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Nightmare On Elm Street is a 2024 American Fantasy Slasher Horror film written and directed by Trey Edward Schults starring Willem Dafoe, Katherine Langford, Tom Holland, Sasha Pieterse, Noah Centineo, Courtney Eaton, Rahart Adams, Mare Winningham and Joel Edgerton.

The film is the second re-imagining of the original 1984 Wes Craven classic A Nightmare On Elm Street, and its' famous character Freddy Krueger.

Nightmare serves as a recalibration of the entire franchise and as the 16th instalment of the Horrorverse melds the previous and following instalments atmosphere, heightened budget, effects and action element. This rendition also returns to the dark roots of the original and the tone the 2010 Michael Bay, Platinum Dunes remake tried to accomplish.

Shooting took place primarily in Oberlin, Ohio and on and off constructed sets and sound-stages at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.

The release on May 24th, 2024 coincided with the 40th anniversary of the Wes Craven original.

A commercial and critical success upon it's theatrical and IMAX select theatres release it went on to gross above it's initial budget.

A sequel followed in 2028 with Dream Warriors.

Plot

1974

After Fred Krueger's trial dismissal the parents of his child murder victims, plus parents of still active young children in Springwood, Ohio rally together under parent Donald Thompson's leadership. They corner Krueger at the boiler factory where he took his victims and light the place on fire much to Margaret Thompson and some of the other parents dismay.

1984

Teenage twins Charlotte and Rochelle reminisce on shared nightmares of a burned man with a bladed finger glove. The sisters decide to take watch over each other that night as the other sleeps, beginning with Rochelle watching Charlotte. Rochelle following a younger version of herself realises herself to be dreaming and is knocked back down the stairs by Freddy on fire. Charlotte is slashed by her sister in her dream revealing to be Freddy, and in reality cut and thrown out the bedroom window. Their parents awaken to discover the fiery scene.

That same night after hearing her mom argue with her drunken boyfriend Christina Gray has a dream of Freddy in his boiler factory, she awakens with cuts and bruises on her arms. At Springwood High the next day as news of the Shaye twins sweeps over the town she discusses her nightmare with best friend Nancy Thompson, Nancy's boyfriend Glen and classmate Giuseppe. Giuseppe and Nancy confirm to be having similar dreams while Glen remains quiet on the subject.

During the day a sleep deprived Giuseppe dreams of the Shaye twins and Freddy attacks, resulting in him being sent to sick bay, after another encounter he leaves school and is picked up by his police sergeant father. As he prepares to sneak out at night having been invited by Christina to a gathering at hers to discuss what is happening he discovers himself to be sleepwalking and being stalked by Freddy, appearing as a shadow stalking his shadow. Freddy after hobbling him to be struck by a car.

At Chris' Glen confirms his recent nightmares of an attacking burned figure and Chris' ex boyfriend Rod arrives as her mom is out of town. Chris after discovering Rod is having the same type of dreams and falling asleep is killed by Freddy, who has her revolve around the room, twists and slices her across the chest. Rod flees the scene as Nancy and Glen discover it.

The next day in class Nancy dreams of a bloodied Chris leading her to the school basement where she is attacked by Freddy, escaping by burning herself. Nancy discharged from school then is approached by Rod who her father the lieutenant apprehends. Giuseppe's body is found by his father.

After an initial visit with Rod Nancy with Glen at hers plan to take separate attempts at luring out Freddy, Nancy going first and seeing jump rope child versions of themselves, Rod skipping before Freddy attacks and she awakes. Rod is lynched in his cell by Freddy. Margaret reveals the truth about Freddy to Nancy. Glen's parents forbid him from seeing her. At Nancy's neighbor Jesse Walsh's party Freddy kills Glen's best friend Wallace sleepwalking on drugs by having him jump from the Walsh roof. Jesse's best friend Moira passed out drunk upstairs in a hallway of water, in reality drowning on her own vomit.

Glen is killed falling asleep at midnight as he is pulled into the roof and all that is left is a waterfall of blood in reverse gravity.

