A Nightmare on Elm Street ★★★★

My first immediate thought when I started this film was that it was very 1980s, which is neither inherently good nor bad. I think it works here, placing it in that period when the slasher genre was not totally new anymore, but still being defined through classic films like this.

Like many notable horror films, I've finally seen this for the first time at the age of 24. And I have to say...I honestly found it kind of scary. Freddie Krueger is such a frightening, effective killer. Beyond his terrifying presence, complete with the iconic bladed glove, he's so mysterious and spooky. He's given the perfect amount of lines here too. We hear just enough to give us chills, but not so much that it desensitizes us to his terror. It also helps that he's on screen for small increments of time. I mean, I would like to see more of him here, but I do think they work his appearances quite effectively.

It's definitely not a perfect slasher film. Some of the performances are pretty wonky, but that's kind of expected. But the influence of this film, and how it encapsulates the slasher movie, is undeniable. And what a concept. The fact that this killer only comes in your dreams--where you have such little control over your fate and your physical body--is such a terrifying premise. And that ending is really something else.