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Slow build with big payoff

7/10
Author: Maniac-9 from St. Louis, MO
2 February 2012

The good thing about A Nightmare on Elm Street(the original) is that it doesn't shoot it's load by trying to do to much too early in the movie. The story builds at a steady rate with a few big moments early on but nothing where it shoots its load without leaving much to do at the end of the movie.

Freddy Krueger is in the movie just a little bit, just enough to where it keeps the character interesting and make every one of his appearances that much more meaningful. Robert Englund IS the best actor to play Krueger and the idea that they decided to replace him in the sequel was a terrible terrible decision on the producers part.

Some of the acting could've been better but really what did you expect from this, Sir Laurence Olivier?

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A Nightmare on Elm Street

9/10
Author: skybrick736 from Waconia, Minnesota
27 October 2011

A Nightmare on Elm Street is probably Craven's most gritty film that went all out on some frightening bizarre scenes and borderline outrageous storyline. However, the movie works well, so much that Freddy Krueger has become a widely known killer villain. The introduction of Freddy was nearly perfect showcasing a great character. The supporting cast around Krueger was subpar but its easy to overlook. The pacing is great being fast in the beginning, releasing tension in the middle leading up to a great ending. The music is solid, atmosphere could have been a little better but overall a terrific movie in A Nightmare on Elm Street. A must see for horror fans.

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Freddy's Comin' For You!!!

8/10
Author: geminiredblue from United States
21 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Most of the time, dead teen flicks are pretty standard-issue. A deranged, masked killer slowly stalks a group of teens and picks them off in a variety of inventive ways. It could take place at summer camp, or in a mine, or any number of isolated locations. But along came this, Wes Craven's best and most demented. And with it, dear Ole Wes set out to do something a little different with the genre. A group of high school friends are having weird dreams about the same badly-scarred man in a dirty fedora, striped sweater, and a glove with razor claws. But what of it, they're only nightmares... right?! WRONG!!! See, it turns out that man is none other than Freddy Krueger. Years ago, back when he was alive, some parents burned him for being a child murderer. Now, he's back to attack their offspring in their dreams. As their numbers dwindle, a teen named Nancy chooses to try and fight Freddy. The script is pitch-perfect. So are the remarkable performances by Heather Langenkamp as Nancy and a young Johnny Depp as Glen, Nancy's boyfriend. And of course, Robert Englund as Freddy. He gives the role a true sense of menace. Unlike the sequels, this one at least treats Freddy dead seriously, with a wicked streak of humor. The elaborate death and dream sequences are some of the most imaginative. Half the time, you'll be wondering "Is this a dream or real?" Unfortunately, the ending is kind of a letdown. But apart from that, this is a solid entry in the dead teen flicks and should be required viewing for all horror fans. Just watch out, Freddy may be coming for you!!!

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Come To Freddy!

Author: kylehaines96 from United States
12 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Day 12 Of My 31 Days Of Horror 2011.

Director Wes Craven gives a landmark horror film with A Nightmare On Elm Street. The film follows Nancy played by Heather Langnenkamp who is being visited by a mysterious disfigured man wearing a glove with knives on it in her dreams. Little does she know that if you die in the dream you die in real life. The film has a great shock value the special effects are amazing and the story keeps you in until the very end. Despite some slow spots the film is definitely one that I recommend.

Rated R For Sequences Of Terror And Bloody Violence/Gore, Disturbing Images, Language, And Some Sexuality/Nudity.

1hr 32min/92min.

4 uses of the F-word.

***1/2/****

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You Will "Never Sleep Again"

10/10
Author: slasherstudios from United States
29 August 2011

A Nightmare on Elm Street is an unbelievably original, terrifyingly realistic, and overall terrifying that, despite a weak ending, is one of the best horror flicks of the quarter of a century. The film deals with a deceased child molester who now lives only through the dreams of the children of those who burned him alive. Robert Englund is truly frightening as Freddy Krueger. Wes Craven delivers a surprising amount of tension that still holds up today.

Nancy is having nightmares about a frightening, badly-scarred figure who wears a glove with razor-sharp "finger knives". She soon discovers that her friends are having similar dreams. When the kids begin to die, Nancy realizes that she must stay awake to survive. Uncovering the secret identity of the dream killer and his connection with the children of Elm Street, the girl plots to draw him out into the real world.

The film goes for suspense, drama, and gore and delivers for the most part. Heather Langenkamp gives a very solid performance as Nancy Thompson, the young woman is the "leader" among her friends and the only one who may get out alive. Forget about Jamie Lee Curtis' whimpering performance in "Halloween". Here Langenkamp is the real deal and she kicks ass. A great horror film that still delivers today. Look for a young Johnny Depp who, arguably, has the best death scene in the flick.

