When Nightmares Kill…

With Halloween having just passed, I have been busy watching a TON of the classic horror movies.  Thanks to AMC’s Fear Fest and the SyFy channel, I caught a lot of the Halloween franchise, the Friday the 13th franchise, and A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise over the course of the past month.

Not only have I seen Wes Craven’s 1984 A Nightmare on Elm Street, I’ve watched it so many times I’ve lost count over the years.  However, I still remember my first time…  I was a little girl, not quite ten years old, and Freddy Krueger scared the bejeezus out of me.

Since then, I’ve watched the original and all of the subsequent movies in the franchise probably more times than I should admit.  A few years ago, in preparation for the 2010 remake, I even hosted a group of girls for a Nightmare movie marathon.  Despite having seen the film countless times, the fear of Freddy and his razor-sharp claws still worked its magic… I checked under all of the beds and in all of the closets before going to sleep.  I know; I’m a dork—Freddy doesn’t get anyone while they’re awake, it’s after they fall asleep…

One thing’s for sure, the endearment “Sweet Dreams” changed drastically in 1984 when audiences met Freddy Krueger for the first time.

And, what about that eerie nursery rhyme with the little girls dressed in beautiful white baby-doll dresses jumping rope, singing, and having fun?

“One, Two, Freddy’s coming for you.

Three, Four, Better lock your door.

Five, Six, Grab your crucifix.

Seven, Eight, Gotta stay up late.

Nine, Ten, Never sleep again.”

Say what you will, but that rhyme still spooks me to this very day!  Not to mention the fact that I have a hard time remembering the actual lyrics to the peaceful children’s song now.

Craven created the Nightmare franchise with his horrifying screenplay and his directing brilliance.  Robert Englund may still be recognized today as his character, Freddy Krueger, more than he is as Robert Englund, the actor.  This horror flick opened the door for nine feature films, including a 2010 remake.

According to Robert Englund in a 2010 interview for Biography’s Inside Story, A Nightmare on Elm Street is the “universal story of the bad dream, the nightmare, and the boogeyman.”  And I’d have to agree.

In each of the films, Freddy taunts and haunts a group of teenagers.  And only the teenagers understand—don’t fall asleep.  The adults… not so much.  All the adults (parents, nurses, etc) want the kids to do is get some rest.  Rest, as we all know, is the last thing these teens should be getting.

With every Nightmare movie, viewers can expect to see Freddy (of course), a cast of young, hot, and up & coming teens (ah-hem… Johnny Depp, anyone?), a few of the classic Freddy-esque scenes, and hear at least one of Freddy’s quirky one-liners (even though I read somewhere that when Craven first imagined Freddy, he pictured him being a silent killer, much like Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees).

Some of the movies are great; some are a bit campy and out there; but everyone around the globe knows who Freddy Krueger is.  Right?

Let’s just hope he doesn’t visit us anytime soon in our dreams…

Are you a Nightmare fan?  Which of the films do you enjoy most and why?  I’d love to hear from you! 

Friday FaBOOolousness – The “Boo” Factor #2

The endearment “Sweet Dreams” changed drastically in 1984 when audiences met Freddy Krueger for the first time.

 

Happy and carefree high school students in Springwood, Ohio transformed overnight into terrified teenagers afraid to fall asleep.  It all started when Tina dreamed of being chased by a horribly burned man wearing a green and red striped sweater, teasing her with his razor-sharp knives in lieu of fingers on his right hand.  Tina escaped his clutches just in time, and woke up with tears in her night-gown.  How can something that occurs in a dream actually happen?

Tina’s best friend, Nancy (Heather Langenkamp), experienced a similar dream the very same night.  Nancy dismissed her nightmare as just that, a nightmare.  Being the good friend that she was, Nancy agreed to spend the night with Tina so that she wouldn’t be alone.  Joining the girls, of course, was Tina’s boyfriend, Rod, and Nancy’s boyfriend, Glen (introducing Johnny Depp, ladies).  Tina fell asleep feeling safe with her friends nearby, and Freddy appeared again; only this time, Freddy didn’t miss slashing Tina with his razor-sharp claws.

Do you remember that scene?  Tina, wearing the oversized, white button down shirt, flailing about, blood spraying everywhere, levitating, crawling on the ceiling, and finally crashing into her bed — dead.  Her boyfriend standing helplessly by, watching an invisible knife slash through his girlfriend, screaming her name, “Tina!” – completely terrified and confused.   

The nightmares continued for Nancy, finally convincing her that she and Tina were dreaming about the same man.  Continuing to have nightmares, Nancy saw the burned man kill Rod; and, later found Rod dead in reality too – just like Tina.

Finally, Nancy’s mother confessed that the man haunting and stalking her in her dreams was Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) – a child murderer that was burned and killed at the hands of the children’s parents.  Together, Nancy & Glen devised a plan to trap and kill Freddy, but Glen made one fatal mistake – he fell asleep.

Do you remember that scene?  Glen lying on his bed in his midriff jersey t-shirt with his television & gigantic head phones, sinking through the bed as Freddy sucked him in, the blood rushing through the mattress with the velocity of a fire hydrant.

