A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Teenagers in a small town are dropping like flies, apparently in the grip of mass hysteria causing their suicides. A cop's daughter, Nancy Thompson, traces the cause to child molester Fred Krueger, who was burned alive by angry parents many years before. Krueger has now come back in the dreams of his killers' children, claiming their lives as his revenge. Nancy and her boyfriend, Glen, must devise a plan to lure the monster out of the realm of nightmares and into the real world...
The storyline feels a little thin and moth-eaten in parts but this sequel is plenty of fun.
It's a good bad... and worth a popcorn matinée. While it's easy to lament what could have been...
The movie really just wants to entertain people.
*Review originally posted via Instagram ("@oratiosanctus") on April 27, 2018*~Considered by many (myself, included) as Wes Craven's masterpiece, A Nightmare on Elm Street is one that utilises what it is, and still remains to this day, one of the more ingenious and original ideas for a horror movie villain to date. A supernatural killer who stalks teenagers in their dreams, the one place none of us can escape. The concept alone is cinematic gold. Robert Englund - who plays the villainous Freddy Krueger - turns out a marvelous performance, offering just the right amount of restraint and menace to be both disturbing and compelling to watch. His constant presence (even when not on screen or only heard by distinct sounds, such as the unnerving screech of his iconic bladed glove) holds the film. His hostile, predatory nature is always felt, and his capabilities as a modern-day bogeyman brings out that primal and scared inner child within who was afraid of the thing lurking under his bed.It is, however, a movie not without its flaws. In fact, a few are quite glaring. Aside from Heather Langenkamp, who delivers a strong performance as the heroine Nancy, the other actors are very hit-and-miss; with the parents characters (Nancy's excluded) being largely forgettable. The special effects also have not aged well in most areas. That aside, the imagination and visual style of this picture is one that stays with you long after the credits roll and features a death scene early in the film that remains one of the most chilling and well executed you will find in any horror film. This movie is one that is made by its atmosphere.For a film made in 1984 on a very modest budget, A Nightmare on Elm Street remains a diamond in the rough for a slasher movement that, at that time, was only starting to gain real traction. The movie's legacy as it stands today speaks for itself.
As I look down at all the reviews I see mostly 8-10/10s... I can only assume that these reviewers are easily pleased! I have never watched Nightmare On Elm Street until today I thought I had been missing out now I wish I could have 1 hour 30 mins back to spend doing something else. The story was total garbage, very predictable and poorly scripted. The villain I consider weak Freddy is not that scary in comparison to other viallains from other movies! Movie was so boring I really could have fallen asleep.
There is something really visceral and real about the first entry of the Elmstreet series. This movie was made before Freddy was an icon and the sequels almost turned it into a parody of it self. Even Johnny Depp was just an unknown kid. Even the make-up and special effects are way beyond the sequels; more gritty and life like. It's almost a snuff movie. Don't get me wrong I like all the movies, but this one is the best in the series, in my opinion. The acting is great, the story is to the point and has no fat to speak off, and the special effects look great and hold up very well today actually. Looking at the Freddy make-up; it's especially gruesome instead of rubbery. A great teen-angst movie and the best of the series.
Aside from its clunky ending, A Nightmare on Elm Street is my favorite horror movie of all-time. For starters, Freddy Krueger does not discriminate, and he will haunt your dreams no matter your age. Aside from Alien's "In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream," "Don't Fall Asleep" is the second-best horror movie catchphrase of all- time.After Friday the 13th and the 80s slashers took the scene, Wes Craven came through with a whole different evil villain in Freddy Krueger, a former child murderer that kills kids in their dreams. I'm sorry, what?He got the idea from a string of stories ran in the LA Times about a young child that had survived the field killings in Cambodia. After a slew of nightmares, the young boy was found dead in his house after dying in his sleep. The police found a coffee pot in his closet with an extension cord running up under his bed and plugged into the wall. He obviously didn't want to fall asleep either. Craven ran with the story and created the most heinous, vile monster in horror movie history. With some Hitchcock elements spun throughout, A Nightmare on Elm Street is a fantastic ride from start to (almost) finish. The mood, music, atmosphere, shots, effects, blood, kills, and nightmares are all perfect. There are a few scenes that you watch and say "Wow, that's a classic cinema shot," or "Holy hell that's terrifying". Some scenes make you feel like Freddy Krueger is actually out there waiting for you to fall asleep tonight.Heather Langenkamp, aka Nancy Thompson in the film, works perfectly here. All of the characters do really. There are some missed opportunities, sure, but it all works out and there are times throughout the film where you feel trapped inside a boiler room, a terrible nightmare or a dangerous place and think, "Is this really happening to me?" The ending is a bit clunky and takes the fear away a bit, but I also think that is part of the point. As Nancy fights back and becomes the ultimate bad-a#$, Krueger becomes less and less of a threat. Facing your fears is difficult, but Nancy shows us the courage and tenacity it takes to destroy an evil entity like Freddy Krueger. Or, does she?