Thursday, March 24, 2005

A Nightmare on Elm Street

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: A group of high school friends realizes that they've been dreaming about the same nightmarish "guy" for the past couple nights. This guy, who goes by the name of Fred Krueger, begins picking them off in their sleep. Nancy, the main (and of course virginal) character decides to take action and end the bloodshed by pulling Freddy Krueger out of her dream back into her waking life.

Scariness factor: This movie has a bit of the '80s syndrome which takes off SOME of the bite of its scariness (the occasional lapse into lame super-80s synthesized music, for example). But overall, it's a damn creepy movie. And a damn horror classic because of that.

Originality: This definitely has originality going for it. I mean, it's a movie that focuses in on the subconscious--which is where our fear originates. This is clever. It is also a movie that makes terrifyingly scary the one place we cannot escape--sleep--typically a place of comfort for folks. It also cleverly makes use of dreams--the imagery is very dreamlike, and the idea of dreams and reality interweaving themselves is an interesting one. Definitely strong in this category.

Other Complaints: The long-armed Freddy Krueger scene is kinda lame as is the scene towards the end with the skeleton sinking into the bed (which should've included hard-core metal-guitar hair-band music to accompany it in its lameness).

Other High Points: This movie has some fantastically disturbing imagery in it, especially for when it was made--a female victim being torn apart by an invisible attacker as she is dragged up the wall and onto the ceiling, a bed pouring out gallons of blood upside-down onto the ceiling.

Johnny Depp has poofy-hair. Hee hee. Not really awesome enough of a reason to see it, but definitely an added perk.

It also is more of a complex horror movie than most, delving into what dreams are and what fears are in an interesting way. It is not just horror and gore for the sake of scaring and grossing out.

Grade: A



At 9:32 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

...and *much* better than the subsequent sequels, which devolved the movie into simply "what creative way is the next person going to die?". I've seen all of the 'Nightmare..' movies, except for the last "The New Nightmare", (as it's whole "actors playing themselves, but Freddy is real" stuck me at a gimmick reeking of desperation) and the first is heads above the rest. Even those who think they do not like the series should check out the first one, before making any conclusions.


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