Alone, Nancy battled Krueger to the end, living to see another day; actually, Nancy survived to see another few installments of the Nightmare franchise: Nightmare 3 and New Nightmare.

Do you remember the eerie nursery rhyme?  The little girls dressed in beautiful white baby-doll dresses playing hop-scotch and jumping rope in the parks?

“One, Two, Freddy’s coming for you.

Three, Four, Better lock your door.

Five, Six, Grab your crucifix.

Seven, Eight, Gotta stay up late.

Nine, Ten, Never sleep again.”

Say what you will, that rhyme still spooks me to this very day!  Not to mention the fact that I have a hard time remembering the actual lyrics to the peaceful, children’s song.

Wes Craven created the Nightmare franchise with his horrifying screenplay and his directing brilliance.  Robert Englund may still be recognized today as his character, Freddy Krueger, more than he is as Robert Englund, the actor.

A Nightmare on Elm Street opened the door for nine feature films, including a 2010 remake produced by Michael Bay, Andrew Form, and Brad Fuller.  The original Nightmare will always be great; but, the remake included more of the back-story of Freddy Krueger, and the children he preyed on, making the 2010 film very exciting for a Nightmare-aholic like myself.

Wake Up!

The Nightmare franchise has also featured an array of popular actors over the years in addition to Langenkamp, Englund and Depp, such as Patricia Arquette, Laurence Fishburne, Jason Ritter, Breckin Meyer, and Lochlyn Munro.  Additionally, Rosanne Barr and Tom Arnold appeared briefly in Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare.  The 2010 movie successfully catered to today’s teenage audience by casting the brilliant Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy (in an absolutely FaBOoolous performance assuming the role from Englund), Katie Cassidy (Gossip Girl), Kellan Lutz (The Twilight Movies), Kyle Gallner (Jennifer’s Body), Rooney Mara (The Social Network), and Thomas Dekker (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles).

Hopefully, the franchise will live on.

Do you believe that if you die in your sleep, will you die in real life?  Do you prefer the 1984 original or the 2010 remake?  Do you fear Freddy, Jason, or Michael more?  What’s your favorite scary movie?   I’d love to hear from you!

Friday FaBOOolousness – The “Boo” Factor

Who doesn’t like scary movies?  Jumping in their seats?  Covering their eyes?

 

Growing up in the 1980s, I remember staying up late with my girlfriends and watching Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Halloween.  Here we are twenty years later, and we still have late-night watch-a-thons at least once a year and we watch those very same movies.  A few of the sequels lost the original’s “Boo” factor, but that didn’t stop us from catching as many as possible.  Maybe we simply like nostalgia, or maybe we simply love a great scary movie!

 

The scary movie genre fell a bit silent in the early 1990s, but in December of 1996, a new era began with the screenplay magnificence of Kevin Williamson, and the directing brilliance of Wes Craven with Scream.

The intensity of Scream opened immediately with Drew Barrymore’s scene, and continued throughout the entire movie – the piercing ring of the telephone, the horrifying sound of the digitized voice, the mystery behind the long, black cloak, and that creepy mask.

The mask — That Ghostface mask still frightens me to this very day.  I absolutely love Halloween, and opening the door to see all the creative children; but not Ghostface!  I have to force a smile while I hesitantly place yummy candy in Ghostface’s pillow case.  Anyone else notice that?  Ghostface always has a pillow case at Halloween, not a jack-o-lantern — why a pillow case?  What’s in the pillow case?  Would I be so afraid of that pillow case if Ghostface wasn’t so spooky?

What’s another of the most impressive aspects of Scream?  The whodunit mystery — Billy did it!  No, Principal Himbry did it!  No, is Gale doing it?  No, maybe it’s Cotton? It’s Randy!  No, who is the killer?  It’s Billy!  Oh, and Stu?  And, cue the Ah-Ha moment — Brilliant!

Who remembers Randy’s rules?

1) Never have sex

2) Never drink or do drugs

3) Never, ever say “I’ll be right back”

Having watched scary movie after scary movie, I absolutely loved the obvious, satirical, slap-in-the-face cliché moments in Scream.  Combining the terror of the anticipation of Ghostface with the laugh-out-loud comedy, Scream left its mark in movie FaBOOolousness.

Sequels usually don’t carry the same power as the originals; however, Scream 2 sure didn’t fail Scream in terms of the whodunitmystery.  It’s definitely not Billy & Stu….or is it?  Is it Gale?  No, is it Randy?  No, it’s Derek.  Nope!  It is…. and Scream 3, the only installment not written by Kevin Williamson, took a different approach.  While it wasn’t nearly as successful with the whodunitmystery, I still had the killer pegged wrong.

Scream paved the way for scary movies, and luckily, today the scary movie industry is still going strong.  Now, here’s to you, Scream 4:  Sidney’s back, Dewey’s back, and Gale’s back.  I can’t wait!  We’re going Saturday…are you?

What’s your favorite scary movie & why?  I’d love to hear from you!

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