|04-14-2003, 12:44 AM||#1|
Horror Express Writer
Join Date: Oct 2002
REVIEW - A Nightmare On Elm Street 
One of the last great low-budget American horror films to grace a motion picture screen was released on Friday, November 9, 1984 in North America. I was three days shy of my 16th birthday and wanted desperately to see this new film for which I had seen several television trailers during the previous week. I remember lying to my parents and telling them that I was going to see the PG-rated A SOLDIER’S STORY. On my birthday my friend Steve and I went to the theater and paid to see said film, then snuck into the other theater to see the beginning of what was to become a highly successful franchise that I must admit has left yours truly in a state of dismay.
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET is a truly unnerving film about an abhorrent subject – a child murderer. Though hardly crafted as a social commentary on the authority’s failure to give such killers the brutal punishments they so richly deserve for their crimes, the film neither takes a stand on the issue of capital punishment nor does it shrug it off completely. This is a horror film, pure and simple. Just as FIRST BLOOD used his treatment in the Vietnam War as an explanation for John Rambo’s eruption into violence, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET uses the backstory of a town’s secret to introduce to us the character of Fred Kruger, played with chilling menace by Robert Englund. Englund, who had appeared in nearly 15 movies prior to donning his trademark razor finger knives, is now known all over the world as Freddy. As a result of this first film, many sequels followed, turning Fred Kruger into some sort of bizarre cult icon deserving of idolatry and hero worship. I never liked any of the sequels as they all failed to capture the truly frightening and nightmarish quality of the original. In this regard, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET is similar to PHANTASM – a brilliantly original idea taken to fairly ludicrous extremes with subsequent films.
The best part of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET is the central performance by Heather Langenkamp, an actress whom I immediately liked and unfortunately rarely acts anymore. The fact that she loved BURNT OFFERINGS makes her a favorite with me right off the bat! Langenkamp originally snagged bit parts in Francis Ford Coppola’s RUMBLEFISH and THE OUTSIDERS after responding to an ad in her local paper in Tulsa, OK looking for extras (her scenes were cut) and she officially debuted in the 1983 romantic drama NICKEL MOUNTAIN, which was released in 1985. Her portrayal of Nancy Thompson is real in the same way that Jamie Lee Curtis’s Laurie Strode was in HALLOWEEN. She’s attractive though not in a fake and plastic Neve Campbell/Jennifer Love Hewitt sort of way, and we care about what happens to her. She looks and acts like a high school student. My favorite line in the film occurs when she’s looking into a mirror and remarks, “Oh, God. I look 20 years-old” – Heather was 20 when the film was shot. The plus side of low-budget moviemaking is the discovery of unknown talent, and Langenkamp is superb in her role. She really makes us believe that she knows that something terrible will happen if she falls asleep.
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET was the first movie that I ever rented. It was July 4, 1985, and I made my mother take me to the video store at least three times before the person who had rented the only copy that the store owned returned it.
I’d give just about anything to feel that sort of thrill again…
|08-20-2007, 10:44 AM||#2|
Join Date: Aug 2007
i love freddy krueger ,,,, the story is a great even if it is a little cheesy at times
however the last one is rubbish and confuses the whole nightmare on elm street
|10-02-2008, 01:18 AM||#3|
Join Date: Jul 2008
'A Nightmare on Elm Street' is a truly fantastic, superfluously original horror classic. It's one of those films that does or should pop in to your mind instantly when the term "horror film" is aroused. Freddy Krueger is arguably the greatest horror character of all time; a character who's both funny and terrifying.
Now I'm no overly huge fan of most 80's horror films. I find most of the acting poor and/or cheesy, and the visuals to be interesting but somewhat lacking and the music very synthy. Not all 80's horror films like this, but there are a lot of them. 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' is one of the only 80's horror films in which its cheesiness doesn't repel me, and instead, makes me enjoy it even more. It's because the cheesiness is executed superbly.
If you're a horror fan and you haven't wished to see this film, you don't deserve to be a horror fan anymore.
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