A Nightmare on Elm Street ★★★★★

This is one of those movies that I probably shouldn’t really even write my thoughts on. It is a favorite and an influence on me. I became a fan of it while I was still very young and it is foundational to my love of Horror. Occasionally when I was writing scripts every day, if I ever got stuck, I would write on a fan script, a sequel to the entire series, or 1-6 actually. I still have that screenplay somewhere, I’d totally pitch it if I could, but it was really just an exercise to keep the creative juices flowing for my own stories, and it worked. I recognize that my continued admiration for NOES could easily be based in nostalgia but honestly I don’t care. It works for me, and I rewatch it every so often. I am fond of the whole series, but the love is stronger for some entries. What it means to me has changed over the years. I think Elm Street still has some profound things to say about abuse, trauma, and survival, but I don’t know how it will land with younger audiences these days. The weird structure (is it a dream or is it real) is fun to pick apart and it mixes silly with scary in a way that makes it a fun. A balance and occasionally an imbalance of zaniness that the sequels managed but the gritty remake abandoned. I still enjoy many of the ideas Wes Craven and the crew tried. Many of the set-pieces still work brilliantly and all are presented with groovy 80’s movie magic. I love practical effects, rotating stages, and buckets of blood. There are two scenes where they accomplished some of my favorite imagery with just the use of a sheet. Freddy coming through the wall and Freddy rising from the bed are still images that are burned into my brain.