2 1/2 Stars
The popularity of Nightmare is in large part due to the presence of a truly unique movie monster. Freddy Kruger became one of the most fondly remember cinematic villains of all time. Robert England dons the make-up, red sweater and dusty fedora as the burnt pedophile, turned nighttime terror. In future installments Kruger would evolve into an almost comedic character with a big chunk of screen time. In this original film, Freddy is seen in shadows and elongated shapes, which adds to the mounting dread of his nightly visits.
A very memorable score featuring the recognizable theme music is of great value in setting an ominous tone from the opening passage. A Nightmare on Elm Street is Wes Craven working with the elements that suit him best, characters rich with psychological complexities, a community hiding a shared secret, and haunting imagery. This Nightmare is unfortunately dated, but there is no denying Craven has delivered a clever and well told story.
Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Heather Langenkamp, Johnny Depp, John Saxon