Wednesday, 20 November 2013

A Nightmare On Elm Street

The first time I saw A Nightmare On Elm Street was around Christmas time. I remember this because I have a really vivid memory of watching it with the lights off as my mum hung Christmas decorations around the living room of our old house. 

I must have been about 16 or so. I wasn't scared, in fact I found most of the sequences laughable, but I loved it. And so when I saw that my local Cineworld was showing a one off screening of the film on Halloween, I simply had to be there! 

For those who are not familiar with the story of the dream killer with razors on his fingers, allow me to initiate you. School friends, Nancy, Tina, Rod and Glen discover that they keep having nightmares about the same scarred man with a razor glove. After Tina is killed by the man during a particularly violent dream, and her boyfriend is accused of her murder, things start to take a disturbing turn for the remaining three teens. When Nancy discovers that the man in her nightmares was not only real, but known to her parents as child killer Fred Krueger, she starts to do some investigation into his death, and how he could be attacking a new generation of children from within their dreams. 

If you are going to watch Nightmare for the first time there are a couple of things you'll need to know. First is that all of the 'kids' look about 30. There is one scene in particular where Nancy comments that she looks "20 years old", you could probably double that. The second thing to bear in mind is that the acting is terrible. Nancy's mom got a lot of laughs in the screening I saw. 

But, if you put those things aside and consider that this movie is nearly 30 years old, you can better appreciate how ground breaking it was at the time. The make up effects alone are still tremendous to this day. And after one of my friends dressed as Freddy for Halloween, I'm sure she now has a better understanding for how long those make up effects took and how much more impressive they are for not being done in CGI. I know I certainly have a greater appreciation for it just from seeing it done. 

One of my favourite parts of the movie is towards the end when Nancy is trying to set booby traps for Freddy. I just love the set up of all the traps and the fact that she supposedly did that in under 10 minutes. So unrealistic but so much fun. 

It's kinda silly, parts of it make no sense at all, but it's a fun horror that will have you laughing as well as jumping. A horror classic, just don't expect to be terrified. 8 out of 10.

Viewing Date - 31st October 2013
Original Release Date - 16th November 1984 
(USA - couldn't find a UK release date)

Cast Overview:
Lt Donald Thompson ~ John Saxon
Marge Thompson ~ Ronee Blakley
Nancy Thompson ~ Heather Langenkamp
Christina 'Tina' Gray ~ Amanda Wyss
Rod Lane ~ Nick Corri
Glen Lantz ~ Johnny Depp
Fred Krueger ~ Robert Englund

Director/Writer ~ Wes Craven

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