The Halloween 2016 gets kicked off with with what could be the most famous horror movie series of the eighties, and a confession: I’ve actually never seen any of them before.
Eighties is a decade well known for its slashers that spawned a seemingly endless number of sequels like the Halloween or Friday the 13th series. The movies were usually crafted out with the teenage audience in mind with more emphasis on gruesome kills and tits than imaginative script. Although best known from the movies made in the eighties, the slashers really have their roots firmly in the 70s, and the genre was pretty much just refined on the eighties with very little progress. So, already by 1984 the genre was almost totally drained out by formulaic slashers designed to to tap on the same money vein by giving the audience a carbon copy of the same generic slasher.
The Nightmare on Elm Street tries something different by reimagining the formula and by placing the antagonist to lurk its victims in their dreams. In this world even the safest of places like a class room becomes a place to be potentially killed and trying to stay awake at any cost becomes an essence. It seems like an enormous leap of faith to go along with the story but the concept is very effective and not at all any more hard to believe than the other movies in the genre, on the contrary.
It’s easy to see why The Nightmare on Elm Street was a breath of fresh air when it was released in 1984. Now, over 30 years later the movie feels much better matured than the other slashers of the era and should definitely be part of your 80s movie to-do list.
Oh, and it’s also Johnny Depp’s first movie.
A Nightmare On Elm Street successfully mixes supernatural thriller elements to the action slasher genre, is deservedly a milestone of the eighties horror, and a must see.