A Nightmare on Elm Street
A Nightmare on Elm Street
A Nightmare on Elm Street is a 1984 horror film directed and written by Wes Craven, featuring actors John Saxon, Heather Langenkamp, Ronee Blakley, Amanda Wyss, Jsu Garcia, Robert Englund and Johnny Depp, in his debut feature film. The film introduces the ghost of serial killer Freddy Krueger, who haunts his teenage victims in their dreams.

More than ten years ago, the heartless murderer Freddy Krueger kills more than twenty children of Elm Street. After being released from prison due to some technicality, the neighborhood’s angry parents burn him alive in his boiler room hideout. Now, Freddy Krueger comes back to seek revenge. This time, he terrorizes the teenagers of Elm Street (the sons and daughters of the parents who murdered him), in their nightmares.

According to Wes Craven, the film was initially inspired by several articles on LA Times on a group of Cambodian refugees and their children who were suffering nightmares after escaping from Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge regime. Because of this their terrifying dreams, the children refused to sleep. After following the medical advice, the parents encouraged their children to sleep. However, they all died soon after.

The film’s basic concept is to distinguish the fine line separating dreams and reality. The film’s villain, Freddy Krueger, exists in the “dream world” yet can brutally murder his victims in the “real world.” The film received positive reviews for its ability to rupture "the boundaries between the imaginary and real.” Some film historians even regarded its theme as a social subtext, referring to the struggles of teenagers in American society.

A Nightmare on Elm Street had a reported budget of $1.8 million, which it immediately earned on its first week. It grossed $25.5 million at the United States box office and has made the burned and clawed killer, Freddy Krueger, as one of the most popular villains in film history.

-Katherine Garcia, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image Courtesy of NightmareOnElmStreet.com)