Thursday, September 3, 2015

Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

"One, two... ...Freddy comes for you
Three, four... ...better lock your door..."

We lost Wes Craven last Sunday. I couldn't do anything for Monday. So this post is my tribute to him. I remember Wes Craven from Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream. Others may remember him from other movies too. Scream movies have been polarizing among horror fans. I liked them. I probably review them in future. This time I review movie that created biggest icon of modern horror.

Freddy Kruger is mix between normal slasher villain and supernatural foe. This makes Freddy more interesting than regular slasher villains like Jason. Regular slasher movies have almost unstoppable man killing people. There is little variance this can provide. Freddy is also killing people but his kills happen in dreams and can be almost anything at all. 

Nightmare on Elm Street has surprisingly little of Freddy. Someone has clocked he is on screen for seven minutes. There is lot of build up and then Freddy appear briefly as high point of dream sequences. This works well and keeps movie as horror. Later movies have more Freddy and he becomes almost comical character.

Freddy controls dream. Every time someone sleeps they could end up Freddy's victim. There are lot of dream sequences but there are only two certain deaths. It is not clear how ending goes. It is not sure what happened to Nancy or her mother. Things make more sense if we think it was Nancy's dream. How ever idea was probably that it happened for real. Nancy brought Freddy's hat from dream earlier. So bringing Freddy from dream is within movie's rules.

Before ending Freddy was only in dreams. Because Nancy gets call from Freddy this should mean she is in sleep and everything is her dream. If this is her dream it is not clear if Glen died or was it just her dream. Nancy's death is only implied but because she is in third movie she must have survived. I don't remember how her presence was explained in the movie.

Few effects look dated and ending has few continuity errors but other than that Nightmare on Elm Street works still today. Dream sequences are still effective. Movie uses Freddy sparingly. This let's audience's imagination do it's tricks. This is one of those movies where not showing the monster too much makes movie better.

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