Tuesday, October 4, 2016

A Nightmare on Elm Street

We all know the horror movie formula: something otherworldly happens to the main character, no one believe them, and they're stuck fighting off said otherworldly happening. It's been done time and time again to the point where one could foresee what'll happen.

Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street is one of the more famous titles to follow such a storyline and one of the very few to make it work (though it does get grating towards the end). Being released at a time where teenager-led films were the norm, it could've easy for it to get lost in the mix. But this is Craven we're talking about.

As he would do with Scream years later, Craven shows a knowledge of the various tropes found in the horror genre. Though not the same level of self-parody as shown in the future franchise, what's depicted in A Nightmare on Elm Street shows a sense of awareness to what's unfolding.

That's not to say A Nightmare on Elm Street doesn't show its age all these years later. To a contemporary viewer, they may grow irritated from the lack of resources the teens have. (Texting and e-mails weren't around back in 1984.) Still, they do make the most of what little they have.

A Nightmare on Elm Street is far from perfect but Craven knows how to properly use those scares. Watching it in a time where explicit gore and brutal violence is practically the norm for horror films nowadays, it's almost refreshing to see one that's more restrained in such matters. (There's a reason for why many bad imitators shortly followed suit.)

My Rating: ****

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