The first Freddy Kruger movie to star Robert Englund and Heather Langencamp, it also helped the career of Johnny Depp. Directed by Wes Craven this movie is Rated R for violence and language, but mostly violence. It is an hour and thirty-one minutes long.
“One, two Freddy’s coming for you, three, four better lock your door, five, six better get a crucifix” still is haunting to this day. The murderer of children Freddy Kruger is sentenced to death by his neighbors. A madman born to a nun and the son of evil doers, Freddy was destined to be a bad guy. He fashions a killing claw out of metal and knives and is burned to death because of how he has used that claw. Now as those who killed him have children of their own Freddy begins to haunt them, killing them to get revenge for himself, killing them in an unusual and frightening way. The only way to kill Freddy, get him while you are sleeping. Heather Langencamp plays the main heroine, who lives near the haunted house where everything seems to begin, and return to in later movies.
Nightmare was a frightening movie for it’s day and still hold true to that. One of the first horrors to have a recurring character that audiences love, Nightmare is one of the additions to the serial slasher. Of course those slashers have to be invincible, like Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th) and Michael Myers (Halloween), Freddy joined at jsut the right time, and had an interesting angle. Not just a serial killer for serial killers sake, he could kill you any way he liked, not just with a knife, gun or his hands, and often surprised his victims when they least expected it. The main character in the SAW movies could get ideas from watching Freddy work.
The action scenes are well done, there is a scene where are young woman who is thrown around a bedroom while some unseen force literally rips her apart. Of course Johnny Depp too falls to a horrible fate and you might never look at your bed again, and of course you will never listen to music through headphones again as you fall asleep. Inventive for it’s time Freddy surpassed Jason and Michael in the creativity of his homicide spree, and the scenes were well developed, even though a little bit overdone.
A problem with this movie is that Freddy, while frightening, is a very interesting character and spawned several follow-up movies. This in itself isn’t a problem, but some of the sequels are so unnecessary that it lessens the power of the original character played by Robert Englund in this movie. Also it surprised me a little how the parents reacted to the dreams and killings of their children. I thought that the parents could have been portrayed a little better, more frightened at what is happening than angry (which is how they were written). I also would have liked a little more history into the background of Kruger in this first movie, like his family life or why he killed children.
All in all I enjoyed this movie. I liked the originality of the character of Freddy Krueger, and the unique way he murdered his current victims. To anyone who hasn’t seen this movie and is a horror fan I recommend this before and of the sequels to SAW. If you are not a horror movie fan but still enjoy a good killing every now and then, this is also a movie for you. I don’t recommend it to anyone with a queasy stomach, or to those who have a hard time suspending reality. It’s only a movie.