Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy Review

Never Sleep Again
by Jesse Miller, MoreHorror.com

From 1428 films and the crew who brought you the Friday the 13th documentary His Name was Jason, Never Sleep Again is the mammoth four hour documentary that details the Nightmare on Elm Street series, warts and all.

Wonderfully narrated by Heather Langenkamp (Who portrayed Nancy from Nightmare 1 and 3), and featuring unique interviews with over 100 cast and crew members spanning all eight films, this documentary is an informative and detailed look at the making of each film in the series, covering the origins of Freddy himself to the oddball entry Freddy Vs. Jason to the short-lived television series Freddy’s Nightmares.

The impressive interviews are insightful, revealing, candid and very captivating, covering the likes of on-set clashes, production stories and hiccups and discussions on that intriguing homoerotic subtext from Nightmare II.

There are just too much great stories here that even the most die-hard fan are guaranteed they will find something here they’ve never heard about – I know I did.
And while the absence of some cast and crew members, such as Johnny Depp, Patricia Arquette or Frank Darabont, is disappointing, the input from the cast and crew who worked with them fills that tiny void with some interesting behind-the-scenes stories.

Accompanying these interviews are rare behind-the-scenes footage and stills, FX test shots and much, much more. There is also some gorgeous and grotesque stop-motion work from Michael Granberry, which opens each new chapter of the documentary and mouth-watering pieces of artwork from film poster artist Matthew Joseph Peak, which you can view in the poster above.

It’s quite jaw-dropping how much and just exactly what the filmmakers have assembled here. Each of the eight films in the series is covered extensively and each segment is carefully and beautifully presented without feeling rushed or short.
Each segment is thorough, satisfying and quite rewarding for a horror fan such as myself.

Fans will laugh and be shocked by the revelations throughout and will drool over rarities such as the glimpses at Wes Craven and Bruce Wagner’s original script for Nightmare 3 or other surprising production revelations you might not have heard of.

As well as detailing the production of the series, the documentary details the rise of New Line Cinema, from their first released film – 1982’s slasher Alone in the Dark – to its future. It’s an interesting account – often funny, somewhat touching, even sad – but it is always fascinating and absorbing.

Look, Never Sleep Again is an absolutely brilliant documentary that I could just talk about to no end. Sure, it’s four hours long but you’d be amazed at how quick that time flies. I thought the same thing when I read reviews that stated the exact thing I am stating now.

I thought: “Really? It doesn’t drag? You don’t get fidgety?” – No, you don’t. It’s completely engrossing. It’s best – if you haven’t already – to track this masterful feature down immediately and see for yourself.

The DVD spans two discs itself, with the second disc featuring extended interviews and features on satirical looks at some Nightmare merchandise, the 2010 reboot and loads more. I applaud the work of the filmmakers here in delivering a documentary that is nothing short of amazing.

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