Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wes Craven’s New Nightmare

Ah, meta. It’s so full of meta-ness, with the… you know what? Let me start over.

So, Freddy was dead as of the last movie. It was, in fact, right there in the title. Which is all well and good, but the “final” chapter of any horror series is usually called that in hopes of getting people amped up for the super-special “return!” movie that comes right after.

In this case, however, it was kind of special, as the original writer and director, Wes Craven, came back to write and direct.

Then things take a weird turn, because of all the meta.

In this case, the gag is that Freddy, who is dead, is now trying to come off the silver screen and into the real world. So you’re watching a movie that is “no, seriously!” supposed to take place in the real world.

As a premise, it’s clever. In execution… well, let’s take a look, shall we?

We start off with a big, fat, callback-only-bigger moment, as a dude in a red and green sweater builds a mechanical hand, then attaches knives to it. Then chops his own hand off.

Then the scene changes a bit, so we can see that we’re on a movie set, being directed by Wes Craven, as a stand-in-Freddy shoves the mechanical hand onto his “stump.”

Nearby, Nancy is sitting around in her pajamas. Only she’s actually Heather, the actress who played Nancy. Because the film is meta. Are you following along?

Wes praises the guys who built the mechanical hand and executed the chop, and Heather’s husband offers to take their son, Dylan, who looks like he’s about six, on a tour to find scary movie props.

Heather, husband, and Dylan walk off the set, and now it’s possible to see all the cast and crew milling around, doing cast and crew-type things. Husband scares Dylan with the old reptile-hidden-in-the-popcorn box trick.

And the two guys who were operating the new Freddy hand get all crabby because the hand stopped working. They think it’s because of the fake blood. Husband gives them some fixin’ advice.

Husband goes to look at the hand, and Heather says she doesn’t like it. Husband says it puts food on their table, and goes to look closer. The hand claws him. One of the tech guys points out that the hand is “warm,” just like a real hand.

Then the hand jumps up and shoves itself into the throat of one of the tech guys. Things everywhere go haywire, with fire effects going off on the set. Husband smashes the radio control for the mechanical hand, but it’s too late. The thing has run off.

It attacks the other tech guy, and stabs him a lot.

Dylan calmly wanders away, and goes to sit on a bed. Two set guys, who for some reason don’t notice the screaming and thrashing going on nearby, walk by carrying a piece of set, and after they pass Dylan is gone.

The claw goes to attack husband. There’s a whole lot of screaming.

Heather wakes up. Yes, the whole thing was a dream about a movie set.

Husband is there, telling Heather to get up. It’s an earthquake, and it’s shaking the house.

They hear Dylan yelling downstairs, and they go to his room, jump on his bed, and hover over him, in an attempt to keep him safe.

The earthquake ends. Dylan sees that his dad has a cut on his hand. Heather wants to know where it came from. He says it came from a picture “or something” when it fell, and that it’s no big deal.

Later, the three of them semi-watch the news, which tells the audience that they had an “aftershock” of 5.3 on the Richter scale. Heather sees that Dylan has made a “face” in his oatmeal, though she doesn’t suss out that it looks like Freddy’s face.

Heather says she has to go, but that Julie will be staying with Dylan.

Heather talks to husband, whose name turns out to be Chase. Chase really does work in special effects. Heather uses this time to give us exposition explaining that there have been five earthquakes, plus she was getting harassing phone calls up until two weeks ago.

Chase asks if she’s still having nightmares, and Heather tells him an abbreviated version of all the things we just watched five minutes ago. Chase says that she was probably half-asleep, and saw Chase cut his fingers on the mirror, which she then “added” to her dream. In some way.

Chase says that if it will make her happy, he’ll skip his next job: Two days making soap bubbles for a detergent commercial. She sort of says, “No, okay, go” and then they kiss, and for a second there it looks like Dylan is going to get a sibling.

But no, the kiss ends and Chase heads off for 48 hours. In his words.

As Chase leaves, a series of cracks appear in the walls. Do they look like claw marks? Indeed they do.

Heather runs downstairs, and finds Dylan watching the original “Nightmare.” It’s the bit with Tina in the body bag, calling to Nancy. Heather says she doesn’t want Dylan watching that.

She unplugs the TV, and Dylan starts screaming. He stops when the phone rings.

Heather picks it up, and a voice says, “One, two.” Heather hangs up. The phone rings, she picks it up again, and the voice says, “Freddy’s coming for you.”

Heather hangs up the phone, runs to the front door, and tries to catch Chase before he leaves. But he’s already driving away in his truck.

Dylan says someone is coming, and there’s another aftershock.

There’s a knock at the door. It’s Julie, the nanny/babysitter-person. I know! How exciting is that?

