Friday, 30 January 2015

Friday Night Screening: A Nightmare on Elm Street 1984

A Nightmare on Elm Street
Edward scissor hands on acid

A yes, Wes Craven and his strange fixation to deconstruct the ‘Slasher’ genre. His most notorious achievement in that field that would later become his opus moderandi  would be no other than 1996’s Scream, but did you know that A Nightmare on Elm Street was originally meant to be an anti-slasher? Believe it or not, one of the most famous face in slasher history was meant to end the entire genre, but it all backfired and Freddy Krueger’s nightmare became what pretty much saved the knife wielding drunken teenagers slumber party killing world.
I got the whole collection some time ago and thought, well, why not review the entire saga?

It also comes to mind that I should do a review on Friday the 13’th, seeing as it ties in the 8th movie and friday the 13th is a few weeks away, but I'm not sure I can be bothered. You want a short review of that movie? Here it is, it’s hella boring and disappointing for the reason Scream spoils in the first five minutes of its movie, and don’t give me that crap “But you saw him at the end of the movie on that boat” well tippy doe and call me Dorothy, cuz I’m tipping down the yellow brick road and beating the wicked witch of the east to death with her broom. When we want to see a zombie behemoth man-child murdering a bunch of helpless horny teenagers, the movie shouldn’t blueball us like that only to show us that it was a guy at the other end of the glory hole. At least the sequels had all kind of awesome adventures, like going to the hood or into the bloody spacefuture. So yeah, i'm not a fan of the first one even though the sequels can be entertaing, I might ask Mel to review it so it fits and I can go on without an hitch, or I'll review it myself as well as I can. (Also, I REALLY want to review Freddy vs Jason vs Ash)
We'll see.
But what was I speaking of before I got lost in camp crystal lake? Ah yes, A Nightmare on Elm Street, the original nightmare.

Nancy and her friends all seen to be plagued by the same nightmare, a man in a green and red coat and a brown hat with knives at his fingertips trying to turn them into shish kebab. But as they try to have a sleepover in hope that the nightmare will stop, things go awfully wrong as the nightmare becomes reality. Their parents and the whole town seems to know more that they are letting on, and as the kids begin to drop like flies, it’s up to Nancy to find a way to fight this monster, because you know, it’s not like it’s the cops job or anything, who are as useful in this movie as water at a Russian party.

This movie is amazing, for one, Robert Englund kills it as Freddy Krueger. It’s definitely one of his trademark roles and one fans loved for years. The rest of the actors do a solid job for the most part and it’s always hilarious to see a pre-famous Johnny Depp.
The imagery and the effects are some of the best for the time, the fact that a great chunk of the movie happens in dreams gives the art department a whole lot to play with, and play they did. The sets, especially the well-known ‘boiler room’, which is a the realm that Freddy creates as his own personal hunting ground, looks amazing, although there is still work for improvements here and there. And the effects are some of the craziest and mind-blowing imagery that wasn’t meant to be marveled by human perception at that time. Some of them even creep me out, after 31 years most of it still holds up perfectly.
If a had one gripe with the movie, it would probably be Freddy himself, or better said, what his reputation made him out to be.
Freddy, Chucky and Ash are probably my favorite horror icons, simply because they are quick to the gun and have a whole lot of humor in what they do. I’m not really a fan of the quite, slow walking murder machines, like Jason or Myers. I prefer my crazy psychopath’s with some bite. And even though I hate to admit it, the Freddy of the original nightmare on Elm street didn’t have much personality. But then again, they didn’t really know what they were going to do with him and probably never expected to be such a success. So in the end it’s not really a flaw but rather a character that hasn’t yet been developed.
And although the movie can be a bit slow at times, it always surprises you with a dream sequence you didn’t even know you were in.

Overall great movie, amazing effects, solid acting, especially on Englund’s side. Definitely worth a watch, or multiple even. See you in part 2, Freddy’s revenge.

Things I’ve learned from A Nightmare On Elm Street:
- All it takes to turn a upper privilege white girl into John Rambo is a lunatic who disrupts her beauty sleep.
- Johnny Depp’s body contains enough blood to fill the red sea, no wonder the rum was always gone.
- Also, his jar of dirt didn’t save him this time either.
- The fact that Freddy Krueger is a well-known child murderer and possibly molester, doesn’t stop the internet of writing romantic fanfic about him. If you don’t mind, I’m gonna scrub the filth of my eyes with sandpaper.

Personal rating: 8/10

Critical rating: 9/10

Freddy Krueger

Kill-count so far:
4 kills

Best kill so far

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