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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

retro trailer: ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’

Take a look back at an old trailer…


“Fantasy terror.” That’s an interesting way to phrase it. These days, we just call these “horror” stories, and we tend to forget the fantasical elements that remove them from the realm of reality in which a movie like, say, The Silence of the Lambs exists. Or maybe it’s just that these movies have gotten so ridiculous that “fantasy” is now a given when it comes to “horror.”

You do know that there’s a “reimagining” barrelling its way toward us, don’t you? (It opens on April 30 in the U.S. and Canada, and on May 7 in the U.K.) I’ve actually never seen the original film or any of the sequels except the most recent one, Freddy Vs. Jason. So I just bought the eight-disc Nightmare on Elm Street Collection (links below), and I hope to quickly get through them — and maybe even write about them — before the new one opens.

A Nightmare on Elm Street is available on DVD in Region 1 from Amazon.com and from Amazon.ca and in Region 2 from Amazon U.K.



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  • Obviously, be prepared for some bad. 1, 3, and 7 are the best ones, and they form an unofficial Wes Craven/Heather Langenkamp trilogy. Probably not a coincidence.

  • The fourth one wasn’t too bad, it was pretty inventive with the dream-deaths, but the problem was by Part 3 the story had shifted to Kruger being a smartass instead of a sadist.

  • nyjm

    Not really being a horror / fantasy terror fan, I’ve never seen any of these either. I’m very interested about what you think, MAJ.

  • David

    I always figured that “Horror” implied fantasy terror whereas the non-fantasy terror is “Thriller”. At least that is how most stores and rental places categorize it.

  • Yes, one and three were okay. In fact, I can’t help but wonder whether or not the creepy nursery rhyme that appears in the opening sequence from NoES III (“seven, eight, lock your gate…”) inspired the similarly creepy nursery rhyme (“five six seven eight, it’s the Doctor at the gate”) that appeared in the old-school Doctor Who episode “Remembrance of the Daleks.” Not likely but then again not impossible.

  • Also, women are the heroes in all of the Nightmare movies, without as many obvious strings attached as in the Halloween series (i.e. have sex, get killed). Nancy is a nice girl, but she’s not some fragile goody-two-shoes, either. Heather Langenkamp is great. I was listening to the audio commentaries on the Blu-Ray version, and I had to come back and comment again.

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