A Nightmare on Elmstreet, American movie (1984)

Sleep is overrated. I mean, seriously, with already way too little hours in a day to do stuff , why do we also have to spent some of our precious time unconscious? But there really is no escaping it, not if you want to continue being awake and not walk around as a zombie all day. But there also some positive notes to it. Sometimes you get a nice dream, which is almost as a good as seeing a movie in a big theatre. And I don’t mean an X-rated dream for all you perverted minds out there, but just a pleasant one that makes you happy. Unfortunately for every nice dream, there is also a dark one that lurks around the corner. Nightmares, in which you find yourself being surrounded by a swarm of killer wasps (sorry, those little bugs scare the crap out of me), or other dark places that you really don’t want to be spending time in. In 1984 a movie came out that created a character that became the very stuff of nightmares: one Freddy Krueger…….

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Jaws part VIII: terror in the bathtub.

The teenage girls Tina and Nancy are best friends and have been enjoying their lives the best way they can. That means hanging out together, spending time with their boyfriends, fooling around, in short everything teenagers should be doing. However Tina has lately been having a couple of terrifying nightmares. In them she is being chased by a horribly disfigured man, wearing a dirty sweater and that has knives for fingers. She is so incredibly upset by it, that she asks Nancy to stay with her during the night. But it appears that Nancy has been having the same dreams. Eventually though they both shrug it off, and Tina spents the night with her boyfriend. But when she finally goes to sleep after a night of passion, the nightmare returns. And in a terrible twist she gets killed in a brutal way, with the blame going to her boyfriend. With Tina out of the picture, Nancy has now become the next target. It turns out that some nightmares can become reality. Nancy is in for the fight of her life, as she has to face a brutal serial killer that supposedly died a couple of years ago. But how in the world do you fight against something out of a dream? Freddy is coming for her……

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Yep, that really is Johny Depp. 

A Nightmare on Elmstreet breathed life back into a genre that had become pretty stale at the time. Created by Wes Craven, the same guy that brought us the horrorclassic Scream, this film is a terrific movie for everyone that loves a good scare. One of the best things about the film is of course the iconic character of Freddy Krueger. Played by Robert Englund, Krueger is both terrifying and at the same time pretty funny as well, although that last quality would become more  apparent in the sequels. Freddy is a truly horrifying opponent in this first part though, and there are some seriously chilling scenes featuring him, that will have you screaming your lungs out. Where Friday the 13th looks pretty dated at this time, here we have a film that is still giving you plenty of scares and has managed to withstand the test of time very well. It is almost hard to imagine that this movie is almost 35 years old now.

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Who needs Wolverine? 

Another fun fact that some people might not even be aware of, is that this movie introduced the world to actor Johny Depp. He played the part of Nancy’s boyfriend, and even though this was his very first role, it hardly showed at all, as he pulled of the part with flying colours. The acting as a whole in this film, while not great, is certainly a lot better than for instance Friday the 13th. Nancy, who is played by actress Heather Langenkamp, is a very charming and innocent character, that most people will be rooting for. She is brave and manages to hold her own against everything Freddy throws at her. And believe me when I say that most people would find themselves turning completely nuts if they would be in that kind of situation. But it is Robert Englund who simply deserves the most credit as he is definitely the driving force in this film.

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Don’t you just hate prank calls? 

The Nightmare on Elmstreet franchise

As is usually the case with any movie that is succesful, we get the inevitable sequels. A Nightmare on Elmstreet eventually ended up with six movies that continued the terrors after the first part (eight if you count the remake and the spinoff Freddy vs. Jason). In these sequels Freddy continued to play his sick little games, while at the same time also providing a lot of (dark) comedy. Even though there were still plenty of scares and gruesome deaths, I always found them to be of a lighter tone than the original movie. The seventh part of the series is especially worth mentioning because the storyline for that one is pretty cool. Entitled New Nightmare, actress Heather Langenkamp returns to play herself, together with Robert Englund and director Wes Craven. They look back on their roles in the first part in a talkshow, but then the evil that is Krueger tries to enter the real world. It was a nice twist and a highly enjoyable movie. The other sequels, while entertaining, never reached the same level as the first film though. Still, there were plenty of memorable scenes, like for instance the “Soul pizza” that Freddy eats in part 4. I have included it below for your viewing pleasure, although I don’t know if that is the correct word for it.

The Verdict

And that is about it for this third part in my Countdown to Halloween series. A Nightmare on Elmstreet is a true classic that every fan of horror should see at least once. It created an equally terrifying as well as entertaining icon in the form of Freddy Krueger. The storyline is great, the deaths are gruesome, but never going into a truly gory territory, and it is a film that is still quite scary despite it’s age. There are talks of a reboot for the series, but those are so far only rumors. The remake that was released in 2010, was received very poorly, and deservedly so. It just did not have the same fun factor as the original film, and was just a very pale shadow. So honestly I am not really looking forward to another attempt. There are some classics that should simply not be remade. The next movie that will be coming up in this feature will be Final Destination, so I hope to see you all back again for that one. In the meantime thank you for reading, and let me know your thoughts on Krueger in the comments section below. Pleasant dreams……..