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Legendary Horror comes to life with a deep story and blood and guts

8/10
Author: Robert W. (Robert_duder@hotmail.com) from Ontario, Canada
22 August 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Slasher flicks are my favourite. The legendary ones like Friday the 13th, Halloween, and Nightmare On Elm Street are legendary for a reason. They spawn multiple sequels, they have a memorable killer, and in this case they have an amazing story. I think where A Nightmare On Elm Street stands out on its own is because Wes Craven is a truly outstanding writer and creator and he didn't just rest on blood and guts and slashing teenagers but actually put a story behind this killer, a very real story, that could be explored in future instalments and actually makes the killer seem that much more disturbing. Also you have this really brilliant idea of a killer that kills in your dreams. Anything goes in dreams...Wes Craven single handedly got rid of any concern about whether something is believable or not because this killer is in their dreams. The only reality in dreams is what's happening. A hot young cast, a great director and the birth of one of the most chilling killers in history...Freddy Kreuger makes this truly memorable, fun, chilling, disturbing and just plain fun all at once.

I always joke that star and scream queen Heather Langenkamp always lives up to her name...the 'kamp' part of it because every performance she does is campy. But at the same time she's cute and down to earth and somehow you relate to her but some of her emotions and expressions are bordering on hilarious but it works because her Nancy is the legendary scream queen of Nightmare. Johnny Depp in his premier role is recognizable and certainly has a handsome quality to him. He doesn't particularly stand out but he does a decent job and the chemistry between him and Langenkamp (his love interest) is sort of minimal. Other teenie fodder for death includes Amanda Wyss and Jsu Garcia, both of which do a good job but again nothing that will stand out. Depp, Wyss and Garcia are better than your average Friday the 13th victims because I think Craven gives characters more depth. John Saxon is actually one of my favourite Nightmare characters as Nancy's Dad and the no-nonsense Sheriff who buried Freddy's remains after killing him. Saxon gives a great performance in the small screen time he has but he really does stand out as a seasoned actor. Oh yes and of course Freddy Kreuger...the legend is brought to life by a legend in his own right Robert Englund. Certainly no one knows Freddy better than Englund and he makes him come to life in all his sarcastic, twisted, gory glory.

I mean what can I say about writer and director Wes Craven. The man is a horror master and was even when this was created. The Hills Have Eyes and The Last House On The Left already set a bar for gore and disgust so this was tame compared to those. He simply created an iconic character, gave life to the other characters and made us believe this could happen. His story is timeless and creepy and the special effects, especially given the budget, are terrifying eerie. A Nightmare On Elm Street set the bar for horror flicks after it. It is more than a slasher, and while I feel like as I'm watching them all (I am making my way through the entire Nightmare On Elm Street and Friday the 13th series) the sequels to this fell off far faster than Friday the 13th, there is still a lot of greatness to be found in the original classic horror flick A Nightmare On Elm Street. 8.5/10

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Masterpiece

10/10
Author: matthew dove from United States
14 July 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

!!!!SPOILERS!!!! Wes craven can go to his grave knowing that he made two of the best horror movies (nightmare on elm street & Scream)in this classic a teenage girl and her friends are having nightmares about a burned man with knives attached to a glove. that right there is got to be the most creative plot ever the idea of someone killing you in your dreams which causes you to die in real life is terrifying that and the fact you cant run away from it you have to sleep and sooner or later you will fall asleep and then Freddy will get you and unlike Michael myers or Jason vorhess who you can just simply run away from if the characters would stop being dumb-asses and learn to run Freddy can do anything in the dream so running away isn't going to help speaking of the dreams at times in the movie it would blur the line between dreams and reality which would confuse the people watching the film which was a genius idea. this movie also has some of the most gruesome but creative deaths for example the scene where johnny depps character glen falls asleep and get pulled into the bed he was sleeping on or Tina Grey who got drug up the wall and the ceiling its amazing that they were able to these special effects considering the extremely low budget the character devolpment is great they devolpe Freddy just enough well this review cant do this movie justice just go watch the movie and see for your self

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A modern day horror classic.

10/10
Author: PhillipMichaelH from United States
29 June 2011

Released in November of 1984, A Nightmare On Elm Street was a very personal project from Wes Craven. He was already a cult icon after directing two of the most notorious low budget films of the 70s, The Last House On The Left (1972) and The Hills Have Eyes (1977). By this point, Craven was moving up in the industry but still struggling in Hollywood and after directing two films back to back, Deadly Blessing (1981) and Swamp Thing (1982), he went off and wrote a screenplay that he has stated was inspired by true events.

