Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Ross's Spooky Reviews: A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

You knew I couldn't continue with the scary movie reviews without mentioning this gem.

Also I've been thinking of what to do when we finally reach October 31st, so I've decided that on that day, I'll be releasing a review for my favourite movie to watch on Halloween. What is that movie?
You'll have to wait and see.

Anyways onto the review. As usual there will be no spoilers.

It only really just hit me when watching this back last night that movie is very similar to the recent movie adaption of IT (yes I know I keep going on about it but screw it, I love it) so Stephen King may have lifted some ideas from this for his original novel. The villains may have differing motivations for their killings, but the setup for the story is almost identical in a way.

For those who don't know what this movie is, it stars Robert Englund as the horror icon known as Freddy Krueger who is hunting down the teens of Springwood in the only place the can't run from: their dreams.

The movie also stars Heather Langenkamp as Nancy and a debuting Johnny Depp as Glen. I surprisingly don't have much to say on Depp here as he doesn't actually do much and is just here as Nancy's boyfriend who seemingly can't do anything right. He does have one very memorable scene which I can't mention for spoilers, but anyone who's seen it knows exactly what I'm talking about and it's fucking great.

So basically Heather and her friends need to come up with a solution to the Freddy problem otherwise they're all gonna end up dead pretty soon when they eventually have to fall asleep.

I do love way that Freddy operates here as it while it may be parodied to death nowadays, back then it was this brand new idea and it's pretty terrifying when you think about it. Imagine a killer being able to murder you in your dreams, how do you escape or defend against that? You kind of don't and just have to do what you can to survive.

Not only that, but he manipulate his appearance and surroundings (like IT) to terrify and kill his victims, as he needs fear and belief to stay alive (like IT). It makes for some very memorable scenes that will stay with you long after the movie is over.

There is one disturbing scene that really stuck with me and that's Freddy's first kill. Again I can't mention who it is for spoilers but the scene itself is just so visceral and grisly without being too gory or even over the top that it just works so well, and from that point on Freddy goes from being a creepy boogeyman to someone that demands to be feared and will kill you in the worst ways possible.

There are some cheesy moments here and there (as well as some cheap jumpscares) as this is an 80s movie but it's all good fun and adds to the overall experience.

When it comes to the acting, Englund as Freddy is of course the most memorable performance. He just looks like he's having so much fun in every scene and while he wouldn't be as goofy as he turned out later on, he still had a funny line here and there. It's no wonder he got to play the character for almost 20 years.

While his performance always gets the most attention, I'd also like to highlight the performance of Langenkamp as Nancy as she was great throughout. She goes from this timid schoolgirl to a badass with a survivalist attitude and she works it very well. I would mention the rest of cast but everyone else doesn't really do much if I'm honest and the two leads were the only memorable characters.

The whole film builds up to a terrific finale as the last 20 minutes or so really ramp up the tension and suspense while leaving you rooting for the surviving characters which doesn't happen too often in these kinds of horror films, but this one pulled it off.

Overall I had a blast watching this movie again and it's one I've watched many times before and will continue to watch in future. This is a Halloween must as it has stood the test of time and continues to haunt nightmares to this very day while also creating a top icon of horror in the process.

Check this one out again, and if you haven't seen it already, check it out even quicker.

Verdict: 8/10

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