Day #199: A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Synopsis:
[From IMDb:] Several people are hunted by a cruel serial killer who kills his victims in their dreams. When the survivors are trying to find the reason for being chosen, the murderer won’t lose any chance to kill them as soon as they fall asleep.
My take:

For what it’s worth, I don’t think that A Nightmare on Elm Street is the most interesting of the franchise, or even the best. But, as the starting point of a franchise that has had a huge impact on the genre (and will likely continue to do so), you’ve gotta respect it.

One of the best aspects about this franchise, of course, is the creative ways in which people die; and A Nightmare on Elm Street does a great job of setting the tone by delivering some pretty epic death scenes. The problem for me is that the balance between horror and Freddy’s particular brand of comedy isn’t always that great, making him come across as bit too corny at times.

Like so.

Like so.

Still, it can’t be denied that A Nightmare on Elm Street had some pretty pretty creepy imagery.

And blood.

SO MUCH BLOOD.

SO MUCH BLOOD.

And I’m just going to refer back to the way Slither paid homage to this iconic moment as an excuse to share this gif, too.

*insert Jaws theme for full impact*

*insert Jaws theme for full impact*

The acting is best left undiscussed (that means it’s not good), the music is a bit over the top, and there’s obviously a lot more room for the growth (in maturity and concept) that will come in later installments, but it’s not hard to see how this was able to grow into the franchise that we’ve come to know and love.

Like a lot of the most successful horror movies, A Nightmare on Elm Street taps into cultural and personal fears, and projects them back at us. Dreams are scary exactly because we don’t understand them; and I’m sure we’ve all had at least one nightmare that’s left us in a state of terror after the fact (I can think of two, off the top of my head). No wonder Freddy Krueger is so scary.

On a final note: is it just me, or is Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) one of the most proactive female protagonists in a movie from this period, or what? I mean, she might spend a lot of this movie running around crying and screaming, but she also actively goes after Freddy.

I do plan to get around to later additions to the franchise, but I have a feeling I’m going to skip ahead to Freddy vs. Jason at some point in the near future – because, boy, do I have some fan boy words to share about that movie or what.

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4 thoughts on “Day #199: A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

  1. I couldn’t agree more! My favorite is Part 3 🙂 I just watched a documentary on Netflix called Never Sleep Again and it’s awesome! Points out a lot about Part 2 that I never knew….lol…

    Like

    • YESSSSSSS. I love Dream Warriors! That, and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare.

      There are some really cool horror docos out there, which I should actually start including as post topics (since I’m a doco geek, too :P). I Am Nancy is an interesting one about Heather Langenkamp and her life after playing Nancy.

      Liked by 1 person

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