Happy Halloween, boils and ghouls, we have a treat for you. If you love all things Wes Craven, then you’ll definitely want to check out this Nightmare trilogy that is inspired by him. It had it’s world premiere at the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival and is unlike anything else out there.
This Cruel Beauty Production is written and directed by Richard Bates. Produced by Dani Mari and Johnny Butler who also star in the trilogy along with Heather Lynn Milner.
Nightmare is a three part series of short films inspired and dedicated to the late Wes Craven’s early and iconic films, Nightmare on Elm Street, The Hills Have Eyes, and Last House on the Left. Like Cruel Beauty’s other works, the trilogy brings in elements from each Wes Craven film and weaves its own unique story, set on Hogback Mountain in southern Vermont.
Each film is its own chilling nightmare leading to the next. The score, composed before shooting the film, is eerily akin to an otherworldly chamber orchestra and combines Johnny Butler’s sultry saxophone and other woodwind instrument melodies with Dani Mari’s haunting witchy vocals.
Nightmare consists of three chapters: Never Sleep, Ruby, and Willow. Each story represents a different part of Wes Craven and is films, but all tie together beautifully with a blood soaked ribbon. I’m a huge fan of Wes Craven, I love all of his work, and A Nightmare on Elm Street is one of my favorite films and franchise. I love seeing filmmakers create something so hauntingly beautiful that honors his name.
Although I love the theme of the trilogy, what makes this film stand out is the non existent dialogue, beautiful vocals, haunting music, and quality cinematography. It relies on all of this to create an atmosphere that is dreadful yet hopeful at times. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen music and scenery play so well together and create a story that’s unforgettable.
Some of the music and sounds that keep haunting me is the eerie chanting and Dani Mari’s beautiful vocals that send chills down your spine. Along with this, I loved the hearing the sounds of the flute by Rose Rutledge, Johnny Butler’s sultry saxophone, and a pump organ mixed by Robert Lux. Those particular instruments worked beautifully together.
The Special FX Makeup was by Overture FX was also top notch. They created some pretty horrific characters and bloody designs .Zack Rose and TJ Katz were part of the crew that helped create this haunting nightmare.
Final Thoughts on Nightmare:
This is one that I think everyone should check out. There’s not much out there like this and I love the way the music and cinematography tells the story. It’s a fantastic way to honor the late and great Wes Craven. See for yourself and watch it down below!