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Strong in Dreams, Powerless in Reality..

Author: Jaka Myers Klemen from Slovenia
22 May 2013

This is what I call "extreme supernatural slashers". Great movie with a great story.

The only thing what makes the whole movie (for me) a little worse, instead of 10/10, 9/10 is that sometimes it's kind of "to easy" to beat Freddy, the movie killer. I mean, not like really easy, he's just "not so strong" and he's completely powerless in reality.

But the good thing is also, that Freddy can kill you in your dreams, that means you are extremely powerless when escaping away from him. It's his world and you're trapped inside. But when you pull him out of his world, it's way to easy to beat him as i already mentioned. Also, the way of killing in this movie is pretty great. Like, totally bloody and really original. (I won't reveal parts, cause then it will be a spoiler). So when i was watching that movie, it was really great but still not as good as Halloween or Friday the 13. But i must say, that 2010 remake of that movie (no offense) sucked..

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One of the many Movies That Will Never Die

Author: Jac23443 from United States
18 May 2013

I've seen almost every classic iconic horror movie that most people find to be terrifying. But this is the one movie that blows all other horror icons out of the water, there is no way anyone can say the first Freddie film isn't scary. Wish I could say the same for the other Freddie knock- offs but I won't because they all were TERRIFYINGLY AWFUL. What in God's name is more terrifying than a man who invades your dreams and can kill you if he gets to you in them? The answer is there isn't anything more terrifying, that's why this is one the best horror films ever to have hit the big screen. I saw this movie when I was 13... even now I'm still terrified of the whole concept of a dream invader. Anyone looking for a horror movie that will honestly terrify you, watch this, lights out, speakers full blast, see if you don't freak out when you're by yourself.

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In the top 5 best horror movies

Author: Roflailer Lol from United Kingdom
31 March 2013

Wes Craven has made some brilliant horror films in his time, but this is definitely his best.

Nancy Thompson and her friends are stalked by a deranged serial killer, but instead of the original plot line of this happening in real life, they're being hunted when they're at their most vulnerable.

Including Johnny Depp in his first ever performance (Although you really won't recognise him!), this movie will take your breathe away, and really, I'm not exaggerating!

Overall, amazing music, lots of jump scenes, outstanding special effects for the time it was made (and still great today), a story line that nobody has ever thought of before and great acting, this movie has got to be one of my favourites of all time, and not just horror. Well done Wes Craven! You're a genius!

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Quintessential and defining horror

Author: amesmonde from Novelist of The Final Version
26 February 2013

Murdered serial killer Freddy Krueger appears in the teenagers of Elm Street dreams to exact revenge for their parents unlawful actions.

Made in 1984, it's inevitably dated slightly - only loosing it's edge due to imitations and sequels, nevertheless, it still retains much of its eerie factor and many of the effects still hold up today. (That said, Freddy's long arms segment are just as tacky and odd as they were back then.)

Heather Langenkamp's Nancy goes against the stereotype and look of usual damsels in distress lead and to director/writer Wes Craven's credit he's uses the Psycho (1963) casting ploy with Amanda Wyss as Tina. An unknown (at the time) Johnny Depp appears and veteran John Saxon give some weight to the film in an extended cameo, the rest of cast are above par for the stigmatized genre. Notable is Ronee Blakley as Marge Thompson Nancy's alcoholic mother.

There are many standout moments - the hand between Nancy's legs in the bath scene, the body bag in the corridor, the bloody ceiling and bed deaths, the shock ending and more, actually too many to mention. This coupled with Charles Bernstein's excellent and memorable score, sound design and creepy makeup effects is enough to deliver chills.

A Nightmare on Elm Street is a quintessential and defining horror that made a star of Robert England sowed the seeds for Freddy's pop icon status. Craven delivered a novel concept and villain which has been imitated many times since.

With an assortment of slasher, fantasy and horror - nightmare mixed with reality has never been quite equalled since.

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Overrated classic but still watchable

Author: GL84 from Los Angeles, Ca
21 February 2013

When her friends start dying in their sleep of apparent suicides, a teen finds the source of the strange incidents to be the returning spirit of a killer murdered by her parents and seeking revenge against the children and must find a way to stop him.

This here is one of the more controversial of the classic-era horror films because a lot of what makes it so appealing is due to historical significance and reputation rather than any actual merits of the film itself. The main source of the film's reputation is the rather clever and unique manner of the killer's back-story, which here is made to showcase one of the more common archetypes of horror, the sins of the mothers and fathers repeating to their sons and daughters, but is done with such a unique and original take that there's a sense of originality in the work and that makes for some of the best sequences in the film like the bed-attack where she levitates in mid-air while being ambushed, the first encounter in the alley and the final showdown in the house with all sorts of nightmarish situations being utilized in the battle by both sides. These are high-quality scenes that work not only because they're incredibly creepy but also due to the big action-spectacle they endow the film with, and when it's coupled with the fun special effects present and several ingenious kills, this one does have some positives. The main flaw to this one, though, is the fact that there's a hidden clue to the film's sense of reality-bending that really makes it easy to write off a lot of what happens and takes a lot of the sting out of this one with how it handles its' main villain. That really makes this one feel a lot less creepy than it really is, as well as the ending which undoes everything that's happened and doesn't seem to really offer much beyond a lame jump, but otherwise this one still has some going for it.

