A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

We start this years Halloween season with one of Wes Cravens best known creations, the man that haunted our dreams as teenagers, that man being Freddy Krueger. Released in 1984 with 6 sequels (all to be reviewed this season) a cross over AND a remake back in 2010.

With a teenage cast and a load of grumpy adults who aren’t exactly there to help anyone other then themselves the Slasher Genre became a whole new thing.

Freddy did not just become a nightmare for most who watched it but he also became a icon of the Slasher genre.

The film still manages to be one of my favorite films of all time. Before we all knew who Krueger was he was just a boogey man that haunted the whole film, the people he was haunting become social outcasts because no one understood them and it became the audiences nightmare. The whole idea of being able to die in your dream to this unknown force, that unknown force being a guy in a grubby sweatshirt with razors for finger nails. It was the perfect get up.

It is also so different from the other Slasher films of its era.

Freddy isn’t this hulking Goliath that hulks around slashing shit up with a big sword. Hell the first time we PROPERLY see Freddy he’s running after Tina in the most non-scary gait you’ll ever see, chops off his fingers and giggles then lets her rip his face off. He isn’t this immortal giant juggernaut that will just kill everything in his path. The reason you have no hope of defeating him is he’s already dead and he’s haunting you and killing you in a dream world. Dreams aren’t real and neither is Freddy’s domain.

Well. Other then the fact that when he kills you then you are dead.

The acting isn’t the best but they had so much more to contend with compared to the other victims of Slasher monsters. At least when Jason is stalking you there is a giant monster killing everything whilst it follows you these kids had to fight against people disbelieving them and the pain and trouble they were in. They had nowhere to run to, no hope to find someone that would save them because the crazy dude that was trying to kill them was in their heads the moment they fell asleep. In some kind of weird way it was all some kind of comparison to the isolation and crazy shit that goes on in your head when you are that age and that is probably why it terrified us so much as teenagers.

As a adult it is hardly going to bring fear to anyone.

Not in a mean way but there is so much comedy brought into the character of Krueger from Robert Englund that even though the ways of murdering his victims was psychologically torturous at the same time he was throwing quips off left right and centre and there was so much visual fun that as a adult there is only a little bit of fear there but mainly you sit there laughing and enjoying the strange new ways Krueger comes up with murdering people.

It isn’t always about the murder though, the majority of the film we see Krueger stalking the protagonist Nancy played by Heather Langenkamp. From tormenting her when she dozes at school to nearly drowning her in a bath tub. Nancy is the girl that gets away after realizing the way to defeat Freddy is to take him out of his comfort zone, take away his home advantage and drag that bastard into our world.

Unfortunately seeing we have sequels we know he’s not going to stay down but at least for now we can pretend to sleep well for a while.

Over the next few days we all take a turn to talk about a Freddy film or two before moving onto the next Slasher Icon.

You can’t start off better then Freddy though. He might not be the original but he brought a whole new dimension (literally) to the Slasher genre and made us giggle along the way.

We just need to try not to lose some sleep over him ‘Kay?

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