A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

A Nightmare on Elm Street is pretty much seen as a horror classic. I guess if you compare it with something like Sister of Death or Werewolf in a Girl's Dormitory it is indeed an amazing movie. However, beyond an amazing concept and the solid introduction, where you watch Freddy making his gloves, I have a lot of problems with this movie.

I almost feel like I am insulting your intelligence for having to sum up the plot for this movie, but I'm gonna do it. Nancy and her boyfriend Johnny Depp, and Tina and her boyfriend Rod are having nightmares about a guy with knives for fingers in an old beat up sweater, which is of course the famous Freddy Krueger. All is fun and games until Tina gets killed in her dream. Of course all the adults won't believe anything their kids say no matter how much evidence there is. At one point Nancy brings back Freddy's hat from a dream while in a controlled environment (a lab!!!) and her mom is wondering where she really got that hat from. Yeah, great thinking mom. Nancy probably ate the hat and then regurgitated it while you guys were watching her sleep but you forgot or something. That makes sense.

On top of that, all the adults know all about Freddy and his scissor hands and whatnot but of course they don't say anything about it until the end of the movie. In fact, they pretty much leave all the kids to die, even though each kid is killed in a more and more fantastic way. Even after one kid is reduced to a fountain of bloody giblets shooting all over the ceiling of his room.

But this is not the only frustrating thing about A Nightmare on Elm Street. Oh no, it also relies way too much on jump scares, and the sound effects that accompany the jump scares are just laughable. I know this was the whole point, you'd go to the theater with your girlfriend/boyfriend and Freddy would jump out and go "RARRR" and you'd have your popcorn and then after the movie you'd go stick baseball cards in the spokes of your bicycle and race your buddies and play marbles, or whatever it is kids did back in 1984 before we had video games or DVD players or cars or civilization. But I'm not in a theater and Freddy jumping out and growling just doesn't cut it when you have films like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre of even Friday the 13th.

But I guess you need the jump scares because while all the kids (even that psychopath Rod) are likable and Nancy is cute, the script is terrible. I mean, italics terrible. I can't blame the actors. We all know Johnny Depp is great, but with this awful script, what can you do? At one point Nancy is talking to her mom about how bright it is outside and her mom says some nonsense about, "It's gonna burn off soon or it wouldn't be so bright." What does this even mean?!?! Is she talking about the sun? Is this something anyone would ever say about anything? The script is filled with this kind of embarrassing nonsense. Watching A Nightmare on Elm Street makes me pine for the nearly Shakespearean-in-comparison Friday the 13th, which has a script mostly consisting of laughable sex talk, macho posturing, screaming, or all of these at once.


Veronica said...

You updating this blog is a birthday gift for me - yay!

I can't imagine any kind of dreaming being "controlled" no matter how many fake wires or blinky lights a set dresser puts around.

newtmonkey said...

Happy late birthday!

There were a lot of blinky lights though. No matter how many you are thinking, there were more. If that's not science, I don't know what it is.