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October Horror Fest – Day 29

“One, Two, Freddy’s Coming For You…”

Greetings, and welcome back to October Horror Fest! As the challenge comes to an end, I wanted to celebrate the three most famous and important killers of horror. Three days, three killers, and three last reviews. Today, I watched a movie that I have never seen, and it absolutely blew me away. It almost felt like… I was dreaming. Without further ado, sit back, relax, turn off the lights, grab some Candy and Popcorn, and let’s review…


A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

We start our nightmarish journey with a shot of a man in red creating a weapon. He takes knives, and cuts off the hilts. Once he has all the knives, he puts them into a glove. This creates the iconic weapon of the knifed glove. The glove is stuck through a wall, as we hear the man yell.

We cut to an interesting shot of a blonde girl running through an industrial looking corridor. She is nervous, and we see a completely white void behind her. Playing in the background is the iconic theme of this film. As the girl runs, we hear a whispering voice calling her. We learn that her name is Tina, and she looks around. The voice laughs, and speaks her name once more. Tina turns around, and sees a goat running in the corridor. She gets scared, and runs into a factory setting. We see shots of a burnt man running around, as Tina becomes more and more terrified. Tina continues to run around the factory, when the man comes out using his glove. He corners Tina, and she screams, causing the man to retreat. As Tina thinks she is safe, the man comes up behind her, and grabs her.

Tina suddenly wakes up. Her mother checks on her, and Tina sends her away. We realize that Tina was heavily sweating in her sleep, and there is a cut on her nightgown. A cut that could only be created by four razors lined up together. Tina turns around, grabs her Crucifix, and sits in fear. The next morning, we hear a song that children in the neighborhood sing. This is one of the most famous songs in horror, and I’ve known it since before I even watched this movie. Long before. “One, two, Freddy’s coming for you. Three, four, better lock your door. Five, six, grab your crucifix. Seven, eight, gonna stay up late. Nine, ten, never sleep again.” This is sung as children play, and Tina walks down the street with her two friends. We meet Nancy Thompson (one of the coolest horror characters, and I’ve named like 20 this month), and Glen Lantz. Nancy and Glen are dating, and Glen is played by the one and only Johnny Depp in his first ever role. Behind them comes Rod Lane, who is dating/flirting with Tina. We learn that Nancy also had a bad dream, and the three depart for school.

We cut to the night, where Glen and Nancy are sleeping over with Tina. After the trio have some fun, Tina starts to talk about her nightmare. Tina recalls the fingernails from her dream, and Nancy says she saw the finger knives, and how she saw the man in the dirty red and green sweater. Tina is shocked, and she says that Nancy dreamed about the same man she did. After this, the trio head outside after hearing a noise. When they are out there, Rod comes barreling out of the bushes and tackles Glen. He makes a huge scene, and he and Tina then head up to the bedroom. In these last three Horror Fest articles, I’m going to pull Randy from Scream and come up with my own horror movie rules. #1, as we’ve seen through this entire month, in 80s horror movies, the two protagonists always head up to the bedroom, because of course. And when they are there, it usually doesn’t end well.

Glen and Nancy head inside after Rod and Tina depart, and we cut to the night. Glen is awake listening to the EXTREMELY loud sounds from the act unfolding upstairs. In an absolutely hilarious moment, Glen turns to his side and says, “Reality Sucks”. We head upstairs, as the duo finish. Rod says that he had a nightmare the night before, and they head to bed, and we pan downstairs to Nancy. She lies awake, and grabs her crucifix off of her wall above her bed. She then drifts off into sleep. From outside, the camera pans up into the upstairs bedroom. We see Tina wake up, as she hears noises from outside. Rod is sound asleep. A pebble of some kind is thrown at the upstairs window, as Tina gets more and more afraid. Downstairs, in an absolutely horrifying scene, a shape begins to emerge from inside of the wall about Nancy, until she wakes up. She places the crucifix back on the wall.

Tina is now outside, and begins to walk around in a terrifying scene. We see the man come up behind her. His arms are elongated, and his gloves scratch the walls. He wears a hat, and has the same dirty red and green sweater. As Tina begins to plead to God, he stops her, saying, “This is God.” Tina runs, as he follows, laughing maniacally. He begins to teleport all around, and in a sadistic show of comedy, he slices off his own fingers to show to Tina. She runs once more, as green blood comes out from his wound. He pins Tina down, and she peels off his face in another horrific scene, revealing nothing but a bloody skull with eyes and a mouth, still laughing. Tina screams, and Rod awakes. Tina is being attacked by the man under the covers. Rod pulls the covers off, and sees Tina being attacked by nothing. Tina’s shirt is opened, and four razor-like cuts appear on her, spewing blood. Tina begins to levitate around the room while screaming. It seems like she is being pulled by an invisible force, and blood covers the room. She continues to scream, as Rod yells her name over and over. Rod says he will kill whoever did it, and Nancy and Gale rush into the blood covered room. They see Tina’s blood covered corpse on the ground, as they see no sign of Rod, and the window wide open.

