A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

With all the hype and buzz about the remake I thought it would be sensible to relive the original masterpiece.

Simply put, this is Wes Craven at his frightening best. After all these years this movie is still as visually frightening and entertaining as the day it was released. Seeing this again I was reminded that Freddy was quite a bad ass before the media and his own fame turned him into a pop culture icon.

The plot is extremely original, especially within the slasher genre. Craven seems to have the uncanny ability to turn slashers on their heads. With Nightmare and Scream he challenged the clichés of the time and ended up creating films that will be discussed long after others have fallen into the cultural trash bin of the time.

Freddy Krueger lives in the dreams of his victims. This is particularly haunting to us mere mortals. There aren’t many things scarier than the thought of a killing machine that lives in our mind and only comes out when we relinquish control of our thoughts. Therein lies the genius of the film. What is real and what is *just* a dream?

The teens in the film all have distinct personalities and play their roles like real people. Another genius move, in a world full of actors that play caricatures of people Craven constructs role and performances that are believable, making it that much easier to put yourself in their unfortunate places.

Robert Englund famously plays his part as Fred K. with more passion and liveliness than a hundred other actors combined could have. It is like the man was born to play the role. One note, although Freddy has some punny lines, they seem more vicious and less comedic in nature than remake. I haven’t watched the sequels enough to comment, but I remember Freddy becoming jokier in the latter movies too.

Another thought on Freddy. He is scary enough looking that as I child just catching a glimpse of him was a scarring event and meant sleepless nights. As an adult, Freddy is still scary – not because of his looks but because he isn’t just a kids monster. He is fear personified, a predator, and a monster all in one.

The dream sequences are really where this film shines. Unlike the remake, the dreams are surreal and capture the ideas that real nightmares contain. Freddy is supernatural, blood pours from ceiling; he is able to extend his arms to insanely creepy lengths. These ideas make the film all that more frightening and places the focus on horror not gore –though there is plenty of gore.

In a world of over exposure Freddy and this film are still relevant and scary as hell.

Snore Factor Z

IMDB 1984

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  • Stephanie Pratt

    I remember watching this movie as a kid. Freddy never once gave me nightmares, but being the sick individual I am, I quickly adopted him as an imaginary friend. Yeah, I know, I’m wierd.

  • http://www.365HorrorMovie.com Micah

    Wow! Quite the imaginary friend you had. Speaking of imaginary friends, I recently watched Drop Dead Fred and couldn’t help thinking about how much nicer the Fred in that movie was vs. Freddy Krueger.

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