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Nine Days of Nightmares Day 1: A Nightmare on Elm Street

What's the Name of the Flick?: A Nightmare on Elm Street                   

Who is in it?: Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Amanda Wyss, Nick Corri, a very young pre 21 Jumpstreet Johnny Depp and Robert Englund

Who directed this thing?: Wes Craven

What's it about?: In the dreams of his victims, a specteral child murderer stalks the children of the members of the lynch mob that killed him.  Nancy, one of the kids, decides to take matters into her own hands and beat this guy that is offing all of he friends. 

What's good?: I'm spoiler happy with this one because if you haven't seen Nightmare on Elm Street then you are clearly hiding under a rock or you have inevitably heard about the kills in this movie, and wow what a movie! Freddy Krueger is one of THE iconic villains of the 1980's and my absolute favorite out of all of the iconic slasher villains. Robert Englund brings a certain swagger to the character that no one else can or will be able to bring to Krueger.  That said, I am quite curious to see Jackie Earl Haley as the character bringing his unique spin to things.

This movie alone has some of the more memorable kills of the series. Johnny Depp gets sucked into his own bed and a geyser of blood shoots out of the hole he had been sucked into. Tina gets pulled up in the air and killed on the ceiling and then director Wes Craven has the audacity to bring her back still in her bodybag to talk to Nancy! This movie is creepy and scary and just a great time. I have to admit though, I refuse to watch this movie at night. Midday screenings for me with this one because I can't sleep afterwards. The dream visuals are interesting and add some creepiness to the proceedings.

Johnny Depp is awesome in this movie. This being his first movie he was incredible. Heather Langenkamp brings a quiet strength to the character of Nancy, making her one of the iconic horror heroines.  You really see this resolve really take form as the movie continues to its ending.  She starts out a frightened girl and slowly develops into someone you definitely don't want to mess with.  I hadn't noticed it before, but in the final scenes leading up to Krueger's defeat, Nancy comes across the headphones of her boyfriend, Glenn.  She doesn't cry, she doesn't scream, no, she comes to the grim realization that she will have to be the one to stop Freddy or else no one will.  It's moments like this one that make this movie all the more enjoyable to me.   Freddy is an absolute and unbridled menace and is absolutely frightening with everything he does to both terrify and then slaughter the teenagers.  Robert Englund owned the role from the start and it shows.   

The Bad: This was supposed to be a one off and then no sequels were planned.  Unfortunately, for the most part, the sequels were pretty awful as we will get into later on in this series. Even still, the ending to this one does very much feel tacked on and very cheesy. 

My final verdict:: I am giving this one a 5 out of 5 razor gloves simply because its influence cannot be denied.  Freddy Krueger is one of the most enduring and popular icons of horror and without the influence of this character, New Line Cinema would have never become a force to be reckoned with as far as movie studios go.  There is a reason why New Line was called "The House the Freddy Built."  The first Nightmare on Elm Street is that reason.

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