The next morning, a police investigation begins in the case. We find that Nancy’s Father, Donald, is a lieutenant for the police force. Nancy is at the police station, and so is her mother, Marge. After an “interrogation” that doesn’t go very well, Nancy shows off some absolutely incredible acting. We find that Rod is being hunted down by the entire city, and Nancy wants to go to school so she doesn’t spend all day in her room. Nancy leaves for school, as she sees a man in a dark suit watching her. Rod then pops out of the bushes, and pulls Nancy in. He says that they will kill him. He says he didn’t do it, and he says that there must have been someone else there. Donald then enters the bush, and we find that the police used Nancy as a tool to find Rod. Rod is then arrested, as he keeps saying he is innocent.

Nancy then heads to school, and we cut to her in class. She hears a voice call her name, and she looks towards the door of the classroom as an excerpt from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is spoken aloud. When the section of the play about bad dreams begins to be red, we see Tina in a bodybag at the door. She is drenched in her own blood, and is calling for Nancy. Nancy looks again, and she is gone, with a puddle of blood being left in her wake. Nancy follows the blood trail down the hall, when a female hall monitor in a red and green sweater stops her. Nancy keeps walking, and when she turns around, the hall monitor’s voice is deeper, and she waves with the knife glove. Nancy keeps following the blood, and ends up in a factory setting, just like Tina. She sees the man appear in front of her. Whe Nancy asks who he is, he lifts his sweater, and cuts his chest. We see worms inside of him, as green blood leaks out of the cut. He chases Nancy, as he chuckles like the madman he is. He reaches out for Nancy, and drags his knives on the wall. Nancy screams, saying that it’s only a dream. The man reveals his name is Freddy, Freddy Krueger. He sadistically sticks his tongue out at Nancy, as she burns her own arm on a pipe next to her. This causes Freddy’s own arm to retract, and Nancy wakes up. She screams and violently barrels around her English class, and finally leaves. She sets out for her home terrified, shaken, and most importantly, tired.

Once Nancy is outside, she begins to cry. She looks down at her arm, and sees the burn mark from her dream now imprinted onto her. She visits Rod in jail, as he keeps saying how he is innocent. He says that four razors cut her at the same time, but that they were invisible. Poor Rod says he could’ve saved her, as he said he thought it was another nightmare, like the one he had the night before. He says who he saw. He had knives for fingers. Nancy is shocked, and believes that he is innocent. She then leaves the cell. At Nancy’s house, we are met with one of the most iconic horror shots ever created. Nancy is in a soap filled bathtub, singing Freddy’s coming for you song. She drifts off to sleep, and the second she does, Freddy’s hand appears from inside the bathtub between her legs. It rises and rises, and prepares to strike our girl. Nancy is then woken by her mother, as Freddy’s arm retracts. Nancy drifts off once more, and this time, she is completely dragged underwater. She appears in an ocean-like setting, as we hear Freddy laughing. She tries desperately to swim out of the tub, as her mother tries to get in. Nancy gets out, and tells her mother that she is ok. She says that everything is fine, and once her mother leaves, Nancy is terrified. She looks in the medicine cabinet, and takes out a bottle of pills for staying awake. 

We cut to Nancy at night, watching horror movies and taking pills. Glen then climbs through her window, and the pair begin to talk about the nightmares. Glen says he didn’t have any weird dreams, and says that Rod killed Tina. Nancy then comes up with a plan. She turns out the light, as she falls asleep. She tells Glen to stand guard, and to wake her up if she begins to shake. In Nancy’s nightmare, she walks around the town. She enters the police station, as she sees Freddy enter Rod’s cell. Randy desperately screams for Glen, as she also screams for Rod to watch out. We see Rod awake, as Tina appears in a bodybag behind Nancy once again. A scorpion comes out of her mouth, as her body turns into bubbling eels. Nancy keeps screaming for Glen, as Freddy begins his attack. He chases Nancy around the house, as she struggles to get upstairs. She gets back into her bedroom, and says how it’s a dream. She sees Glen sleeping, as Freddy jumps through the door. He holds her up, and prepares to attack, as she desperately finds him off, He slices a pillow, as Glen continues to sleep. An alarm then goes off, as Glen and Nancy both wake. Nancy says that Glen failed his one job, and is understandably extremely mad at him. Marge then enters to check on Nancy, and exits soon after. Nancy and Glen then run to the police station in reality. After they argue with the police staff, we see the covers around Rod begin to shake and move, as Freddy laughs. The covers enter around Rod’s neck, as he is dragged across the floor. When Nancy enters the room, he is hanging. They check his pulse, and Rod is dead. Nancy begins to cry once more, as her father still doesn’t believe what truly happened.