Rated R: Graphic Violence, Brief Nudity, Adult Language, and an off-camera sex scene.

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A powerful, deeply disturbing idea

Author: tomgillespie2002 from United Kingdom
5 February 2013

By 1983 the horror sub-genre of slasher films were dwindling, offering largely imitations of the hugely successful Friday the 13th series (in 1984 Friday had it's 'Final Chapter' that proved to be eventually false), with films such as Curtains, The Forest or Sleepaway Camp. Whilst the majority of these films expressed the vapid nature of teenagers as throwaway avatars for murder, they continued with the conventions set out by John Carpenter's Halloween (1978), but added very little in originality or invention. Of course, Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street was not the first slasher to involve a supernatural villain - Uli Lommel's ridiculous The Boogeyman (1980) - along with Halloween's Michael Myers - had utilised these elements before, but Craven's nightmare hook turned what could have been a standard early- '80's horror film into something quite original and filled with socio- political ideas.

Wes Craven at this point in his career had made the notorious (and still quite shocking) debut, The Last House on the Left (1972), the mediocre, yet well known The Hills Have Eyes (1977) and the failed mystery, Deadly Blessing (1981) - amongst other inferior projects. He had yet to display his intelligent subversion of horror conventions that are now well known though the Scream franchise (1996 - 2011), but within the foundation of his slasher screenplay, was a concept inspired by a real-life mystery that he embellished, creating what is now an icon of the genre. Craven read in the newspapers about a young Asian boy who was fearful of sleep, telling his parents that someone was after him in his dreams. One night his physician father gave him sleeping pills, and the boy violently died in his sleep. So, what if there was someone attempting to kill a group of teenagers in their sleep? Well, it would surely make for an interesting narrative, and one that would equally be frightening, smart and original.

In this context, Krueger represents America's violent past, from the decimation of native Indians, through the depravity of civil war, to the embarrassment of the failed war in Vietnam. Reagan wanted to present the nation as a clean-cut, progressive society, and with the religious right now on his side (before 1980, state and religion were separated by the constitution, until Republicans realised the number of voters that could be gained by "preaching" god and country into their policies). In the first real introduction of Krueger proper in the film, the young Tina (Amanda Wyss) stands in an alleyway, and he enters at the other side, his Fedora hat in silhouette, he stands like a figure from the old western frontier, the music suggests the genre conventions of a John Ford film. But this is an outlaw figure twisted to reveal to the youth of the '80's that they are no longer able to believe the lies and deceits of parent and government. But Krueger is also a spectre of the past, who will correct the wrongs by eliminating the future, tearing apart the fabric of the fallacy created to whitewash any infractions of history.

Aside from subtextual concepts that run through the film, there is ample room for inventive, bloody deaths. The supernatural infuses the script and lets fantasy become overindulged. From the horrific death of Tina, whose body, slashed with the finger knives, is dragged onto the ceiling where she screams for life, to Johnny Depp's screen debut, where his body is pulled into his bed, gushing out blood at an impossible rate, the bloodletting is both horrifying and informatively original. In Nancy we have the standard final girl of the sub-genre, but she is far more intelligent than previous girls. Langenkamp portrays the strong-willed female with confidence. But fundamentally, unlike films such as Friday the 13th or Halloween, the "monster" seems to have purpose, his vengeance almost justified by the legality of his murder; legitimised by a troubled past. In a way, Krueger looks over the teenagers, like the incredibly effective scene where his claws and face push through the wall above the sleeping Nancy, he peeks into the wrong bedroom, but he wants to expose the fabrication of history.

I first saw A Nightmare on Elm Street on video in 1985 (a friends brother rented it for us - I was 9), and it was one of the first modern horror films I was introduced to. To be honest it was a bit of a revelation, and I can easily state that it probably changed my life, in the sense that I saw a film that played with film form, and presented the concept and atmosphere of a dream/nightmare in such a primal and effective way. It is certainly a film that has stayed in my sub- conscious ever since. The impact of the film, and its central, monstrous conceit (Krueger), has been watered down with seven inferior sequels (which I will be reviewing over the next few months), and has therefore lost the thing that made it work on so many levels. But, watching this film as a stand alone narrative, it still has a powerful, deeply disturbing idea - we all sleep, we all dream. What if that activity that we all need to survive could kill you? The only real failure of this first movie is the multiple, farcical endings that time has been unkind to. It seems that director and producer, Robert Shaye, were unable to agree on a suitable end, but resolved to use them all. But it is still a film of interesting beauty and mood, and a film that I will no doubt return to in the future.

