Over the years I have watched plenty of documentaries. Most of them are beyond fascinating. In fact, I cannot think of many documentaries that have made me turn them off over the years. And lord knows there have been some I didn’t think I would be able to finish due to the dribble that was being provided for my benefit. The good thing about all documentaries is the knowledge obtained through them, but the fact of the matter is that all documentaries are biased to some degree. I feel in a way this can especially be said about a behind the scenes look at a film. Why would anything painfully negative be said against said film? I cannot think of a reason to be honest with you other than facts that it might not have performed well, but those are facts. That’s why upon thinking of an answer to this question, I realized that this will be the second time I will talk about A Nightmare on Elm Street with this movie challenge.
Day 24: Favorite documentary – Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy
Let me start by saying that when you start watching this documentary you have to map time out of your day. The film is four hours long and filled with a plethora of information on the entire Elm Street franchise. Granted, there are random tidbits I knew from reading various articles and watching other smaller documentaries, but Never Sleep Again is beyond informative. Fans of the franchise quickly become enamored around each turn of the documentary as they strive to know more about one of their favorite horror villains of all time. The past part is learning details that we did not think to ask questions about in the first place. This is in good part to these being questions that most of us did not seem to care to think about when we were younger.
Never Sleep Again is all a fan of the iconic slasher Freddy Krueger and everything lurking around the corner on Elm Street could ask for. The brilliance of this film is that they do not treat any of the installments as more important than the other. Each film is given a block of time it deserves and goes into details about Freddy becoming the icon he is known as today. Audiences are allowed to get insight of fights that occurred between Wes Craven and Robert Shaye. We thoroughly understand by the end of the film that New Line Cinema was the house that Freddy built with each installment. Fans were always hungry for more. And now that most of us have grown up we are hungry for information on how our favorite films were created. One of my favorite moments is the story behind the gushing of blood from Glen’s bed in the original franchise and how horribly wrong shooting that scene went within the feature.
What makes this documentary one that every behind the scenes documentaries should pay attention to is the past and present looks at our beloved characters. We get updates and inside looks from each of the characters that we’ve grown to love over the years. We even learn a lot about the characters that we may not have loved or appreciated upon initial viewings. For instance, there is the homoeroticism riddled throughout the second film of the franchise due the closest sexuality of Jesse. Just when you’re tilting your head because you don’t remember any of this from yesteryear, the documentary shows you various scenes that are hard to deny as being anything less than homoerotic. We learn about how iconic scenes in the original film were made. We hear stories on set from Robert England, Wes Craven, and various other cast members. And if that’s not enough the film is actually narrated by Heather Langenkamp who played Nancy Thompson in three of the respective nightmare films.
Ultimately, Never Sleep Again is a documentary audiences can revisit time and time again learning something new almost each and every time. With four hours worth of material our brain sorts through the information we are given and sometimes rids our brains of something we find vital. That is why it’s so amazing to be able to sit down and watch this documentary again. Never Sleep Again is a must own and essential viewing for anyone that calls themselves a fan of the Nightmare franchise. But I must remind all viewers, new and old alike, that before they sit down to view Never Sleep Again that they must remember one thing. Whatever you do, don’t fall asleep.