An unstable Nathaniel Lane attacks Nancy at her house and dies after being stabbed in the chest by Margaret who is also rendered unconscious in the struggle. As authorities swarm Elm Street Jesse surprises Nancy in her room revealing he is also a target of Freddy and that he killed Wallace and Moira. Nancy goes under with Jesse's supervision to pull Freddy out. Freddy possesses Jesse who experiences micro-naps due to sleep deprivation, utilising him to break Margaret's neck downstairs and light the house on fire. Sgt Kincaid appears and shoots down Jesse sending Freddy to Nancy in the boiler factory in her dream, she pulls him out and denounces her fear as the fire in her room engulfs him and with his own glove she stabs him in the chest.

Post-credits show the Deadite dream demons that gave him his power call upon the Shaitan who empower Freddy again.

Cast

  • Willem Dafoe as Freddy Krueger
  • Katherine Langford as Nancy Thompson
  • Tom Holland as Glen Lantz
  • Sasha Pieterse as Christina Gray
  • Noah Centineo as Roderick Lane
  • Cole Sprouse as Jesse Walsh
  • Courtney Eaton as Moira Addams
  • Rahart Adams as Wallace Sanjey
  • Mare Winningham as Margaret Thompson
  • Joel Edgerton as Lt. Donald Thompson
  • Mike Colter as Sgt. Malcolm Kincaid
  • Blake Michael as Nathaniel Lane
  • Khylin Rhambo as Giuseppe Kincaid
  • Vanessa Merrell as Charlotte Shaye
  • Veronica Merrell as Rochelle Shaye
  • Heather Langenkamp as Mrs. Hargrove
  • Amanda Wyss as Eileen Gray
  • Walton Goggins as Eileen's boyfriend Russell
  • Ralph Ineson as Tom Shaye
  • Sasha Alexander as Gina Shaye
  • David Pendleton as Janitor Dave
  • Amira Casar as Maria Lane
  • Alex Dimitriades as Santino Lane
  • Brandon Larracuente as Mark Thompson
  • Lin Shaye as Nurse Loretta
  • Robert Shaye as Principal Gordon
  • Holmes Osborne as Coach Schneider
  • Scott Wittman as Ken Walsh
  • Mousa Kraish as Varaj Sanjey
  • Patricia Rae as Neeta Sanjey
  • Marc Maron as Jack Addams
  • Chelcie Ross as Anthony Lantz
  • Judy Davis as Julie Lantz
  • Eve Franke as Young Nancy
  • Rory Vlach as Young Chris
  • Kailand Null as Young Giuseppe
  • Emily Tube as Young Moira
  • Abram Rader as Young Glen
  • Boston Hoellin as Young Jesse
  • Abram Khan as Young Rod
  • Theo Horan as Young Nathaniel
  • Robert Englund as Priest Frederick

