A Nightmare On Elm StreetA Nightmare On Elm Street was the first in a series of horror films that were exceptionally popular in the 1980s. The central character of the films is supernatural serial killer Freddy Krueger, played by Robert Englund. Krueger is able to attack and kill people through their dreams and does with considerable violence and gore. This debut film featured actress Heather Langenkamp as a teen named Nancy who lives on the titled Elm Street. It is revealed that in the past a serial killer (Krueger when he was still alive) was burned to death by the parents of his child victims. He comes back at night and attacks teenagers in their dreams. Eventually Nancy finds the strength to confront Krueger in the dream realm and successfully asserts that he can never hurt her because it's "only a dream".
The original film was directed by Wes Craven and remains amongst his most famous features. A Nightmare on Elm Street was followed by five sequels culminating in Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1992). Craven was largely not involved in these sequels, but did receive a producer credit for Part III. In 1994, Wes Craven returned to the series with Wes Craven's New Nightmare, in which Krueger appeared in (a fictionalised version of) the real world, plaguing Craven and the actors who had appeared in the original film.
A short-lived TV series Freddy's Nightmares featured Freddy introducing scary stories.
As the series progressed the films got gorier as new, creative ways were found to slaughter teenagers. The series managed to feature many up-and-coming young performers before their rise to fame (notably Johnny Depp and Patricia Arquette). Eventually a declining interest in gory slasher films led to the series' fade in popularity. Though the films still make profit when released, they have never matched the success they found in the first three.
Over the years Freddy has become a cult figure with his burnt face, red and green striped sweater, brown hat and the metallic glove with sharp knife blades attached to the fingers. In the original film Krueger was a nearly silent, remorseless killing machine. As the series progressed, Krueger became a progressively more wise-cracking, black-humoured character - frequently making a short witticism as he dispatches each victim. Part 5 represents the zenith of this trend. A constant feature throughout the series of eight films has been the nursery rhyme which Krueger's victims hear in their dreams shortly before being confronted by him. To the rhythm of One, Two Buckle My Shoe it runs
Three, four, better lock your door
Five, six, grab a crucifix
Seven, eight, better stay up late
Nine, ten, never sleep again!
In 2003 the Krueger character was pitched against Jason Voorhees from the popular Friday the 13th film series in Freddy vs. Jason . The film opened on August 15 and was immediately the most financially successful film in either series. It cost $25 million to make and grossed $47 million in its opening weekend. Englund suggested in an interview that a further sequel may be planned. Further a script entitled A Nightmare On Elm Street: The First Kills describing Krueger's 'real-life' years set before the time of the first film is currently under review by New Line Cinema.
- A Nightmare on Elm Street, released 1984, $25.2m US box office takings
- A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge, 1985, $30.0m
- A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 : Dream Warriors, 1987, $44.8m
- A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 : The Dream Master, 1988, $49.4m
- A Nightmare on Elm Street 5 : The Dream Child, 1989, $22.2m
- Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, 1991, $34.9m
- Wes Craven's New Nightmare, 1994, $18.4m
- Freddy Vs. Jason, 2003, $63m (end of August 2003)
HalloweenThe Halloween films are a series of horror movies considered among the most important and influential to the genre.
The first film, Halloween, was written and directed by John Carpenter and was released in 1978, starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasence. In the movie, six-year-old Michael Myers brutally kills his older sister in 1963 and is locked in a mental institution. Fifteen years later, he escapes and returns to his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois to continue his rampage.
Shot on a budget of $300,000, it was the highest grossing independent film ever, until Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was released in 1988, and then The Blair Witch Project in 1999.
Halloween is generally considered the first of a long line of modern-day "slasher" movies, though some film scholars (and cult movie fans) say the credit for this goes to either Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho or Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Nonetheless, this movie originated a great many of the clichés seen in countless low-budget "splatter" films of the 1980s and 1990s. (First-time viewers of Halloween may be surprised by the fact that compared to its many imitators and competitors, the original film actually has very few explicitly violent scenes.)
Deeper meaning has been read into this movie by some film critics, including the idea that everyone who dies in the film is sexually promiscuous, while the "innocent" (chaste) heroine survives. Carpenter has been quoted as saying that inclusion of this sort of morality into the story was entirely unintentional, and he did not mean for the movie to be seen as a form of "punishment" for sinners who indulge in sex and drug use. And yet the parallel between a character's moral strengths and their likelihood of not getting killed has become a standard slasher movie trope. Critic Roger Ebert has taken to calling this genre the "Dead Teenager Movie", the principal cliché of which is that the only teenager to survive is always the virginal girl who declines all of the vices (pot smoking, etc.) indulged in by those who end up skewered. And some other films in this genre have explored the sexual morality question from the other angle, drawing metaphorical parallels between sexual repression and the acts of the killer (as in William Lustig's Maniac).
Halloweens success has led to a number of sequels, beginning with 1981's Halloween II, also written by Carpenter and directed by Rick Rosenthal. Carpenter was extremely displeased with it, describing it as "about as scary as an episode of Quincy" and, reportedly, reshooting many scenes himself.
A third film in the series, Halloween III: Season of the Witch was released in 1982. Whereas the first sequel had used similar plot themes and characters to the original, Halloween III was an entirely unrelated film, and was met with powerful derision by both critics and fans of the franchise.
