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A Nightmare on Elm Street / Gremlins / Phenomena

Reed Rothchild


Which ones have you seen?  

11 members have voted

  1. 1. Which ones have you seen?

    • A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
    • Gremlins (1984)
    • Phenomena (1985)
    • None of the above

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1985)

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) - IMDb

Teenager Nancy Thompson must uncover the dark truth concealed by her parents after she and her friends become targets of the spirit of a serial killer with a bladed glove in their dreams, in which if they die, it kills them in real life.

Take away the pop culture infamy, and millions of sequels, and what do you have?  Just Wes Craven's greatest movie, with one of the 1980's greatest horror villains.

I mean, what an ingenious concept.  A horribly burned child-serial killer who haunts and kills the children of the mob who brought him to vigilante justice.  In their dreams.  It opens up unlimited possibilities, and some truly creepy scenes.

Of course the sequels leaned hard into the campier elements of the film, to increasingly terrible results in my opinion (New Nightmare is alright though).  And the endless parodies and imitations did their best to remove any of the franchise's remaining bite.  But the original, much like Halloween, still stands strong on it's own.

And that fake-out ending?  Classic.

Gremlins (1984)


A young man inadvertently breaks three important rules concerning his new pet and unleashes a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters on a small town.

The second Spielberg movie that's not a Spielberg movie.  But you can tell it has his fingerprints all over it.  Joe Dante did a lot of good work.  But it wasn't usually this good.

Is this a horror film?  I say it is.  The cocooned Mogwai scared the shit out of as a kid, as did some of the parts later in the movie: especially the pool scene, and the shot where the gremlins are running around in the dark.  That's all I needed to make a judgement call.

Or how about Phoebe Cates' now famous monologue about her dad?  I mean Jesus H Christ!  Imagine a "family" movie trying to pull that off nowadays?  It would cause a firestorm of controversy.

Many people argue that the 2nd movie is even better than the original (it very well may be), but I consider that one to be even less of a horror movie than this, so it won't be included.

Phenomena (1985)

Creepers / video / UK

A young girl who has an amazing ability to communicate with insects is transferred to an exclusive Swiss boarding school, where her unusual capability might help solve a string of murders.

The third and final Dario Argento film on my list.

This one is the most batshit insane of them all.

  • Jennifer Connelly (who I have always had a massive Hollywood crush on), as the teenager who can communicate telepathically with insects.  Yes, you read that right.
  • The private school that is besieged with a series of murders.  Sound familiar?
  • The chimp with the straight razor.
  • The killer.  Don't look it up.
  • Donald Pleasance.
  • Iron Maiden's Flash of the Blade.  Yep.

Need I say more?  You should already be sold on watching this.  Some people might think I should have omitted this for Tenebrae, or Opera, or one of the early Argento films.  But I had to include this.  It's too much fun.

1 Comment

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I agree with including Gremlins.  It is another movie I saw really young, and parts of it creeped me out / scared me big time!

As I got older, watched it several times and it is definitely silly, even comical.  But it's a classic!

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