31 Days of Horror: A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

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31 Days of Horror continues with Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street. Freddy Krueger is a popular guy. He’s fun-loving, has a sense of humor, oh yeah…he also likes to kill people in their dreams. So, maybe he’s not the guy you want to take a road trip with, but he’s still one of the most popular killers in horror movie history.

What makes Freddy stand apart from other 80s movie killers is the fact that he talks. Myers, Voorhees, and even the miner from My Bloody Valentine are primarily faceless psychos who hack and slash but don’t torment their victims by chatting with them in a menacing way.

For those not in the know, Freddy Krueger was a child killer who was thrown in a furnace by a group of angry parents (not that’s my kind of justice!). But Mr. Krueger didn’t really go away. In fact, he came back in the form of an apparition that haunts the dreams of teenagers. His main object of torment is Nancy Thompson played by Heather Langenkamp.

With his horrifically burned skin, a glove laden with knives for fingers, and his ability to shapeshift, Freddy is not a guy you want coming after you, either in your dreams of in reality.

As Freddy makes himself at home inside the dreams of Nancy and others, his motive is clear: he wants to kill you while you sleep from the inside out. Of course, no one believes Nancy, especially her mother, so she goes on a crusade to stop Freddy at any cost; even if it means drawing him out of her dreams and into the real world.

Also starring a young Johnny Depp, A Nightmare on Elm Street is one of Wes Craven’s best films, and brought forth yet another character that would forever be associated with horror.

With a remake on the way, one wonders why the filmmakers decided to go with a less grotesque and more realistic make-up for Freddy. Tampering with an icon is always dangerous ground. It will certainly be interesting to see how the Michael Bay produced remake measures up to the Freddy films of the past. Check out the trailer and decide for yourself.