A Nightmare on Elm Street

Heather Langenkamp in A Nightmare On Elm Street

I remember reading an article in the 1980s about writer/director Wes Craven’s inspiration for Freddy Krueger, who visits his victims dreams and kills them while they’re asleep. Craven has since talked about this inspiration often, and it involves a news story he stumbled across about a Cambodian refugee boy from the Killing Fields who was plagued with nightmares. One night, his parents heard him screaming. He had died in his sleep. This isn’t the only time that Craven has made films inspired by real-life events. His 1988 Haitian zombie flick The Serpent and the Rainbow was a fictionalized story of antrhopologist Wade Davis who studied drugs allegedly used to induce zombification for slavery. Because Craven had two well-known films in the 80s based on real-life accounts, this led to a minor urban legend that there’s real truth to someone dying in real life if they die in their dreams. As anyone who occasionally suffers from nightmares might tell you, this is a terrifying concept, so it got me thinking: if you die in a dream, would you really die in real life?

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MegaStill40912

It happens all too frequently. You go to a movie building, pay your eleventeen-hundred dollars for tickets and concessions, and you sit through a movie bearing a title comprised of a single cryptic noun. Scourge, or Continuum, or Memorandum. These inherently enticing titles were the reason you ponied up the admission price in the first place, but you leave feeling disappointed that the movie doesn’t live up to the nebulous expectations such an indeterminate title engendered. Frankly, we’ve been both flimmed and flammed by these deceptive marketing smokescreens for too long. What we need are more movies that adhere to stricter standards of transparency. Movies are consumable products after all, so misleading people with obfuscating titles constitutes an affront to truth in advertising. We need more movies like Robocop, Snakes on a Plane and Surf Ninjas. These are pretense-free film titles that allow you to make a more informed choice in your b-movie viewing. Really, we need more movies like Robocop, Snakes on Plane and Surf Ninjas just for the sake of general planetary betterment, but more specifically because they are upfront and honest with what they are selling. At this year’s SXSW, a listing can be found among the Midnighter slate for Big Ass Spider. The movie is about… that thing that it says its about. No matter how you may feel about the quality of this film, you can never fault the filmmakers for not delivering on their promises. In an effort to encourage all future filmmakers to be more forthcoming, […]

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discs intouchables

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. The Intouchables Philippe (François Cluzet) is a wealthy quadriplegic in need of a full-time caretaker. The list of applicants is long, but it’s a lower class Senegalese immigrant named Driss (Omar Sy) who gets the job because Phillipe wants someone who won’t look at him with pity. The relationship is bumpy at first, but the pair become fast friends through mutual respect and a shared sense of humor. Writer/directors Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano based their film on a true story, and while the subject of Philippe’s reality could very easily have made for a sappy melodrama, they wisely avoided that route. Instead the movie finds real humor and compassion in the developing friendship and the effect it has on these two lives. The script is surprisingly funny and never maudlin, and both leads show spectacular chemistry and personality. [DVD extras: None]

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The Scariest Movie Ever

After laughing about the completely unplanned, totally-done-by-your-votes match-up between The Ring and The Thing in the Axe-Wielding Eight Round, I’d like to talk about two types of movies that didn’t make the cut. There are. of course, the 24 movies so far that have been chopped off the block by you clicking a Facebook button, but there are also a bunch of movies that didn’t get placed on the original bracket to begin with. There are two reasons that your favorite scary movie didn’t make it. One, it’s a finite list (and a small one at that). Two, we aren’t mind readers. For the most part, our bracket was conventional in honoring the classics, but we also tried to spice things up by including newer films and even a few that maybe weren’t seen by wide audiences (Session 9, you will be missed…). Today’s post will seek to celebrate some of those movies you suggested we were morons for leaving out. We’ll also run down the numbers, laugh some more about the rhyming Ring/Thing battle, and get serious about the predictions. We’re down to 8 insanely strong horror flicks, so it’s even more important to get out the vote because the margins are going to be razor blade thin. Or you can vote first and then read all this

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Sinister

This article is presented in partnership with SINISTER, in theaters October 5. Don’t forget that you can see Sinister first with Tugg.com and Film School Rejects in Washington, DC (and many other cities) by visiting SeeSinisterFirst.com. Even though movies often get a bad rap for glorifying sex and violence, there’s a lot of lessons that can be learned from various films. Horror films, in particular, have taught people a variety of helpful things. For example, we all know to never split up when being chased by a maniac. We know to never drop your weapon next to a killer’s “obviously” dead body. And we also know not to go out a-sexing and a-drinking in the woods without at least keeping one eye open for a deranged psychopath with a questionable past. Movies have also taught us to ask what might be considered bizarre questions when deciding on a new place to live. Has anyone been killed with a nail gun in the living room? Does there happen to be a gateway to hell in the basement? How many former tenants have gone completely bat-shit crazy and murdered their entire families? (Note: if the answer is more than zero, you might want to reconsider renting or purchasing this home.) These real estate listings below might seem to be a good deal, but read between the lines and discover the wicked deal you’re getting on the purchase price might not be a good deal at all.

