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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 falling off.
Artistic Licence: Heather's TV interview. The presenter asks her questions and then cuts her off before she's had a chance to say more than a couple of sentences. Any presenter with proper training would know that cutting the subject off while they're answering a question is a big no-no.
Based on a Dream: invoked Wes Craven explains to Heather Langenkamp that he is plagued by horrible nightmares of the Entity trying to break into the real world as Freddy Krueger. He writes the script for the movie, which somehow gives shape to reality itself, based on these dreams.
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.
Child Eater: Freddy tries to eat Heather's son Dylan alive before she stops him.
Clap Your Hands If You Believe: A real supernatural entity tries to use the belief in and popularity of Freddy Krueger to manifest in the real world, adopting Freddy's identity. Wes Craven (playing himself) explains that stories, and people's belief in them, have always been the bridge between the real world and the supernatural.
Clipped Wing Angel: When the archetype behind Freddy is defeated—in the humiliating way it had already been once before as the witch in the story of Hansel and Gretel — as it burns away, it briefly turns into its demonic-looking true form, and a fat load of good that does it.
Collapsing Lair: The ruins where the climax takes its place start exploding when "Freddy" is defeated.
Darker and Edgier: The film was a very conscious shift away from the camp of the later Nightmare sequels, and was probably the least humorous film in the series outside the original.
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 that 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 it works in not only Heather's real-life experiences with a stalker, but also the 1994 Northridge earthquake, which happened during filming. 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 ten years and believes himself to be Freddy. Because Heather played Nancy, Freddy's enemy, in the first and third movie, he believes that Heather is Nancy and that he has to kill her in order to cross over into the real world for good. Wes Craven himself lampshades this.
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.
Faux Shadow: Wes Craven said on the commentary track that he had deliberately made two characters seem, very subtly, to be possible villains in disguise. He did this by introducing them with "was it really a false alarm or just foreshadowing?" moments, and by making their performances seem suspicious. One is a babysitter (who in the original draft of the screenplay was in league with Uber Freddy) and the other is a slimy chauffeur. Neither of them turns out to be either a villain or a threat: the babysitter ends up dying to save Dylan and the chauffeur is never seen again after his one introductory scene.
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.
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: being shoved into a lit furnace in its lair like the Witch from Hansel and Gretel.
Neck Snap: Freddy kills Julie by breaking her neck after dragging her up to the ceiling and disemboweling her.
Wham Line: Heather knows something is seriously wrong when John Saxon calls her "Nancy" and acts like he's really her father.
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.