A Nightmare on Elm Street ★★★★½

Another classic on 35mm (it’s been a fortunate week for 80s horror on film)! The things I disliked about Nightmare the first time I saw it are all things I’ve reconsidered this time around, especially Heather Langenkamp’s performance - now I can see that what she does is actually a pretty deft, impressive characterization of Nancy’s cocktail of sleepless delirium/teenage isolation/the pain and hopelessness of one’s trauma not being believed. Similarly, Ronee Blakley (my GAL from Nashville - her performance in that film is one of my all-time favorite pieces of acting ever), who seemed cartoonishly corny and soap opera when I first saw it, now seems to be giving the role exactly the steeped, inebriated melodrama required given the community parents’ grisly secret.

All in all, a genius slice of imaginative and visceral storytelling from Wes Craven. No longer the horror franchise that disgusts me - now, I respect it.

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