3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Freddie Krueger's coming to get you Nancy...and your friends,
By A Customer
This review is from: A Nightmare On Elm Street [VHS] (VHS Tape)
When I watched "A Nightmare on Elm Street" on DVD it was the second time I had seen the first Freddie Krueger film and I was rather surprised to see the film was not as good as I thought it remember. However, I think that has something to do with the way horror films, not to mention all films, have become more sophisticated. What works here is the story and the way Wes Craven sets up the rules of the game (which are totally abandoned in the first sequel). There is a unique logic to Freddie's rule and the fun is how Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) and Glen (Johnny Depp) try to use them to turn the tables on the boogey man. Certainly the acting does not hold up to scrutiny with Ronee Blakley particularly hitting rock bottom after the heights of "Nashville." The special effects have their moments, both high (when Amanda gets disemboweled on the ceiling) and low (like when mom gets sucked back into the house at the end), but "Nightmare" works best when it is the power of suggestion. There are not a lot of extras on this DVD but the commentary track with Craven, Langenkamp, John Saxon and the Director of Photography (Jacques Haitkin) is above average. Obviously there are a lot of pleasant memories for these people and Craven especially takes pleasure in explaining the hows and whys of the film. We can all debate the merits of the various sequels, but certainly "A Nightmare on Elm Street" was the most innovative splatter flick to come down the road after "Halloween" revitalized the genre.