Review: A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Nightmares terrify people on a daily basis but at least they can’t kill us. In 1984, These Hill have Eyes director Wes Craven put that fear into the heads of teenagers in his horror film A Nightmare on Elm Street. It also marked the film debut of two Hollywood icons: mass murderer Fred Kruger and actor Johnny Depp.
Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp) and Glen Lantz (played by Deep) are friends of Tina Grey (Amanda Wyss) who is found dead in her bedroom. The police led by Nancy’s father Donald (John Saxon) believe the killer is Tina’s boyfriend and troublemaker Rod Lane (Nick Corri) as he was the only other one in Tina’s room at the time of the murder. However, it is revealed as something more sinister that killed her and eventually targeting teenagers in the area. That thing: Fred Kruger. Kruger was a child murderer that other children trapped in a furnace and killed. Now he back for revenge and is killing kids in the one place parents can’t protect them: their dreams.
After its release, Freddy Kruger ended up getting several most of them God awful. In 2010, the series received the always dreaded reboot where Freddy was a paedophile instead of a mass murderer. The film was also considered highlighting that nothing beats the original.
Robert Englund immortalised this role with his frightening voice and mannerisms before going in for the kill. Langenkamp’s portrayal as Nancy showed a different kind of hero in horror films: a teenage girl rather than your run of the mill roguish man. The kills were creative and was the plot making Craven become one of horror’s iconic directors.
A Nightmare on Elm Street may not the normal gore that we see in modern horrors yet it offers suspense that brings chills down the spines for even modern horror fans. People should watch this film and try not to fall asleep or Freddy might come and get them in their slumber.
By Diarmuid Jude Crowley