Thirty years ago, Wes Craven, Bob Shaye, and New Line Cinema launched the face that would scare millions of kids. Their parents tried to kill him, but now the children of Elm Street in Springwood, USA are being haunted in their dreams by the villainous child killer, Fred Krueger. Fire, a dream master, and even his own daughter couldn’t really kill him. A dream demon returning to fulfill a quest of vengeance; they took his life, now he’s taking their children: one nightmare at a time.
I want desperately to talk about the legacy of this movie; I mean, 30 years, is a long time for anything. Marriages don’t even last that long anymore, and this movie has managed to stay relevant, timely, and creative for the past three decades. I have enjoyed these movies my entire life–I was born just two years, one month, and 25 days before its debut. They held me captive, helped me escape, and taught me that things aren’t always what they seem. The nature of reality is viscous, liquid at best, and Nightmare on Elm Street uses that against us in every incarnation, in every sequel.
Let’s not overlook the power of women in Nightmare on Elm Street. Nancy, Kristen, Alice (and Alice, again), Maggie, Heather, and Lori all stand up to Freddy and come out on top. Each one of them “kills” him and walks away (though Nancy doesn’t make it in Dream Warriors after a valiant fight), even though death isn’t really permanent for Fred. That isn’t anything the ladies could have changed, though, he’s a demon now. Killed by vigilante justice and coming back over and over again to serve up poetic justice–the irony being Fred is still tormenting and killing children, only now the parents won’t believe the cries of warning from their haunted children. Because they have to believe he’s already dead. But, death means nothing to evil, to revenge.
Even though the remake was kinda crappy in my opinion, I don’t think Freddy is going anywhere. Even if we only ever have the originals–God forbid! /sarcasm–Krueger has made his mark, and the world will never be the same.
Here’s to enjoying the next 30 years!