Thoughts on A Nightmare on Elm Street

A Nightmare on Elm Street is one of the most recognisable titles in cinema – as is it’s villain, and star, Freddy Krueger. I felt the urge to re-watch this film after my recently-formed gaming obsession with Dead By Daylight. I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that much of the film still holds up to modern viewing.

What is A Nightmare on Elm Street about?

Behind the scenes on A Nightmare on Elm Street

A Nightmare on Elm Street follows four high-school kids, who are all experiencing almost identical nightmares. Nightmares about a mysterious burnt man in an old jumper and hat with knives for fingers. This figure is none other than one of cinema’s most charismatic antagonists – Freddy Krueger.

Freddy has long been dead, but has since returned to feed on children’s fear within their dreams in order to kill them. While alive, Freddy was exclusively a child killer – and possibly worse in the originally draft – which makes him one of the most despicable of his contemporary killers. Yet, perhaps intentionally, this is juxtaposed with his bouncy, playful actions and the fact that through the course of his films people have come to regard Freddy as a “cool character”.

It isn’t long until one of the children Freddy is hunting, Nancy, takes it upon herself to stand up and fight back against him. This ultimately leads to a showdown where you’ll want to throw your fists up and shout “Fuck Yer, Nancy!”.

A Nightmare on Elm Street artwork

The Effects still hold up

When the Matrix came out in 1999 it blew most people away with its cutting-edge, computed-generated, effects. Less than ten years later and those effects sure did start to look dated – more so now. However, with films that focused on created actual physical effects, this dated effect is lessened quite substantially in my opinion.

A Nightmare on Elm Street, although cheesy in parts, still holds up strongly with its physical effects. Especially those bedroom death scenes from both the start and end of the film. R.I.P. Johnny. And Freddy is every bit as menacing and full of charisma as I’d remembered from watching it years ago.

Nancy in the bath
Nancy in that famous bathtub scene

It’s great when modern films take a leaf out of the books of films like this one. You really can’t beat the authenticity of good-old physical effects. Especially in horror.

A personal favourite favourite of mine of all the film’s effects, is when Nancy is asleep at Tina’s house. Freddy can be seen pushing his way through the over-arching bedroom wall from the other side. And although it’s not too difficult to work out how this could be achieved it is still effing terrifying and highly effective.

Freddy is still rock n roll

Nancy and Freddy

Freddy Krueger is one of those pop culture horror icons who sits beside all of the greats. He sits with characters such as Michael Myers; Pinhead; Jason and Leatherface. He was played so perfectly by Robert Englund and like Doug Bradley for pinhead, will always be tightly linked to his seminal role.

Interestingly what differs Freddy from many of his contemporaries, is his sense of humour and playfulness with his victims. Michael Myers was a silent shape in the darkness; Jason too was silent; Pinhead spoke only in a deep, almost poetic manner. But Freddy just toys with his victims in his cheeky, tormenting way.

Freddy has been a really fun villain to revisit and I’m looking forward to re-watching the other films too. This includes one I’ve never seen before – Wes Craven’s New Nightmare. I’ve heard good things about it so will get a hold of that when I can.

In Summary

A great horror film that I think still holds strong today. Wes Craven unknowingly created an icon that would go on to become a household name – like Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and Coca Cola.

If you’ve never before seen A Nightmare on Elm Street, I urge you to give it a watch. Yes there are some aspects of it that will be dated, such as the fashions and the acting in places. But this really is an important horror film like all of the top films lists repeat. You wont sleep easy till you watch this film.

Interview with Katy Bentz (Steph Gingrich in Life is Strange Before the Storm)

Life is Strange Before the Storm re-acquainted us with some of the characters we had come to love from the original game. But not only that, we got introduced to some new characters also. A favourite of a lot of peoples, myself included, was Steph Gingrich. She’s the girl who you really need to take the time and play D&D with in episode 1.

