Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy (2010) – Daniel Farrands & Andrew Kasch

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It’s Halloween and a time when everyone talks about scary movies. I’ve done lists, I debated on what to watch over and over again, but was just unsure of what film to cover. So instead, I thought I would take another look at this fantastic documentary.

Clocking in at four hours, this epic, super-sized doc explores the history of the phenomena that is Freddy Krueger as embodied by the fantastic Robert Englund in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. This film, despite its daunting run time, is a must for any horror fan, and anyone who loves the ins and outs of how films are made, and the stories behind them.

Heather Langenkamp, Englund, Wes Craven, Renny Harlin, Robert Shaye, almost every party who was involved in the films of the series are given ample screen time, though both Johnny Depp and Patricia Arquette are sadly missed.

In spite of that, this is the most comprehensive look at a horror series every put together, and the gold standard by which most film documentaries should be measured. Each one of the films in the series, with the exception of the remake, which was released the same year as the doc, is given ample time, meaning there are the stories most film fans know, but there are tons of little anecdotes and making-of tales that many people don’t know.

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I’ve watched this epic doc twice now, and it hasn’t ceased to stun and amaze with both viewings.

New Line Cinema, which has gone on to make some very big, and incredibly familiar titles, was a small, little production house, when they signed on to make a tiny film with Wes Craven. Not only did they support it, but they saw the possibilities of franchising it, almost from the get-go, and they turned Freddy into a household name.

Each one of the installments is given their time on screen, including a fascinating look at Nightmare 2, which became known as the Gay Freddy. There are hits and misses in the series, as the doc charts Freddy’s rise from monster to anti-hero, becoming more of a joker and trickster as the series progressed, losing the dark edge that made him so frightening originally, as the audience became more intent on seeing him slash up young dreamers in new and creative ways.

Some of my favorites are featured in 3, but the first will always be my favorite.

So, if you’re like me, and haven’t found anything in the last few years that truly gets under your skin and scares you cinematicaly, instead of settling for something less than, maybe, settle in, as the witching hour approaches, and watch and learn about one of the giants of the horror genre.

Check it out!

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