Netflix Picks: Wes Craven's Horror Classic

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Horror is one of the most interesting genres of films because of the range of quality based on not just acting but the ability to understand and expose base fears of the audience. With the start of October upon us, I wanted to bring back the innovative films of horror history and one of the most influential horror films is A Nightmare On Elm Street. 

For context, imagine the main horror villains you were aware of, Jason Voorhees and Michaels Myers, both of which were slasher villains who never spoke. Freddy Krueger as a character is terrifying not just in the fact he killed people but the method. Wes Craven, horror legend, wrote and directed the first Nightmare on Elm Street, which was released in 1984 by a small production company at the time, New Line Cinema. 

From Movie Trailer Vault Youtube channel

A Nightmare on Elm Street is the story of Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp) and the horrific dreams she has been having. Nancy and her friends, Cristina Gray (Amanda Wyss), Rod Lane (Jsu Garcia), and Glen Lantz (Johnny Depp) try to conquer their fears and the nightmares they share. But little do they know Elm Street has a horrific secret that the townspeople dare not speak of and a past as haunting as the teenagers nightmares.

With a wonderful lore behind the monster Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) and the thought that he can invade dreams of children the movie tapped into a fear everyone knows as a nightmare. Wes Craven is quoted as saying the inspiration for the film were a series of unexplained deaths in South East Asia where teenagers were dying in their sleep. This is why horror can be such a creative genre. The horrors of reality elevated to fantasy can cause truly nightmarish films to be created.

Freddy Krueger is such an interesting villain but also a scary thought to have when watching this film. Additionally the horror genre has the cliche hero with a damsel in distress, however Nancy is a true horror heroine in this film because of the events taking place. This decision in a film really help with a revolutionary take on how horror films were structured and the audiences perceptions of the genre.

What is even more interesting is the soundtrack created by Charles Bernstein is also amazing. It created a constant sense of suspense but also a distorted sound to become dreamlike at all times. The true genius of the film is the manipulation of what is reality in the film. There are scenes that are obviously dreams but the transitions or the camera angles of the film supplemented by the music create a reality the audience questions. The audience becomes immersed in this horror fantasy created by the talented Wes Craven to a level that elevated the genre and spawned this classic horror film.

A Nightmare on Elm Street is a true horror classic that even today is both frightening and entertaining to watch. The film is currently on Netflix and I would highly suggest as a must-see this October. Especially for a look at what horror was and will become because of the brilliant filmmaking and enthralling story.