A Nightmare on Elm Street ★★★½

This was my first midnight screening at the Downer theatre in Milwaukee. Definitely won’t be my last.

One of the greatest horror comedies I’ve ever seen. I was laughing my ass off the whole time. I feel like Wes Craven was fucking around when he made this, but it was the 80s & stupid audiences propelled this into “scariest movie ever” classic territory. That’s not to disparage it as something shlocky like The Room; rather, this is self-aware done brilliantly right...mostly. What really makes this work is Freddy Krueger himself. He’s out to scare, & takes great pleasure in it; it’s a comedic routine for him. The film reflects this brilliantly, with laughs behind every scare. I’d hardly say I was ever scared (fucking Gremlins is miles ahead in terms of real terror), but there were genuinely creepy moments, great tension, & intensity in action sequences. Overall, it was just very fun & entertaining.

Technically, the film delivered as well. The score’s a bit dated but has its moments, it’s decently shot, the effects still mostly hold up, & the pacing is actually kind of stellar. There are boring scenes, but there’s entertainment to be found in some unintentional comedy, so I was never bored. Performances are eh, characters are weak, & motivation/backstory is hackneyed, but seeing this tonight on the big screen with a crowd at midnight was an experience I’ll never forget.

Anyone else feel that the pre-title sequence inspired the prologue to Beyond the Black Rainbow?

Jake Rosenberg liked these reviews