Sunday, October 31, 2010

713. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Running Time: 92 minutes
Directed By: Wes Craven
Written By: Wes Craven
Main Cast: Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, Johnny Depp, Amanda Wyss, John Saxon


The festivities for Halloween 2010 continue with "A Nightmare on Elm Street" and the efforts of Freddy Krueger to kill a group of teenagers in this 80s teen slasher flick directed and written by Wes Craven, a director I've come to like less and less as I grow older.

Out of the group of aforementioned teenagers, we first meet Tina (Wyss), who, upon the films opening is awakened by a nightmare. The nightmare consisted of a man with a red and green sweater, black fedora and who had knives for fingers. He also had a burnt face and chased Tina throughout her dream, slashing at her body right before she wakes up. When she does awake her night shirt is slashed and she is screaming. The next day at school, Tina tells her friends, Nancy (Langenkamp), Glen (Depp) and Rod, about the dream. Nancy later admits that the dream is very similar to a nightmare that she had, where she also dreamt of the man in the green and red sweater. They write it off as a simple nightmare and get on with their lives, having a little "get together" while Tina's parents are out of town. However, later that night, as Tina and Rod lie in bed together sleeping, Tina begins to be thrashed and thrown around the room, as if she is being murdered. Rod awakens, but is too frightened to do anything about it and can't see anyone else in the room. Tina is killed, lying in a pool of her own blood. Rod is the next to go, as he lays sleeping in a jail cell, being held for the murder of Tina, since he was the only one in the room. Now it's up to Nancy and Glen to figure out the origin of the mystery man in their dreams, who they identify as Fred Krueger, a former child murderer, released from jail on a technicality and killed by the angry parents of Elm Street. Nancy and Glen need to stay awake, because remember...If they don't wake up screaming, they won't wake up at all!


"A Nightmare on Elm Street" being in the pages of the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die" is like a drunk guy with a mullet showing up to a bourgeoisie party. Sure the snooty party goers will have their fun with the drunkard, but in the end he just doesn't belong there. I had fun with "A Nightmare on Elm Street" especially on Halloween, as it's a very fun film to watch to get you into the spirit of the holiday (Is Halloween considered holiday?). I'll actually admit that the plot is a pretty intricate and smart idea. A killer who can only kill you in your dreams. Now that sounds pretty cool to me. The makeup artist obviously showed up in a creative mood, as Fred Krueger looks pretty messed up, to say the least. Also, I should also give kudos to whoever was in charge of making the fake blood, as they obviously had their work cut out for them, as there was quite a bit of it, especially when it spewed up and out of Glen's bed.

I'm not even gonna' touch upon the acting, as it is non-existent and why not? Because this isn't the place to be scouting potential Academy Award nominees and we all know that. This movie has one purpose: to scare or frighten young kids who happened to sneak out and sneak into the movie theatre back in 1984. It also has the purpose now of being a piece of nostalgia, as it's fun to look back on the films of our youth and laugh at what we used to consider good film making. This isn't good film making, but again, we know that going in. I didn't care too much for "A Nightmare on Elm Street", but it served it menial purpose, to get me into the spirit of Halloween, so I'll give it some brownie points there. Otherwise, this movie has no place within the pages of the "1001" book.

RATING: 4/10 About as high as I can go for this 80s slasher flick.


October 31, 2010 8:26pm


  1. Good comment 'this movie has no place in the 1001'. Well, except perhaps that this sort of junk was/is very popular, and as such the genre deserves a representative? At least we can say "seen it", ad know that we have not the slightest interest in even knowing about something called "Freddy returns yet again XVI". The only interest I got from this film was simp[ly observing a sosial phenenoma (I'm sure I have spelt that incorrectly)

  2. Yeah I agree with the popularity factor on this one, but this SHOULD be a book full of great films, not popular ones, in my opinion.


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