The Last House on the Left
The Hills Have Eyes
The Serpent And The Rainbow
The People Under The Stairs
Any two of those movies on a director’s biography would would warrant them a “Master of Horror”. But there is one legacy with which the late Wes Craven cemented his place in horror’s upper tier, and that is Freddy Krueger and A Nightmare on Elm Street.
But the nightmare didn’t end there, and while numerous sequels (after the disastrous part 2, Freddy’s Revenge a uniquely homoerotic spin on the source material) had a smart and well-defined set of “rules” established by New Line producer Mike De Luca, most didn’t have the same punch as the original. Part 3 is pretty good. Regardless, they made money, and the studio was happy to keep churning them out.
Eventually though, the zeitgeist seemed to fade, and Freddy became less popular, less hip. And then Craven unearthed his grand creation for one last, meta-textual, dance.
Having Heather Langenkamp (star of the first and third Nightmare movies) playing herself with Craven and Robert Englund, Bob Shaye and John Saxon all playing “themselves” is fucking brilliant. Because Freddy really did became a huge deal, a Macy’s Parade, “Make a Wish” foundation level mega-star. And pumping the horror back into that idea, after years of soda commercial’s, and Fresh Prince videos, and late night talk show appearances- Freddy needed to be a threat again.
The trailer sets it up, well, and that last moment of the film burning? Excellent.