Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Short Attention Span Review: Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

When you dig horror as much as I do, you wind up picking favorites.  My favorite series has always been the Friday the 13th series.  Well, it's actually the Phantasm series, but given that it doesn't boast nearly as many films as the various other series that we horror fans know and love, I don't know if it's fair to include it.  Anyway, after reading that, you're probably thinking that I must not have a whole lot of love for Freddy.  Not true, not true at all.  I dig Freddy a lot.  Okay, a lot of the sequels are pretty damn silly, but my favorite Friday the 13th is Freddy vs. Jason (yes, it counts), and the first Nightmare on Elm Street from 1984 is a genuine horror classic.  To be fair, there are some other worthwhile entries in this series, but Wes Craven set the bar too damn high with this terrifying gem.  Maybe the sequels had such a hard time keeping up simply because this movie does everything right.  A good slasher flick needs a fearsome villain, right?  Freddy is a demented masterpiece in that regard, though later pictures would turn him into a bit of a clown.  We need an epic score too, don't we?  We've got one here.  What about some grisly kills?  The wicked mayhem that unfolds in this iconic venture is very creative and very, very bloody.  We also need a good cast and a strong heroine (dudes can apply for the gig, but it typically works better when we give this part to a chick in slasher fare) to round things out, and once again, Nightmare on Elm Street delivers the goods.  Wes Craven was at his very best as a director when he was at the helm for this genuine smash hit, a picture that continues to scare audiences worldwide.  Having watched it again this weekend, I can assure you that it has legitimate staying power, and it remains one of the best slasher flicks of all time--if not the very best.  In fact, it's so inventive and so expertly plotted that some might chafe at the fact that I've labelled it a slasher flick, but I love slasher flicks so I don't consider that to be a slight.  Regardless, it's a big winner, and whether I favor another series or two over the Nightmare on Elm Street films or not, I have no problem giving this landmark motion picture the highest of grades.

Final Grade: A+

Bonus Points: John Saxon!  I'm sorry, dude was Roper in Enter the Dragon.  Any movie he's in gets bonus points for giving him a part.

Freddy's great at nightmares and terrible at foreplay.

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