After Rod’s funeral, Nancy says to her father that Rod didn’t kill himself. She gives a description of Freddy, as Marge drives away, saying she is going to get Nancy some help. We cut to a hospital for sleep disorders, as Nancy panics about sleeping. Devices to measure Nancy’s heart rate and brain waves are set up, as the girl drifts off. Marge and a doctor watch the readings from Nancy, as the number for a nightmare, which is normally 5-6, gets up to 50-100. Nancy then begins to convulse widely, as Marge and the doctor run into the room. The readings become more and more wild, as they wake the poor girl up. A streak of her hair has become her famous Gray, as we find a wound on her arm. She then raises up Freddy’s hat. She says she took it off of his head and brought it out, as Marge doesn’t believe her. The next scene, Marge and Nancy have a fight. Nancy confronts Marge about her drinking, and Marge slaps her. This scene is absolutely amazing, as Marge keeps saying she needs to sleep. We learn that Freddy’s name is even in the hat, as the fight continues. Marge says that Fred Krueger is dead, and Nancy gets even more angry, saying that she knew the entire time. Marge reaches for vodka, as Nancy smashes the bottle. Nancy then leaves the house, and connects with Glen on a bridge.

Glen tells Nancy about “Dream Skills”, a strategy for nightmares. We see that Nancy is reading a book on boobydraps. Glen says that people in nightmares that use dream skills take all the energy away from the monster in the nightmare, and ignore it. At Nancy’s house, we see that all the windows were fitted with bars. Marge says it’s for security, as she brings Nancy downstairs to the cellar. In the basement, she tells Nancy what truly happened. Fred Krueger was a sadistic child murder and rapist, who killed at least 20 children. After he was caught, he was somehow able to be let free. The parents of the neighborhood couldn’t take it anymore, and went after Fred themselves. They found him in an old abandoned boiler room where he took his kids, the same factory setting from the nightmares. Marge says how they burned him alive. She says that Mommy killed Fred Krueger, and that he can’t get her. She reaches into the boiler, and takes out the real glove knives. She says that it’s ok now, and that she can sleep.

We cut to Glen with his headphones in watching T.V., as Nancy calls him. Nancy says that the killer is Freddy Krueger, and says she needs help killing him. Nancy says her plan to Glen. She is going to pull Freddy out of the dream, the same way she did to his hat. She tells Glen that he will knock him out, and tells him to meet her at midnight. She says not to fall asleep, whatever he does. Gale turns on the T.V. once again, and puts his headphones in. We cut to Nancy briefly, as she pops more pills to stay awake. Back with Glen, he of course fell asleep. His mother wakes him up, and after she leaves, he is shocked he fell asleep. He rubs his head, and checks the time, reading 11:42. Marge gets back to Nancy’s room, telling her to fall asleep. She brings out the coffee brewer, and shuts the door. Nancy, being the coolest, brings out a completely new hidden brewer, and makes another cup. She grabs a new shirt and jacket, and sees Glen’s parents staring at her from the other side of the street. Glen’s father says that she is a lunatic, and doesn’t want her hanging out with Glen. Nancy changes the bandage on her wound, and as she goes to leave, she sees Marge down another vodka bottle in the hallway, cutting off her exit. She calls Glen, and he is fast asleep. Her father picks it up, and says to not call again. He disconnects the line, so that Nancy isn’t able to call anymore.

Nancy slams the phone in sadness and anger, and waits for Glen. She picks up the phone when it rings, and hears screaming. She pulls the cord out of the wall, breaking the phone entirely. As she exits her room, the phone rings, something that should be impossible. When she picks it up, Freddy’s mouth comes out. He rubs his tongue on her lips, as she slams the phone on the ground, stomping on it. Nancy goes downstairs, and can’t get out of the house, as everything is locked. Marge doesn’t give her the keys, as she yells in frustration. We cut to Glen, fast asleep. In a horrifying scene, his bed opens underneath him, as he falls into it, with Freddy’s arm dragging him in. Nancy screams his name, as we see an absolute monsoon of blood and guts erupt from the bed like a volcano, filling the room.

