13 April 2024
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
92 min.
Directed by Wes Craven.
With Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Robert Englund, Amanda Wyss, Johnny Depp, Nick Corri, Charles Fleischer.
One of the best horror films of the mid 1980s - and certainly the best in the longrunning Elm Street series.

Frightful knive-fingered madman Freddy Krueger terrorizes innocent teenager Nancy Thompson (fetching heroine Langenkamp) in her sleep.

Turns out Nancy isn't the only one experiencing such grisly nightmares. Seems her friend Tina (Wyss) and Tina's hood boyfriend Rod (Corri) have had similar evil visions while sleeping.

But soon, Nancy begins to watch her friends around her die. For real. First Tina, then Rod.

Freddy is obviously real. Real enough to kill. But what dark purpose could he serve?

Turns out Freddy was a child murderer executed by the local community - vigilante-style - some twenty years back.

And his nightly reigns of terror are only the beginning of his thirst for revenge!

Aided by her boyfriend Glen (Depp), can Nancy learn Freddy's innermost secrets - and stop him for good?

Robert Englund is justifiably terrifying as Freddy and, unlike the sequels that followed, here he's subtle and more quietly menacing.

Later, he would become an overtalkative, one-liner machine (a trend that led to the depressing state of current horror films). But with this first entry director Wes Craven truly created one of the all-time great boogeymen.

The premise for Nightmare was based on the real life experiences of Cambodian refugees who died from sleep-related Brugada Syndrome, while the figure of Freddy Krueger was inspired in part by a school bully from Craven's childhood.

Both would seem to hit a chord, making Nightmare a truly memorable horror.

Followed by A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge in 1985, which was in turn followed by an additional 6 entries - all of diminishing value.

This 1984 original was remade in 2010.

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