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A Nightmare on Elm Street More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

On the edge of your seat thriller

Author: spuds from Norwich, NY
9 October 1998

Freddy is scary and terrifying in this first installment of the series. With green bile for blood, Freddy gives you chills up and down your spine. Definitely a great movie for horror fans. Might have of the bloodiest scenes EVER in a horror film. Along the lines of movies like "Halloween", and "Friday the 13th."

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

More than a slasher movie

Author: SnoopyStyle
5 September 2014

Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp), Tina Gray (Amanda Wyss), Rod Lane (Jsu Garcia) and Glen Lantz (Johnny Depp) are all high school friends hounded by a serial killer named Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) with a bladed glove in their dreams. The dreams are so powerful that they are affecting the real world. The kids discover that they are dreaming about the same guy. Soon the kids are dying and they have to fight their own nightmare. Nancy's police detective father (John Saxon) investigates but it's beyond his power to help.

Wes Craven created something more powerful than a simple brute killer like his compatriots. This is a serial killer of the imagination. Freddy Krueger doesn't simply slice and dice. He comes for you in your own mind. It is my favorite horror franchise of that era. The ideas are bounded only by the imagination and more importantly the budget. The other great thing is that Robert England is able give the character some personality. This blood splatter horror is compounded by the scary concept to make something beyond the regular slasher movie.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A horror film literally designed to give you nightmares!

Author: Jarrod Bonner from United States
4 May 2012

A Nightmare on Elm Street is a great film with a wonderful agenda: it's a horror film that takes place in the realm of nightmares, which gives your imagination a lot to work with once you go to sleep after watching it.

Robert Englund is terrifying as the cruel sadist Freddy Krueger. His costume design and make-up is unmatched by any of the other slasher icons, and he is matched perhaps only by Nosferatu's Count Orlock in terms of character design.

This film really gets under your skin and gives you some serious nightmares. To this day, I have the occasional Freddy Krueger dream and they vary in levels of scariness. But this is a real testament to the film's ability to get under your skin and really bother you. I consider this a must for anyone looking for a good scare.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Inventive entry into the horror genre

Author: moviesleuth2
5 February 2010

Sleep is an essential part of life; it allows our bodies and our minds to relax and recharge for the next day. It is also the time when we are the most vulnerable. When we are asleep, we are blissfully unaware of what is going on around us. Wes Craven's landmark horror film, "A Nightmare on Elm Street" takes advantage of this often overlooked part of life and uses it in unusual and effective ways.

Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) is your average sixteen year old girl. She's got good friends and a great boyfriend. But when her friend Tina (Amanda Wyss) is brutally murdered, and her boyfriend Rod (Jsu Garcia) is arrested for it, Nancy's world is turned upside down. However, Tina had a nightmare the night before she died, the same one that Nancy and Rod had. As her friends keep turning up dead, Nancy begins to realize that there is someone who is killing her friends in their dreams, and what happens in their dreams, happens in real life.

This all sounds highly convoluted, which it is, but Craven explains it pretty thoroughly. The premise is golden, and Craven, never one to shy away from taking risks, exploits it for all it's worth. The crossing of this boundary opens up a lot of possibilities, not only for the staple events in a horror movie (gruesome and inventive murders), but some philosophical questions about this given boundary.

Unfortunately while the film can boast a highly original premise and story, it's not that scary. Maybe it's because it's not particularly well-acted. Amanda Wyss and Jsu Garcia aren't particularly good thespians, even within the broad constraints of the genre. Heather Langenkamp is solid as the spunky heroine. For once, the heroine of the horror film isn't as dumb as a brick or supremely wimpy. She's brave, and more importantly, pretty smart. Johnny Depp shows us a glimmer of his talent as her boyfriend, Glen. Ronee Blakely is okay as Nancy's mom, who knows more about what's going on than she's telling. However, the real star of the show is not Robert Englund (who is very creepy as the film's sadistic villain, Fred Krueger), but John Saxon. Saxon is great as Nancy's sympathetic, but incredulous father. He acts just the way a normal father would act in the given situation.

