Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, Johnny Depp, John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Leslie Hoffman, Amanda Wyss, Nick Corri, Joe Unger, Charles Fleischer, Joseph Whipp, Lin Shaye
Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) and her friends are hunted by Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), a cruel serial killer who kills his victims in their dreams.
After last year's disappointment with "Friday the 13th" - both the original film and the entire franchise -, I've finally found a horror classic that not only lives up to its reputation but that is still effective. In fact, "A Nightmare on Elm Street" is far from being a dumb slasher flick like the one I've mentioned above, rather it is a creepy, scary and amusing horror.
Why is it so good? Well, first of all the story. It is very original (and such a brilliant idea) - Wes Craven said he was inspired by true events -, interesting and features a lot of suspense and a terrific atmosphere. It sure isn't the most intelligent story you'll ever see, and there are definitely some parts of the plot that don't make a lot of sense, but still it is way better than other films of the same genre.
Then of course there is the iconic villain, Freddy Krueger, which is arguably one of the terrifying and menacing villains of all time. He also does have a believable backstory - that would be frightening in real life as well - and as soon as his past is revealed, he gets ever more terrifying.
And then there are the characters. They are not the brightest characters ever, to be honest they are the typical slasher, one-dimensional characters characterized by the lack of any good performances, but at least you'll care for them. And finally there's a main character who fights back. And she's good too.
The acting is also slasher-standards. Heather Langenkamp does a decent job as Nancy, the girl kicking Freddy's ass, but doesn't really stand out. A young Johnny Depp shows his potential in his very first role, but the script isn't strong enough to make him shine. On the other hand there's Robert Englund, who is flawless in the role of Freddy Krueger.