Halloween Marathon: A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Welcome to the Halloween Marathon! We’re officially kicking off with our highlight series: A Nightmare on Elm Street!

I’m working hard on catching up on all the horror series that I’ve missed year after year. You can see my past two years recap over in the menu under Halloween Marathon.  There’s all the reviews from the Halloween and Friday the 13th series (which you can find on the Halloween Marathon page HERE).  Now, we’re moving onto the next iconic series.  I’m super stoked for this one because this year, it gives it even more reason to celebrate this series even though I had planned it a year ago.

Let’s begin!

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

a nightmare on elm street

Director & Writer: Wes Craven

Cast: Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon, Robert Englund, Ronee Blakley, Johnny Depp, Jsu Garcia

Several people are hunted by a cruel serial killer who kills his victims in their dreams. When the survivors are trying to find the reason for being chosen, the murderer won’t lose any chance to kill them as soon as they fall asleep. – IMDB

Last year while I was doing the Halloween Marathon featuring the Friday the 13ths was the first time I saw Freddy Kreuger in Freddy vs Jason.  Freddy Krueger is a downright creepy looking dude.  I don’t know much about A Nightmare on Elm Street except for the fragmented bits here and there and some iconic scenes I’ve seen here and there.  I’ve postponed this series for a few years because I never found the movies on a reasonable price but now, we’re all assembled and to me, the best part about A Nightmare on Elm Street is the premise and the character Freddy Kreuger.  Someone who can kill you while you are sleeping in your nightmares is crazy because its something that’s basically out of your control. What is the easiest way to tap into your inner/psychological fears? Its targeting whatever is out of our control.  After all, that is the basis of fear factories, right?

A Nightmare on Elm Street

 With that said, A Nightmare on Elm Street is a different sort of horror.  Its not even really slasher and as much as there is blood and its campy and mega dated, it still keeps a fun factor but also gives a rather creepy vibe.  I mean, there’s a few scenes that while the effects aren’t great because its been like 30 years (almost), and I’m rather forgiving on that, it still got under my skin a little.  I have to admit that while this first one didn’t show Freddy much because we’re just learning about who this man is before he became the monster killer on Elm Street, he had some goofy moments like that long arm scene. But then, we have this scene below…that picture kind of gives me the creeps…

a nightmare on elm street

Most of the cast here is new to me.  I did a quite rundown of them and maybe they did some roles here and there.  Of course, we have the notable Johnny Depp who makes an appearance here.  Honestly, the cast here is rather decent.  The script itself is a little cheesy at times but the cast is convincing enough. However, what the script does have are some remarkably creative death scenes.  Johnny Depp’s character’s death scene is easily one of the best ones.  It just kind of emphasizes how Freddy Kreuger can kill in any way as long as you fall asleep.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

As a first entry into a long-running franchise, A Nightmare on Elm Street is a strong one. While I still think, Halloween and Michael Myers offered a little more creeps, Freddy Kreuger does a good job as well.  Its all in the premise of his character and how he kills and just that disgusting look that we only ever get a glimpse of. Wes Craven is a master in horror in building atmosphere and building a legit character that is threatening.  Sleep is something that is obligatory in our lives, dreaming is a subconscious state of mind and he takes control of something we can’t control.  Just think about that. Smart move, Mr. Craven. I should’ve appreciated your work a lot earlier.

Overall, A Nightmare on Elm Street is a great first entry bring forth a memorable and effectively creepy character Freddy Kreuger.  It has a great premise and builds decent atmosphere.  It still has the campy feeling, mostly because of the supposed low budget and the dated effects from 30 years ago. However, it still made me jump a few times and the deaths were done in a rather creative way.  Definitely worth a watch!

What do you think of A Nightmare on Elm Street? How about the series in general? Which is your favorite?

**Remember to drop by tomorrow to see the review for Nightmare on Elm Street 2!!**