Wes Craven has died, at age 76. He started with brutal real-world horrors, then his career really took off with A Nightmare On Elm Street, the classic version of the “nightmares can kill” story. As well as Freddy Krueger (who he revisited to interesting effect in the none-more-meta New Nightmare) he also gave us Ghostface when he directed the also pretty damn meta Scream, kicking off a run of self-aware slashers where the designated victims weren’t all too stupid to live.
The characters having nightmares is an idea revisited in many series, and the Elm Street films ran with the surrealist possibilities almost as much as a setting like Dreamlands or Pacesetter’s Sandman. And for characters knowingly subverting their roles in narratives, this is one of the things RPGs are great at.
See also The Serpent And The Rainbow for a bizarre modern adventure story, The People Under The Stairs for Little Fears fans, the straight-up thriller Red Eye for a perfect one-shot hook.