Then the phone rings again, and Heather answers in a not-nice way, and of course it’s the limo guy. So Heather hangs up, goes to the door, and yells out to him that she’ll be there in just a minute.

Uh – he was on the phone. Why not just tell him then? I guess you could argue that she wanted to verify there was a guy actually there, but for all she knows her stalker is driving the limo.

Didn’t think of that, did you Heather?

Heather says she has a bad feeling, and her son tells her to stay home. But who listens to kids? Not desperate-for-work movie not-stars, I’ll tell you that.

Dylan walks off, and Julie and Heather talk about Heather’s “nerves,” and the phone calls, and the earthquakes, and then the phone rings again. Julie tells her not to answer it, but doesn’t offer to get the phone herself.

Heather picks up the phone. It’s the limo guy again, telling Heather they’re going to be late.

Dylan comes back. Heather says, “Dylan, I gotta go. Forgive me?” Dylan says bye, and gives Heather a hug.

Heather heads out, apologizing to Julie for her so-called nerves.

Heather goes to the limo. The driver lets her in, and they take off. Turns out he’s a fan, who recognizes Heather. Strangely, he doesn’t use the actual name of the movies. Or mention Freddy by name. Though he does say the first one is the best.

And of course, there’s the ever-popular meta-moment, when he calls her a star and she says she’s “hardly a star.” Tee-hee.

Heather gets there, almost late, and a PA races her into the studio, where a terrible, terrible, interviewer peppers her with questions about whether or not she’d let her son watch horror movies, and, “Is there going to be another sequel, and what’s more, is Freddy really dead?”

I realize this scene kinda-sorta has to happen in the movie, but honestly now, is there a reason she’s being interviewed? There doesn’t seem to be one. Why would some random interviewer just call her up and be all, “Hey, want to talk about those movies you haven’t been in for several years?”

Then things get strange. The interviewer asks if Heather would let her “co-star” baby-sit Dylan. Sadly, he doesn’t mean Johnny Depp. Though how awesome would that be?

Of course, the guy means Robert Englund, who then comes out onstage in full Freddy makeup while a bunch of people in the audience applaud and get super-excited over the whole thing. Strange, really, that everyone is dressed up for this “surprise” visitor. Maybe that’s the point.

Backstage after the show, Robert, no longer in full makeup, signs some autographs and has a lovely conversation with Heather where they joke about making a romantic comedy together. Possibly with a decapitation in it.

As Heather gets ready to go pretty much nowhere, unless there’s another limo that we can’t see, a PA hands her a phone and says it’s for her. It’s someone named Sara, from New Line Cinema. They have a “proposal” for Heather, but they have to tell her about it in person.

So the limo takes her over to New Line.

Heather goes to see Sara, who immediately hands her off to Bob. Bob is the producer of the Freddy movies. No, really. You can tell because he’s a really awful actor, even though he’s playing himself.

Bob tells Heather that Wes Craven (the writer and director of the movie we’re watching RIGHT NOW) called and said he had an idea to bring Freddy back, and that Heather is the star of the movie.

Heather says she’s flattered, but that she has a kid now. She’s not sure about doing horror. Bob says that kids love horror. It seems that if “Bob” has kids, Bob doesn’t like them very much.

Heather suddenly realizes something. She asks how long Wes has been working on the script. Bob says a couple months. Heather says, essentially, “Say, has anything strange been happening the last couple of months? Like strange phone calls?”

At which point, the phone starts to ring. Bob refuses to answer it, stating that they pay people to do that. Then he wonders why no one is picking up the phone. Maybe because you and Heather are the only people in your office, Bob. Just a thought.

Heather takes the limo home. As she steps out of the limo, she hears Dylan yelling from inside the house.

Dylan is lying on his bed, screaming. Julie is standing over him. Heather lifts up Dylan and he says, “Never sleep again.” In a freaky Donald Duck-type voice. Heather holds him, he wakes up, and Heather asks if he’s all right.

He says yes, “Rex saved me.” Rex is Dylan’s stuffed Tyrannosaurus Rex, which has a bunch of claw marks on it. It’s as if… well… you know, right? Meta!

Dylan asks if Rex is going to die, despite the fact that Rex is a stuffed animal. Heather promises that Rex won’t die. Something tells me that duct tape is going to get involved in this story.

Heather asks Julie to get the sewing kit. Julie and Dylan head off to do “surgery.” This is going to be bad.

Heather calls Chase, and says Dylan had an episode, and that he was “talking like Freddy.” She asks why Chase didn’t tell her he was working on a new Freddy glove, which is sitting in the foreground of the shot. And she tells Chase to come home.

Chase says okay and heads home. The camera, having moved around a bit, reveals that the glove has gone missing.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that Chase’s friends, who were murdered in Heather’s dream? They didn’t show up for work today.

