A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)

   
Written & Directed by: Wes Craven

Starring:

Heather Langenkamp ... Nancy Thompson
John Saxon ... Lt. Donald Thompson
Ronee Blakley ... Marge Thompson
Johnny Depp ... Glen Lantz
Nick Corri ... Rod Lane
Amanda Wyss ... Tina Gray
Robert Englund ... Freddy Krueger


Cameo:


Lin Shaye .... Teacher


Release Date:
Theatrical: November 16, 1984

*Images courtesy at www.anightmareonelmstreet.net

Rating:

 

A group of troubled kids are constantly being tormented in their dreams by a guy who wears a hat, red and green striped shirt and a glove he made out of razor blades.
One of them is Tina Gray (Amanda Wyss) and is too scared to go to sleep alone while her mom and boyfriend are away on a vacation. She invites her friends Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) and Glen (Johnny Depp) over for the night so she can sleep okay. Nancy and Tina discuss their dreams and realise that they were dreaming about the same man.
Tina also had an argument with her tough boyfriend Rod Lane (Nick Corri) who decided to crash the night too and make up with Tina.
While Tina is sound asleep with Rod she encounters the strange man. The man captures her and Tina is screaming. This wakes Rod up and he sees Tina struggling. Not only that he sees her crawling on the wall being slashed to death.

Rod is arrested the next day and everyone is convinced that he murdered Tina except for Nancy who suspects that the killer is the man in her dreams.
She refuses to sleep as she herself is nearly captured by the clutches of this man.

Suddenly, Nancy is experiencing deaths of her other friends while they fall asleep describing to her beforehand that they are witnessing the same killer she is experiencing in her dreams.

 

