“Whatever you do, don’t fall asleep.”
- Nancy Thomspon
Ah, so I have been savouring my Elm Street collection. I was so prepared to just sit down and watch them all, but I exercised some self control, and I have been spreading them all out. I will start with the reviews of them all now, though, so I can share my experience!
A Nightmare On Elm Street features Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp), who is having terrible nightmares, and they are freaking her out. She wakes up screaming all the time. She finds out that her boyfriend, Glen Lantz (Johnny Depp) and friends Rod Lane (Jsu Garcia) and Tina Gray (Amanda Wyss) are having similar dreams featuring the same monster. Tina is extremely anxious and afraid to stay alone, and the group of friends stay over at Tina’s house seeing as her parents are out of town.
On their little excursion, Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) finally makes his first real slasher appearance, and butchers Tina in front of Rod’s eyes. When the cops discover the gruesome crime scene, the murder gets put squarely on Rod’s shoulders. Nancy’s father, Lt. Donald Thompson (John Saxon) arrests Rod, and will hear nothing of some deranged murderer in the mind of young teens.
Nancy gets sent for dream therapy at a dream institute, and when things go wrong, comes back out with Freddy Krueger’s hat. Armed with the knowledge that she can bring him back out with her, she begins devising a plan to crush Freddy for good. In the meanwhile, her friends keep dying off, and she discovers the secret of Freddy and his power, as well as his terrible yet justified death at the hands of the Elm Street neighbourhood after being freed on a technicality in court for the brutal murders of dozens of children. Nancy now understands why she is being hunted: she is one of Elm Street’s lynching squad’s kids, and Freddy is hell bent on exacting bloody revenge on them all.
This Freddy Krueger classic scores a 7.5/10. It is old school, it is original, it was done well (and by that I mean cheese, guts, gore and the dialogue) and will remain a horror classic, and with good reason. I have always enjoyed A Nightmare On Elm Street, and as always it is entertaining to see an extraordinarily young Johnny Depp putting his feelers out. To see where he began and where he is today is always impressive. A Nightmare On Elm Street is a prime example of a great horror film, and should be acknowledged as such.