Wes Craven is known as the Master of Horror. While he's made a number of solid horror movies, I don't agree with that statement. His films are engaging and competently made, but they aren't all that frightening. The one thing that Craven has that no one else does is a penchant for taking risks. "A Nightmare on Elm Street" doesn't follow the slasher film formula (in fact, this is just a horror film, and not a member of the slasher genre).

It's recommendable because it's a spooky story with a few shocks and tense moments.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Tina! Mother! Krueger! Scream!

Author: thesar-2 from United States
2 January 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I knew someone who didn't much care for horror movies, but he kept screeching "TINA!" around me and his partner attempting to either A: scare us, B: simply make fun of the dialogue or both, in A Nightmare on Elm Street. I can say that, nor the movie itself, scared me. In fact, none of the series (so far) 8 installments, including Freddy Vs. Jason, scared me. And that's okay; it wasn't the scare factor that impressed me or kept me wanting more. It was the humor and inventiveness.

Growing up, I was a huge fan of the Halloween, Friday the 13th, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Hellraiser and A Nightmare on Elm Street series, or in other words, cheesy 1980s horror/psycho killer films. (Yeah, I know some of them started in the 1970s, but it was the 1980s that made them famous.) The one series that topped all others, even to today, was the Freddy Krueger films.

Generally speaking, the first in any series is usually the best one. I.E. Halloween, Hellraiser and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Though I thoroughly enjoyed the original A Nightmare on Elm Street, it wasn't the best and by no means is it a perfect film. But, it set the stage. It took it's predecessors to a new level. Namely in creativity. Which is one of the reasons why I liked this series the best. Well, that and Freddy is the best of all the serial killers in the aforementioned horror franchises.

Nancy (Langenkamp) and her high school pals are having bad dreams, and slowly they discover that they're all experiencing the same horrific nightmares about a man in a "weird hat, red and green sweater and knifes for fingers." What they don't realize is that even though the dreams are really, really bad, they soon become deadly when Tina (Wyss) is murdered supposedly by her boyfriend during the night.

Boyfriend Rod (Corri) is framed and in jail, but the killing continues! The kids, namely future series heroine, Nancy, attempt to put the mystery together while trying to stay awake and find out who this man of their nightmares is.

No spoiler here, but it's Willie from the original V series! Okay, it's just Freddy Krueger, known here as Fred. (At least they didn't call him Frederick.) Nancy must rely solely on herself and her instincts to solve the mystery surrounding Fred, why he's in her dreams and stop him. And seeing the people around her, her blatantly drunk mother, her "dumb jock" disbelieving boyfriend and her angry and overprotective cop dad are all of no use. (Heck, all of the cops should be fired – I loved the hesitant one in the closing when Nancy's going berserk. Hilarious.)

I guess why I rated A Nightmare on Elm Street only 8 stars is because of the laughable dialogue, the inconsistencies and irregularities. For example, some things can come out of the dream when captured, such as the hat and (spoiler – someone else) but then the trellis she doesn't even hold onto comes back with her. A feather from her pillow is seen floating but the mirror Fred crashes through survives. Nancy requests 20 minutes to capture the killer and still has time to set half a dozen traps, have a nice mother-daughter talk and fall into deep sleep. And Fred is only supposed to appear when one's asleep; yet, Nancy receives a call from him and the ending blows any of the story's mythos out the window. Literally.

I'm not just talking about goofs, as all movies have them, but they set up a premise, a good and original one in a series of horror movies that relied on a masked killer stalking in the shadows. At least they tried here to change the trend. But, unfortunately, they kept breaking their own rules. It actually would've made more sense to have him as a ghost and then all bets are off. (Granted, he's sort of a ghost, but with rules.) As for the dialogue, though some of its iconic by now, it really doesn't hold up. A few years back, I saw A Nightmare on Elm Street in the theater for a one-night presentation. Being a huge fan, I arrived way early to get good seats, but still thought hardly anyone would show up. Well, it completely sold out. And to my surprise, everyone practically laughed all the way though it and it appeared both at and with the movie. I had to, myself. Even though I grew up on the series and loved them, the movie really was silly, namely for some of the lines, acting and characters – Oh, that drunk mother! Alcohol should be part of any nutritious breakfast! I don't think the audience was really criticizing the movie, they were just having fun.

