Rebel Angel Reviews - Halloween Edition - Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
One, Two, Freddy's Comin' For You...
RAR - Halloween Edition - Nightmare on Elm Street
Greetings Boils and Ghouls, welcome to Rebel Angel Reviews, Halloween Edition, where I look at horror movies, and see which is the BEST of Heaven, or the WORST of Hell. Now, as we all know, last year, we lost a legend in the Horror world. After a long bout with brain cancer, Wes Craven kicked the bucket, on August 30, 2015. Wes Craven, as many people know, was an influential horror pioneer, making movies such as The Last House on the Left, The People Under the Stairs, the Scream Series, Deadly Friend, and producing such films as Wishmaster, Carnival of Souls and Dracula 2000. But in MY opinion, one movie stands tall above them all. A movie he made based off of articles about a case in South East Asia, where men would die during nightmares.... the movie that I hold dearest in horror history. This is a review of the 1984 classic, Nightmare on Elm Street. Now, before I go on, I will warn everyone, SPOILERS. Unless you've already seen it, and come on, who hasn't by now?
The film takes place in the fictional town of Springwood, Ohio, a seemingly normal place. However, as the opening titles will show us, there is a VERY dark secret in this place, as we see a man constructing what appears to be a bladed glove with four six inch blades on the fingers. We then see a young woman named Tina running through what looks like an industrial room, from an unseen assailant. However, near the end, she realizes it's just a dream, when she wakes up.... but the oddest thing is, she has cuts on her nightgown. Could it be that this dream was... more than it seems?
The next day, we're introduced to the other characters, Rod Lane, Glenn, and of course Nancy Thompson, played by Heather Langenkamp. Tina is afraid to be alone now, due to that horrific nightmare, so, her friends come over later that night to sleep at her house. However, during that night, Tina explains her dream, about the "man with the finger knives." And Nancy says, to her surprise, that she had the very same dream. A little later, Rod, having shown up uninvited, decides to "heal" Tina's fear the only way a boyfriend can. But it does no good, as when Tina falls asleep, she is once again accosted by the now revealed Freddy Krueger! And unfortunately for her, she is unable to escape THIS time, as she is lifted off the bed... FOUR FEET off the bed, and SLASHED four times across the chest and torso.
The next morning, Rod takes the blame, and Nancy is in utter shock. At school, Nancy ends up falling asleep, where SHE now meets the horrific Man of your Dreams, but before she can get cut up herself, she burns her forearm on a hot pipe, causing her to wake up! Later, she visits Rod in prison and asks him what happened in the bedroom that fateful night. He explains that he could just SEE the cuts happening. He had nothing to do with it. And when he fell asleep, he had this strange dream about a man with knives for fingers. Later that night, she asks her boyfriend, Glenn (who is played by Johnny Depp), to stay by her side, and wake her up if anything should seem off. Of course, this doesn't work and Nancy is once again pursued by Freddy. Of course, she does manage to escape, but CHIDES Glenn for falling asleep on her. Soon, they head to the prison to see if Rod is still alive... but of course, Freddy has hung him by his own bedsheet.
A while later, Nancy's mother, in total denial of this, sends her to a dream clinic, and it is here, that we learn that you can pull things out of the dream into the real world, which she does by pulling out Freddy's hat. Eventually, Nancy confronts her mother about the mysterious man, and learns that he was a child murderer that she and a bunch of other parents burned alive, after he was released on a technicality. As proof of his death, she produces Freddy's claw which she kept hidden in the boiler of her house. However, Nancy is convinced that she has to stop Freddy. She warns Glenn, however, he doesn't really believe her. And to make matters worse, that night, Nancy's mother has barred the windows, locked the doors and threw away the key, and made sure she couldn't leave. She tries to call Glenn, but his parents are convinced that she is mad, so they leave the phone off the hook, in case she calls. Then... Nancy gets a phone call... she answers, hoping it's Glenn... BUT....
"I'M YOUR BOYFRIEND NOW NANCY...."
Followed by a tongue sticking out of the phone's microphone and trying to get into Nancy's mouth! In a state of shock, she smashes her phone! However, she realizes that Glenn is next on Freddy's list... Glenn, who has now fallen asleep, is sucked into his bed, by Freddy, and ejected out as a massive geyser of blood. Now, Nancy has no choice but to face Freddy one on one, on his field. So, after prepping a few traps, such as a sledge hammer outside her door, a tripblock, a lightbulb filled with a sort of gunpowder and more, she heads to sleep, to bring Krueger out into the real world.
The final battle is nigh, Nancy is pursued by Freddy, who is looking to add her to his collection of souls he's taken, but eventually, she does manage to bring him out into the real world, and after being beaten, falling down the stairs, and being subjected to a "flashbang" (all the while, Nancy trying to get her father over there to apprehend Freddy), he's led to the basement, and drenched in gasoline, before being set ablaze once again! And when her father finally gets up there, Freddy has taken Nancy's mother away... sending her to hell. Nancy is now left all alone... as Freddy slowly rises, ready to complete his revenge... until Nancy realizes Freddy feeds off her fear. THAT'S how he gets his power. So, she turns his back on him, and takes away his power, causing him to fade. She then opens the door of the bedroom...
...to a new, sunny day. It's a bit misty, but it's okay. Her mother and friends are all alive again, and everything is right with the world.... or so you'd think. Because as it turns out, the convertable Glenn is driving has a red and green striped cover, and what's worse, it locks on its own, and drives off... to an unknown destination. Freddy still lives.... and will do so for 8 more films.
So that was the original Nightmare on Elm Street. Now, a few technical aspects. The effects, for 1984 were very high end, and still hold up today, such as the Freddy Wall Stretch, the stretching arms, the chopping off fingers, and the slicing of his torso to reveal maggots within. The acting is spot on, for EACH actor, and Robert Englund was amazing as Freddy Krueger. Not a bad starring vehicle in my opinion. Now, in the sequels, Freddy would become more of a witty, wise ass killer, with memorable lines and creative deaths. But we'll get to those soon. The music was amazing, from the iconic Nightmare on Elm Street Theme, to the song "Nightmare." So... for 1984's Nightmare on Elm Street, I give it 9 slashes out of 10.
So, until next time, this is Rebel Angel saying.... WHATEVER YOU DO... DON'T FALL ASLEEP.