There’s a storm coming. Curtis LaForche can sense it. More ominously, he can see the dark clouds gathering, hear the deafening claps of thunder, feel the torrential downpours as they drench him with an oily rain. Is he the only one who can? Curtis has every right to wonder. Around the same age, his mother was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic.
Curtis suspects he’s headed down the same path. He is given sleeping pills to ward off his nightmares, in which everyone – his neighbors, his wife, even the family dog – tries to tear him to shreds. He recounts his fears to a counselor at the free clinic, but even at his most lucid he believes the visions are no mere delusions. Why else would he get rid of his dog and part with his closest friend?
It would be impossible to approach Samuel Bayer’s A Nightmare on Elm Street without some cynicism. Wes Craven’s 1984 original remains an imaginative cut above typical ’80s slasher fare, introducing audiences to a hideously deformed bogeyman who attacks his prey at their most defenseless, in the realm of their dreams. It is at once audacious, terrifying and darkly comical, and it even introduced the world to a fast-rising newcomer, Johnny Depp.