(Image: http://atthemantleclinic.com/2014/05/17/a-nightmare-on-elm-street-retrospective-part-1-sleep-kills/ The Nightmare On Elm Street UK poster art by Graham Humphreys)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984, dir. Wes Craven)
Now I could tell you personal stories about seeing this as a young kid, a way too young kid, but instead I’ll go more broad. Obviously the thing about this movie that connected with so many is that it was about kids and the boogeyman. I mean, everyone’s been a kid and everyone’s been afraid of the boogeyman at some point.
The thing that made it so horrifying wasn’t that the boogeyman, Freddy Krueger, was disfigured and terrifying. It’s that he was a cheat. He got you when you were your most vulnerable, while you slept. He got you on his turf where the rules were in his favor and you were powerless. That was until of course the hero of the movie discovers that Freddy fed on fear and that once you face that fear you rob it of it’s power.
Hidden under all this horror is a pretty great message, fear is only as real as you let it be. Face your fears; defeat them, and vie for a spot in the inevitable sequel.
*Editor’s Note: If you haven’t already seen the Heather Langenkamp narrated documentary Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy – check it out. It’s about four hours long, but if you consider yourself a fan of this series, it’s a must see to just gain some insight into how these movies were crafted. I caught it on Netflix a few months ago, and as of right now, it’s still available to stream. **Update: I’m watching it right now.