Tuesday, October 1, 2013

31 Days of Halloween 2013 - Day 1

A Nightmare on Elm Street
Wes Craven

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: A mysterious figure is stalking the kids of Springwood in their nightmares. If he kills you in your dream, you die for real. Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) and her friends uncover a web of conspiracy involving the death of child murder named Fred Kruger (Robert Englund), but no one believes them. Time is running out to find a way to stop Freddy before he gets his revenge on the children of the people who killed him.

Despite Freddy becoming a horror-hero to kids everywhere, and basically the Pepsi to Jason Vorhees’ Coca-Cola, A Nightmare on Elm Street still manages to hold some power. There is a grimy sheen to the more surreal scenes that none of the later films manage to replicate. Freddy isn’t funny, he’s cruel. He's not an amusing figure, he's unknowable and therefore threatening. This film takes the final girl in a direction I don’t really see much in slasher films. Nancy doesn’t best Freddy physically, she takes his power from him through force of will, and it’s an evocative and powerful statement. Most importantly, A Nightmare on Elm Street captures that uneasy wrongness of a dreamworld and builds on it from the very beginning. It retains it's classic status easily.

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