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A Nightmare on Elm Street

1984 American horror film directed and written by Wes Craven

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2 stars: There is no nightmare on this street

  • Apr 30, 2010
  • by

Wes Craven is know all around as the  master of horror for decades he has been delivering original and horrifying films that have left a lasting impression on cinema. His first film "The Last House on the Left"(1972) help jump-start the slasher genre with John Carpenter's "Halloween" following right behind. Craven known worldwide for his original touch when it came to horror, for his films and his originality and flare for theatrics helped, shoot him into super-stardom in the early 1980's with his flimsy "masterpiece" "A Nightmare on Elm Street" widely touted as a horror classic. But in reality "A Nightmare on Elm Street"  is nothing more than an exploitative , excessively gory, dull horror downer that offers more laughs than chills  and  takes you on a ride  that you thought would be fun but then just turns out to be a boring time  at the movies offering up today what filmgoers would call, "Cliché thrills".



I had always heard stories about this film; I heard stories of how terrifying it was. How it left viewers with nightmares for day’s even months, one of them was my dad who said after seeing this movie he could not get a good nights sleep for a whole month. Me knowing m father and knowing nothing really scares him I took a chance of losing some sleep and dared to watch the fabled classic "A Nightmare on Elm Street" , now don't get thee wrong Idea I didn't completely dislike this movie I found that some points in the film were very frightening just not enough to scare me witless. A film started out with some extreme promise and then quickly took a huge turn for the worse as the film went on the grossly disfigured Freddy Kruger never really shown very much throughout the entire film. Giving him a kind of living shadowy type of presences, which I think, is a smart choice and a very poor one. Craven is basing his idea on the fact that Freddy cannot be seen to evoke fear. He is suppose to be  the darkness, he is suppose to be  everything a normal person would fear instead he comes off as sort of a satirical in joke about the horror genre. That is how I felt when I was watching this film I felt like I was watching a horror satire rather than just a straight out horror film and there is where the film fails to scare and falls flat on its face when it should be scaring you right out of your seat.



I will say this Wes Craven has constructed a superb story and a poor script and terrible acting on the teen cast part causing the whole production to come apart at the seams undo a haunting tale of nightmarish proportions but the brilliant and richly original premise. Completely undermining Wes Craven's vision of terror, another undermining element is the poor use of sadistic violence that at some points makes absolutely no sense and only serves the purpose of dragging this film further into obscurity and making it an even more of a disgusting ride.




The teen-adult cast including Johnny Depp (in one of his earliest roles.), Amanda Wyss, Charles Fleischer, John Saxton, Jsu Garcia Lin Shaye, Ronee Blakley, and Heather Langenkamp (as the hero and the worst performance in the film.) with Robert Englund as the malevolent Freddy Kruger (Who delivers the only solid performance in the film). They all fail in one way or another whether it be Englund and his lack of dialogue or Langenkamp and her extremely poor acting they all succumb to the poorly written script and under direction of Wes Craven  causing them to be less than  convincing.





I liked the atmosphere, I liked the how the film built suspense and then let it all out in it's cornball  ending  which evidential was this film  most major flaw but then again  it is also its  salvation  as the end of this film was the savior of the picture as well as it's captor. It was it's captor because the end  was too cliché to even comprehend and then it was it's salvation as  the end of this picture offered up the most thrills  shifting from stalker flick to full blown chase thriller which too me added some actually enjoyment to the picture. However, even a little enjoyment cannot save this rickety shamble of a horror film from collapsing into a million pieces when it should be leaving you with nightmares.

A horror masterpiece? More like a horror catastrophe.....

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October 21, 2010
Wow I am a bit surprised here
October 01, 2010
I disagree because I think this film is a true classic example of horror. It sure gave me the creeps. Good, thoughtful review, though, Lopez.
January 23, 2011
It lacked any true scares and just went for cheap ones instead of using the psychological nature of its premise to really get inside the audiences head and give them the scare they deserved. It was just cheap at best.
More A Nightmare on Elm Street (198... reviews
review by . October 02, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****     Back in the day, when people like Wes Craven and John Carpenter could still make pretty good films, good ol' Wes made stuff like "The Last House on the Left" and "A Nightmare on Elm Street". With the latter, he was able to pull elements from our deepest nightmares and edit them for added fright and stylistic value. I kind of have to admire that; his film was relevant for its time, and it's still relevant and pretty darn good now. It's one of those horror …
Quick Tip by . May 02, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
For me this is an essential '80s horror film. It's low-budget, which means the filmmakers had to be creative & not rely on fancy effects. =D
review by . November 01, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
If I was asked my opinion on the slasher branch of horror films my comments would be primarily negative. In general the concept of teenagers (or occasionally adults) being systematically killed for the sake of being killed does not appeal to me. There are movies like Halloween, and the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre that are exceptions to this, but that has more to do with the directors than it did to do with the stories actually being gripping...that being said I find A Nightmare on Elm Street …
review by . April 28, 2009
The first film in the Freddy Krueger series.
A Nightmare on Elm Street is the first film in the franchise series that featured serial killer/child molester Freddy Krueger. After being set free from prison on a legal technicality, the parents of Springwood meter out some vigilante justice against this psychotic pervert. Years later, he's back from the dead terrorizing the children of the parents who murdered him. He's become a real life monster invading the dreams of his victims. But there is one teenager who's brave enough to stand …
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C.R. Lopez ()
Member Since: Nov 6, 2009
Last Login: Jul 7, 2012 09:53 PM UTC
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Nightmare on Elm Street is a 1984 American slasher film directed and written by Wes Craven, and the first film of the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. The film features John Saxon, Heather Langenkamp, Ronee Blakley, Amanda Wyss, Jsu Garcia, Robert Englund, and Johnny Depp in his feature film debut. Set in the fictional Midwestern town of Springwood, Ohio, the plot revolves around several teenagers who, if they fall asleep, will be killed by Fred Krueger in their dreams, thus causing their deaths in reality. The teenagers are unaware of the cause of this strange phenomenon, but their parents hold a dark secret from long ago.

The film is credited with carrying on many clichés found in low-budget horror films of the 1980s and 1990s, originating in John Carpenter's 1978 horror film Halloween, including the morality play that revolves around sexual promiscuity in teenagers resulting in their eventual (usually graphic) death, leading to the term "slasher film". Critics and film historians argue that the film's premise is the question of the distinction between dreams and reality, which is manifested in the film through the teenagers dreams and their realities. Critics today praise the film's ability to transgress "the boundaries between the imaginary and real", toying with audience perceptions.

Nightmare on Elm Street contains many biographical elements, taking inspiration from director Wes Craven's childhood. The basis of the film ...

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Director: Wes Craven
Genre: Horror
Release Date: November 9, 1984
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Wes Craven
DVD Release Date: September 07, 1999
Runtime: 1hr 32min
Studio: New Line Cinema
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