The police arrive at the scene, as Donald waves at his daughter across the street. We learn that it’s been a week since she last slept. She calls her father, and says that she is going to complete the plan. She says that only she can get him, and she wants him to get to her room to arrest him when she brings him out. She says to get there at half past midnight. Donald puts one of his men on watch, saying that if he sees anything, get him immediately. We cut back to Nancy, as she cements her place as one of the greatest final girls in horror history, right up there with Laurie Strode, Sidney Prescott, Alice Hardy, and Ellen Ripely, all from movies I covered this month. She begins to make traps for Krueger, utilizing all her resources. She sets tripwires, and turns lightbulbs into bombs with gunpowder. At Glen’s house, Donald finishes up his investigation. He is unable to look into the carnage filled room, and questions what truly happened. We cut to Marge and Nancy, where Marge truly apologizes. I didn’t go into it much here, but the arc of character development between this mother and daughter duo is absolutely amazing. Nancy turns out the light, and Marge goes to bed. Nancy then begins her attack, and goes to sleep. She prays to the lord, and drifts off, but not before setting a timer.

Nancy thinks about how Glen told her to take her energy away from the monster, and we enter her nightmare. She walks downstairs and into the cellar, finding Freddy’s glove missing from the boiler. Nancy then goes deeper, and finds herself in the boiler room factory once more. She hears Freddy laugh as she descends. She challenges Krueger, giving away her location. Walking further and further into the massive complex, she finds a replica of her bedroom. In it, she finds her crucifix, and finds Glen’s bloody headphones. We see Freddy stalking her, as she calls him out once again. Her timer beeps off, as Freddy begins his chase. Nancy dives off the balcony in the nightmare, and appears on her lawn outside. She hears her timer approach its final 10 seconds, as she dives into Freddy, holding onto him as she wakes up.

As Nancy wakes up, the camera flies off in an amazing cinematic shot, as Freddy is nowhere to be seen. Nancy says she truly is crazy, as Freddy appears from under the bed. She challenges him, her traps being triggered. She calls for the police, and the man who Donald put on watch is very, very dumb. She screams for her father, as Freddy keeps getting caught by the traps, now in the real world. In the basement, she sets Freddy on fire, his weakness. Her father finally comes barreling out of the house, as his man finally though he should say what happened. He busts through the door, and hugs his daughter. Freddy was trapped in the basement burning, but we see fiery footprints traveling upstairs. Nancy is terrified, and runs upstairs with her father. We get upstairs, and see the flaming Freddy attacking Marge. Once Donald puts out the flames with a blanket, we see Marge. Her body is burnt to a crisp, and her skeleton descends down into the bed, with Freddy nowhere to be seen. Nancy sends her father away, as the door closes and locks behind her. Freddy then appears, making his way through the bed into the room. Nancy, being absolutely amazing once again, says that she knows Freddy too well.

Nancy knows his secret, and says that it’s all a dream. She says he isn’t alive, and that it’s all a dream. She says she wants her mom and friends back, and she takes back all the energy she gave him, calling him nothing. She turns around, and as Freddy goes to attack, he disappears, screaming. Nancy opens her door, and we enter into one of the most famous horror movie endings, one that has been debated for 40 years, and one that I still don’t fully understand. I’ll let all of you formulate your own opinions, as that is the best thing to do for horror. As we’ve learned this past month, Horror is subjective! Nancy walks out the bedroom door, and her famous pajamas and undone hair are replaced with a clean, nice outfit, and hair made up in a bun. The darkness of the bedroom was replaced with a gorgeous bright daylight glow, as she exited the front door, even though she came out her bedroom. Marge then exits, saying she is going to stop drinking, and asks if Nancy is tired. In somewhat of an angelic vision, Tina, Rod, and Glen all come rolling up in a convertible, Nancy hopping in. They can’t believe the fog, and they all begin to laugh and have fun. Suddenly, the roof comes out over the car. The car is locked and the windows are rolled up, as the roof is Red and Green. Nancy begins to panic, as Marge gleefully waves. The car drives off, as we see the girls from the beginning of the film playing in the yard. They sing “one, two, Freddy’s coming for you”, as Freddy’s hand comes out from the door, dragging Marge inside. We look back at the girls, as they continue to sing…

That brings us to the end of A Nightmare on Elm Street! This movie was absolutely fantastic, and I am so happy to learn the origins of the legendary Freddy Krueger. I hope you all enjoyed it, and I am happy to be spending the last three days of Horror with you all! Remember, Freddy’s coming for you.

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