WES CRAVEN’S NEW NIGHTMARE (1994) Reviews and overview


‘This time staying awake won’t save you’

Wes Craven’s New Nightmare – aka New Nightmare – is a 1994 American slasher horror feature film written and directed by Wes Craven, the original creator of A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Although it is the seventh film in the franchise, it is not part of the series continuity, instead portraying Freddy Krueger as a fictional movie villain who invades the real world, and haunts the cast and crew responsible for his films.

Wes Craven’s New Nightmare features various people involved in the movie industry playing themselves, including actress Heather Langenkamp, who is compelled by events in the narrative to reprise her role as Nancy Thompson. New Nightmare features several homages to the original film such as quotes and recreations of the most famous scenes.

Heather Langenkamp lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband Chase and their young son Dylan. She has become popular thanks to her role as Nancy Thompson from the Nightmare on Elm Street film series.

One night, Heather has a nightmare that her family is attacked by a set of animated Krueger claws from an upcoming Nightmare film, where two workers are brutally murdered on set. Waking up to an earthquake, she spies a cut on Chase’s finger exactly like the one he had received in her dream, but she quickly dismisses the notion it was caused by the claws.

Heather receives a call from an obsessed fan who quotes Freddy Kruger’s nursery rhyme in an eerie, Freddy-like voice. This coincides with a meeting she has with New Line Cinema where she is pitched the idea to reprise her role as Nancy in a new Nightmare film which, unbeknownst to her, Chase has been working on…


“Serious fans of horror movies relate only in a secondary way to the chills themselves; they’re connoisseurs of the genre, the special effects, the makeup, the in-jokes. They’re going to love this movie, which seems to have been made not only for but by Fangoria fans. But it also works for general audiences.” RogerEbert.com

New Nightmare is that rare horror film in which everything works. The performances are pitch perfect, lead by a tour-de-force performance by the amazing Langenkamp. The script is full of twists and turns and the movie is quite possibly the best looking of the entire series.” Slasher Studios

“Don’t come into “NOES 7” for blood and guts, or even scares and thrills. It’s neither very bloody or very scary, but it does make for a fine capper to a highly imaginative franchise. It’s good to see both Craven and Langenkamp back, both terribly important additions that only true fans of the series can appreciate.” Beyond Hollywood

Wes Craven’s New Nightmare isn’t about Freddy haunting a film set, which actually might have been fun. It’s about Heather Langenkamp, star of the original Nightmare on Elm Street, being menaced for two long, slow hours by earthquakes, cracks in the wall, and other weary portents of doom.” Entertainment Weekly

“The movie has all the scary trademarks too, from alarmingly shrill telephones to boo! effects to the usual, Dante-meets-MTV descent into hell. “New Nightmare” is designed to please just about everybody—from diehard “Elm Street” fans to the series’s most confirmed enemies. The good news is not that Freddy’s back. It’s that Craven is back.” Washington Post

Cast and characters:

  • Heather Langenkamp as herself and Nancy Thompson
  • Robert Englund as himself and Freddy Krueger
  • Miko Hughes as Dylan Porter
  • John Saxon as himself and Lt. Donald Thompson
  • Tracy Middendorf as Julie
  • David Newsom as Chase Porter
  • Fran Bennett as Doctor Christine Heffner
  • Wes Craven as himself
  • Robert Shaye as himself
  • Marianne Maddalena as herself
  • Sam Rubin as himself
  • Sara Risher as herself
  • Claudia Haro as a New Line Cinema receptionist
  • Matt Winston and Rob LaBelle as Chuck and Terry, two special effects workers
  • W. Earl Brown as Morgue attendant
  • Lin Shaye as Nurse with pills
  • Nick Corri as himself; Corri played Rod in the original film and is silently present during the funeral scene
  • Tuesday Knight as herself; Knight played Kristen in the fourth film and is silently present during the funeral scene

Fun Facts:

Written with the working title A Nightmare on Elm Street 7: The Ascension, Wes Craven set out to make a deliberately more cerebral film than recent entries to the franchise—which he regarded as cartoonish and not faithful to his original themes. The basic premise originated when Craven first signed on to co-write Dream Warriors, but New Line rejected it then.

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