A Nightmare On Elm Street came from a series of articles that Craven had read where many children were afraid to fall asleep, even trying the best that they could to avoid sleep. There was one article in particular though in the L.A. Times I believe that was so haunting to Craven that it inspired him to come up with the concept of a dream stalker or figure. While the script proved to be an inspired story with brilliant characters through out, many studios in Hollywood rejected it, claiming that it was too gory or dark. Some turned it down because they thought that the concept couldn't be pulled off. The future looked very bleak but then Craven found someone who saw great potential in the script and that was Robert Shaye. Shaye was the founder of a small distribution company called New Line Cinema, which had been around since the late 60s and released a lot of low budget films during the 70s and early 80s, all of which they were able to make their money back on but still were not huge successes. You have to give a lot of credit to Shaye who saw a lot of great things in Craven's script and believed in it probably as much as Craven himself. He felt that not only did this have commercial appeal but also, it was a great story that could work.

Production began in early 1984, Craven casted some of the freshest up and coming actors at the time, one of them being the very beautiful and intelligent Heather Langenkamp who proved to be a very strong choice to play the film's hero, Nancy Thompson. What Craven wanted was someone who was strong, smart and wouldn't fall down unlike most female leads in slasher films but also, someone with a lot of courage and determination and Heather pulled it off perfectly in the film. To me, Nancy is the main reason why the film works so well and while Freddy deserves credit too, Nancy is the true lead in the first film. Other actors casted were John Saxon, who had been in the business many years before and was even known as a great character actor. Also, Amanda Wyss as Tina, who you think is going to be the film's lead heroin at first and even though she is killed off in the first 30 minutes, you still care about her a great deal and I don't think Amanda ever received enough credit. First time screen actor Johnny Depp was cast as Nancy's boyfriend, Glenn. We all know Johnny as the huge movie star today but at the time, he was very much afraid of working in front of the camera and Craven stated himself that Johnny's hands were shaking a few times but because of his willingness to put himself into that character and play something that wasn't him shows what a gifted actor he was and still is.

Of course, Craven was looking for someone to play Freddy. He was actually looking for someone much older but it proved to not be effective. While Robert England may have not looked right for the part on first look, Craven saw something in him and Robert was cast, we can now all agree that he made the right choice because Robert brings something to the character that goes beyond what Craven had envisioned.

After a hard shoot that caused a lot of tension between the crew because of the low budget and restrictions, the film had an uncertain future. If the film had failed, it could have been the end for New Line, which caused a lot of stress for Robert Shaye and everyone working for the company. The film opened that November and surpassed everyone's expectations by becoming not only a film that was profitable but also one that found a huge cult following before a franchise had even been born. It launched a series of sequels, most of which are very effective and well done and while Freddy became less mysterious as he was in the first film, it was clear that because Robert Englund believed in the role so much and that the filmmakers worked so hard to make them unique visual experiences, they deserve a lot of credit and should not be ignored as far as I'm concerned. All of the actors are remembered for their roles today, especially Robert and Heather. They both are extraordinary talent and care so much about the characters while most people would try to forget about it as much as possible. I want to say again that Nancy is a great character, one that pulled me into the movie and made me believe in the story. I hope that someday, a Nancy doll will be made.

This is a modern day horror classic, one that came at the right time and so much hard work from people who were determined to do their best and make a great film. A company's future relied on this film and it is now one of the biggest studios in Hollywood. So check this film out if you're into the genre. While I can't speak for everyone, I think that this is a great film and one of the best of the 80s. Find yourself a copy and watch it now!!

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"Don't Fall Asleep"- A look back at the first Nightmare on Elm Street

8/10
Author: that_jed_guy from Australia
28 June 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The first Nightmare on Elm Street was released in 1984, was written and directed by Wes Craven. Craven already had 2 successful horror movies under his belt, The Last House on the Left and The Hill's Have Eyes. The idea for "nightmare" came from a newspaper article that Craven had read where a young boy was actually found dead from suffering a terrifying nightmare. He then wrote the script to nightmare and showed it to New Line Cinema which back then was only a small film company that wasn't doing much business.

The plot of the movie involves 4 teenagers who are stalked and killed one by one in their dreams by a man named Fred Krueger or better known as Freddy Krueger played by Robert Englund. What's scary about Freddy is that he is horribly burnt from head to toe and he wears a menacing glove with razors or knives for fingers. He also wears a brown and beaten fedora hat and a dirty red and green sweater.

The basic story behind Freddy's character is that when he was alive, he was a child murderer in the town of Springwood. When the parents of Springwood found out, they decided to band together and hunt him down out of justice and revenge. They found him in his boiler room and so they set fire to it and burned it down killing Freddy in the process. That's the reason why he comes back and kills their kids in their dreams: out of revenge. What sets Freddy apart from other horror villains like Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers and Leatherface is that he has a personality and a very sick sense of humour. The fun in watching the Nightmare on Elm Street movies comes from the special effects and Freddy's sick sense of humour. Freddy can do pretty much anything in the dream world and that's part of what makes him and the movie scary, the fact that you're more vulnerable when you're asleep.