Later than night, Heather reads the story of Hansel and Gretel to Dylan. As a bedtime story. Which, as we all know, is exactly the kind of thing you want to read to a child who’s losing it.

Heather also seems to think this is a problem, as she stops reading and asks why Dylan wants to hear it, and warns him that it’s going to give him nightmares. Dylan, all smiles, says, “I like this story.”

Honestly, this kid freaks me out.

Heather gets to the part where Gretel pushes the witch into the fire, and then says she’s going to stop reading. So Dylan finishes the passage from memory, then demands that Heather finish the story by telling how the kids got home.

Heather claims that they got home by following bread crumbs, and that their father was so happy to see them he gave them a bunch of kisses. Which doesn’t make any sense, because if I remember the story right, the reason they got lost was that birds ate their crumbs. And that their stepmother was the reason they had to go into the woods in the first place.

Sooo… we’re missing a few details there, Wes.

Anyhow, Heather sees that Dylan has something under the covers, making a big lump. Turns out it’s Rex, who keeps “him” away from Dylan. Who?

“The mean old man with the claws.”

Rex, by the way, was sewn up with some really thick red thread. Or yarn. Or something. There’s going to be scarring, assuming the wound is not already horribly infected and Rex doesn’t die from blood poisoning.

Heather says, “There’s nothing down there,” and they slide to the end of the bed, revealing the floor. Dylan says, “It’s different when you’re gone.”

Heather tucks him in, revealing Dylan’s dinosaur lamp and dinosaur sheets. Dylan asks if dad is coming home. Heather says yes, and Dylan says that dad can follow the bread crumbs. If the birds don’t eat them first.


Out on the highway somewhere, Chase is driving home. He’s falling asleep, and swerves into the wrong lane for a second. So he opens the window. He tries to turn up the music, but his station fades out.

He searches for a new station, but no luck. So he starts singing “Losing My Religion” to himself.

Freddy 2.0 claws push up out of the car seat, and a single claw pokes Chase softly in the groin. Which is just strange. Chase scratches himself, and the claws vanish, with no trace of damage to the car seat.

Chase falls asleep again, the new Freddy hand shoots out of the seat, and stabs Chase in the chest.

Chase’s truck careens towards a wall.

Heather wakes up. She fell asleep on the couch. Dylan is in the living room, asking if mommy is scared. Heather says, “Mommy’s fine,” and that it was just a bad dream.

Heather tells Dylan to go back to sleep, and he says he’s not sleepy.

The doorbell rings, and Heather goes to answer it. The police are there. They ask if Chase is her husband. There was “an accident.” Chase is dead.

Dylan wanders off in the middle of this conversation.

Heather says she wants to see Chase’s body, even thought he cops don’t recommend it.

She heads to the morgue, and wanders the hallways with the dead bodies sitting on gurneys. Somewhere, a woman is freaking out and screaming.

As she walks past a room, she hears someone operating something noisy and mechanical. It sounds like a saw.

She goes into that room, and asks for Chase. One of the men on duty takes her to him. The dude lifts the sheet, and she sees his face. And also the scratches on his chest. She throws up on the floor.

She asks what made those scratches. She says it looks like he was clawed. The dude says that’s why they usually don’t show anything past the face. Heather leaves without signing her paperwork.

There’s a funeral. Everyone is there, including Robert Englund, and the “Nightmare” producers. Odd. Must be one of them dream sequences.

There’s an earthquake, and the coffin opens up. Heather looks around, and Dylan is gone. She looks in the casket, and Freddy is in the bottom of it, along with Dylan. He pulls Dylan down.

Heather goes into the coffin and reaches through the “hole” at the foot of the casket. She reaches down, and grabs Dylan, and pulls him back up, while “Freddy” vanishes down the silk-covered hole.

Heather pokes her head into the hole, and pulls Dylan out. Then the corpse of Chase wakes up, and asks Heather to stay with him.

At which point, the dude who played Nancy’s dad in the original “Nightmare” wakes Heather up and points to Dylan, who is just fine. He’s sitting next to Julie. It seems that Heather passed out.

The priest wraps up the ceremony by hoping that Chase rests in peace, and that they all get home safely.

Robert stops Heather and says he’ll do anything he can to help. Heather says thanks, then walks off just as Wes Craven walks up.

Later that night, Heather wakes up from sleeping, and sees her son is watching TV downstairs. He’s watching the original “Nightmare…” on an unplugged TV. It’s Nancy’s first encounter with Freddy.

Heather waves a hand in front of Dylan’s face, but he doesn’t see it. He starts sleepwalking instead. Heather follows him, and he wakes up, screaming.

