June 15, 2010

Never Sleep Again (2010)

"Early Rise and early to bed
makes a man healthy and wealthy
and dead."
-James Thurber.

Just like the nightmare films, the DVD kicks off with a nostalgic bang with that opening quote. It's words dressed in red on a hard black background. With this, you definitely get the sense that your're in for something special already.

We're then treated to an amazing opening credit sequence featuring great stop motion animation by Michael Grenberry, as well as being set to music by Charles Bernstein...which I'm pretty sure was a new piece of music done solely for this documentary.

"Even though I've had lots and lots of people tell me, "You've given me nightmares," for years, they always have a smile on their face." - Wes Craven. The Documentary starts off very solidly with many past cast members, directors, and FX crew guys sharing their opinion and views on the Freddy Krueger character.

The 'Nightmare' movies, I believe, held a special place in the world of Horror cinema due in large part because they were a bit more complicated and ambitious than say 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre,' ' Friday the 13th' or 'Halloween.' They attracted a certain audience (teenagers) because that's who the characters were. You have a certain group of friends, who are so close that they will always have each others backs and are they for them more than their own parents. So, when Freddy comes in to the picture, the typical parental responses of "get some sleep" are probably the worst thing to hear, so, the teens can only count on each other to survive.

Everyone has had a bad dream, a nightmare, and knew some form of a bogeyman. The 'Nightmare' films worked best with that because it latched onto something that everyone can somehow be linked to.

The documentary covers the entire 20 year history of the 'Nightmare' films, starting with the genesis of the first, all the way up to 'Freddy vs Jason.' We even take a quick look back at the ever-so-abysmal days of the 'Freddy's Nightmares' television show. We're treated as to how each film came to be, along with MANY interested anecdotes for each film. Regardless of the length, each section keeps your attention and never drags on or seems boring. Every thing is laid out there, whether it be the technical side of things, or how the cast and crews worked together. Something I enjoyed quite a bit was hearing what Bob Shaye had to say about each entry, especially the old days of New Line Cinema...before it turned into a Money Hungry company, rather than what it once was...a company willing to give everyone and anyone a chance.

The extended interviews with cast and crew were great to watch as well, giving you even MORE than you expected.

This documentary, beginning to end, is quite the trip down memory lane, while also being a great informative look back on one of the most well known Horror Characters of all time and the franchise it had spawned.

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