I give A Nightmare on Elmstreet a 8 out of 10 score.

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49 thoughts on “A Nightmare on Elmstreet, American movie (1984)”

  1. Ooh, Final Destination is coming? Exciting.
    I’m not the biggest Nightmare of Elmstreet fan but it is kind of one of those classics you have to watch as a horror fan. So many other movies derive ideas from it and refer to it you just have to have seen it. I think my issue with it is that the horror takes place in dreams and I know the argument that it can actually kill you is supposed to make it scary but it just doesn’t really work for me. Some of the humour and jump scares are good though and it is classic horror in every sense of the word.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep that one is coming up next week. Looking forward to rewatching that one, as I have seen it quite a while ago.
      As for Nightmare on Elmstreet, I am not a huge fan either…but this first part was just truly awesome and genuinely scary. The sequels took things in a different direction, but while entertaining never came close to the chills of this one. Still, as far as horrorfranchises go, this one is still a lot of fun 😀

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      1. Definitely agree with you on that. Most of the effects are great, and that is because pretty mich all of them are practical effects instead of the CGI stuff that movies use these days. That scene where Johny Depp’s character bites the dust is also still very good 😀

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  2. I think I watched the 2nd or 3rd one? Whichever one where the teen kids go all “dream warrior” and the girl uses nun chucks or something.I just remember her putting on this big head band and suddenly she was supposed to be totally bad ass because of that.

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    1. Yeah, that was part 3 if I remember it correctly (that part is called the dreamwarriors). I haven’t seen the sequels in a while so I don’t remember every single detail from them, but that scene you just described was certainly a lot of fun. 😀

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    1. Lol: one two, Freddy’s coming for you, three four, better lock your door, five six, grab your crucifix….okay…I will stop now 😂😂 But yeah, he certainly tends to give people the heebie jeebies, that’s for sure 😀

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  3. Huge fan of Wes Craven and Nightmare on Elm Street! Robert Englund is a legend, and this is possibly one of Johnny Depp’s best roles to date. 😉 Like you said, the sequels never quite matched the original. But many scenes are memorable fun; there are some great puns too. Fantastic review!

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    1. Thanks as always for the kind words, appreciate it. Yeah, it’s a real shame that Wes Craven has died. He has brought us so many great horrormovies, and he would probably have brought us any more if he had not died. As for Nightmare, besides the first movie, I am not a huge fan of the franchise. I like the movies, that’s for sure, but I do think there are better franchises out there 😊

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  4. I’m generally not a horror movie fan, but I do appreciate some of the classics. I actually love the Scream franchise, they are my favorite “Halloween movies.” Nightmare on Elm Street is a fascinating concept and horrifying that we all need to sleep, but we can’t sleep if we can get murdered in our sleep. Nice article.

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    1. Thank you very much😊 Well, as you might have noticed I am a pretty big horrorfan, but besides the first film, I am not a huge fan of the franchise. The films are fun to watch, don’t get me wrong, but there are certainly better ones, Scream being one of them 😊

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    1. This one is definitely much better than friday the 13th. Even though the latter movie is fun pure for nostalgic reasons, this one is still truly scary and a great movie. Hope you will enjoy it if you get a chance to see it 😀

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  5. Definitely a classic franchise. I saw the first couple and they scared me so bad. Not so much during the actual movies, but just the thoughts later while going to sleep. Never again! lol

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    1. Haha lol 😂😂 I don’t think I have ever gotten nightmares from Freddy (knock on wood), but I can see how that might happen lol. But true, it is a nice franchise, though I do have to admit I am not a huge fan. This first movie is brilliant though 😊

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  6. This is one of the very few movies, that scares the complete dirt out of me. I don’t know if its the whole being horribly murdered in my sleep thing, or just how terrifying and creepy Freddy Krueger looks. The first one is especially terrifying. I don’t think I could watch that one alone.
    However, I completely agree with you, the first one is the best. It’s a classic. I don’t think there many other horror films like it. 🙂

    Great review. I’m really enjoying your Countdown to Halloween 😀 It’s awesome. Can’t wait to read the next one 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for these very kind words. They are always appreciated. I agree this is really a very, very creepy film. It amazed me that it still had so much impact even though it is an almost 35 year old film now. That only goes to show that some films are timeless. As for Freddy….let’s hope he never enters our nightmares for real 😀

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    1. I had totally forgotten that he was in the film. It had been quite a while since I last saw it. But I agree I love the film too. Still a timeless classic 😀 Thanks foe your comment and the kind words 😀

