A Nightmare On Elm Street: Put The Bottle Down, An After School Special

A Nightmare On Elm Street is a slasher horror film directed by Wes Craven. The plot sees a group of kids become the target of a vicious serial killer, Freddy Kruger (Robert Englund). However Freddy has been dead for quite some time but has returned as a creature of dreams to carry on killing the youth of America.

 I have always been torn on this film; it is neither my favourite slasher film nor is it my most loathed it is somewhere in-between. I can see it’s important to the sub-genre, but also don’t think it holds a candle to Halloween (the Carpenter original), or to Craven’s own Scream that would come out years later.

I enjoyed the dreamlike elements in the film and how it played with reality. In this respect I thought the ending that served as a subversion was well done and actually quite surprising. I thought the sequences within the dreams all felt a little similar, but at least later films would correct this issue.

The iconic kills are all there and they still feel impactful, though the effects seem a little dated. The blood tornado death is still probably the most impressive to me from a technical point of view.

I thought Freddy felt a little toned back and docile here, though I am more use to the later films where he is churning out one liners every five minutes like it is going out of style. I thought Englund was good, but he did not blow my socks off.

Overall, my memory of this film has aged better than the film itself and while it is by no means bad it certainly has lost something over the years.

Pros.

The kills

The dream like parts

The subversive ending

Cons.

Freddy seems quite tame

The effects are noticeably bad

It is somewhat disappointing

3/5

Reviewed by Luke   

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