Aside from negatives, I am still awarding the movie 8/10 due to the movie being enormously inventive, original, fun and despite Fred(dy) not being in it too much, he was extremely iconic, an instant super-villain. Also, I'm glad it started a cult following since a lot of the sequels explored a lot more and were, in a lot of ways, far superior to this original one. So, it did set the stage, introduced a whole new world and just as Jaws did for swimmers, this one did for sleepers. Only, with Jaws, you could choose to stay out of the water. Here, and in real life, you eventually have to sleep. Maybe for the last time.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The Best Villain of all time!

Author: ferreira_alberto from Portugal
10 July 2008

The Movie: I can still remember the first time I saw this one! And from that day became my favorite movie for life! The movie refreshes the genre, witch was exploring at the time the slasher sub-genre. It launched a new kind of slasher, who talks, teases and could kill his victims in their sleep! We always wonder what would happen if we die in our dreams, well, a nightmare on elm street answer that question in the most macabre way. The cast is fabulous, starting with the villain Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund from Eaten Alive and V), the heroin Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp)and the beginning of a amazing actor witch plays Glen (Johnny Depp), the heroin's boyfriend. Wes Craven's work is one in a lifetime, the effects are amazing, making this movie looked like it was big budget production. The short amount of money, makes a Nightmare on Elm Street the ultimate Classic of the modern age, and Makes Freddy Krueger the most loved villain since Darth Vader. All the energy spent with the will of wanting to make this movie is felt during the hole time.

The sequels: Well, as usually, if the formula works it will comeback for more! In this case, the numbers of sequels is a little bit too much for the character Freddy Krueger, because sequel after sequel the character became too much of a joker, instead the sarcastic killer from the first movie. One of the biggest mistakes of New Line Cinema was as the Budget grew, we started to see more detailed Krueger's face, witch made the character more exposed and less scary. Freddy's Revenge is probably where the ambient is similar to the original, Krueger is still in the dark, half hidden by the shadows of darkness and although after the sequel it's not my favorite part, is one of my favorites. As the character started to loose the audience, new line cinema started to loose control over Freddy's character, until the creator Wes Craven came with Wes Craven's New Nightmare, refreshing the franchise. In my opinion, Freddy is dead and he should stay that way in sign of respect for what he has given to New Line Cinema! The remake news that Robert Englund is not going to play Freddy Krueger only makes us (fans) wonder that New Line Cinema couldn't care less for the importance that the character had for the studio, and if it wasn't for Freddy, Lord of The Rings would probably be made by another studio. Freddy Made New Line big and New Line is making Freddy shrink!

Long Live Freddy!

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Another good movie from the past

Author: Punk19 from Chester, Virginia
11 November 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Before I start reviewing this wonderful series I must say that for the longest time I had wanted to and now have had the chance to watch it. Now to the review, what can I say, hmmmmz, maybe that this film was an awesome movie with a lot of blood, gore and killing that I love.

Nancy Thompson(Heather Langenkamp)has been having dreams. So have her friends Tina(Amanda Wyss), Glen(Johnny Depp)and Rod(Jsu Garcia). And all of the dreams that they have been having seemed to center about a man that wears a brown fedora hat, red and green striped sweater and a clawed hand of deathly precautions. One by one Nancy sees her friends die to the hands of the killer. That is until she makes him come into the real world and learning that she holds the power of his strength and weaknesses.

The ending was a great success as it shouted out that Freddy Krueger(Robert Englund)is not done with his revenge upon the civilians of Elm Street. I gave this an 8 as I felt it needed to be a lot longer.

