Movie Review: Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
The tone of the film is set during the opening scene, a drip drip drip from a leaking pipe, the sound of metal being custom fit to a badly burnt, murderous hand and shadows cast from the burning light of a boiler……followed by the shrieking sound of said custom made knife hand being dragged along metal, it’s enough to send me running for the back of the sofa already.
However, this being one of the best horrors of all time, in my humble opinion, I shall continue watching in order to capture the dread and all round panic that this wonderful piece of cinematography instills in me!
There is a back story – the parents of Elm Street knew of the child murdering tendencies of one Mr Freddy Krueger (played by the fantastic Robert Englund – seriously, have you ever seen him in another film? He’s still Freddy!) so, when a court filing error meant that he was able to walk free, the parents tracked him down to the boiler room in an old factory where he used to take the children and set it alight; killing Freddy in the process. Now, here comes the scary twist; Freddy, in his awfully burnt state has found a way to stalk and kill the children of the fire lighting parents……….in their dreams.
This is perhaps the thing that scares me the most! After figuring out that dream-world is Freddy’s stomping ground, the teenagers try to stay awake which, inevitably means they fall asleep. Enter images of skipping girls in pretty white dresses ruining a much loved nursery rhyme which signals the arrival of the fearsome dream killer.
Now, Freddy hasn’t counted on Nancy, daughter of the local police chief and his liquor loving wife who, incidentally, stole Freddy’s knife glove thing and hid it in the boiler of their home……..yes, really. As Nancy’s friends get picked off in the most awful (or most creative) fashion she manages to find a way to defeat him; for now!
Although this film is filled with pretty basic special effects, they evoke the desired emotion in the viewer, one of absolute, sheer horror. This film will always remain a firm favourite of mine, there are no others to compare it to – not even the remake!
And so, I leave you with the words of Nancy to her then boyfriend Glen (Johnny Depp in his first major role FYI!) ‘don’t fall asleep’!
*jumps under a blanket because blankets can protect you from all sorts of ghoulies*