Those left wanting more were rewarded, as a further five films based on the original's themes were made, the most recent being Halloween: Resurrection (2002). It must be noted that many of the original's fans are disenchanted by the seemingly endless spate of sequels, which are perceived as cynically-motivated moneymakers, rather than quality horror films made by dedicated filmmakers with a love for the originals and a genuine artistic vision.
Friday the 13thFriday the 13th, directed by Sean S. Cunningham, became one of the most popular slasher films in history and spawned a long series of sequels. As of 2003 there have been eleven films in the franchise
Plot Summary for the first movie:-
In the first movie, a group of teenagers return to a summer camp to prepare it for reopening. Many years earlier, a young boy called Jason drowned at a summer camp, and shortly thereafter, the two counselors responsible were murdered by an unknown assailant, after which the camp is closed. One by one, the new counsellors are brutally murdered, it transpires, by Jason's mother, Pamela.
Jason returns from the dead, and hacks and slashes through numerous other victims in nine of the ten sequels. The exception is the fifth film in the series, where the serial killer is merely a copycat of Jason, rather than the man himself.
The film series
- Friday the 13th (1980)
- Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
- Friday the 13th Part 3: 3D (1982)
- Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
- Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985)
- Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)
- Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)
- Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
- Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday (1993)
- Jason X (2002)
- Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
ScreamScream is the name of a horror/dark comedy film directed by Wes Craven and written by Dawson's Creek creator Kevin Williamson in 1996. The film revitalized the slasher film genre in the mid 1990s by introducing a somewhat standard concept (teens getting brutally killed off) with a tongue-in cheek approach. In the film, a teenage girl named Sydney (played by Neve Campbell) is approaching the anniversary of her mother's brutal rape and murder. At the same time, two teenagers at her school (including Drew Barrymore) have been eviscerated and killed. The next night, while at home alone, the killer, who calls his victims on the phone and taunts them before attacking, invades her house and attempts to kill her. He wears a Halloween costume remniscent of the painting "The Scream."
Sydney tries to sort through the trauma of being attacked and, because of circumstantial evidence, points an accusatory finger at her boyfriend Billy (played by Skeet Ulrich). She goes to stay at the home of her friend Tatum (played by Rose McGowan) and Tatum's brother Dewey (played by David Arquette), a local policeman. While there she receives a call from the killer, and since Billy couldn't have made the call from prison, he is released.
As if all of this weren't enough, Sydney must deal with the scandalization of her own attack by ambitious local television newswoman Gale Weather (played by Courteney Cox.) Gale is also responsible for a tell-all book revealing the promiscuous affair that Sydney's mother had with her convicted killer, Cotton Weary (played by Liev Schreiber.) When the school principal is murdered, some of the local students decide to throw a party. (Attending are all of the above mentioned teens plus Randy ((played by Jamie Kennedy,)) a horror movie buff, and Stu ((played by Matthew Lillard.)) ) The party quickly becomes a bloodbath as the killer invades, quickly dispatching of Billy and Tatum.
In the interim, Gale, who senses a potential major news story, is lurking around outside with the help of Officer Dewey (whom she has flirted into her confidence.) When they suspect trouble, they split up. Gale heads to her newsvan, where she finds her cameraman slaughtered. Suddenly being chased by the killer herself, she tears away in the newsvan only to crash into a tree.
Meanwhile, Sydney, who has discovered her murdered friends, is prowling around the outside of the house looking for help. When she finds none, she heads back to the front door only to find Dewey stabbed in the back. She heads inside the house and is confronted by both Randy and Stu. Not knowing who to trust, she slams the door in their faces. Suddenly Billy appears, bloodied but alive...until it is revealed that his attack was staged. Thus Sydney realizes the truth: Billy is the murderer. She opens the front door to warn her other two friends, and randy stumbles in only to be knocked unconscious by Billy. Then Stu appears, and the ultimate truth presents itself: they were working together.
It turns out that the two boys are actually responsible for the murder of Syndey's mother one year ago. Billy concocted the scheme when he discovered that Sydney's mom was having an affair with his father. They framed Cotton Weary, with whom she was also having an affair, and to add insult to injury have murdered everyone Sydney loves. They reveal that they have kidnapped her father and that they intend to frame him for all of the recent murders. However, they go overboard when they begin to slash at each other in an attempt to be wounded enough to claim that they "just escaped death" when Sydney's father attacked them. Sydney slips away, and manages to kill Stu.
At the last minute, Gale Weathers appears and Billy knocks the gun away from her because she forgot to take off the safety. Sidney retrieves the gun and blows Billy away. Shortly thereafter, Randy also regains consciousness, and the police arrive, reviving Deputy Dewey. Everyone else is dead. A huge amount of loss of life has lead to a revelation for young Sydney, who must now free the man she thought responsible for the death of her mother.
The film featured numerous in-jokes and references to other horror projects. (An example: a character references that the first "A Nightmare On Elm Street" film was good but "the rest of them sucked;" Scream director Wes Craven directed the first Elm Street film.) Also, the characters in Scream all make clear their awareness with teen slasher and horror films, which makes them unique in the way they deal with what happens to them. The film opened to huge critical acclaim and financial success, and spawned two sequels and a series of slasher movies (and spoofs), among them:
- I Know What You Did Last Summer
- I Still Know What You Did Last Summer
- Urban Legends
- Final Destination
- Scary Movie