She tells him he needs to go back to bed, and he says he can’t sleep. Then he starts doing the Freddy chant. Heather asks where Dylan heard the song, and he says he heard it under the covers. “Way down there, with The Man. The Mean Man.”

The Man is always trying to drag you down, eh Dylan?

Dylan says that the mean man is trying to get into “our world.” Then his nose starts bleeding.

Heather takes him into the bathroom and cleans him up, while the camera shows us that the TV is off and like, totally unplugged.

Later, in bed, Dylan asks where daddy is, and Heather says daddy is in Heaven with God. Dylan asks why God lets there be bad things, and Heather says she doesn’t know.

Dylan then asks if Heather can come with him in his dreams. Heather says that only happens in movies (ha-ha!) but that she’ll be here when he gets back, and she won’t let anyone get his toes.

Dylan goes to sleep. Heather lies in bed with him and drinks coffee.

The next day, Dylan and Heather go to the park, and she talks to “John,” the dude who played her dad in the first “Nightmare.” She’s worried she’s crazy, and he tells her that she isn’t. She’s just had six weeks of stalker-calls, and that’s making her see Freddy in her dreams.

While those two yammer on, not at all concerned for the safety of the children around them, Dylan climbs to the very tippy-top of a metal rocket. He’s like thirty or forty feet in the air, and reaching for the sky. He falls.

Heather and John see him and run for him at the last minute, and Heather catches him. She asks if he’s all right, and he says, “God wouldn’t take me.”

John says, “It’s unbelievable.” No idea what that’s in reference to. That Dylan didn’t kill himself? That God didn’t take Dylan?

The next day, Heather checks her mail. She has a mysterious letter, which, inside the envelope, has a mysterious… um… letter. It’s a letter E, seared onto a piece of newsprint. She throws it in a drawer with a bunch of other letters that she didn’t turn over to the cops.

Heather calls Robert. They chat about her stalker. And about Heather’s Freddy dreams. Heather says that this Freddy isn’t Robert. He’s darker, and more evil. Robert guesses this before Nancy says anything about it.

Heather asks if Wes has talked to him about the script. Robert says Wes won’t show it to anyone until it’s done. Robert says he asked Wes about it, and Wes said he had reached the part where “Dylan is trying to reach God.”

Freaky, eh? Eh?

Heather’s freaked, anyway.

She tells Robert that they need to talk, but not over the phone. She asks if she can go to Robert’s house. Robert, who has been painting this entire time, says there’s something he has to finish.

We get to see his painting, which looks like the screaming souls from the “Nightmare” movies.

He agrees to meet Heather early the next morning, and they hang up. At Robert’s place, the camera pans up and there’s someone standing over the souls – Super Evil Freddy.

That night, Heather tries to sleep while her lamps tip back and forth, back and forth.

Downstairs, Dylan paces in the kitchen.

The house groans.

Then it all stops, and Nancy sleeps. The camera pans to the foot of the bed. Freddy claws pop up, and slide up towards Nancy. The new Freddy arm comes out of the bed. Nancy stirs in her sleep.

Downstairs, a bunch of cutlery falls to the floor. Heather wakes up, and sees the slashed sheets.

Downstairs, she hears Dylan doing the Freddy chant. Heather goes down to see him. She walks towards him. His hand is behind his back. There are knives taped to it, in a rather Freddy-like fashion.

Dylan slashes at Heather. She stumbles and tries to avoid being hit.

Then she wakes up. It’s morning. Or daylight. It’s a little unclear.

She hears Dylan chanting “Never Sleep Again” downstairs. He keeps saying it, over and over. Heather walks to him, and sees the letter from before on the floor. They spell out, “Answer The Phone.”

The phone rings. Heather picks it up. The mouthpiece sprouts a tongue and licks her, and says, “I touched him.” Dylan foams at the mouth.

Then he falls down screaming.

Heather takes Dylan to a doctor. He’s going to stay at the hospital overnight, and they’re going to run a bunch of tests. As Heather gets ready to leave, the doctor asks if there’s anything else they should know. Anything Dylan said while he was still lucid. Any kind of trigger event.

Heather just goes right ahead and lies, and says no. I mean, why mention Rex, the torn-up dino? Or “Never sleep again?” Or the foaming at the mouth, or anything really. I mean, who would do that? Not good parents, or anything like that, right?

Surely not.

Heather goes to talk to a semi-catatonic Dylan, and the doctor tells another doctor that the early symptoms point to childhood schizophrenia.

Heather does a whole monologue about how Dylan needs to get better, and fight whatever is after him. In a series where I’ve frequently complained there’s no real drama, and family dynamics are often for poo, it’s a decent shot at making a family connection, if Dylan wasn’t staring ahead blankly and Heather was a slightly better actress and Wes was a slightly better writer.