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Innovative teen slasher featuring Johnny Depp's debut

Author: Wuchak from Ohio/PA border
15 June 2016

Released in 1984, Wes Craven's "A Nightmare on Elm Street" is about a psycho specter (Robert Englund) who haunts the dreams of four teens on Elm Street in Springwood, USA, with intent to kill. The four teens are played by Heather Langenkamp, Johnny Depp, Amanda Wyss and Jsu Garcia. John Saxon and Ronee Blakley play the parents of the heroine.

I like the way "Nightmare" takes the slasher genre and adds a new dimension—a ghostly killer who slays people in their dreams. I also appreciate how the story builds as it progresses; things aren't as simple as they seem in the first act. Speaking of which, the first act features an innovative murder sequence that takes place as a teen couple is locked in a bedroom. The horrific way a girl is shown "climbing the walls" (or however you want to put it) didn't come into vogue until over a decade later with those Japanese ghost flicks. I also like how the hoodlum teen (Garcia) APPEARS to be the culprit when the viewer knows this isn't true.

In addition, Heather is a quality protagonist and its interesting seeing Depp in his very first movie. It goes without saying that Freddy Krueger became a horror icon and deservedly so. Lastly, the ambiance of the movie is decidedly early-to-mid 80s, like the soundtrack and the (lame) electronic drums, but how can you hold that against the film? It's part of its charm. Nevertheless, I prefer the Friday the 13th flicks due to the camping-out locale and superior women.

The movie runs 91 minutes and was shot in Los Angeles & Venice, CA.


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Let the Nightmares begin

Author: Dan Harden from United Kingdom
1 June 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Horror movies aim often aim to keep their frightened audience up at night, and no film has made this their aim more that the Nightmare on Elm Street series. This classic horror film is very much of its time but its rather original concept will leave you paranoid once the lights go out for bed.

The acting of this film is as expected from an 80's teen slasher movie. Heather Langenkamp makes a decent scream queen but overall its not great, but it did introduce the world to Johnny Depp who plays the incompetent boyfriend who just can't stay awake to save his life (literally). Robert Englund doesn't have much to do in this film at all, hiding in the shadows for the majority of the films run time, but there are many sequels to which he features more heavily.

The film is interestingly both generic and original. The idea of a man killing people in their dreams is a really unique concept that is one of the reasons the film has become infamous, but the film also follows many teen slasher movie genre conventions. The parents are useless, the teens are dumb and there is also a scene where a teenage girl investigate strange sounds in the dark while wearing nothing but a mans shirt. The film has this interesting concept with creative kills but at the same time divulges into another generic slasher film.

One thing I came to notice about watching this film in 2016 was how of-its-time this film is. I slept like a rock after watching the film, it did not scare me. But I realise that if I was watching this film in 1984 then it would most likely be the complete opposite, but then again i'll never know.

Overall A Nightmare on Elm Street is a generic teen slasher film with a creative concept that appears rather dated today. I have no idea what happened at the end of the film other than it was still a dream but maybe there are Easter eggs hidden throughout the rest of the series to explain that. P.S. I swear the street name is never addressed at all in this film.

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It's good but not the best one.

Author: jaredleeloughner from United Kingdom
1 May 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The original Nightmare on elm street was a really good film but Dream warriors is still the best. Now Freddy in this film is easily at his scariest not knowing his motive for almost all the movie really helped and Nancy is easily one of the best female horror heroines out there and what this movie does perfectly is have a relaxed 30 minutes. You see the characters before there traumatised which I think most modern day horror films don't get because you get to be attached to them until they get killed off in five minutes.

So the plot involves Freddy coming back to Elm street to terrorised some teens. The movie pulls a psycho by leading us to believe the character at the start of the film is the film until she is killed off which her boyfriend ends up going to prison for. At the end of the film Nancy fights Freddy in a humorous but yet iconic scene with Nancy using traps on Freddy then getting a odd ending with Freddy pulling Nancy though the door window.

I think it's a good film and everyone needs to watch it horror fan or not it's just a classic.

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