It’s pretty rare for me to discuss fan films. It’s not that I dislike them, it’s just they vary in such quality that I prefer to spend time on original and unique films. With that being said, there are some exceptions, such as the Never Hike Alone series which has helped keep the Friday the 13th franchise alive through it’s legal battles. But Jason isn’t the only horror superstar on the sidelines these days, Freddy also hasn’t seen much love since the 2010 remake.
Making a Friday the 13th or Halloween fan film is relatively easy in comparison to a Nightmare on Elm Street. Neither killer requires advanced makeup effects like Freddy does. And if your Freddy makeup looks off or bad, or your actor’s performance isn’t up to par, the suspension of disbelief comes to a grinding halt.
Last month, I kept hearing about Dylan’s New Nightmare. I didn’t pay it much attention, but as it got closer to the release date, I noticed Miko Hughes was being advertised as the star. You may know Miko from his role as Gage in Pet Semetary or as Dylan in Wes Craven’s New Nightmare.
Picking up almost thirty years after the release of New Nightmare, Dylan’s New Nightmare sees Miko returning to the role of Dylan Porter as he attempts to navigate through his life as Freddy begins to assert his control. The script uses the same sort of meta/balancing act that New Nightmare does, where Miko is a struggling actor, just looking for a role and trying to stay out of his mother (Heather Lagenkamp) and his father’s shadows.
Made for a little over $80,000, this thirty minute fan film gives Miko the stage to show his acting range as he tries to deal with the reality of Freddy and possibly his own family’s mental illness.
Freddy is portrayed by Dave McRae who does an admirable job at giving us a familiar Freddy, that isn’t a direct reenactment of Robert Englund. The make up, is quite solid, and while it does seem a little off, its by no way offensive.
As I mentioned recently, New Nightmare was my first Freddy movie since it came out when I was eleven years old. I loved it, but I feel like time has no been as kind to it and it has some pacing issues and just doesn’t hold up as well some of the other films in the franchise. I was excited to see where the filmmakers would pick up the story and I think it was a solid plot for a film that will no doubt never get an official sequel.
The biggest issue I saw with the film was the casting of the psychologist and overly long scene featuring the actress. It brought the entire film to a halt, and when you only have thirty minutes to tell a story, six minutes of it should not be spent in a therapist’s office.
There is some fan service by the way of some interesting covers/mixes of popular songs from the NOES franchise and of course, a couple of small nods to New Nightmare.
Since it doesn’t look like a new NOES movie is coming anytime soon, and its highly unlikely we’d ever see a follow up to New Nightmare, Dylan’s New Nightmare actually serves a purpose in the landscape of NOES. While, Miko was fantastic and I’m satisfied with the Freddy portrayal, I do wish the film itself was better and more engaging. But if you have thirty minutes to blow, its definitely worth checking out for any fans of Freddy.