I’m back with
another attempt to capitalize on someone else’s popularity more Shocktober! Shocktober is a month long celebration of all this Halloween that was started by Stacy at Final Girl. It’s kinda like that part of the show where Martha Stewart shows pictures of the cakes made by the fans at home. I watched her 2nd film pick ATM, and honestly I can’t with that movie. I tried to review it, but I’m trying to be a better person this weekend and had nothing nice to say beyond it wasn’t so much terrible as painfully mediocre. I had hoped for a super bleak ambiguous ending and when that seemed to be the direction near the end, I was like oh well this justifies this dull ass trapped in the ATM vestibule thing. But then it just went on and on and explained all this stuff that we didn’t need explained. I hate when a movie keeps nudging you being like ‘get it? get it? this is exactly how it all went down!’. Like sorry movie, I figured this all out when you showed the same stuff during the opening credits.
As for her 3rd pick, Baby Blues. It does not appear to be on the Canadian Netflix, so far be it from me to feel included. Thanks Stephen Harper!
But lo and behold, Final Girl‘s attempt to “class up the joint” just happens to be as the kids used to say My Jam!
That’s right everyone one! The best meta horror deconstruction film of the 90s! If you said Scream in your head when you read that, go stand in the corner. The greatest meta horror deconstruction of the 90s is Wes Craven’s New Nightmare. I could literally spend a year of my life knocking on doors and spreading the good word of New Nightmare to the world. It’s just that good.
For those not in the know, Wes Craven’s New Nightmare tells the fictional story of a group of non-fictional people. Wes Craven returned to the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise with a film that tells a story that takes place in our world rather than in Springwood. Heather Langdenkamp who played Nancy Thompson, plays a fictionalized version of herself. She is plagued by some sort of stalker who sends bizarre letters and makes obscene phone calls, all inspired by Freddy Krueger. Soon her son (played by the same child actor who plays Gage in Pet Sematary), begins to exhibit bizarre behaviour after watching part of the first Nightmare film. As the nature of reality begins to warp, Heather struggles to save her family from a primordial evil which has manifested itself within the real world through the power of Freddy’s cult status.
The film is not only a pre-cursor to the meta horror that would become so popular starting with Scream. It is also a truly incredible thought experiment on the idea of Freddy Krueger as this icon that at the time had become like Elvis.
Going back and watching the movie, you realize that it’s not just Heather who is being subtly manipulated. Bob Shay head of Newline Cinema, Wes Craven and Robert Englund all play themselves in the film, to fantastic effect. From Englund playing the lovable ham who is seemingly haunted by nightmares of Freddy, to Bob Shay seemingly threatened into green lighting a new instalment in the franchise despite declaring Freddy Dead years prior. Craven gives a fantastic performance as this meta version of the horror miester who is writing the film as it happens to Heather.
The film itself is even structured similar to the franchise. We start off with the horror mostly centered on Heather’s home, before it travels to hospital to the dream/underworld.
Wes Craven’s New Nightmare is definitely a high water mark in the late Wes Craven’s career. A bit too high brow and smart for the fans that had grown to love the wisecracking asshole Freddy had become, the film didn’t get much recognition upon release. But it will always be the perfect end to a triple feature with of A Nightmare On Elm Street and Dream Warriors.