Instead, it mostly serves as a way to let everyone know that Heather’s house is right across the freeway. Which I’m sure is going to be important. Points for trying Wes, though. I mean that. I think you’re an awesomely talented fellow when it comes to creeping people out, but your dialogue has always been pretty weak.

A nurse comes in and gives Dylan a pill to help him sleep. He takes it.

Dylan prepares to take a nap, and Heather heads out. Only Dylan didn’t actually swallow the pill. He takes it out of his mouth, and then closes his eyes as though he was going to sleep. I’m perplexed. He decided not to take the pill and then went to sleep anyway? Or maybe he’s faking sleep? How can you tell?

Nancy gets in her car and starts to drive away. She almost hits someone, and he yells at her to wake up. She admonishes herself not to lose it now.

Nancy drinks coffee, drives, and uses her car phone to call Robert. His answering machine says he’s out of town and will be gone for some time.

So much for that meeting, I guess.

Heather goes to see Wes instead. She asks where the script is going, and Wes says he’s just having the nightmare(s) and then putting them into the script as they come to him.

She asks for some kind of explanation, and he says:

“It’s about this entity. Whatever you want to call it. It’s old. It’s very old. It’s existed in different forms in different times. About the only thing that stays the same is what it lives for. The murder of innocents.”

Heather asks if the thing in the nightmare has any weaknesses. Wes says it can be captured sometimes. By storytellers, who “catch its essence.” Then it’s a prisoner in the story.

But when the story dies, because it gets watered down, or people forget about it, the evil is set free again.

Then the genie is out of the bottle and the evil is set free.

Heather wants to know what form the evil is going to take, and Wes says that the evil has decided that it likes being Freddy, and that it plans to cross over into our world. But first he has to get past a gatekeeper.

The gatekeeper? Heather.

Heather does the whole, “That was Nancy, not me.” And Wes does the whole, “You gave Nancy her strength.” And Heather does the whole, “You knew this was going on,” and Wes is all, “I didn’t know.” And Heather is all, “But then you did, you big jerk-face.”

Wes thinks the only way to stop “Freddy” is to make another movie. Heather is going to have to make a choice – whether or not she’s willing to play Nancy one last time.

CUT TO: Wes’s computer screen, with the dialogue: “Whether or not you’re willing to play Nancy one last time.”

I’m going to grant Wes something here:

We’re an hour in, we’re just getting what we’re really up against here, and he alllmost makes it plausible.

There’s just one problem – assuming all this storytelling hokum is true, they don’t just have to make one movie. They have to keep making them, pretty much forever. And they’ve got to keep Freddy scary in every single one of them.

But never mind. We’re too far into the series to talk about logic any more.

At any rate, the script also says, “Fad to Black,” which the screen does, and then it comes back up on a bunch of legal pads covered in notes, and books like “Chilton on Childhood Diseases.”

Just how long has Heather been working on all these notes, exactly?

Heather reads a passage, or we’re getting voiceover, I’m not sure, that says, essentially, that kids who appear to be suffering from schizophrenia are actually suffering from (duh-duh-duuuh) sleep deprivation. I know! Who saw that coming?

But wait – Heather wasn’t actually around for the schizophrenia conversation. The doctor was talking to another doctor. So what are we watching here, exactly? Just a happy coincidence?

We get some more voiceover, cut together with earlier scenes from the movie as Heather totally starts to put together the fact that her kid keeps talking about Freddy, and also Wes is writing about Freddy, and Robert Englund is having dreams about Freddy.

I really don’t know who this sequence is for. Did someone from the movie studio call up Wes and say, “Well, we think there are some people who just might not get it. People with that memory problem, where they can’t create new memories? That’s our target audience. We want to make sure those people can figure out what’s going on.”

Heather snaps out of flashback mode as the TV comes on by itself. She takes a remote and turns it off, and it turns itself back on again, just in time for Heather to see someone on the news announce the death of her husband’s special effects partners.

By “brutal slashing.”

There’s another earthquake. Heather gets up and runs to the doorway. The earthquake stops. Heather discovers that her coffee pot has been destroyed.

She hears a creaking, and looks up at the closet. Her clothes are there. Suddenly, Freddy pushes through them. He says, “Miss me?”

They sort of tussle, with Heather trying to keep away from his claw hand. Finally, he pushes her down and pins her to the bed. He calls her Nancy.

An aftershock starts, and Heather pushes him off of her, and he falls away, reaching out and scratching her arm with his new, updated claws.

The aftershock ends, Heather rolls off the bed and looks around, and then says, “Ow.” Because her arm is slashed.

