Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday Flashbacks: Nightmare On Elm Street

Nightmare On Elm Street 1984
Director: Wes Craven
Writer: Wes Craven
Starring Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, John Saxon, Ronee Blakely, Amanda Wyss, Nick Corri, Johnny Depp, Charles Fleischer and Lin Shaye

After watching the trailer to the upcoming remake of this classic, I thought now would be a great time to revisit this classic horror film. This film is still a movie that gives you chills, from the opening scene where you see Freddy making his claws to the final nightmarish scene this is a film that preys upon your fears and nightmares and you are happy to experience it. The visuals in the film are striking and the entire film has a dreamlike surreal feeling to the whole affair. It has a great eerie feel to everything and is really helped with the sinister presence of Freddy Krueger and the haunting music that permeates the entire film. This is the film that spawned a franchise which is still going strong to this day and watching this film it is easy to see why.
The plot basics are this, We open to a boiler room and see someone working with metal and soon discover he is creating a glove made with razor blades as fingers. We then meet Tina (Wyss) who is walking around in what appears to be a boiler room and we meet the gloved maniac chasing her (Englund) he grabs her and then she suddenly wakes up and realizes it was a dream. She goes to school the next day and begs her friend Nancy (Langenkamp) to spend the night with her because she is afraid to sleep because she fears that this blade wielding maniac will kill her in her dreams. Nancy agrees but something happens and Tina is horribly butchered while her boy friend watches and can do nothing. Soon Nancy discovers that this maniac is real and can attack her and her friends through her dreams, so she decides to fight back and bring him out. One by one her friends are killed and she is the only one left to battle the killer. This leads to a blood drenched and nightmarish climax,
This is a exceptional film. Craven's direction is taut and creepy. The entire film has a surreal dream like quality to it and that really works well for the film. The lighting of the film really works in it's favor as well. The script by Craven as well, is exceptional. Krueger is one of the most well defined movie maniacs of all time and the character of Nancy is fully realized as a strong female character. The cast is great, Englund really inhabits the role of Krueger and he owns it body and soul. Langenkamp is great as Nancy at times fearful and when needed to be very strong, ingenious and capable. The cast is rounded strongly by Blakely and Saxon as Nancy's dysfunctional parents. The SFX and Make up effects are outstanding, my favorite the death of Johnny Depp and the phone tongue sequence. These scenes are still so shocking and effective, to this day. The final piece of the puzzle is the music by Charles Bernstein, it is so very haunting and evocative. You know from the very beginning that this is a horror film and the music stays with you long after the film is over. I cannot recommend this film highly enough and if you are a horror fan and have not seen this film yet, stop reading and seek it out.
This one gets 5 out of 5 razor sharp claws

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