A Nightmare on Elm Street

A Nightmare on Elm Street Movie Poster

"If Nancy doesn't wake up screaming, she won't wake up at all".  There were a total of 9 A Nightmare on Elm Street movies released in this Wes Craven franchise from 1984 to 2010 (5 of them in the 1980’s).  The villain of these flicks, Freddy Krueger, continues to be an iconic figure in the world of horror films.  Focusing on the original release (1984), the movie received mostly positive reviews, and was a huge box office success.  It starred Amanda Wyss as Tina Gray, Heather Langenkamp as Nancy Thompson, Johnny Depp as Glen Lantz, Nick Corri as Rod Lane, and Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger.

In the original movie, high school student Tina Gray (Wyss) is having bad dreams about being stalked through a basement boiler room by a badly burnt, scary looking dude wearing a bladed glove (Freddy Krueger).  When she wakes up, she finds slashes in her nightgown, indicating that it was more than a bad dream.  After talking to her friend Nancy (Langenkamp) Nancy’s boyfriend, Glen (Depp), and Tina’s boyfriend, the friends realize they have all had the same type of dream.  That night, Tina is killed by Freddy in her dream, which kills her in real life, and her boyfriend is arrested for the crime.  The next day, Freddy kills Tina’s boyfriend in his jail cell.

Nancy decides to investigate the dreams further, and begins to exert some control over the dreams, actually pulling Freddy’s hat from the dream world to the real world.  Nancy’s mother recognizes the hat as having belonged to the serial killer Freddy Krueger, who had killed 20 kids.  When Freddy got off on a technicality, the parents took vigilante justice and killed Freddy on their own, setting him on fire.  During one dream, Nancy managed to pull Freddy into the real world, and the two square off.  In the end, Nancy is able to temporarily defeat Freddy by showing him that she is no longer afraid, but Freddy gets the last laugh at the end of the movie.