Top Ten essential Halloween Movies (9) – A Nightmare on Elm Street

Although the character of Freddy Krueger has been diluted by the sequels, as well as the remake, it is worth remembering how effective Wes Craven’s original movie was. This movie turned Freddy into an horror icon every bit as important as Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster.  The Wolfman and…er. Elvira. The original concept of a killer who gets his victims in their sleep, their dreams. or more specifically their nightmares pumped new blood into the genre. The budget was $1.9 million and the movie made this back during its first week of release and yet Craven had considerable problems getting the film produced in the first place. He began writing it in 1981 after finishing work on the dreadful, Swamp Thing but was unable to get backing for this curious movie about a killer who operated within dreams. That was until small independent studio, New Line put up the money and a horror franchise was born.

There was a time when Freddy was everywhere – in comic books, on T-shirts, in computer games and there was even a short lived TV series made about the character.  The story focused on Freddy trying to kill Nancy Thompson  and her friends in their dreams, successfully killing all but Nancy. Krueger’s back-story is revealed by Nancy’s mother, who explains he was a child murderer whom the parents of Sprinfield  killed after Krueger was acquitted of police charges on a technicality (he was discovered torturing a child by a police officer who entered his house after hearing the child’s screams, but since the officer didn’t have a valid warrant to enter the house all evidence was inadmissible in court). Nancy defeats Krueger by pulling him from the dream world into the real world, and setting up a series of  booby traps, finally stripping him of his powers when she stops being afraid of him. The character lost his power to shock in the subsequent sequels, but nevertheless remained popular with a sizable fan base . Indeed Freddy still has his fans today and his legend has survived the terrible 2010 remake.

A classic modern horror movie


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