A Nightmare on Elm Street

Autumn has fallen and it’s time once more to celebrate the primal, compulsive instinct of fear. Rainestorm finishes its horror trilogy and goes to the well one last time to highlight 31 days of spooky scares that season the eerie atmosphere of Halloween.

'A Nightmare on Elm Street'

Hex cast: 1984

'A Nightmare on Elm Street'

“I’m sorry, Miss, but it’s come to our attention that you’ve been watching Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.”

The charm: Considering the wisecracking clown Freddy eventually became, it’s easy to forget how truly terrifying he was the first time around. Audiences didn’t know what to expect, having been inundated and dulled by countless slashers that followed in the wake of John Carpenter’s trend-setting Halloween. It’s easy today to dismiss many of the effects as cheesy and the acting as schlocky. At the time, Freddy’s intrusions into the seemingly safest part of our existence, our dreams, was an unsettling idea to say the least. The fact that he could go one step further and bring his murderous desires into real life amplified the terror. To be sure, Freddy’s gleeful comic stylings were on display here, but they were tinged with a much more sinister edge than in the follow-up films. Robert Englund turned the character into an industry, inspiring the slasher killer as witty jester long before Anthony Hopkins hammed it up as Hannibal Lecter. It also brought Wes Craven more to the forefront as a horror director, his previous effort having been the abysmal Swamp Thing.

Focal point: That first, mind-warping death scene.

Entrancing trivia: In the original script, Freddy was a child molester, however the decision was made to change him into being a child murderer to avoid accusations of exploiting a series of child molestations in California around the time of production.

Speak the words: “Nancy, you are going to get some sleep tonight if it kills me.”

Companion spell: Dreamscape (1984). Long before The Matrix or Inception, Dennis Quaid was protecting the President of the United States from the bad guys in his dreams.

Cursed by: The endless stream of horrible sequels.