Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 1994. New Line Cinema. Screenplay by Wes Craven, based on his characters. Cinematography by Mark Irwin. Produced by Marianne Maddalena. Music by J. Peter Robinson. Production Design by Cynthia Kay Charette. Costume Design by Mary Jane Fort. Film Editing by Patrick Lussier. Independent Spirit Awards 1994. Toronto International Film Festival 1994.
Ten years after Wes Craven’s original hit became a staple franchise of the genre, Heather Langenkamp enjoys a healthy life as a somewhat popular actress living in California with her husband and son. She’s also being plagued by nightmares having to do with the character of Freddy Krueger, but when she runs into actor Robert Englund, all seems to be perfectly normal, so why is she having bad dreams and why is her son starting to behave in an odd manner? This meta-narrative fancy has Langenkamp looking up former colleagues (including Craven himself) and asking if they are also experiencing weird events, as tragedies begin to mount up in her life and the terrifying visions she has in her sleep spill over into reality. Craven, disappointed in a great number of the sequels that followed his blockbuster, does a terrific job of skewering the nightmarish process of Hollywood while at the same time delivering ghoulish delights to his audience hungry for more of Krueger’s disgusting mischief. Funny, entertaining and frequently shocking even if it isn’t wholly terrifying, this intelligent reaction to the popularity of the genre covers all of its bases without ever biting the clawed hand that feeds it, plus has some nifty scenes of special effects and a handful of effective performances.