A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Rating: 18

Length: 1Hr 31

Release: 23.8.1985

About: In Wes Craven’s classic slasher film, several Midwestern teenagers fall prey to Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), a disfigured midnight mangler who preys on the teenagers in their dreams — which, in turn, kills them in reality. After investigating the phenomenon, Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) begins to suspect that a dark secret kept by her and her friends’ parents may be the key to unraveling the mystery, but can Nancy and her boyfriend Glen (Johnny Depp) solve the puzzle before it’s too late?

The Good

  • It’s opening is quite interesting even if it feels like I’ve entered the industrial zone of the Crystal Maze. We’re thrown into a situation already in action. It’s full throttle from the get go and actually makes the audience a little off kilter. There’s nothing better than throwing you out of your comfort zone to bring the fear.

The Bad

  • Fred Krueger. Unfortunately, he’s a little too cartoonish to be fearful and as we see him within the first 30 seconds of the movie, I feel there’s an element of over exposure.
  • I’m not sure if the film was trying to keep the cast down, but the plot and motivation of Fred Krueger doesn’t quite match up with how the victims are picked. The mother’s revelation is a little hard to follow and I feel it implies she is solely responsible for Fred’s death.

The Ugly

  • Nancy, Nancy, Nancy! Why didn’t she die? Why was she such a shit actress who had two settings: monotone or SCREAMING EVERYTHING. In fact, there wasn’t really any acting (read: no facial expressions or responses to anything being said to her) at all. The best way to see the appalling acting is when she’s listening to her friend, Tina, recount her dream. Nancy reads a line that indicates Nancy has prompted her to remember her own dream. But nothing, LITERALLY NOTHING, about her body language suggests she finds the dream familiar.
  • I don’t even feel bad saying this, but I was rooting for ol’ Krueger. I felt, on irritation factor alone, she deserved to die. You know there’s something wrong when I’m rooting for a child slasher to win.

Final Thoughts

Little too small town Stephen King storytelling with a Sarah from the Labyrinth casting reject makes this an underwhelming watch for me.

2 thoughts on “A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)”

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