Well! We’ve reached a milestone with this blog. 100 movie reviews!!! And what better way to celebrate than by throwing on one of the most iconic horror films ever, A Nightmare on Elm street!!!
A Nightmare on Elm St was also one of the most successful horror movie franchises ever (second only to Friday the 13th series and halloween series). The film stars Johnny Depp, Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon and of course Robert Englund as the unmistakeable Freddy Krueger
I first watched this first instalment of the series when I was a young teenager and main protagonist “Freddy Krueger” certainly made a lasting impression on me and countless other teenagers at the time as perhaps the most recognisable villain and horror icon. at least of the slasher genre and broadly across all genres of horror films. I’ve seen it a couple of times since then of course. Now again with great pleasure I was able to put it in for another spin, this time on DVD!
Most of you reading this will no doubt have watched this film already so its probably a bit redundant going into a detailed description of the plot. For those who haven’t, it revolves around a group of teenagers who are sharing the same nightmare experience. Nightmares featuring a horribly burnt, creepy old guy with an old red and green jumper and razor blades attached to his fingers who is trying to kill them. The shared dream sequences are written off as a just a dream until one of the teenagers, Tina is brutally killed in her sleep.
The other teenagers realise that the creepy guy they’re dreaming of, Freddy is gong to pick them off one by one in their dreams. Thereby killing them in reality as well. Why is this guy after them? What secret are the parents of the town keeping from the children? It’s now up to Nancy to figure out how to stop Freddy before they are all killed. It’s also up to you guys to watch the film and find out for yourself how this one ends!
The movie is very well shot and directed by Wes Craven (who previously did the hills have eyes and Last House on the Left). In my opinion, Craven set a new standard for horror movie effects at the time. He uses the fact that in dreamscapes he can be much more creative with the gore, the special effects and story line. He really expanded the slasher flick as a genre into the supernatural. Coupled with great production it proved to be a big hit.
The special effect this in this are top notch for the time and for the most art they hold up well now almost 40 years later. Whilst many of the slasher films of the time were fairly simple plots this one had the usual slasher cliches but a more complex plot that twisted reality. The soundtrack to the film assisted this as well. The repetitive creepy melodies mostly created keyboards (harpsicord sytle) really set the mood for the film. The heavier electronic / industrial soundscapes accompany the more intense moments of the film and further heighten the proceedings. The camera work is great and an the acting is pretty convincing. Enough to unnerve me as a teenager when I first saw it. Now as a middle aged man I can look back on it and appreciate the magic that went into creating this masterpiece.
Overall A Nightmare on Elm Street is one of my favorate horror films. As a child I enjoyed it immensely. On today’s revisit it was the same. It’s one of those films that anyone who calls themselves a horror fan needs to see. Best thing about it is you can get the whole series of original films in DVD/BR pack fairly cheap which should keep you going for a while.
THE LEGACY OF A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET
A Nightmare on Elm Street is so much more than just a film. It spawned 6 more direct sequels in the series. Another “Freddy Vs Jason” film, a remake and a tv series that aired around the late 80’s early 90’s. As a franchise, “A Nightmare…” is one of the most successful for the time along with “Halloween” and “Friday the 13th”.
There have since been more successful films but not many in my opinion have come close to the pop culture influence that the movie and main character Freddy Krueger had. Countless merchandising opportunities like toys, costumes, comics and so forth followed on the money trail shortly afterwards.
The film (and subsequent sequels) is largely responsible for keeping its production company New Line Cinema in business at the time. It’s also responsible for introducing the world to the amazing talent of a then unknown actor, Johnny Depp and making main actor Robert Englund into a household name in the horror world.
|A young Johnny Depp making his acting debut in “A Nightmare on Elm St.” before going on to be one of the most famous actors of all time.|
|Robert Englund starring in his best known role as the now iconic character “Freddy Krueger” in A Nightmare on Elm Street|
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