I loved the beginning of this movie which looked totally classy on Freddy making his glove with razort blades and yet when he creates this deadly weapon that his face isn't revealed. After he creates it is a cool opening ctredits rolling in which will please any slasher or horror fan in general. Then it looks spooky with a teenage girl named Tina running in the boiler room in her nightgown with all the creepy surroundings which looked perfectly set. It seems cool when Freddy plays tricks on her slalking her in the boiler room as well as scraping his blades against a steel pipe too which is a perfect charmer for a horror flick too. It's awesome to spot her screaming too as well as him appearing behind her and suddenly she wakes up when her Mom comes into her room and spots that she has her front nightgown cut. Yes indeed a great beginning for this flick which will keep you watching and wanting for more here.
Then we briefly spot the jump rope sequence with three little girls shortly before Tina and her friends are driving to their school. Another great pointer here.
The fun really starts with Tina and her friends Nancy and Glenn hanging out and discussing about the two of them having the same dream which was nicely written in making you cringe as how it was put in showed great style here.
Suddenly later on in the story was my favourite when Tina is dreaming and looks at her window and some small rocks hit it with Freddy hissing her name which should guarantee anyone who is scared easily will find this creepy as well as her going into her back yard to find who's calling her in which was perfectly shot spotting Freddy in a dark alleyway creeping up to her. It's impressive that something deadly is going to happen to her in which this was awesome to watch her getting attacked.
Meanwhile there's cool effects and moments with Nancy sleeping and a crucifix bouncing off the wall and she holds onto it as well as a nice shot on Freddy's body moving in the wall with her sleeping. A definete classic moment for anyone who remembers watching this film.
Another effective and favourite moment of mine is when Nancy sleeps in class and then spots her dead friends TIna talking to her in a body bag and then slides away with a bloody trail into the hallway and a hall monitor asks for her pass when she runs trying to catch up to this bloody trail which was cleverly put in as if a hall monitor is ignoring all of this. Also a terrific one liner about Nancy running in the hallways with this monitor looking creepy and showing a hand with blades which is another terrific and creepy memorable moment here.
Nixce effective dialogue with Nancy talking to Rod in jail about what he saw the night Tina was slaughtered which was prefectly put in when he explains to her on the killings happening with cuts on her forming. This really draws your attention when he talks about it. Yet it seems a bit cheesy when he tells her his nightmare he's always having.
There's cool camera shots on Nancy slowly falling asleep in a bathtub while singing the Freddy chant along with Freddy's glove appearing up in the tub when she briefly falls asleep which is another great pointer in the story.
More great special effects when Nancy is dreaming and is trying to run upstairs into her room while Freddy is on her tail and she sinks into the staircase like quicksand trying to struggle away. This moment can psych you out big time.
A nice shocked moment on Nancy's father Lt. Donald Thompson after a funeral service when Nancy describes who is in her dreams killing these people in which draws some great unsovled mysteries making you wonder if he knew who this maniac was.
Another zany moment is when Nancy awakens after her dream at a therapy that she brought Freddy's hat out of it as this seemed to be a good drawing card into finding out who her dream stalker is.
Great strong writing when Nancy freaks out at her mother Marge on refusing to sleep as well as telling her who the name of this killer written on the hat as is looked good with Marge acting like a basket case telling her that the person is dead which certainly leaves you with goosebumps crawling over your skin as it gets good here while we are wanting more from what she knows about this dream killer.
Also it gets really twisted when Nancy comes home to discover that her home is barred up for safety as well as Marge taking her into the basement explaining on who Krueger is and his history explaining on how he was never in prison for what he did along with the parents seeking revenge. This was another favourite scene of mine and done brilliantly. Plus it looked really creepy when she showed Nancy the glove with blades that she kept in safe keeping after he was killed.
Later on in the story looked even more twisted when Nancy's phone rings and she thinks it's Glen and then she hears Freddy's blade screeching on the other end and she freaks out tearing the phone out of the phone. It becomes even spookierwhen the phone rings again with great still camera shots rolling in and what happens when she answers it.
A perfect special effects shots when Krueger drags someone inside their bed and blood splurts up on their bedroom roof in which this looked incredibly intense with objects suddly flying everywhere. The most memorable killing in this film according to the fans here which I totally agree since I'm a fan of this movie myself.
It was really effective when Nancy calls her father telling him her plan to capture Krueger and when she does for him to break the door down and have him arrested which alot of this looked very convincing on how it was written in.
Lots of perfect shots on Nancy setting booby traps in her home as well as her plan on going to sleep. Things look superb when she hunts him in the boiler room as well as trying to draw him out of her dream with more suspenseful moments on her setting him up in the house setting up the traps when he tries to come after her. All of this was very entertaining to watch.
A perfect special effects shot when Donald and Nancy go into Marge's bedroom to try and stop Freddy from attacking her in which this looked perfect to watch without a doubt. Also it was cool on Nancy facing her fears with Freddy and trying to overcome her nightmares which is a realistic look on anyone who is scared of nightmares and the most perfect pointer in this story of them all.
The ending looked quite impressive and perfectly done showing that the horror hasn't ended yet in which leaves the door open for a sequel. In fact, it makes you beg for a sequel after watching this terrifying moment revealed here. Hats off to Wes Craven for making this ending look effective.
Bottom line is that this is a definite classic and my favourite of all slasher films which appealed to the same fans that enjoyed Friday the 13th which years later they combined the two killers together in Freddy Vs. Jason.
After this film was released the Freddy Krueger craze happened with action figures, game boards, video games, comic books, young adult novels and halloween costumes.
Not only that a TV series titled Freddy's Nightmares aired.
This film was truely frightening, effective and very original to top it all off. Two thumbs up! Followed by many sequels.