Trivia

  • Willem Dafoe secured the role of Freddy Krueger after a second audition as the casting call came down to him and Kevin Bacon (who among his first roles had portrayed a victim in the original 1980 Sean S. Cunningham Friday the 13th). Bacon also portrays a minor character in the 2020 Horrorverse Friday the 13th reboot.
  • Other contenders for the role of Freddy included Doug Jones, Bill Moseley, Ralph Ineson, Chris Newman and Walton Goggins. Goggins and Ineson made the top four of candidacy but ultimately a second audition was held for Dafoe and Bacon. Goggins and Ineson appear as Elm Street parents in the film.
  • As with previous Horrorverse reboots the film is shot in the state the original is set
  • Shooting was originally set for Acrin and Toledo, Ohio
  • Trey Edward Schults first existing plot concept for the film was two Elm Street victims being identical twins, which ultimately became the first victims Charlotte and Rochelle
  • Charlotte and Rochelle Shaye's last name derives from New Line Cinema CEO and Nightmare On Elm Street series producer Robert Shaye, who appears as the school principal
  • Lin Shaye who appeared in the original Wes Craven 1984 film as a teacher appears in the film as the school nurse
  • Khylin Rhambo's character Giuseppe Kincaid is stated in the film to have an older brother Roland institutionalised at Westin Hills Psychiatric Hospital in Springwood. Roland Kincaid was an original Dream Warrior and Elm Street victim character from the third and fourth Nightmare On Elm Street films. Roland appears in the sequel to this film: Dream Warriors the second last Horrorverse instalment.
  • Jesse Walsh the protagonist of the original Nightmare On Elm Street sequel Freddy's revenge appears here as Nancy's neighbor, and unlike his character in the original who was hinted through subtext to be a closeted homosexual, he is bisexual.
  • Schults' favorite sequence is Giuseppe's death sequence with the stalking shadow Freddy and car hit, he states it to be a perfectly atmospheric, intelligent and truly terrifying scene that while almost surreal, does feel ultimately far too real.
  • The party was a sequence of Freddy's Revenge in which Freddy breaking free from possessing Jesse kills several party-goers, instead Freddy kills main characters Wallace and Moira, who are in turn Elm Street children
  • The majority of songs featured in the film are dream related
  • Body-Count: 12
  • Shadow Freddy is a homage to the shadow Freddy from the 2003 Freddy Vs. Jason. This Freddy visage was a personal favorite of Schults.
  • Schults modelled the personality and presence of the teenage protagonists on the characters of the 1995 Comedy Music film Empire Records.
  • Only the Shaye sisters, Giuseppe and Moira's dream deaths are showed in full as well as their reality based deaths
  • Nancy in the film has an older brother Mark, revealed to have been killed with Freddy while driving his girlfriend Kristen Parker home, who miraculously survived the accident. Kristen who is later the protagonist of the following Horrorverse Freddy film Dream Warriors (2028) originally appeared as the protagonist of A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
  • Jesse Walsh like his 1985 Freddy's Revenge counterpart is possessed by Freddy
  • An initial concept had Freddy kill through the Elm Street teenagers in accordance to their parent's turn at throwing the flaming pieces in the boiler factory, Dafoe convinced Schults to go with an unexpected and almost completely random order of murder by Freddy
  • Katherine Langford due to her recent roles in 13 Reasons Why (2017-) and Love, Simon (2018) was a favored choice by the writer/director for Nancy, though she was reluctant about auditioning due to respect for the original. Holland upon signing on as her boyfriend Glen convinced her to audition.
  • Mare Winningham modelled some of her characteristics for Margaret off her character Hazel Evers, from American Horror Story: Hotel
  • Glen originally played by Johnny Depp in his first starring role met his blood fountain end by being sucked into the bed at midnight, not the roof
  • Speculation as to Mark Thompson drink driving and or under the influence of drugs at the time of his death are correlated with his affiliation with Springwood High drop-out and drug addict Taryn White, a recovering drug addict Elm Street teen from the third Nightmare On Elm Street film. Her character appears in the sequel Dream Warriors meeting a fate indicative of her fate in the original Dream Warriors film.
  • Moira Addams is a representation of Lisa from Freddy's Revenge (1985) and the Hall Pass Student from A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984).
  • Dafoe's Freddy make-up took a total of six hours to apply
  • Dafoe's favorite film scene is the unstable Nathaniel's gun point scene with Nancy and Margaret
  • Nancy and Margaret Thomspon reside at 1428 Elm Street, the same address of the Thomspons in the original, Walsh family in Freddy's revenge, shelter in Freddy's Dead (1991) and Milligan family in Freddy Vs. Jason (2003).
  • Christina Gray in the original went by the abbreviation of Tina, while here she is referred to as Chris
  • Moira's watery bile hallway is a reference to Joey's demise in The Dream Master (1988) and Nancy's blood hallway in A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)
  • Wallace's roof jump is a homage to both Phillip's Westin Hills Tower jump from Dream Warriors (1987) and the original, alternate death for Dean Russell in A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)
  • The street around the corner from Elm Street is Craven Avenue, named after the late great Wes Craven, writer/director of the original Nightmare, story writer for Dream Warriors and writer/director for New Nightmare (1994)
  • The car that strikes Giuseppe is a variation of Glen's Cadillac with the Freddy paintwork and roof from the original Nightmare On Elm Street (1984).

Soundtrack

  1. 40 Day Dream- Edward Sharpe
  2. What's Love Got To Do With It- Tina Turner
  3. Owner of a Lonely Heart- Yes
  4. The Reflex- Duran Duran
  5. Sweet Dreams- Patsy Cline
  6. Talking in Your Sleep- The Romantics
  7. Somebody's Watching Me- Rockwell
  8. Drive- The Cars
  9. Give It Up- KC and the Sunshine Band
  10. Church of the Poison Mind- Culture Club
  11. Tonight- Kool & The Gang
  12. Dreams- Fleetwood Mac
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