A Nightmare on Elmstreet (1984)
IMDB rate: 7,5
Today I started watching the first movie of 'A Nightmare on Elm Street'. As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm planning on watching a 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' movie everyday. At least, if it's possible to watch it. Anyway, I'm also writing a review about it the same day. First I'm watching part 1 till 7, then I watch Freddy vs. Jason and after that I will watch the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street.
I felt kinda guilty that I never watched these movie, even though I own all of them on dvd, I never watched any besides the remake and Freddy vs. Jason. So I started a little project for myself, this project! I'll have to admit that I'm not a big fan of 'old' movies. I actually like remakes, and I know that is not really allowed in the horror world, but it's just the way I think about it. Anyway, when I started watching the original movie today I was not really impressed about it. Maybe I was not in a real horror mood or something, I don't know, but I know that it seemed a bit.. boring in my eyes. Shame on me, I know. It's not that it was a bad movie or something, because it surely wasn't bad, but it will not make it to my top 100 of movies or something (the original neither, if that makes it better). I find the whole Freddy Krueger story fascinating, but also confusing. I'm hoping to find out a bit more in the next couple of movies about the whole mysterious being of him. Until now, I can't say much about it yet!
On Elm Street, Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp) and a group of her friends including Tina Gray (Amanda Wyss), Rod Lane (Jsu Garcia) and Glen Lantz (Johnny Depp) are being tormented by a clawed killer in their dreams named Freddy Krueger. Nancy must think quickly, as Freddy tries to pick off his victims one by one. When he has you in your sleep, who is there to save you?
The first thing that I noticed while watching this movie was the effective music. It's the kind of music that is creeping up on you, it fits the movie perfectly, and every scene was exactly right for it. It's noticeable that Freddy Krueger was not the 'horror hero' back then, like he is now. His story is still a bit vague but you can tell that his story should be expanded. He's not even a lot in this movie, but that is what making this movie good. He was a mystery. While this movie is still evolving about 'a killer' haunting some teenagers, the other movie really evolve about Freddy Krueger himself. It's amazing that he grew to the slasher hero he is now.
It was funny to see Johnny Depp in his first role ever, I like him a lot as an actor and while his acting was not that good as now, you can tell that he has capability for being an actor. It's nice to see him this young, but you recognize the talented man he is now. Also, the scene where he died was absolutely brilliant. It was weird, yes. It was bloody, yes. But it was amazing. I think it was a very original way to die.
I don't know any of the other actors/actresses but they were not really good at acting in my opinion. Heather Langenkamp was absolutely a scream queen, but I don't think that's something to be proud up. Robert Englund, portraying Freddy played his role as well as in every other movie. Some actress that really bothered me was Ronee Blakley, playing Nancy's mother. Everybody is saying that Kristen Stewart isn't having any emotion in her face? Well, Ronee Blakley is ten times worse. That unemotional face was so incredibly annoying. The mouth said yes, while the eyes.... well they said nothing to be honest.
I believe it was an effective horror movie in 1984, and maybe it still is for some people, but the movie itself is a bit out of date. It's now almost 30 years later and well, we're used to other horror movies I guess. It's not that the CGI makes anything better nowadays, but it's just a different sort of movie. This movie is a low budget movie and for a low budget movie it's a good movie. Very good I think, because when this low budget movie was made, a hero was rising. A lot of things that were happening in this movie can be considered as horror cliches, but around this time, the cliches weren't cliches yet, because it was still original. So in fact, you can see it like these kind of horror movies were the main example for recent horror makers. Anyway, the main point is you can't get annoyed by horror cliches in older horror movies, because they were original back then.
In this movie, Freddy is still a mystery. You know he has a red/green sweater but you can't really see it well. You know he has knives for fingers, but there is not much focus on it. I know that in Freddy vs. Jason, he is seen very clear, sweater, fingers, face, the whole package. He was making jokes and his voice wasn't as demonic as in the original movie. I am excited to see him grow (?) in the following movies till the person he is in Freddy vs. Jason, so I can tell when he was the scarier slasher. Now or then?
A Nightmare on Elm Street is certainly a classic, and while the slashing was intriguing the ending was a bit confusing. It was quite a shame because the movie wasn't that bad, but the ending seemed rushed and was very confusing. All I can hope now is that it will be explained in the sequels.
I think Halloween is a better slasher movie, but A Nightmare on Elm Street is also a very good classic movie. It's certainly a must see for horror fanatics, there is much gore in this movie which makes it priceless.
My personal rate: 7/10