The acting is very good. Heather Langenkamp (Nancy Thompson) shows great energy with her role and gives her lines out extremely well along with delivering alot of great spunk and enthusiasm in whatever she does here. She is realistic with her emotional and temperamental attitude too. She was an icon for this film and fans will always cherish her for her role in this film. I thought that she could've gone in the same direction as Jamie Lee Curtis did but unfortunately not. She seems to really get into her conversation during the beginning of her performance while going to school which she shows alot of good characteristics here. Does well with her sobbing emotions after what has happened to her onscreen friend. Shows good energy running in a hallway as well as freaking out bumping into a hall monitor and really shows a great natural aggressive answer towards this monitor while asking for her pass. She does well screaming out while she is nearly attacked in a boiler room showing a great might with all of this. She does well with her struggling attitude within her blocking trying to get away from a killer showing a great forceful energy. Does a great job shouting intensely towards her onscreen mother on what has happened in her dream clinic and slamming an alcohol bottle to the ground in which this looked believeably forceful and realistic. A great powerful aggressive reaction on her entering her house and slamming the door demanding an explanation on what she spots from the front of her home. She does a nice job focusing on what her onscreen mother tells her about a killer and acting still and calm on this which looked sharply done. Does well freaking out after answering her phone with great powerful blocking while jumping on the phone and smashing it. She showed a ton of great intense adrenaline while doing this. Also does a great job with her fruesterated anger along with screaming out her words later on acting believeably upset. Does incredibly well with her emotional speaking on the phone with her onscreen father after a tragic moment. Does well calling out Krueger's name with a good courageous attitude. Also she does well screaming out in frusteration. She does a good job with her blocking by tackling this maniac. Shows alot of great energy while taunting him and rolling in with the punches here while pkanning a trap for him. Does well with her panicky voice calling outside a broken window of a door in which she shows great hyped up energy. A nice hissing speech with her towards Krueger during the final countdown as she does well acting brave towards him really getting into what she does here.
Ronee Blakeley
(Marge Thompson) has a great part in the story as the alcoholic mother
. Although she has a drinking problem in the film she nonetheless is caring and protective in the film as well as great when she tells her daughter the secrets on Krueger. She does all of this perfectly and knew on how to act like a basket case too with what she does here. There's a nice serious moment when she talks to her onscreen daughter after a murder case which she was well focused by doing this. Also knew on how to act disturbed while talking to her after an incident at a dream clinic. Does well with her calm and smooth speaking while talking to her onscreen daughter on a former killer as she really got into this a great deal. She studied her role quite nicely here. Does a perfect job acting drunk and out of it on the living room couch which she made sure that her reactions grabbed your attention greatly here.
John Saxon
(Lt. Donald Thompson) is perfect as a tough as nails cop in the film and a strict divorced parent. He was believeable with his serious behavior portraying a pefrect chief of the police but of course he was often typecast playing these types of roles. He delivers his lines clearly and perfectly too like always and is a wonderful character actor indeed. He shows a great caring and patient behavior too which also looked believeable along with being sympathetic talking to her onscreen daughter on the phonme after a devastating incident.
Johnny Depp (Glen Lantz) in his first acting gig before he rose into big budgeted productions. Of course he's terrific as the nice boy next door whom is faithful in whatever he does. Shows off well as a typical teenager who likes to have fun with whatever he does and came across nicely in his appearance too. Also shows alot of nice characteristics while going to his school discussing on how to cope with a nightmare which flows well and very natural on how he does this. Also does a nice job while trying to fool his parents on the phone where he's staying and shows off good energy while doing this. Does a good job screaming while being pulled into his bed showing great anxious reactions. He had a heartthrob appeal in this flick.
Nick Corri (Rod Lane) performs terrifically as a wild child teenager but yet tries to mean well although he acts like a troublemaker many times. He lived to play this role with his aggressive behavior. Does well acting energetic towards some of the cast members having a surprise visit entering a home at night and great enthusiasm with his talking. Also does well with his nice moaning speaking after getting it on with his onscreen girlfriend which looked natural. Does well crying out and great freaked out reactions on him by the unseen terror he spots. Does a nice job while speaking to someone good and firm while he's behind bars but yet was a bit weak while getting a little emotional at the end of his conversation. He was really a ball of energy with his hyped attitude along with his loud speaking too really getting into his part. Plus had the perfect looks which was a plus.
Amanda Wyss (Tina Gray) was a nice key supporting role in the film showing a believeable nervousness in her performance as she knew her stuff here. She also shows alot of great wild intensity too which she just rolled with the punches here. This gal came across perfectly with everything she did in this film even if her role wasn't huge at all but was well remembered for working in this flick making everything that she did incredibly effective.
A nice nervous expression on her running through a boiler room along with showing a great scream too. She also does well springing up in bed with an anxious reaction. She also acts believeably natural while having a discussion with her co-stars as her school friends on what her dream was. She also does a nice job speaking softly and peacefully while in bed with her onscreen boyfriend which looked believeable. Also she does well with her chocked up speaking while having a nightmare acting tensed up which she shows perfect timing as well as her bloody intense screaming too just rolling with the punches here. Very well done and makes herself a convincing victim.
And of course we can't forget Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger) who was typecast in other horror flicks as a killer of some sort even if he has acted years before this one saw the light of day
. He really knew how to sound and perform dark and evil with his role as well as good blocking with him walking slowly and using his bladed glove. He also knew on how to lash out or run towards someone. A perfect lunging shot on him towards his co-star from a bed. He reacts perfectly by hissing towards her and creeping towards her. Plus was perfect with his slick and wicked personality and showing a ton of intense behavior too.

