Monday, June 23, 2008

Fred Krueger is dreamy

With such an unassuming title, you’d never expect this to turn into a franchise that spans the decades; but if you were around in the 80’s you’d have seen that Freddy Krueger would turn into a new generation monster with real staying power. I suppose Freddy Krueger will one day be as popular a reference as Frankenstein’s Monster.
His impact as a scary character are still there despite the bad 80’s keyboard music, and the over-done gravely voice. You decide whether the early glove-building montage is lent from action films or just a threat of what’s to come.
I admit I didn’t love this movie back in the day, but having not seen it for twenty-odd years or so has fermented it into a tasty vino. 1984 was a good year. A Nightmare On Elm Street as seen in the 80’s was 80’s garbage, but now I see it as classic. Funny what time does. Could have something to do with my ears. The ones I had back then were more cynical.
The opening credits include, “Introducing Johnny Depp.” I’m guessing he did something before that or they wouldn’t have been compelled to “introduce” him, but they certainly had great foresight! Johnny Depp would become a favorite for all of us. His dreamy eyes, and manly cheeks make me melt. His hair was a little poofy, and his clothes were boring, but we can blame that on costumes and make-up. We’ll blame cheesy writing for his poorly delivered lines. Boy was the teenage interaction awkward and contrived.
Watch for the scene when Nancy leaps from her window. She’s supposed to be landing in or behind some hedges, but the inflated stunt cushion is plain as day. She lands on it, and you see it pop up from behind the bushes. I had to laugh at that.
Aside from goofy awkward acting here and there, and a few film mistakes, I had a great time watching this movie again. The dream sequences were well thought-out, and cleverly executed. We’ve all seen ‘how they do it’ special effects shows, but the camera tricks in A Nightmare On Elm Street still measure up. See? We don’t need no stinkin’ CGI!

“1, 2, Freddy’s coming for you; 3, 4, better lock your door; 5, 6, grab a crucifix; 7, 8, better stay up late; 9, 10, never sleep again…”
That’s the only time they refer to Krueger as “Freddy.” The parents refer to the child-killer as Fred Krueger, and Fred Krueger is what is written inside his hat.

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