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An Excellent,Scary,Imaginative,Original and Haunting Horror Classic. Wes Craven's Greatest film.

Author: jcbutthead86 from United States
13 December 2012

A Nightmare On Elm Street is simply one of the greatest Horror films ever made,an excellent,scary,frightening and original Horror Classic that is filled with great direction,a wonderful cast,a creepy and memorable score and amazing Special Effects. It's one of my all-time favorite Horror films and is Wes Craven greatest film.

Set in Springwood,Ohio,A Nightmare On Elm Street tells the story about a group of teenagers who live in the same neighborhood of Elm Street who have been having the same nightmares about a burnt and scarred man with finger knifes named Fred Krueger(Robert England). When one of the teens is killed in their sleep,Nancy Thompson(Heather Langenkamp)has to figure out why Fred Krueger is stalking her and her friends in their nightmares and stop him before it's too late or Nancy won't wake up at all.

There are many reasons A Nightmare On Elm Street is a classic and my opinion a landmark Horror film. By 1984 everyone and their Mama was making a Slasher film and the Slasher genre during the period from 1978 to 1984 had hit it's peak,the Friday the 13th series by that time was in it's forth installment,the Halloween series was in limbo and semi-retirement(then brought back four years later)and the genre needed something fresh and exciting and ANOES was the answer. ANOES brilliantly combines the bloody,gory kills of the Slasher genre and mixes it with Fantasy and dreams. One of the reasons ANOES is so frightening and scary is because it blurs the lines of dreams and reality. Wes Craven pulls the viewer into a world where you're not sure if the events in the film are really happening or is it a dream or a nightmare or are the characters in the film going crazy and imagining things. The film is a dark and scary experience where you feel like none of the characters are safe when they're awake or asleep and film's atmosphere adds to the characters since of dread and fear whether it's the darkness and shadows at or even in the beautiful daylight,with images and scenes that are disturbing and creative and will give viewers nightmares themselves. The kills,gore and special effects are scary and brilliant and is impressive for a film made on a low budget of 1 million dollars. The gore and special effects enhance the film and matches the film's nightmarish tone. Unlike most of the Slasher films during the 80s where the characters are not developed and unlikable and waiting to get killed,the characters in ANOES are likable and well-developed and you feel sympathy for them whether it's the teenagers or their parents. The teenagers in the film aren't like the unsuspecting teens in the Friday The 13th films,but sympathetic to the point where you feel sorry for them and what the characters have to deal with whether it's dealing with Fred Krueger or dealing with their parents. Before he was Freddy Krueger,popping off one-liners and becoming a Horror/Cult icon,Freddy Krueger was Fred Krueger in this film,a sick,twisted killer that killed you in your dreams and did it with a dark glee and joy. Unlike the other slasher icons like Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers,Freddy had a personality and style and was unique. Instead of just using a machete or knife,Freddy uses his finger knifes and fear in this film,I also love the fact that Freddy doesn't get much screen time in the film always hiding in the darkness and shadows and not saying much dialog. What also makes Freddy a great character is that in the nightmares Freddy can control anything and have all the power to do what he wants to his prey and the victims are powerless and can't stop Freddy. While I love the Freddy character in the sequels,the version and character in this one is the scariest and most frightening. This film and the Freddy character in this film do for sleeping what Jaws did for swimming in the water and what Psycho did for taking showers and one of the reasons ANOES is such a timeless classic. The ending of the film like the rest of the movie is scary and ambiguous because you are not going to be sure if the ending is real or a dream. The ending is one of the things that adds to the film's greatness and will stay with you after you watch the movie.

The whole cast is great in their roles. Heather Langenkamp does a great job as Nancy,the hero of the film,bringing depth,sympathy and a likable presence to the role. Robert England is simply amazing as Fred Krueger,bringing a menacing,scary and frightening believability to the role. England's performance in this film and the sequels made Freddy one of greatest movie villains of all time. John Saxon is wonderful as LT.Donald Thompson,a cop who is Nancy's father,Saxon is calm and collective in his performance. Ronee Blakley is effective and sad as Marge Thompson,Nancy's alcoholic mother. Johnny Depp does a great job as Glen,Nancy's boyfriend. Who would've known Depp would become one of the biggest stars on the planet. Amanda Wyss is wonderful in her small role as Tina,Nancy's best friend. Nick Corri does an outstanding job as Rod,Tina's bad boy boyfriend.