Heather realizes that she needs to make sure Dylan is okay. So she goes to the hospital. Julie is there, because she had a bad dream and she’s also worried about Dylan. But they won’t let her in, because she’s not family.

Heather and Julie talk for a minute, and Dylan’s doctor, who I guess works 24 hours a day, says that he’s in an oxygen tent, but that he’s otherwise fine. She sees that Heather has some bad cuts, and guides Heather away to talk to her.

The doctor patches up Heather. Which is kind of remarkable, if you think about it. Didn’t ask for a Co-Pay, or an insurance card, or anything. Just stuck some gauze on her.

The doctor asks when Heather got the cuts, and Heather says she got them 15 minutes ago in the earthquake. The doctor says the wounds seem too fresh for that. It seems that the hospital didn’t experience an earthquake. The doctor also asks about Dylan, as a nurse overheard that he was afraid of “a man.”

Heather remembers that she was supposed to bring Rex to Dylan, and she lets slip that he’s afraid of Freddy.

The doctor accuses Heather of letting Dylan watch her movies, and Heather retorts that EVERY kid knows who Freddy is.

Heather leaves.

She goes to sit next to Dylan’s bed, and sure enough, there he is in an oxygen tent. Heather tries to shake off sleep, and manages to do it long enough for two nurses to come in and fiddle with his settings. One nurse asks the other how Dylan is doing, and the other one basically goes, “Eh.”

The nurses leave, and Heather continues to struggle to remain not-asleep.

She fails, then hears Dylan’s beep-beep-beep machine go beeeeeeeeeep and wakes up. Dylan is also awake. He opens the oxygen tent and tells Heather, in an increasingly deep voice, that he’s “almost there.”

So he either being taken over by Freddy, or puberty. Not much of a twist either way, y’know?

Then he spews black bile on Heather and goes into a seizure-type thing. So I’m going to guess we’re looking at puberty.

A truckload of nurses and the doctor come in, and the doctor says to give the kid anesthesia. A nurse says they don’t have any, and the doctor says she’s going in anyway. She raises her hand into frame, and of course it’s been modified with various surgical instruments to look like the Freddy glove.

Then the doctor “becomes” Freddy.

Nancy leaps from her chair onto the bed, and wakes up. The bed is empty. A few nurses and the doctor come in, and there’s hysterical babbling and “no, your son is fine, we took him for tests while you were asleep,” and then the doctor says Heather should go home, everything is fine.

Heather insists everything is NOT fine. Not sure if she’s talking about her kid or her career.

Heather limps down the hall, and they announce a “code yellow.” It looks like things are going to get exciting, but no. The doctor just catches up to her and asks some other staff member what’s up with Dylan.

The staff member says that Dylan is suffering from intense sleep deprivation, and stage-whispers to the doctor that she thinks Heather never lets the kid get a good night’s sleep. Sure. It’s Hollywood. They’re up all night doing coke.

Heather demands to see Dylan, and it almost gets tense, but Julie pops out of a door and says that someone wants to see Heather. That someone is Dylan, who wants to know if they can go get Rex now, because the bad man is getting closer.

Heather says that they can go get Rex right now. The doctor pops her head in and “insists” that Dylan stay in the hospital until they figure out what’s causing his episodes.

I have to concur, considering the fact that Rex has been just as useful as a crucifix when it comes to keeping Freddy away.

Also, somewhere along the line, Heather picked up the grey streak she had in the original “Nightmare.”

Heather sets Dylan back down on a bed and says she’s going to get Rex right now. Dylan asks her to hurry, because he’s sleepy.

Heather tells Julie not to let Dylan out of her sight, and keep him awake. Julie tells Heather that her hair is turning grey.

Heather walks out into the hallway, and three security men drag her into a room. The doctor prepares to lay into her.

Back with Dylan, Julie looks on as two nurses give Dylan a shot to knock him out. Julie punches one nurse out, and threatens the other one with a hypodermic full of who-knows what.

The other nurse runs away.

Back in the other room, the doctor asks Heather if there has been any recreational drug use in her family. Uh, duh? This is Hollywood, right? That’s like asking if someone who grew up in the 60s tried dope.

The doctor goes on to ask about mental disturbance in the family. Heather tries to storm out, but the security dude stops her.

Julie keeps on trying to keep Dylan awake.

Doc asks if Heather has been seeing Freddy. She starts talking about “treatments” and putting Dylan in foster care for a while.

Dylan closes his eyes, opens them, and sees Freddy standing behind Julie. He tells Julie to look behind her, but she doesn’t see anything. Which doesn’t stop Freddy from stabbing her with his claws and lifting her in the air.

Heather demands to be allowed to leave.

