A Nightmare on Elm Street
Director: Wes Craven Run Time: 91 min. Format: 35mm Rating: R Release Year: 1984
Starring: Robert Englund, Johnny Depp, Heather Langenkamp, Ronee Blakley
Wes Craven taps into our worst Freudian nightmare in A Nightmare on Elm Street by presenting a spectral murderer; a child molester killed by a lynch mob of parents who has re-entered reality by stalking their children’s unconsciousness. It’s a very visceral depiction of the most terrifying invasion attack on someone at their most vulnerable: sleeping. By becoming the high school students nightmares, Freddy symbolizes the significance of dreams and of memory as well as the thin line between reality and unreality, consequence and power. Long before Freddy’s humor become a joke in subsequent sequels, his iconic sweater, burnt face, and knives for fingers have become emblematic of a figure we would only want to encounter in the cinema, never in our dreams.