Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Tonight I saw a screening of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" at the Aero Theater with live commentary by director, Wes Craven.  It was a great experience from a great director in the horror field.

Robert Englund plays Freddy Krueger, a man who has been killed by a lynch mob for his criminal acts against young children.  Freddy is back for revenge by murdering the offspring of the people that killed him.  The twist is that he kills people in their dreams.

I think the movie is very well done and it holds up today.  Freddy is still just as frightening as he was 25 years ago.  Some of the effects are still amazing, such as the scenes with people being killed on the ceiling.  Others are not so great such as the last kill in the film.  But it still works.

I thought Wes Craven did a great job on this film, not only with his script, but his direction.  He really knows how to frighten an audience through tension and suspense.  Even though there are some ridiculously gory scenes, the film is not very graphic or realistic.  It is very dream like.  That is the way it was intended to be.  

One scene that I think is particularly scary is when the main character, Nancy, is visited by the corpse of her best friend.  The body is dragged down to the boiler room.  A blood trail is left.  Nancy follows it.  It leads her right into the hands of Freddy.  That entire sequence is really well done.  During the screening, Craven said he got the idea of the blood trail by the slime trails that snails left in his backyard. 

Since its release in 1984, Freddy Krueger has become one of the most popular and recognizable monsters of all time.  With seven sequels and a remake in the works, it seems as though Freddy will never die.

B+  I recommend it.

By the way...  After the screening of the film, I drove by the house it was filmed at.  It looks pretty much the same.  While I was out that way, I also drove by the houses that were used in the filming of "Halloween".  It was very exciting for me to see these famous film locations in person.  I'm glad I live so close to all of these great places.

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