Nightmare on Elm Street, A (1984) Reviewed

Heather Langerkamp as Nancy illustrating four reasons you NEVER fall asleep in the tub.

Heather Langerkamp as Nancy illustrating four reasons you NEVER fall asleep in the tub.

NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, A (1984)
Arguably Wes Craven’s biggest success at being scary, NoES introduces the world to Fred Krueger and Johnny Depp in one shiver-inducing package. Some of the scares still hold up twenty years later – especially the first kill. If you can forget everything you know about Freddy and watch this with fresh eyes you’ll see what a strong premise it was. Unfortunately Craven’s tin ear for teen dialogue puts a significant dent in things. Despite that, Heather Langerkamp is great as Nancy, an average teen girl. John Saxon’s role is almost identical to the one he had in Black Christmas. Soap star Ronee Blacklee plays Nancy’s mom and if you keep in mind that she’s a soap star while listening to her line readings, you’re in for a laugh. This was the golden age of Krueger when he hardly spoke at all, let alone quip. Nothing funny about hearing “I’m gonna split you in two!” The exciting climax is almost ruined by the tagged on post script that unbelievably made the final cut. NoES became the New Line Cinema crown jewel for sometime following its surprise box office success. Six sequels would follow not including the 2003 pairing of Freddy and Jason. Unlike the original Friday the 13th, this is deservedly a modern classic.
***

~ by Number5ive on January 27, 2009.

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