There are some genuinely frightening dream sequences - and some throwaway black humour...it's all good scary fun."
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Here the idea of sleep as the ultimate threat is still fresh and marvelously insidious, and Craven vitalizes the nightmare sequences with assorted surrealist novelties.
A Nightmare on Elm Street is tailor made for those who like their gore leavened with thought-provoking ideas - something that is a rarity in this genre.
Nightmare’s skill wasn’t that it invented such associations—which had already been thoroughly mined by its ’70s predecessors—but that it refined them in uniquely disturbing ways, drenching itself in an atmosphere of unreality positioned somewhere between waking and slumbering states.
For such a low-budget movie, Nightmare on Elm Street is extraordinarily polished. The script is consistently witty, the camera work (by cinematographer Jacques Haitkin) crisp and expressive.
A Nightmare on Elm Street puts more emphasis on bizarre special effects, which aren't at all bad.