A Nightmare on Elm Street

A Nightmare on Elm Street ★★★★

Part I of Running the Franchise: A Nightmare on Elm Street

The Film : Rightly considered a horror genre classic, the original A Nightmare on Elm Street has one of the greatest premises in horror history and delivers on it. The series reputation has gotten worse by numerous sequels and villain Freddy Krueger's general ubiquity throughout the media, but I think it's important to point out how genius Craven's idea was (and still is) to create a killer that attacks you when you can't escape him - in your dreams.
A Nightmare on Elm Street is the sort of film you might have never seen, but still know very much about it, simply via cultural osmosis. At least that's the case with me. For some reason I've managed to never see it, even though I love horror movies. Despite knowing very much about it (I first came into contact with it via the Simpsons parody starring Groundskeeper Willy as Freddy) Nighmare still managed to surprise me by how good and actually scary it was. Sure, apart from Englund, the acting was a little shaky at times, but other than that I can't think of a real flaw with the film; it's scary, moody and very entertaining from start to finish.

Kill Korner : Two words for you on that front: Blood geyser. Awesomely bloody and bloody awesome. I won't spoil who gets taken out that way, but let's just say he went on to do bigger stuff. All in all the first Nightmare isn't that lethally charged, but all of Freddy's murders are very memorable and will stay with you (especially the first one mentioned). Craven gets much out of his unique dream killer concept and the way dreams and reality blend together creates some great tension and bloodshed. Don't watch this directly before going to bed, in other words.

How's Freddy doing? : He's in good form, but not quite yet the catchphrase-spouting jokester he eventually became. Whether or not this is a good thing has to be determined later. Nonetheless, he delivers some great lines with "I'm your boyfriend now, Nancy!" being my personal favorite.

Insanity meter : I've only seen the first one and really liked it, so I'm still going strong, but judging from the first sequel's reputation that mental bliss might soon be over.

Next up: A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge, once called "the most homoerotic horror film ever". Well, color me intruiged and wary in equal measure.

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