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my first exposure to the nightmare on elm street series of films was not this one , but in fact the third installment ( it was the first to gain a national theatrical release ) .
i didn't see the first film until much later .
so looking back , the original didn't hold a lot of great memories for me , since i didn't think too much of it when i initially saw it .
watching it now for a second time confirmed that it's an overrated horror film that ultimately makes no sense whatsoever .
you all know the story by now : child murderer freddy krueger ( robert englund ) returns from the grave by haunting the dreams of the children of those who burned him alive years before .
this first installment does an adequate job with it's low budget , but there's some absurd dialogue and conceptual problems with the story .
plus the movie's ending ( understandably the result of the studio wanting the end of the film to have a " hook " for a sequel ) renders the rest of the film pointless .
and does anyone understand what happens to nancy's mother at the end of this film ?
don't get me wrong though . . .
it's not as if a new generation of horror films have spurned me away from the classics .
most horror movies released today are just as inane as this film is .
horror is a difficult genre to pull off credibly , and a nightmare on elm street just doesn't cut it .
a nightmare on elm street is available on dvd from new line home video .
it is available both as a single disc and as part of the nightmare on elm street collection box set .
the film is presented in both pan and scan and it's original theatrical aspect ratio of 1 . 78 : 1 ( although on the disc that comes in the box set , only a widescreen transfer is provided ) .
the film has been digitally remastered and includes two options for audio : a mono mix and a new dolby digital 5 . 1 mix .
also included on the dvd is a full-length audio commentary track with writer/director wes craven , stars john saxon and heather langenkamp , and the film's director of photography .
other extras include the " jump to a nightmare " feature ( i'm sure you can figure that one out ) , the usual cast and crew bios ( which are from the film's original press release kit , and notably leave out robert englund and johnny depp ! ) , and the film's original theatrical trailer .
some dvd-rom features are also included , but since i don't have dvd-rom capabilities i can't really get into that .
the commentary track is entertaining and informative , but nothing spectacular .
the first thing of note is that it's the same commentary track that was on the special edition laserdisc from a few years ago .
i'm not saying that's a negative thing , just pointing it out .
everyone seems enthusiastic about being there , with the possible exception of john saxon , who just doesn't say much at all .
most of the time you'll forget he's even there .
everyone else talks really quietly though for some reason , as if because they're commenting on a scary movie that they need to stay as quiet as possible .
the bonus disc with the boxed set called the nightmare series encyclopedia features about 45 minutes worth of interviews relating to the first film of the series .
also included is the original theatrical trailer and two alternate endings to the film . . .
however you can only access one easily .
the other is hidden in what's called " the labyrinth " , which might possibly be the most annoying feature of a dvd ever created .
basically , it's an interactive game of sorts where you wander through different nightmare locations looking at objects which give you access to extra little snippets of footage , interviews , etc . somewhere in the labyrinth is the second alternate ending to the film .
finding it though is both a chore and a bore .