When Shaye proposed a “Nightmare 7” to Craven, he said, “It came at a point of frustration.” Shaye tasked the filmmaker with inventing concepts that might be adapted into film. A challenge, given the title of the previous movie. “We already killed Freddy Krueger,” Craven said, “but he said there was an audience for one more. He asked if I could come up with an idea for Freddy to come back.”
It’s worth remembering that crime declined in the United States throughout the 1990s, and has been declining ever since. There was, however, a great deal of moral panic in the country, and some might recall the weird political furor over censorship. Tipper Gore notoriously helped create the Parental Advisory label, warning parents that labeled records might contain cuss words or sexual lyrics. Discussions were being had in earnest about the role of censorship in the modern world. Craven felt that censoring violent art would unleash violence in the real world. His idea for “New Nightmare” sprung from that notion. He said:
“We were in the middle of dealing with a lot of strict censorship. We asked ourselves what these films give or take away from culture. Do we really make kids go crazy and kill their baby sisters? It’s like boot camp for the psyche. This is the way humans deal with the horrors of existence. If you forbid this kind of art, the actual real horror is unleashed in a sense. The way humans deal with the horrific is to put it in a narrative and cloak it in character. So by censorship and not being able to make any more films about Freddy, he will be unleashed. That was the concept that came out.”
Without stories, Freddy is set free.