Retro Review: A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)

Freddy Krueger is one of the most iconic horror figures in the history of the horror genre.  I am not sure who is the most iconic horror monsters, Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, the Wolfman, Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers.  Freddy is on this list for sure.  He is one of the top 10 most iconic horror monsters.

In 1984, Freddy was unleashed on a world full of slasher movies, thanks to Halloween and Friday the 13th.  There were so many slashers, it was hard to tell on from another.  Halloween and Friday the 13th had the iconic villain that helped those movies stand out.  Well, what would make A Nightmare on Elm Street different from all the slashers.  Well, Freddy’s weapon is unlike anyone else’s weapon, four bladed glove, finger knives.  Freddy came with the look, dirty red and green sweater, fedora and his skin is scared from the fire he died in.  So all of that alone can make up an iconic horror villain, but what about the twist…Freddy kills the children of Elm Street in their dreams.  BAAM!  Mind blown!

To me, this is brilliant, not just a crazy running through the woods killing teens like Jason, Cropsey or Angela Baker.  No, you are only safe from Freddy if you’re awake.  Everyone sleeps, everyone dreams, Freddy is bound to get you.  That is scary as hell.

Synopsis:

Several Midwestern teenagers fall prey to Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), a disfigured midnight mangler who preys on the teenagers in their dreams — which, in turn, kills them in reality. After investigating the phenomenon, Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) begins to suspect that a dark secret kept by her and her friends’ parents may be the key to unraveling the mystery, but can Nancy and her boyfriend Glen (Johnny Depp) solve the puzzle before it’s too late?

Most horror fans have seen A Nightmare on Elm Street and most of, in not all of the sequels.  Doing a review at this point of a horror classic is nearly pointless.  As I explained above, Freddy Krueger the villain of the movie has become a big part of pop culture with his one-liners.

Even more than how popular the character is and the series in general, A Nightmare on Elm Street changed the horror game.  We were about four to six years into the meat of the slasher genre and Freddy changed everything.  The formula was different I believe Freddy is partially resposible for the demise of the slasher genre.  Wes Craven got everyone thinking outside the box.  But there is no way to compete with the originality of A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Over the years after the first movie was made, we saw many sequels adding up to seven if you include Freddy vs Jason.  Of course A Nightmare on Elm Street was remade in 2010.  It wasn’t the best and it was painful to see Robert Englund could not be replaced as Freddy.  Unlike Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees who were played by so many different actors, Freddy was always Robert Englund.  I think that may be the biggest reason the remake and possible remakes may never work.  I mean, what’s the hold up?  We saw seven movies in 10 years from 1984-1994.  Then 2003 Freddy vs Jason and 2010 A Nightmare on Elm Street remake, I would like to see more.

Well, this wasn’t a review at all, it was more like me thinking and typing.  Blah!  I love A Nightmare on Elm Street.  The series is what got me in to horror movies.  I was 5 years old when I saw A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 Freddy’s Revenge.  Shortly after, I saw the original movie and was hooked from then on.  I got to grow up with Freddy, I was 7 when Dream Warriors was released and snuck in to the theater to see it, because I just needed to see the new “Freddy” movie.

Well, we have reviews for the other movies, so go ahead and check those out, my personal favorite is Dream Master.  What is you’re favorite Nightmare sequel?

IMDB.com has a score of 7.5

I give A Nightmare on Elm Street a 9.4…yes!

About Ray Marek III 261 Articles
I am a lifelong horror fan. I have written for a few web sites, Kung-Fu Comrades, Nightfall Unlimited and Rage of Rayzor. Freddy's Revenge was the first Horror Film I watched, I was 5. When my mom found out I liked horror films, she began challenging me. Soon to follow were the likes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Dawn of the Dead. Horror is in my blood, I want to share that with you...my blood...horror. I write unpublished comics. Lifelong dream is to write comics for a major comic book publisher or build my own comic book company.