In Dylan’s room, the nurses break in just as Julie is dangled in the air, then dragged across the floor, up the wall, and onto the ceiling. There’s blood everywhere. Julie asks Dylan to help her.

Then she falls from the ceiling to the floor.

Dylan yells for his mom, and then for Rex. He runs away.

Heather sucker-elbows a nurse and finds a dead Julie on the floor. The doctor assures Heather that Dylan can’t get out of the hospital, because he’s been sedated. Heather reminds the doctor, loudly, that Dylan sleepwalks.

And she knows where he’s going. Freeway time!

Heather escapes to the parking garage, and goes driving after Dylan. She sees him climbing up onto the freeway. He starts to cross the freeway, but there are cars everywhere, so a massive Freddy in the sky uses his claws to hook Dylan into the air so he can dangle just about the high-speed traffic.

Not quite sure what Freddy’s end-game is here.

Heather runs across the freeway, and lots and lots of vehicles go screaming around, crashing into each other. Heather is hit by a car and goes flying. People pick her up and ask if she’s okay.

Meanwhile, Dylan has been set down by Freddy. He looks one way, and sees many, many, many Freddys (Freddies?) coming towards him, so he goes the opposite direction.

Heather sees that Dylan is gone and runs away from all the people who want to know if she has internal bleeding, and if Johnny Depp is just as nice a guy as he seems to be.

She gets to her house, and the door is open. She calls to Dylan, then gets a false-scare from her Nancy-dad, who is in the house.

So is Dylan. Heather hugs him, and tells her surrogate father that she knows who killed Chase. She tells him it was Freddy, and he doesn’t believe her.

John asks Heather to step outside for a moment, without Dylan.

They leave. Dylan hears a noise. In his bedroom, the bed starts to shake and smoke. Something grows under the sheets. A claw comes out.

I mean, obviously it’s Freddy under there. But wouldn’t it have been interesting if it wasn’t? If, say, Wes Craven suddenly popped out of the corner and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, The Rolling Stones!” and then the band kicked into “Satisfaction?”

Non-linear thinking like this may be why I’m not famous.

Outside, Heather talks to John, only he keeps calling her Nancy, and he doesn’t know who Robert Englund is, and he insists that Freddy is dead and that “Nancy” doesn’t want to “end up like her mother.”

Also, he’s got a badge and a gun.

Heather tells “not-John” “I love you too, Daddy,” and Freddy steps into Dylan’s bedroom and goes into prowl mode.

Outside, not-John turns on his flashing police light and drives away. The “Nightmare on Elm Street” music starts up. Nancy/Heather turns out, and her house has turned into the Nancy house, complete with (I simply cannot believe it) a blue door. Yes, really. Only took them six movies to get it right again.

Nancy/Heather runs into the house, while on the soundtrack, someone (sounds like it could be Dylan) does the Freddy chant.

Inside the Nancy/Heather house, Nancy/Heather is now dressed in her pajamas. She hears a voice, and grabs a knife from the kitchen. She watches the (still unplugged) TV as it shows the scene from part one wherein Nancy tells her dad to be ready to arrest Freddy once Nancy goes and gets him.

The TV fuzzes out.

Nancy/Heather spots a yellow pill on the floor. She picks it up. She looks at it. She says, for the audience’s benefit, that they’re Dylan’s sleeping pills, and we get a voiceover thing about Hansel and Gretel and the breadcrumbs. For the people who were making out during that part of the movie.

Heather goes into Dylan’s bedroom, where she finds Rex with his sides re-slashed, with stuffing all over the floor.

She goes to Dylan’s bed, and finds another pill. She moves the sheets around. Then she says, “Join you. You’ve given me a way to join you.”

She takes two sleeping pills, lifts up the bed sheet, and crawls under the sheets towards the foot of the bed.

Under the bed, there’s a long passage made of sheet. She slides down it. It becomes a long passage made of metal and ugly windows. Nancy/Heather keeps on sliding.

Eventually, she falls into a huge, cavernous room that looks an awful lot like the one from the start of the movie.

Dylan calls to her. She calls back. She moves around the set that probably cost about 1/5 of the budget of the movie, while we get little glimpses of Freddy, who says things like, “Almost there.”

She looks around, and spots a collection of pages on the ground. It’s a screenplay. She picks it up and starts reading. From the screenplay. Which says:

Heather (OS) (reading) The more she read, the more she realized what she had in her hands was nothing more or less than her life itself. That everything she had experienced and thought was bound within these pages. There was no movie. There was only… her… life…

Someone grabs Nancy/Heather. It’s Dylan. Who says, “It’s just me.”

Hey Dylan – if you want to grow up, you might want to consider not startling a hungry actress carrying a large knife.

Dylan and Nancy/Heather hug. She asks where Freddy is. Dylan said, “He had me, but then he let me go.”