The main character is a teenage girl named Nancy. Throughout the movie she's afraid to go to sleep after her best friend was killed by Freddy and because every time she falls asleep Freddy attempts to kill her. In the end, she decides face Freddy and defeat him by literally bringing him into the real world. What I like about her is that she actually uses her brain and defends herself against Freddy. In one scene she sets an alarm clock to wake herself up and near the end of the movie she rigs her house with traps.

Johnny Depp plays Nancy's boyfriend, Glen. Like some of the other characters in the film such as, the parents, he is sceptical towards the existence of the paranormal which in my opinion is a big mistake because the characters who say that a particular thing or person doesn't exist usually die horribly and believe me; his death scene is pretty memorable. It's interesting to note that the first movie Johnny Depp starred in was the first Nightmare on Elm Street.

One of the things that I like about the movie is the colour contrast between the real world and the dream world. During the day, the suburb of Springwood looks like a friendly place. The houses are white, the grass is green, but in the dream world it has a dark, misty and spooky atmosphere. Also, in the dream world is Freddy's boiler room which is dark, red and has a hellish atmosphere. Whenever Nancy walks down into the boiler room it's almost like she's descending into Hell itself.

The music in a Nightmare on Elm Street is another key element that I like. The theme music is slow and sounds really spooky. Speaking of theme music, Freddy actually has his own nursery rhyme sung by these creepy kids playing jump rope. Freddy's nursery rhyme is another one of Freddy's trademarks which appears throughout the series and is usually heard before he appears.

At times the movie can be a bit confusing for example; there are some moments where you're not sure whether a character is asleep or awake and the very end is the most confusing part because you're not sure whose dream it is. This isn't necessarily a bad thing because it suggests that the nightmare isn't over at all. Wes Craven had actually decided against having a teaser ending, but they ended up making three.

One of my favourite scenes in the entire movie is the opening scene before the film's title appears. It's shown on a small screen and it just shows Freddy's hands actually constructing his infamous glove. Freddy's breathing can be heard in the scene and just before the title appears his hand is shown wearing the glove. It's a scene that gives me goosebumps and lets you know that you're in for a good fun scare. If you're a fan of horror be sure to check it out, because it's a lot of fun.

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My First Slasher Flick (Spoiler)

6/10
Author: jflores28 from United States
20 June 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) starring Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger, Heather Langenkamp as Nancy Thompson, Johnny Depp as Glen Lantz and Ronee Blakely as Marge Thompson, is, admittedly, the first slasher flick I have ever seen, and although I have extremely limited experience on the topic (I avoid horror movies at all cost) I understand why it is a definite classic.

The story revolves around Krueger, a known child murderer, who gets off on a technicality and as a result is murdered by a mob of angry parents. To exact his revenge, Krueger stalks the parents' children when they are most vulnerable, when they are asleep, and kills them in their dreams.

The main problem I have with horror flicks is that they cause me to have nightmares (I am acutely aware of the irony). I was hoping since this one is so old, I would be able to effectively review it and point out the flaws and unrealistic scenes therefore not have any lingering effects personally. Not the case, at least not for the first half of the film. Writer/director Wes Craven's use of imagery was amazing. I was never quite sure if what I was watching was reality or a nightmare. The nightmare sequences are precise and fluid. Frightening but did not come across as cheap.

The opening scenes show Krueger chasing a victim and eventually killing her in front of her boyfriend. To top it off, he drags her bloody corpse across the ceiling. Nancy has a nightmare set during her English class. It begins with a normal classroom but quickly changes when one of the victims appears in a body bag. These were just a few of the images that will not soon leave my mind, unfortunately. Krueger definitely lives up to the terrifying icon he has been since the movie came out.

In the second part of the film however (after Nancy goes to the dream research center) is when I was able to see some of the downfalls of the movie.

There was one obvious unrealistic part I did find when Nancy tells her father to come and get her in twenty minutes, she then sets up traps throughout the house, has a bonding moment with her mother and ends up getting to bed all in a matter of ten minutes.

I was feeling pretty good when I knew the end was near, impressed with the take away lesson that things only have power over you if you let them, and then the final twist ruins it all. The ending was pretty much a letdown in my opinion. A dream within a dream within a dream!?? It contradicts everything that has happened in the entire film. I understand the reasoning behind it; to lure viewers into the sequel, but I feel they could have done it in a better way instead of creating the feeling of being cheated out of the last two hours.

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