Tuesday, 9 February 2010

(500) Films of Empire - Day 147

162 - A Nightmare On Elm Street - 3 stars
I'd originally scoffed at the high ranking of this thinking there must be better horror films out there. But you know what, it is actually very good, one of the better horror films of the 80's.
Memorable for being one of those films that many people saw when they were children and having a lasting effect on them. Like all those people who are afraid of clowns because when they were 12 years old they stayed up late to watch Stephen King's IT and were terrified by Tim Curry's Pennywise.
Nightmare works because of its strong concept, the fear that we are totally helpless when we are asleep and the idea that if we die in our dreams, do we die in real life?
The deaths of the young teenagers haunted by the gruesome Freddy Krueger are nicely executed, with Freddy being much more malicious and joke-free than the sequels. It has a mixture of good and bad effects; good - the girl flying around the ceiling and the bed of blood; the bad - Freddy's big wobbly arms and final scare moment (it's obviously a doll!).
It also earns bonus points for being the movie with the casting credit of "introducing Johnny Depp". That's right, everyone's favourite quirky actor first popped up as one of Freddy's victims in the early eighties. In a piece of spooky film trivia, apparently he only got the part after coming along to the audition with friend Jackie Earle Haley who is due to appear this year as Freddy Krugeur in the upcoming remake, which actually looks surprisingly good!
Hope it keeps the creepy nursery rhyme;
1, 2 Freddy's coming for you,
3, 4 better lock you door,
5,6 get a crucifix,
7, 8 better stay up late
9, 10 never sleep again...

Days remaining - 218 Films remaining - 287

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