It Came From the ’80s: A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)

May 24, 2011

by Sheri White

A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)On July 4th, 1984, a group of us went to Washington, DC to celebrate Independence Day on the Mall.  My friend Joanne brought her boyfriend, Joe and his brother John.  Although my friend Mary seemed to like John, he and I ended up snuggled together watching the fireworks, and dated for about a year.

I’ve mentioned John before – he was the boyfriend who insisted on seeing Revenge of the Nerds even though I had no desire to.  But that was par for the course with him – he had to get his way or he’d freeze me out.  Why I put up with it for over a year, I still have no clue.

He was in college at the time, and was taking some tough courses, so we didn’t have a lot of time together at first.  And he was charming and funny when we first met; his orneriness and possessiveness didn’t show up until we’d dated for a few months.

He wasn’t much into horror movies; thought they were lame and was never scared by them.  But I really wanted to see Nightmare, and it was early enough in the relationship that he gave into my wish.

For someone who thought horror movies were lame, he sure jumped a lot.

I mean, I did, too, but I expected to.  I had heard that Nightmare was one of the scariest movies to come out in a while, and it delivered in spades.  Freddy Krueger was one of the meanest, most evil killers to come along since Jason and Michael Myers.

Nightmare is also famous for being Johnny Depp’s first role, but back then he was just Glen, the guy who got eaten by his bed and regurgitated as buckets of blood.  Heather Langenkamp was a terrible actress; however, she was somehow perfect as Nancy.  Although she mostly overacted in her scenes, she did come across as a terrified teenager, helpless to save herself and her friends from Freddy Krueger.

I still don’t know what happened at the end – did they all die? Apparently not, because Nancy was back in Dream Warriors.  The ending was just as surreal as the dream sequences in the movie.

John wouldn’t admit the movie scared the crap out of him; he acted like he jumped for my benefit.  I knew better, though; I also knew at that point that good-naturedly teasing him about it would just start a fight, so I let it go.  I don’t think we saw anymore horror movies together after that, though.  Gee, wonder why.

There was so much blood in Nightmare that I went home feeling really sick to my stomach.  That had never happened before, and I felt like a complete lightweight for the first time in my horror-movie-watching tenure.  It was only in the middle of the night that I realized I was either really sick, or had food poisoning (not so far-fetched from where John and I ate that night).  I was so glad that I hadn’t become a horror wuss that I didn’t even mind the yakking the whole next day.

My reputation was still intact.

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