A Nightmare on Elm Street Review
Written by: Dan Strohschein
Nightmare on Elm Street is a staple in horror. Even though it comes from the eighties, which is arguably the peak and at the same time starting decline of horror as a genre. The franchise, originally meant to only be a single film, was built on a solid story, great special effects, and good makeup. New Line cinema has decided to release a digital version, with added scenes and a montage of all of Freddy's kills to DVD. But before it hits DVD, they sent it off to the theaters for it to be viewed by a select number of fans.
I bought my tickets the moment the news was released. At a staggering ten dollars a pop, the movie was to be played in one of the best theaters in town. Indeed, my long suffering wife and I arrived in the little shopping center, after dining on a superb meal of sushi. The theater wasn't packed, though we got there 45 minutes early - amazingly enough, there were almost a dozen people there already. As we sat and watched the theater fill to the brim with people, my wife made the observation that all of them fit a certain character type. All of them were between the ages of 23-35, and slightly more than 100% of them were total, absolute, geeks. True, some tried to get out of the geek look by becoming a goth (or well, goth-gone-old by using bright pink or green hair coloring), but the transparent disguise didn't work. Their geek shined through. But that's ok, but I am a geek too, so I felt mostly at home with a theater full of gadgets, gizmos and toys.
The movie started, and all went quiet. The missing scenes were dubbed in well so that one didn't even really notice a jump in them. All was well, until the super complicated technology of running the sound from a computer through a stereo system caught up with our minnimum wage paid theater personnel. Just before the first kill scene in the movie, were sexy tina gets shredded while wearing nothing her her cheap 80's cotton panties and a nightshirt, the movie turned 1920's style silent. Well, the theater turned into an uproar (which is to say, a bunch of "boo!'s and horrible Mystery Science Theater Impressions started). Apparently trying to get sound to play is a near impossible task for those not paid more than 5.15 an hour, as it took them a good 25 unbearable minutes to get it straightened out.
Just when we thought things were going to go back to normal, ten minutes after the sound came back, our lovely film was violently ripped off of the screen and replaced with a big white desktop from a windows 95 computer that complained bitterly about the Active Desktop (tm) failing. Without missing a hitch, hundreds of geeks from the local film school (IE the audience) made comments about Bill Gates, Microsoft, and how "Mac is better than a PC cuz stuff like that doesn't happen". Then, after another brain-numbing, mind boiling ten minutes, the movie started back up - At the beginning.
This time, we got through the movie. I am not going to waste my breath giving the movie a overall synopsis and review because we all know how good of a movie it was. The story is good, and Freddy was a fantastic character. The scenes were frightening (to a little kid, as I was when it came out) but not over the top. The special effects were, well, ok - but hey remember this was the EARLY 80's. The makeup on Freddy was fantastic. The acting... well it was the 80's. And it was a low budget film. It only took five minutes to get through all of the credits, as opposed to 25 minutes like Pirates of the Carribean 2 did.
The montage at the end was great. It was a snip of every kill freddy has ever made, from Nightmare on Elm Street 2 to Jason Vs Freddy. Some of them I had forgotten, some of them were pure awesome, and some were pure stupid. Who remembers the one scene where Freddy pushes a kid into a TV Video game while Freddy controls him using his "power Glove"? Such a throw back, and especially perfect when he spouts the "Now I'm playing with power!" line, made famous by geeky nintendo dorks. Classic stupid death scene. But then there is also the scene where Freddy comes out from the inside of some kid, only to stab and slice all the way through another, into the other side of a bedroom door. Awesome.
I am so picking up this DVD when it is released (September 26th) because it's Bad Ass, a great collector's item, and the memories of the theater in which I paid an ungodly amount of money to be made a fool of will last a lifetime.