Friday, January 23, 2015

a nightmare on elm street [1984]

after a long, difficult day at work sometimes you wanna open a beer and get the bejesus scared outta you.  this flick will do the trick.  sure freddy krueger is iconic.  when i was last in a halloween superstore, you know the kind that occupies empty retail space for a couple of months then closed down on november first, i saw a sexy freddy krueger costume for women!  huh?!

okay, this movie is 30 years old.  after a million sequels the villain was less lethal and more camp.  fuckin' hell.  but there is always the first movie in a franchise and this pic provides the goosebumps in spades.

director wes craven hit paydirt when he lensed this film about a pedophile who is burned to death by the parents of his victims.  that creep returns to wreak revenge on the living children of those parents by attacking the kids in their sleep.  such a novel concept.  and brilliant too.  there is no escape and eventually everyone must sleep.

of course both versions of invasion of the body snatchers [1956, 1978] was also predicated on being attacked in your sleep.  yet those were cold war movies whose subject in a nutshell was about the Other.  rather instead craven's monster was a colorful psycho in a slasher flick.

and to prove that this movie is a slasher flick we have a final girl, adroitly played by heather langenkamp, who busts thru sleep deprivation to duke it out with krueger.  the rest is movie magic.

this pic did not have a big budget.  craven was used to small budget films.  he earlier crafted the incredible the last house on the left [1972] which was shot with about a buck and some change.  oh but what the man could do with those few dollars!

there are very few movies that can scare the crap out of me.  this is one of those films.  watching it is cathartic.  a long, difficult day at work and i'm knotted up like shoelaces.  i sit down, open my brew, nick is in the other room, anna just got up and left because this movie has too much grue, and feel another kind of tension build up inside of me.  soon the knots become undone.  i know what happens next and still i cover my eyes.  i say out loud, no sleep!?  you are gonna die!  krueger is such a vision.  i love his fedora.  what a cad!  the final girl, nancy, is one to be reckoned with.  i'm scared.  i'm thrilled.  i am finally relaxed.


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