A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

1984 | R | 91 Minutes


Teenagers in a small town are dropping like flies, apparently in the grip of mass hysteria causing their suicides. A cop's daughter, Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp) traces the cause to child mo...

Overall Rating

8 / 10
Verdict: Good

User Review

  • A Nightmare On Elm Street is one of the most influential horror films from the 80s. It's fame and popularity managed to spawn an entire franchise, ludicrous amounts of pop culture references and I'm sure a massive sale in gloves with knives as finger tips. This is a story of a group of teenagers who, when they dream, have nightmares of a killer named Freddy Krueger. So what's the main lesson here? Don't sleep if you live on Elm Street...just don't. Krueger is then able to kill these teenagers in reality as well...or so we think. Its surrealism and reality bending story means nothing is certain. The whole damn film could've been a dream...so let's take the whole plot with a pinch of sweet sweet sugar and just enjoy what's on show. What we have is a pretty intense horror that, due to the realm of dreams, is able to be creative and innovative with its scares. Yes, watching this now for the first time is slightly tame, but there are moments of tension particularly as these teenagers try to not fall asleep. Some of the deaths are incredibly iconic, especially a young Johnny Depp (wait...let's take a moment to admire how fluffy his hair looked!) who is sucked into his own bed and sprayed back out in litres of blood. That's sure to be one of the best deaths is cinematic history. Wes Craven created one of the most iconic horror characters ever: Freddy Krueger. Burnt face, knife glove of doom, striped shirt of terror, crooked hat of dread...he is what haunts people at night. The horror imagery that Craven conjures up is rather visceral, so whilst the film lacks in jump scares it makes up for in creepy atmospheric tension. This imagery and gore is what makes it the horror film that is today. Acting is your standard 80's teen flick. The repetitive musical score was slightly infuriating by the end of the film, although that theme tune is embedded into my mind forever. As a first-time watch in 2017, it's tame...but back in 1984 I'm sure it was a genuinely terrifying experience. Creatively scary is how I would describe this.