A Nightmare on Elm Street

The A Nightmare on Elm Street film series has just been released on blu-ray in a box-set containing the first seven films and a plethora of exclusive special features. While I’ve delved into the Elm Street series before, it’s always good to revisit old favourites; especially when they’ve been released in shiny HD and in a box-set crammed with all sorts of geeky goodies. Over the next few weeks I’ll be revisiting all seven films and taking a look at the extra features accompanying them in this new box-set.

For the uninitiated, A Nightmare on Elm Street tells of a group of teenaged friends who are stalked and murdered in their dreams by the demonic child killer their vigilante parents murdered years prior. As far as horror films go, it’s considered a classic. And rightly so. Produced during the early to mid-Eighties slasher flick craze, it stood out from the crowd with its feverish suspense, surreal dream sequences, genuinely nasty killer, and fantasy horror set-pieces which blurred the line between dream and reality. Director Wes Craven addresses themes such as familial strife, generational conflict and teenage angst, as well as subtextually referencing Grimm fairy tales and tapping into some very primal and universal fears indeed; not least the fear of parental abandonment and the notion that sooner or later, everyone must succumb to sleep…

Head over to Eye for Film to read my full review of the film and its special features.


Carl Bachmann said…
Enjoyed this write-up. What really made the concept of this story stick out for me was the comparison of sleep to death, in that everyone must succumb to sleep, it's the same as everyone must succumb to death. Everyone tries to come up with solutions to stay awake, but in the end sleep comes to you without warning, whether you realize it or not, and before you know it, you've crossed over.
James Gracey said…
Hey Carl, that’s a very interesting (and spot on) reading of Elm Street – the parallels between sleep and death and despite our resistances, we all must ‘cross over’ eventually... I think it adds a dose of melancholy to the film when viewed with that reading in mind.
Roman J. Martel said…
I admit I kinda wrote off this film because of all the poor sequels that came out afterward. They kinda tarnished my memory of this one. Then a few years back, I picked it up on DVD on a whim... and damn, I didn't remember it being so chilling and disturbing. It really held up well, and has some genuine scares in it. The characters really seem helpless in this film, and it adds to the horror of the whole thing. Craven also does a great job building on the horror, so the movie really escalates to to the climax instead of moving in fits and starts like most slasher movies tend to do. Really a fine example of 80s horror and you can see why this ended up inspiring a franchise. Great write up of this one!

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