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  7. I definitely enjoyed this series, particularly “Wes Craven’s New Nightmare”, which plays with the interesting concept of an artist’s creation escapes the control of the artist. In the Mouth of Madness is another good one, if that interests you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really thought New Nightmare was interesting as well. It was a very clever script and took the franchise in a very cool direction. As for Mouth of Madness, I don’t know that one, but will try and track it down. Thanks for the recommendation 😀

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  8. There are spoilers in this comment. I love this movie. I really liked 2 and 3 as well. I think 2 gets criticised a lot, but I enjoyed it. There were elements to the later films which felt more like dark fantasy, in some respects as the nightmares became more vivid and people became their ideal selves. That was why I liked 3, Dream Warriors. And 4 and 5 had one as a ninja and one as a vigilante. I loved those scenes. The vigilante scene ending was horrific as was the Girl Doing weights (that scene freaked me out) I think there were too many sequels, and they became forgettable. I did see the new nightmare, and honestly cant remember it though I remember enjoying it. I aw the remake and didn’t think it was so bad, though I felt they missed a trick as they took an interesting turn as it was stated that Freddy wasn’t a paedophile, that the kids made it up, and then the decided to retract that. I thought it would have been a better film if he was actually the victim, and seeking vengeance on the families that wronged him. Great post again.

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    1. Thank you! For the kind words and the great response. I agree with the fact that there were just too many sequels for this one. I really loved this first film, but I am not a huge fan of this franchise. I did enjoy every film, and certainly did not think they were bad. But eventually it all went a bit too far. As for the scene with the girl with the weights, Aww man,I remember the first time seeing that scene and I think I really almost feel to the floor because of the creepyness of that one. Uggggghhhhh…but it was certainly a memorable one. The remake just made everything very serious…and Freddy always had a bit of dark humor in it, that missed from this one. That said, I have seen remakes that were definitely worse, that is for sure 😊

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    1. Haha lol. If on,y that were true, look at all the time we could be spending on fun things. But then again, we would go through our backlogs so fast we would not have them anymore. And we might even become bored…oh horror of horrors 🎃
      Seriously though, this is quite an enjoyable film, and despite it’s age it’s still a fun watch. If you don’t really like scary films though, this one certainly won’t change that 😊

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  9. Where do I start with a movie that I have such a love/hate relationship with. Firstly it is truly one of the most terrifying concept and monster design to ingeniously come up with so a Freddy Kruger hats off to the marvellous horror master that was the legendary- Wes Craven. I suppose at a young age watching Freddy Kruger will make you not go to sleep, burn your self on a boiling kettle because you’re still too young to make tea.

    I was scarred for a very.. very long time and all these mishaps had happened to moi because I made the mistake of watching it on vcr. Having said that, a now older survivour of elm street realises how brilliantly scripted and fear loving movie it has iconically become.

    I don’t tend to like much lenghty tourtured gore but Freddy somehow makes an exception but only in the three movies I had seen, the dream warriors being my memorable one. It had that wit to it which I liked yet being fearful at the same time. Dream warriors led a unique path with its story telling I felt and one can never forget the tv watching scene where Freddys infamous ‘welcome to prime time bitch’! became a sight to see. I have enjoyed your horror franchise reviews alot Michel and your style of writing in each of them.

    (P.s I am sorry if I have missed a few posts, writing my own posts and trying to read and comment with prople has been overwhelming and tiresome at times with my treatments- i have a form of cancer, but when I have the time they are a joy to read and I shall try to do my best. )

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    1. There is one thing that you never, ever, have to do: and that is to apologise. That you even find the time and energy to read posts, and much less comment on them is an amazing feat in itself. I can honestly not express how sorry I feel when I read this. I so hope with all my heart that things will get better for you soon. It brings a smile to my face that these posts bring a bit of joy to you. I will continue to do my best. As for apologies, I have one of my own to make. I am sorry for not yet responding to your email. I will promise you this: on sunday I will make some time for that, no matter what happens.
      As for Freddy…yeah, I am not a huge nightmare on Elmstreet fan. They are fun films, and the first one is just awesome, but the sequels while fun and having some very memorable moments (the scene you describe being one of them lol), it’s just not as great a series (for me personally) as some of the other franchises. Still, they are definitely still fun films, and great to see…especially on Halloween 😀
      Please take good care of yourself, and thanks for your wonderful comment 😀

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      1. That is perfectly fine Michel. Please do not feel like you need to email as it was awhile ago when I was replying after my departure from here but if you still want to, I look foward to it. And it is none the less nice enough to get in contact via WordPress. It is a shock and a really difficult situation to handle and I did not want to publicly mention it as such but my time spent may be sparse so I figured I should mention it. I will still keep writing when I can and post. Thank you for your heart warming support as always.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. True enough 😀 I have not been huge fan of the overall franchise, but this first one is truly a lot of fun. Plus Wes Craven is simply a genius when it comes to films such as these. And ofcourse there is Freddy, who is one of the best horror villaims ever 😀

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