A Nightmare A Day: Day 1 (A Nightmare On Elm Street)

So, halloween is approaching. The night of scares, the night of horror, the night of staying indoors with all the lights off and pretending you’re not in. To prepare for this we thought we’d do something special. On Halloween itself I’ll be posting a blog about my love for Eternal Darkness, and on Monday they’ll be a blog about Silent Hill. But we thought we’d go a bit further than that. So I’ve started “Nightmare A Day” Every day until halloween I’ll be watching a film from Nightmare On Elm Street series and basically writing up my thoughts as I watch them. If this goes well we’ll be doing this again for other releases. It just felt right to do it with this because the iconic images contained, and as a tribute to the recently departed Wes Craven. We start at the beginning (obviously), enjoy:

Nothing is as creepy as this though
Nothing is as creepy as this though

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  • Kind of masterful opening, you’d expect there to be a reveal of the gloves later on, but nope right there in the pre-credits sequence. Kind of cool. Add five awesome points. Although I have to deduct those points for the images being ridiculously small. I don’t know if it was a problem with the conversion to DVD or not (I doubt it, but let’s be kind), but it’s quite offputting, so it loses those points almost immediately.
  • “introducing Johnny Depp”. So you’re to blame for Mortdecai
  • And there’s a random goat. For a lewton bus. Or to put it another way: Wes Craven had a low budget and access to a goat for some reason.
  • Is that a f*cking synthesiser? You’ve lost more of those awesome points I gave you earlier. I suppose this is why when people talk about this film they don’t mention the soundtrack like they do when talking about Halloween etc.
  • That sounds like a laser blast sound used as a jump scare. I get it was the 80’s and the sound guys had cocaine blocking their ears, but still.
  • Who the hell brings a gardening tool to a party? This douche, (Rod) that’s who. I hope he dies.
  • Girl is so pleased Rod brought a gardening tool she let’s him put his Rod/tool inside her. What a hoe.
  • Freddy coming through roof is fantastic image it has to be said.
  • “Morality sucks”. Wow, this film’s so 80’s it even quotes the Conservative Party slogan from the Thatcher era.
  • Time of first death: 16 minutes. Details: actually really damn creepy. She’s being attacked in the dream world but we only see it from the real world. So instead of an intense fight we just see her writing about screaming as blood appears on her, then she kind of crawls backwards up the wall and across ceiling. Really creepily done and a brilliant set-piece.
  • Freddy cuts himself a lot in this film. I get why, is an effective way to scare someone, but it’s done so quickly it kind of loses it’s creepiness. It’s too quick and clean which robs of it of any impact.
  • Bathtub scene, with no nudity. If this film was shot today I’m fairly certain this scene would be mostly nipple shots, I hate hollywood sometimes.
  • So her friend died and she’s being hunted down, so she decides to watch a nice relaxing movie: The Evil Dead.
  • “what happened to your arm?” “i burned it in english class”. And he doesn’t make a joke about it, damn you Johnny Depp you suck.
  • “Oh god I look 20 years old”, as someone who’s nearly 30, f*ck you! Wait, wouldn’t it be good to look slightly older at that point as it means you might get served alcohol?
  • Time Of Second death: 43 Minutes. The “rod getting hanged” scene: the nike shoes were on screen a bit too long for my liking and makes it seem like product placement. Didn’t like this death that much mainly because it happened to a character we hadn’t seen in a long time, (in contrast, Tina was one of the first people we saw and it could be argued that she’s taking the role of the main character until her death).
  • Why is Rod the first guy to get a funeral scene when his characterisation literally begins and ends with “penis”?
  • “mommy killed him” mommy also hides alcohol around the house and decided to keep a souvenir of the person she killed twenty years ago, so something tells me she’s not a good person.
  • “you’re the jock, you have a baseball bat or something” that’s racist!
  • Johnny Depp’s character comes to his room and wakes him up in order to tell him to go to sleep.
  • Although his dad is only in it for about 2 scenes so far and already seems like a massive jerkass.
  • Time of the death of Depp: 70 minutes. This is probably the most iconic death in the series, he gets dragged into the bed and blood splatters everywhere, but personally it doesn’t do much for me.
  • She managed to do a lot of booby trapping in a house in only twenty minutes. And all just after reading a book about it. I’m fairly certain this section is a horror version of Home Alone, if the horrific version of Home Alone wasn’t Home Alone 3.
  • Wait, did she just shout the villain into non-existence? See, this is why English horror films are different. If shouting at a villain killed it all horror films set in Britain would last about 5 minutes. Yeah, they’ll be people apologising as you kill them “oh, I appear to have got my blood on your knives, ever so sorry old chap” “oh, you appear to have dropped your weapon, here you go” but all killers make a mistake, in American films it’s usually something like not taking opportunities to kill, in British ones it would be when the killer makes tea and puts the milk in first, then they’ll be shouted at so much they’ll die without a sequel. Actually someone should do that, a short horror film where the killer stalks someone and in the end they just shout out “OH F*CK OFF YOU F*CKING F*CK before I beat your head in, I’m hungover and got work in a few hours, I don’t need this shit”
  • So, that’s an ending. Bad body-double aside this is just weird. The only way it makes sense is if you take it not as the dream of the lead character, but as a dream of the mother. Which makes more sense as she is revealed to have died in a later film, but also makes less sense as she’s dreaming about her daughters friends waaaaay too much. Unless she’s dreaming of them all as she feels guilty for their deaths and that haunts her every waking moment. I might be giving this film too much credit.
  • Surprisingly low amount of deaths. If we include the mother’s death that’s only 4 in the entire film. Yet still chilling.

Quick summary: odd music choices but works in parts.

nightmare

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