A Nightmare on Elm Street

Movie Poster of the Week: Wes Craven's “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and the  Posters of Matthew Peak on Notebook | MUBI

I thought I’d work my way through another slasher franchise. This time it’s one that I have a bit more of a connection with but also have to rely on streaming services for. Growing up one of my best friends was obsessed with the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. I have seen the first, third, and fourth movies in the franchise at least ten times each because of him. This is one of the strongest starts of any of the slasher franchises. You also get hints of what Freddy would become in the latter entries without him being over the top.

A Nightmare on Elm Street was written and directed by Wes Craven. This was his fifth movie, with his previous movie being Swamp Thing. It stars John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Heather Langenkamp, Amanda Wyss, Nick Corri, Johnny Depp, and Robert Englund. This is the most sinister that main line Freddy ever is, that might be because he is credited as Fred rather than Freddy. Robert Englund acts his ass off in the screen time that he has in this movie.

I’m going to dedicate an entire paragraph to Nancy. She is the strongest of all of the first final girls in the slasher franchises. She actively fights Freddy, which isn’t really something that you see. She shares traits with all of the best final girls from other movies. That’s just the character without mention of Heather Langenkamp’s performance. Her performance is so strong because she offers a strong character while also being vulnerable. You see a person that’s struggling to be heard with incredible circumstances.

The plot is focused on a group of teens that live in Springwood. You’re first introduced to Tina as she experiences an incredibly intense nightmare. She wakes up with her bed clothes having been cut. The next morning she meets up with her friends, Nancy and Glen who are a couple, as well as her boyfriend Rod. Tina and Nancy talk about them having a nightmare that featured the same creepy guy. Tina is killed that night while her friends and boyfriend are at her house. Rod is accused of her murder because they were in the bedroom together. Rod is arrested after running into Nancy’s father, who is a lieutenant in the police department. To shorten my synopsis the other teens are killed and Nancy learns that the attacker is Freddy Krueger, a child murderer that the parents burned alive. Nancy brings Freddy out of the dream world and beats the living hell out of him. She does end up defeating him but only after her mother is killed. The ending is a dream in which everyone that’s been killed in the movie are alive again, but the car that they’re all in locks everyone in with a top that looked like Freddy’s sweater while Nancy’s mom is pulled in through the front door’s small window.

Almost all of the effects stand up even now. The only one that doesn’t looked bad to me when I was a nine year old kid that didn’t know anything. Nancy’s mom getting pulled through that little window looks like complete ass and it really stands out with the quality of the rest of the effects. Charles Bernstein did the music for A Nightmare on Elm Street which is great. The nursery rhyme that the little girls had a melody that was written by Alan Pasqua.

A Nightmare on Elm Street is a great movie. I’d give it a nine and a half Freddy gloves out of ten. You can watch it on Peacock no matter the kind of account you have.

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