus, or King Kong," and also people have a hard time judging reality from fiction, such as Heather being asked if she would trust her son around Robert Englund, just because he's an actor who happens to play Freddy. Of course, the concept goes meta when not only is Heather's experiences with a stalker written in, but actually worked the real life Los Angeles earthquake that happened during filming into the plot. In the end, Craven considers Freddy just a fairy-tale (as seen with the tie-in to Hansel and Gretel, and Heather reading the script as if it were a storybook to her son.)
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Much of why this Ancient Evil is going after Heather, is because he was mode locked into being Freddy for 10 years and believes himself to be Freddy. Because Nancy, the character Heather played in the first and third movie is Freddy's enemy; he believes that in order to cross over into the real world for good, he has to kill Heather. Something Wes Craven himself lampshades.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Wes Craven bases the new Elm Street script on prophetic dreams.
  • Famous Last Words: Julie's "help me" right before Freddy snaps her neck. The palpable fear in her eyes and the sheer desperateness of the request, considering she's asking this to a five-year-old kid, are quite obvious.
  • Final Girl: Heather Langenkamp.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: This movie involved Freddy escaping into the "real world", so that a new movie had to be made to imprison him again.
  • Groin Attack: While "Freddy" is trying to attack Dylan, Heather stabs him in the balls.
  • Harassing Phone Call: Heather has received several, presumably from "Freddy".
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: "Freddy" wears a pair of leather pants.
  • Helping Hands: The opening nightmare has the new Freddy glove starting to move by itself and attacking two technicians.
  • In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It: Wes Craven attached his name to the title to announce his return to the franchise.
  • In Memoriam: The film is dedicated to the production designer Gregg Fonseca.
  • Jack the Ripoff: The entity masquerading as Freddy.
  • Looks Like Orlok: Freddy's new design resembles Orlok quite a bit, as he doesn't wear his hat as often, wears a long coat and has more curved and organic looking claws. At one point he mirrors the pose from the trope image, immediately before the Shout-Out mentioned below.
  • Mama Bear: Heather, this time for her own kid.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Robert Englund's fictional counterpart in this film is much like the real-life guy; talkative and jovial, and genuinely enjoys the villainous role he's playing.
  • Me's a Crowd: When Dylan is crossing the freeway, he sees a group of Freddys at the other side.
  • Mr. Exposition: Wes Craven serves to explain the entire plot to Heather Langenkamp (and by extension the audience). He tells her about the Entity that has taken on the form of Freddy Krueger, that it has been released due to the end of the movie series and is trying to cross over into reality, and that Heather is the only one who can stop him.
  • Murder by Cremation: How The Entity is beaten.
  • Neck Snap: Julie's death.
  • Overly-Long Tongue: "Freddy" attacks Heather with it.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: There was nothing about an earthquake in the script - until one hit during filming.
  • Real World Episode: New Nightmare, is about the making of a new "Elm Street" film, which is (unknowingly) done in order to keep the real Freddy demon from coming into the real world.
  • Ruins for Ruins' Sake: The climax takes place in there.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Robert Englund and his wife's apparent course of action.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Freddy Krueger himself, but he's not really "Freddy" so much as Evil Itself taking on the form of Freddy, and there needs to be a script made in order to contain it.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Freddy's shadow going by the wall is similar to the stair ascending scene from Nosferatu.
    • Freddy's defeat evokes "Hansel and Gretel".
  • Skunk Stripe: Heather Langenkamp gets one, much like her character Nancy.
  • Stock Sound Effects: "Breaking vase" sound can be heard during the onscreen earthquakes.
  • This Was His True Form: When the entity is seemingly destroyed at the end, it goes from looking like Freddy to a stereotypical demon.
  • Vertigo Effect: Used when the police visit Heather and inform her about Chase's death.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Heather vomits when she sees that claw marks on Chase's body.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The movie leaves it ambiguous what happens to Robert Englund. The last we see of him he seems to have become possessed by the Freddy Entity. It's unclear if Freddy ultimately took over his body to fight Nancy or not, and if he did, whether that means that Heather killed Robert.

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alternative title(s): New Nightmare; Wes Cravens New Nightmare
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