Wes Craven's direction in the film is fantastic,giving the film and sense of fear and dread,moving the camera and giving the film a great pace and the scares are well done. Great job,Craven.

Charles Bernstein's score and NOES theme is dark,frightening and effective and matches the film's scary feel. Creepy score by Bernstein.

The Special Make-up effects by David B. Miller are amazing,gory and realistic and add to the film. Great effects,Miller

In final word,if you love Horror films,Slasher films or Wes Craven,I highly suggest you check out A Nightmare On Elm Street,a landmark and timeless Horror classic that will make you afraid to go to sleep and will stay with you after you watch it. Highly Recommended. 10/10.

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After 25 years, parts of it hold up, parts of it don't.

Author: JoeB131 from United States
1 December 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I still really want to say good things about this movie.

In some ways, this movie doesn't hold up. The special effects are cheap and the synthesizer music is kind of corny. Unlike other films in the franchise, this one had a cheap budget.

The key weakness is Heather Langenkamp. She's a better makeup artist than an actress, which is why her career as an actress was limited after this.

The other problem is Freddy himself. Now, we all know Freddy from the later movies as the wise-cracking, find inventive ways to kill teenagers character we saw in the sequels. Here, he's just a straight up monster, no witty comments or clever gags. He just straight up murders people.

Speaking of Murder, we have only four murders in this entire movie. That's it. Freddy is kind of a slacker compared to Michael Myers or Jason Vorhees.

The film does have some great moments from Wes Craven, who does know how to frame a shot to make it scary.

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I love this film its a Classic! and always will be.

Author: (HorrorFanForever) from United Kingdom
30 November 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film is Amazing and in my opinion is the best out of the elm street films,all the other elm street films are lame and will never compare to this one.This film has it all it has the creepiness the horror the blood and gore and the atmosphere not to mention its very well acted! which none of the sequels were. The only other sequel i Liked was Wes Cravens new nightmare i didn't mind that one and Freddy was a total Bad-Ass! in that movie! and he was very menacing!. But the original movie was still the best one and it will always be my favourite one and i don't think that will ever just seemed to me that none of the sequels had what this film had,they didn't have the same creepy atmosphere that this film had and they didn't have the same intensity that this film had either so i just couldn't get into the sequels as much as i got into this one.this film was so terrifying i felt like i was actually in it! and none of the others did that for me but this film had everything!. I thought The lead girl played by Heather Langenkamp was very likable and i wanted her to win against Freddy and i found myself cheering for her throughout the whole movie.With the sequels i couldn't seem to do that with the main Characters and that's why i think this one is the best out of the lot.this film has a lot of fun and creepy moments like there's a nightmare scene at one point in the movie when Heather sees a dead person in a body bag standing in her school Hallway calling her name and later there is another scene where the dead person in the body-bag gets dragged away leaving a huge trail of blood behind. that was one of the creepiest scenes in the whole movie! and there was another creepy scene in the film when she sees the dead person in the body bag again only this time she sees cockroaches coming out of its mouth! and she sees them under the body bag!. that's what's so good about this film you have tons of creepy moments instead of lame jump scares like you have in the sequels and this film was also very suspenseful and entertaining and i thought the ending was pretty good too when Heather fights with Freddy and she sets a bunch of bobby traps for him and he falls victim to all of them and then she overpowers Freddy and takes him down!.The film had a great pace and a great build up to the ending and the fight between Freddy and Heather at the end of the movie was cool and well edited and Heather was a Bad-Ass! in this movie! she kicked Freddy's Ass! and i quite liked the twist at the end of the movie too it was a twist that surprised me so i thought it was a good twist. All in all this was a great film with great acting and great Characters and it was by far the creepiest and best film in the series!. This is one of the best horror films iv'e ever seen!.

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The Last of the Great Horror Films

Author: Alyssa Black (Aly200) from United States
9 November 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"One, two Freddy's coming for you" he surely is in this terrifying tale directed by famed horror director Wes Craven. Teenagers having nightmares isn't too uncommon due to trauma or just a rough night's sleep, but when a group of teens dream about a serial killer...then you have a problem. Heading the group of frightened teens is the courageous Nancy Thompson (played powerfully by Heather Langenkamp). Starring in a supporting role as Nancy's boyfriend, Glen Lantz which propelled him to stardom, was a young Johnny Depp. In the terrifying role as the murderous Freddy Krueger was Robert Englund who later starred in several other horror films such as "Urban Legend." The scariest moments in the film are the deaths of Tina Grey (Amanda Wyss), Nancy's best friend, and Glen (Depp himself in his most notable scene of the film). The rest of the film is more composed of cheap scares as Englund's Krueger stalks the teens one by one and kills them in gruesome fashions. But the film is still the last of the great horror classics before the horror genre went down (until "Scream" in 1996).

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