So here we are at 1984 two horror films or at least films with a horror element for every year I’ve walked/crawled on the planet. The first winner of the 1984 poll was A Nightmare on Elm Street, this is a review but it also serves as a look back as I’m sure all horror fans already know about this film. Anyway if there’s anyone that hasn’t seen it are they really a horror fan?
Director – Wes Craven
Writer – Wes Craven
Stars – Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, Johnny Depp, John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Amanda Wyss, Jsu Garcia
Run Time – 91 mins
Budget – $1.8 million estimated
Tagline – 1,2 Freddy’s Coming For You! (there’s 20 taglines listed on imdb.com for this film!)
Trivia – Freddy Krueger has under seven minutes of screen time.
Trivia – Over five hundred gallons of fake blood were used during filming.
Trivia – New Line Cinema was saved from bankruptcy by the success of the film, and was jokingly nicknamed “The House that Freddy Built”.
There’s so much interesting trivia about this film I could have picked ten things, I highly recommend the four hour documentary about the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, it is a fascinating watch.
I know nearly everybody has seen this film but I’ll still give a quick run down of the storyline as I normally do. The film opens with someone crafting a weapon, the weapon consists of knives extending from the finger. We’re then shown what is obviously a dream sequence as Tina is chased down a street by a man wearing the glove, he slashed at her but she bolts up and awake. However her night gown is cut as if the dream had a place in reality.
The next day Tina meets her friends at school, it’s revealed her and Nancy are having the same dreams, also despite hiding the facts their boyfriends have also had problems sleeping. The four end up meeting up at a sleep over and they all fall to sleep, as they do strange things begin to happen but it’s Tina who’s in real trouble. In her dream she encounters Freddy who chases her down, but in reality she is thrashing around in her bed next to Rod. Something lifts her onto the ceiling and kills her.
With no one else there at the time Rod is accused of her murder and goes on the run. Now it’s onto Nancy as Freddy stalks her dreams, he clearly grows in power the more people know and fear about him. He continues to stalk Nancy’s dreams she falls asleep in the bath and he’s there.
After grabbing his hat in her dreams and bringing it into the real world, Nancy comes up with a plan to grab Freddy and bring him back to the real world and kill him there. With the help of Glen but first time he fails to stay awake and help her. Eventually their plan comes into action and they have a final battle with Freddy before an end scene that I have always loved.
- Nancy is one of the very best final girls of all time.
- Robert Englund is superb as Freddy, it’s debatable but I think he’s the very best at playing a horror character over several films. Sure some of the sequels are pretty bad in fact very bad but Freddy is always amusing and a bit creepy.
- As I mentioned the end scene is great.
- A couple of really brutal and great kill scenes.
- The history of Fred Krueger.
- The whole dream killer getting stronger as more people believe and fear him is a great concept.
- The effects for the kills are spot on.
- I suppose some of the side characters could have been better.
- Although I love the kills that are shown I’d have liked a couple more.
This is an iconic horror film at a time when horror was probably at it’s best. As a kid Freddy scared the shit out of me but as times gone on I’ve found him amusing. His one liners, sarcasm and general demeanor are fun to watch. If for some unknown reason there is a single horror fan who hasn’t seen this then they need to go and watch it right now.
Overall Rating – 9.5/10
Other films in My Life in Horror series of reviews……..