Last week one of my dreams came true, I got to see the original A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET on the big screen! Now, you're probably thinking "Hasn't this guy reviewed that movie before"? Yes I have. In that review I mainly went on and on about how I thought the film was a classic, but mentioned more than once that Part 3 was my favorite. A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3: DREAM WARRIORS is still my favorite. This time around I'm going to try and focus more on the original and say a few things about watching it on the big screen at Alamo Drafthouse!
Let's start with the pre-show shall we! The 30 minutes before showtime was more than I imagined it would be! They showed music videos from DREAM WARRIORS, THE DREAM MASTER, and THE DREAM CHILD. I always get a kick out of watching the Dokken video with Freddy in it. The song Dream Warriors sucks but the best part is Freddy waking up from a nightmare, which is the band's music video. Classic! The other music videos were pretty forgettable; however, seeing The Fat Boys was pretty nostalgic.
Another highlight of mine was seeing those old Freddy Trivia hotline commercials. I remember in Jr. High always wanting to call the number but me and my friend could never get our parents permission. The thing was probably an overpriced scam anyways?
Instead of ELM STREET trailers they showed this promo about how DREAM WARRIORS was well on it's way to breaking VHS rental records. Or maybe it was purchases? It was at this moment that I felt that the pre show was a little too catered for the third film. I guess it makes since because that was the peak of the franchises popularity.
On with the movie!
By now all of you should know what A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET is about. You've got child killer Fred Krueger haunting the teenagers of Elm Street because their parents murdered him in a house fire. But the main thing is how do you stop a killer who attacks you in your dreams? That's what remains scary about the first film. Writer and director Wes Craven knew what was scary.
The film is still scary but after seeing it as many times as I have, there's nothing really frighting about it anymore. Well except for the bloody body bag being dragged across the school hallways, that still gives me the chills! With that being said, seeing A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET on the big screen made the whole experience immersive. Everything is larger than life. For lack of a better word it made the dream world more nightmarish.
Watching the film on the big screen I noticed things I hadn't before. Like in the climax when Nancy is looking for Freddy and sho picks up Tina's crucifix, you can see Rod's switchblade. I realize it's plain as day but for the fist time (I believe) I noticed Nancy picking up her boyfriends bloody headphones. I've had to have seen that before, and just forgotten?
The audience was fun and into the film! This wasn't a movie party so the strict no talking and no cell phone policy was in place. I didn't notice very much screams from the audience which I found odd? Maybe it was a full house of die hard Freddy fans? But what I did notice was the chuckles due to some bad acting and bad dialogue. Heather Langenkamp who plays Nancy just isn't the best actress. An opinion like that is pretty blasphemous seeing that Nancy is the most iconic Elm Street kid. And I want to stress that the character is the best thing about the film. It's just some of her line deliveries are down right bad/hilarious!
Nancy had a few laughs from the audience but nothing compares to her mom! I have only seen one good performance from Ronee Blakley, she did an amazing job as a country western singer in the film NASHVILLE. Everything else I've seen her in she is pretty terrible. In ELM STREET, I really think she didn't give a crap about the film. The audience was rolling almost every time she uttered a line of dialogue. I laughed too, but was also getting embarrassed for her.
I've mentioned it in my first review, but my favorite thing about A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET is worth repeating.
My favorite scene is the climax of the movie. We see a montage of Nancy setting traps all around her house for when she pulls Freddy out of her dream and into the real world. I think that's what I like most about the Nancy character. She fights back! It's easy to write off these slasher movies as 'women in peril' films, but not this one, not A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. Dream becomes reality more and more as the film progresses. I could be wrong, but I really think that from the moment Nancy's boyfriend dies and till the end of the movie, it's all a dream. All that work rendering Freddy powerless was for nothing because pulling him into the 'real' world was still just a dream. Of course I could be completely wrong on this, or am I?
In conclusion, I am thrilled beyond measure that I got to see one of my favorite slasher flicks on the big screen! The only thing that would've made the night better was a 35mm print? I honestly believe that's coming! In the meantime, I plan on seeing more old favorites (maybe even some new ones) at the Alamo Drafthouse Horror Show!