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Blu-ray review: ‘Never Sleep Again’ is a must-own for ‘Elm Street’ fans

Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy Blu-ray

Rating:
Star4
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Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy” releases to Blu-ray for the first time on Jan. 21.

'Never Sleep Again' Blu-ray cover
'Never Sleep Again' Blu-ray coverImage Entertainment

The film:

“Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy” takes a look at the entire “Nightmare on Elm Street” franchise from the first film through 2003’s “Freddy vs. Jason.” And it’s not geared in the direction of being strictly for fans of the 30-year-old series or fans of the horror genre in general. If you have any interest in film or filmmaking, this four-hour documentary is for you, too.

It’s an honest look at the franchise, from the struggles experienced on the sets to the dismal box office and critical reception received by some of the entries. With the unfortunate exception of Johnny Depp; Patricia Arquette; and those who have passed, interviews are conducted with each and every person involved with making the film, including Robert Englund; Wes Craven; Heather Lagenkamp; and more. It takes a look at the special effects; the music; how Freddy Krueger became a pop culture icon and a household name; and how the series still resonates many years after its release. You won’t even feel the four-hour runtime as you are watching this informative and intriguing documentary.

The Blu-ray:

Image Entertainment made sure that the Blu-ray picture and sound were perfect for the die-hard fans (also known as “Fred heads”), and for collectors. Despite some out-of-place edits, that might have been from the original DVD release, this is a nice transition. While some of the clips come from old newsreel or behind-the-scenes footage, and they can’t overcome the graininess, the picture is still clear and the sound is perfect. There is also an optional audio commentary track with Andrew Kasch; Daniel Farrands; Thommy Hutson; and Buz Danger Wallick.

The special features:

The Blu-ray comes with a plethora of special features, which get their own disc. Nearly three hours of additional interview footage; revisitations of the set; and looks at how fans have come up with their own version of Freddy’s glove are included.

The special features are:

Extended Interviews – Additional footage from interviews conducted with the cast and crew.

First Look: Heather Langenkamp's “I Am Nancy” – A trailer for a documentary showing how Freddy, the villain, has a dominate presence over Nancy, the heroine of the first film.

For the Love of the Glove – A look at die-hard “Nightmare” fans who have created their own website, or assist with one, that makes and sells merchandise from the film.

Fred Heads: The Ultimate Freddy Fans – A short documentary that looks at the ultimate fans of the franchise.

Horror's Hallowed Grounds: Return to Elm Street – Host Sean Clark revisits the “Elm Street” set, and some special guests make appearances throughout the episode.

Freddy vs. The Angry Video Game Nerd – Filmmaker James Rolfe looks back at the time he played the “Nightmare on Elm Street” game, and the video he created that dismembered it.

Expanding the Video Game Universe: Freddy in Comic Books and Novels – Interviews with authors of the novelization and comic book spinoffs that followed “A Nightmare on Elm Street.”

The Music of the Nightmare: Conversations with Composers and Songwriter – Interviews with the composers of the franchise, and discussions about how some have tried to add his or her own touch to the series, even though it would alter the original score.

Elm Street's Poster Boy: The Art of Matthew Joseph Peak – The man who created the poster art for the series, excluding “Freddy’s Dead,” is interviewed.

A Nightmare on Elm Street in 10 Minutes – Cast members read their lines from the “Nightmare” screenplays.

Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy Teaser Trailer – a one-minute trailer for the documentary.

Grades:

Movie: A

Picture/Sound: A-/A-

Special features: A