A Nightmare on Elm Street is a highly imaginative horror film that provides the requisite shocks to keep fans of the genre happy.
Young teenagers in a Los Angeles neighborhood are sharing common nightmares about being chased and killed by a disfigured bum in a slouch hat who has knives for fingernails. It turns out that years ago, the neighborhood’s parents took deadly vigilante action against a child murderer, who apparently is vengefully haunting their kids.
With original special effects, the nightmares are merging into reality, as teens are killed under inexplicable circumstances.
Writer-director Wes Craven tantalizingly merges dreams with the ensuing wakeup reality but fails to tie up his thematic threads satisfyingly at the conclusion.