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Nightmare on Elm Street, A (reissue)


Stars: Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, John Saxon, Ronee Blakely, Amanda Wyss, Johnny Depp

Director: Wes Craven

'One, two, Freddy's comin' for you; three, four, better lock your door; five, six, grab your crucifix; seven, eight, gonna stay up late; nine, ten, never sleep again.' Yes, remastered with a much scarier enhanced soundtrack, Craven's cult horror is back to mesmerise a new generation of horror fiends.

This haunting, twisted nursery rhyme launched one of the most successful horror film series since the 1930s. Seven sequels and a revamp of this original have followed, as well as a spin-off TV series, Freddy's Nightmares.

The films proved to be a goldmine for Englund - originally only ninth billed as the child-killer horrifically burned alive by his victims' parents, and who now wreaks revenge on their children through thie dreams.

This first run-out for Freddy isn't actually all that good a film, though that hardly matters now, but there's still a nice homage to Hitchcock's Psycho, in that Craven, like Hitchcock 25 years earlier, kills off in early scenes the person the audience is led to believe is the main character.

Look out for rising star Depp in his first film role at 21 as one of Freddy's victims.

David Quinlan

USA 1984. UK Distributor: Park Circus. Colour.
91 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 26 Oct 2013