Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994)

After the disappointing “Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare,” New Line Cinema decided to make another “Nightmare on Elm Street” movie and return the series to its creator, Wes Craven, who here manages to infuse the long-running franchise with a breath of fresh air: Turning the concept of horror sequelization on its head, the movie features the original cast members playing themselves in a new Freddy Krueger movie only to find themselves under siege in their personal lives by the wisecracking demon. It’s an ingenious way to send off the series, not to mention a great reward for longtime fans of the series, but even better is the fact that it’s a serious, well-done movie. The screenplay is tight, the special effects are solid, and the acting is engaging and sincere. It’s particularly fun to watch original star Heather Langenkamp return as herself, as Langenkamp is a warm, charming and believable screen presence. The finale sputters a bit in the end, but getting there is a lot of fun.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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