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When I was talking with some friends a while back about how much my wife and I enjoyed Insidious (probably one of the first genuinely well-made horror films in ages), I started thinking about how they’re almost sure to greenlight a sequel any day now (still waiting on that) for some studio to run into the ground like James Wan and Leigh Whannel’s previous collaboration, the Saw series. Saw got dumber and shittier as it went on, probably due to the fact that by fourth film or so the plot was incomprehensibly stupid. What’s the point of all this again? And Jigsaw had how many apprentices now? By the end of the series, I was expecting him to have solved the financial crisis by employing the majority of Americans to set moronic traps for each other. But the thing that’s easy to forget is that the first Saw movie was actually a pretty damn good movie. It wasn’t unique by any means. It owes a lot to Dario Argento and his fellow Italian Giallo filmmakers, but that’s not the point. The point is, Wan and Whannel paid attention. They actually put forth an effort to make a film that wasn’t a remake or a sequel or a cheap knockoff. They showed their hand as far as influences go, but fuck, so does Quentin Tarantino. Hell, even Saw II and Saw III weren’t bad. So maybe that’s the secret to making a horror film that’s not ball-crushingly idiotic. Maybe it just […]

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As the movies of 2010 comes to a close, it’s time to look back and revisit the finer points of cinema. But here at Film School Rejects, we like to turn the spotlight not just on the best, but also on the worst. This year has been a particularly rough year for movies as more films fizzled than we expected. With the year quickly coming to a close, it’s time to look back and realize which films didn’t just disappoint, but caused us the most pain. So with the help of the entire staff here at FSR, our own curator of the wretched Kevin Carr has compiled the list of the year’s most unwatchable, unbearable and unfortunately unforgettable films — may there be mercy on the souls of anyone who endured all of these gems…

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For those not keeping up with the times, it’s October. Which means that everyone has horror fever. Scary movies are being played in dark rooms, nubile coeds are being given manly arms upon which they can grasp when the brown note kicks in, and people like Brian Salisbury are busting out VHS copies of Demons 2 in a ritual that is as old as evil itself. For some — many of you, I would venture — it’s the most wonderful time of the year. And while I’m slightly more inclined to celebrate the beginning of bikini season, who am I to rob you of your fun? With that in mind, I browsed on over to Yahoo Movies today to find this fancy new infographic. I’m told these are all the rage in Europe. This one pits three of cinema’s most prolific slashers together in a good ole fashioned kill-off. Who killed more in their cinematic careers, asks the graphic, Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees or Freddy? According to this, it’s Jason by a landslide victory. More impressive is his victory when you consider the fact that he took his first movie off, letting Mama Voorhees do all the slicing. So here’s my question, horror lovers: are there any more prolific killers out there? Also, which of these fine hellions had the most interesting series of kills? Check out the full infographic after the jump if you need a reminder as to which movies these kills came from.

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Drinking Games

It’s October! Woo hoo! That means horror movies for everyone, not just in the theaters but also on DVD and Blu-ray. So scare yourself silly by watching some of these horror movies that are being released. First up is the remake of Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street. Whether you think it lives up to the original or not, it won’t matter when you’re done with this movie.

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This Week in Blu-ray

The winds of change are blowing here in Austin, Texas. With Fantastic Fest over, a tad-bit of emptiness has washed over the land and left me yearning for more great genre experiences. Which brings me to this week’s selection of Blu-ray releases — one that includes a few unique genre flicks and one lovable turd that reminds me of a documentary that was launched into the stratosphere by the film community here in Austin. Also, there’s this animated movie from the Mouse House that will absolutely blow your mind on Blu-ray. It’s as if the cosmos has looked down upon us in our post-Fantastic Fest haze and said “hey, here are some good movies to satiate your need for the good stuff.” It’s a week full of releases that are delivered right on time, just as the leaves start to change and Halloween begins to peek its head around the corner. Time to spray blood on the walls and fall in love again with a tale as old as time, or some other confused multi-metaphor. It’s another round of This Week in Blu-ray.

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Iron Man 2

The dust has settled on the first, Summer, weekend box office of 2010. While Iron Man 2 didn’t break too many records, it still came out pulsar cannons blasting, and comic book/movie fans gave it 133 million votes of confidence.

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While producer Brad Fuller acknowledged to us in an interview this week that there may be something going on behind the scenes at New Line, he’s not intimately aware of any solid plans just yet.

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Iron Man was a huge success, and this weekend not only brings about the beginning of the always anticipated Summer movie season, it brings us the release of Iron Man 2.

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With a heavy hit at the box office, we might be seeing a glove full of knives coming at us in 3D soon.

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Critical consensus be damned, our horror guru dug the hell out of A Nightmare on Elm Street and wants to share his thoughts with you.

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It’s a taboo topic, but we brave the films that brave the unclear world of this sexual pathology and emerge unscathed with the best portrayals of pedophiles in film.

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We sit down and talk to Jackie Earle Haley about his latest foray into the world of dark characters, as he takes over for Robert Englund in the reboot of A Nightmare on Elm Street as Freddy Krueger.

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For no good reason, Freddy Krueger has come back to life. But that won’t stop his return from being a terrifying ride into the world of dreams now, will it? Certainly not.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr has A Nightmare on Elm Street and suffers some Furry Vengeance

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Fat Guys at the Movies

Neil wets his pants in terror after watching A Nightmare on Elm Street and Kevin acts like a grumpy, old man, bemoaning how it doesn’t live up to the glorious 80s. They also dish out some war stories about how they were traumatized by Furry Vengeance.

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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