Wyss' breasts are almost discovered while Freddy slashes her to death.
Theres a brief breast shot of Langenkamp when she has a nightmare while taking a bath and is being pulled underwater.

Lots of blood in this film.
Freddy's face is pulled off as well he cuts off his fingers with his blades to scare Tina.
Tina is slashed with his blades.
During a dream sequence Tina calls to Nancy when she is in class and Tina is in a body bag.
Freddy cuts his chest to show Nancy some maggots inside of him.
Glen is sucked underneath his bed and blood splurts out (Which is a memorable scene and a great direction too which I didn't mention on the directing review here).

The music was composed by Charles Bernstein who did an incredibly marvellous job with it. He has dark keyboard playing in the film which will give you goosebumps too along with great screeching sounds with nice tingling effects. Plus alot of good dark piano playing too and the odd bonging and scratching sounds in which all combines in greatly. Truly eerie and has composed music for many films to his credit.

There is a songtrack called "Nightmare" performed by Steve Karshner, Martin Kent and Michael Schurig for the ending credits in which the vocalising sounds a bit annoying as this artist seems to shout more than he sings. Oh well

Children: One, two, Freddy's coming for you. / Three, four, better lock your door. / Five, six, grab your crucifix. / Seven, eight, gonna stay up late. / Nine, ten, never sleep again.

Rod Lane: I had a hard-on this morning when I woke up, Tina... Had your name written all over it.
Tina Gray: There's four letters in my name, Rod. How can there be enough room on your joint for four letters?
[Laughter]
Rod Lane: Hey, up yours with a twirling lawnmower!

Glen Lantz: I'm going to punch out your ugly lights, whoever you are!

[Glen is trying to get to sleep on the couch alone, but the sounds of Tina and Rod having sex is keeping him up]
Glen Lantz: Morality sucks.

Tina Gray: Please, God...
Fred Krueger: [Shows off his glove] This... is God.

Donald: What was she doing there?
Marge: Hello to you, too, Donald.
Donald: [sarcastically] Marge.

Hallguard: Where's your pass?
Nancy: Screw your pass.

Hallguard: [off screen] Hey... Nancy!
[flashing Freddy's finger knives]
Hallguard: No running in the hallways!

Nancy: It's only a dream!
Fred Krueger: Come to Freddy.
Nancy: GOD DAMN YOU!

Rod Lane: I probably could have saved her if I'd have moved sooner. But I thought it was just another nightmare, like the one I had the night before. There was... there was this guy; he had knives for fingers.

Glen Lantz: What did you do to your arm?
Nancy: I burned it in English class

Nancy: Ok, here's what we're going to do.
Glen Lantz: It's dark in here.
Nancy: It's not what you think.

[Freddy wears Tina mask]
Tina Gray: Nancy, help me, please. Save me from...
[Removes mask]
Fred Krueger: Freddy!

Nancy: I'm into survival.

Marge: He's dead, honey, because Mommy killed him.

Nancy: Whatever you do, don't fall asleep.

Fred Krueger: I'm your boyfriend now, Nancy.

Fred Krueger: I'm gonna kill you slow.

Fred Krueger: I'm gonna split you in two.