Steph is played brilliantly by the talented, and always-funny, Katy Bentz. Katy has been building up quite the following, which includes too her growing YouTube channel. Every video she makes is a joy to watch. I was blessed to be able to send Katy some questions – a lot of the same questions that I also asked in my recent Interview with Kylie Brown – that she very quickly replied back with.

The Interview

Please tell us about yourself in as many or as little words as you like.
I am an actor living in Los Angeles, California. Just passed my year mark of living in the city of hustle! I’m outgoing, independent, determined, strong-willed, caring, and passionate. I enjoy to find the simple things in life, as silly as that may sound. We can get so caught up in our day-to-day life that we forget about walks around the block, or watching the sunset. My favorite color is blue and I love Dolphins! ?
What is your favourite Book?
Not much of a reader, but I read White Oleander for one act in high school and I really enjoyed it. I do love to read self helps books though!
What is your favourite Album?
Omg! Too many. Probably a Say Anything Album. I love anything pop punk!
What is your favourite Film?
(500) Days of Summer anyone? ?
What is your favourite TV Show?
I really like That 70’s Show. The 100 and Under the Dome are some others I have really enjoyed.
Do you have a favourite film/tv/musical soundtrack?
Guardians of the Galaxy is awesome! But also The Legally Blonde Musical Soundtrack….I know I am all over the place!
What poster / posters do you remember having on your walls growing up?
I had way too many animal posters haha and these two weird ocean space posters…I know…interesting. Oh! And a Backstreet Boys poster where I circled Nick’s face and drew on the other members haha
You’re walking somewhere and your mp3 player has only a little battery left; You’ve only got time for one more song. What song do you play?
Oh man. Too many options. I get on song kicks, where I find songs and listen to them over and over until I can’t anymore haha, so I would say out of my current mix…Touch by Little Mix, such a feel good song!
Was there any defining moment in your life when you knew that you wanted to be an actor and model?
In High School when I was still finding my place amid being a teenager, I quit the dance team and joined the drama club and I’m not sure that that was when I knew I wanted to be an actor. But that was the moment where I felt like I could finally be myself and that my peers weren’t going to judge me. And that was the start of my passion for the arts and everything it stood for.
What is the proudest moment of your career so far?
Life is Strange: Before the Storm, hands down. I have never felt so amazing about a certain role and I get to see the affect this game and my character have on the players and it’s the greatest feeling.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Works harder than you think you need to work.
Growing up, who were your heroes?
My mom and my peers around me. I never looked very far for influences in my life. My mom meant and still means a lot to me and I always look to her for guidance. One of my best friends in high school was two years older than me and in the drama club. She was someone I strived to be like. She is still my best friend to this day and someone I am riding this journey with, and it’s amazing.
Who is your biggest influence in how you approach what you do today?
My mom again haha and past and current relationships. I feel like the people I am closest with are the ones that see all of me and because they are close to me, they can be honest with me about things that I may need to do differently.
If you could ask any person – living or passed – any question, who would it be and what would you ask them?
Honestly, any elder person. And I would want to ask them what advice they’d give their 25 year old self.
In Chloe Price’s journal she writes: “I can never decide if Steph is the coolest or nerdiest person in all of Blackwell.”. What would you say to that? Coolest or Nerdiest?
Coolest!
With Steph being a new character in the already established world of Arcadia Bay, did you feel any pressure in stepping into that world for the first time?
Not at all! I didn’t know the story line prior to recording for Steph, so I came in with a fresh mind, ready to bring the character to life.
Are there any causes / projects that you would like to raise an awareness of to the readers here?
There aren’t specific projects or organizations off the top of my head, but I am a big supporter of anti-bullying projects and efforts. Bullying was a huge thing when I was growing up and I can only imagine what kids in schools are going through now.
Could you tell us a joke?
What’s a plumber’s favorite drug? Crack! I just made that up! Pretty good? haha