Freddy grabs Nancy/Heather from behind. She drops Dylan. Freddy holds her over a puddle filled with snakes. Or eels. I really have no idea. Nancy/Heather grabs a snake and jams it into Freddy’s eye.

Freddy lets go of Nancy/Heather. He pulls the snake out of his eye. Nancy/Heather punches Freddy in the face, and he falls over.

More fighting ensues. Freddy holds Nancy/Heather against the wall and is about to start slashin’, except Dylan picks up the forgotten knife on the floor and stabs him in the back of the knee with it.

Freddy pulls it out, and gets ready to attack Dylan. But no, Nancy jumps on Freddy’s back. He throws her into a shallow pool of water.

Freddy runs after Dylan. Dylan runs away.

Nancy, who appeared unconscious but I guess wasn’t, drags herself up out of the pool. Off-camera. So we have no idea how she did it, since I thought she was unconscious.

Dylan runs from Freddy. This next part is annoying to explain, but I’m going to do it because I know it’s important to you.

Throughout the cavern are a bunch of what look like little fireplaces, with metal doors. What they really are, are square rooms with some flame in the middle of them from some source we can’t see. But there’s a metal door on the front of them.

Dylan goes into one of the rooms, and Freddy tries to reach him, only he can’t get his shoulders through the tiny doorway to the room.

So he starts stretching his arm. Slowly. To build tension. Because if he did it quick, how bleak would that ending be?

Nancy/Heather finally wakes up and grabs the knife off the floor, and goes running. She’s almost there, but she gets stuck on the stairs, which turn into goo, just like in the original “Nightmare.”

Freddy finally grabs Dylan, and instead of stabbing him to death, he says he’s going to eat Dylan up, and his head and mouth start expanding, like he’s a snake or something. Dylan screams.

Freddy stuffs Dylan’s head into his mouth.

But right in the nick of time, Nancy/Heather gets up the stairs and stabs Freddy. Dylan escapes. Nancy/Heather tells Dylan to get out of there, and lucky for him, the only thing blocking his path is a boa constrictor on a branch covering a little window-hole.

Meanwhile, Freddy, whose lower half is stuck outside the little square room, turns his upper half around and sticks his tongue out at Nancy/Heather. The tongue gets longer and longer, and wraps around Nancy/Heather. A lot.

Dylan comes around the corner, and grab’s the end of Freddy’s tongue, and tries to stab it with Nancy/Heather’s knife. He keeps missing. Freddy, in turn, sort of mugs. I’m not sure what they were going for, here. Is it supposed to be funny? Because it’s completely draining the tension out of the scene. Freddy is about one quip away from being a buffoon again, here.

Finally, Dylan succeeds in stabbing Freddy’s tongue. He yanks it back, which causes Freddy to end up with a forked tongue.

Freddy falls into the square room he previously couldn’t get into. Nancy/Heather and Dylan slam the door shut and pull some kind of lever, which causes the flames to shoot up in the air and consume Freddy.

Who starts on fire, and sprouts horns, so he looks like, you know, the devil. Then he explodes, and fire shoots up in the various ovens.

Not sure why Freddy didn’t just fry Dylan before. Also not sure why Freddy didn’t just run out the exact same hole Dylan just used to escape.

Nancy/Heather tells Dylan to run. They run. A series of things that are supposed to be ruins but are clearly models blow up real good. Fire ‘splodes everywhere.

Nancy/Heather and Dylan jump into the shallow pool, which is suddenly a lot deeper.

Everything goes BOOM!

Heather and Dylan fall out of the foot of Dylan’s bed.

There’s lots of smoke everywhere but nothing is on fire. They both recite part of Hansel and Gretel for the people who stopped caring about the metaphor over an hour ago.

Nancy looks down at the floor, and sees a screenplay there. There’s a note on it from Wes. “Heather – Thanks for having the guts to play Nancy one last time. At last Freddy’s back where he belongs. Regards, Wes.”

There is no P.S. like, “Sorry I killed your husband in the process. That was my bad.”

Or, “There are a bunch of cops at the door. Good luck trying to explain what happened without getting locked up for a good long while.”

Or, “Sorry the ending didn’t make a truckload of sense. I said I could write a movie around this concept without actually realizing that there would be, like, logistics and stuff to think about.”

Heather turns to the last page of the script, which has Dylan asking “Is it a story?” and her saying that it’s a story. Dylan asks her to read some of it.

So Heather turns to the first page and starts reading the start of the movie to us, with the whole Freddy claws being built thing.

The screen goes to black, and we get a strange little dance remix of the “Nightmare” theme. The nightmare is finally ov – oh, what was that? There’s another movie? That pretty much ignores this one?


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