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A Nightmare on Elm Street

This ambitious low-budget horror flick by Wes Craven about a wisecracking psycho stalking and killing teenagers within their dreams has become something of a cultural institution since its release in 1984. Breaking the traditional slasher-film formula, Craven eschewed the campy sexiness of previous genre successes, but more importantly gave his madman personality. As a result, Freddy Krueger has become a worldwide icon of terror. Unfortunately, Nightmare doesn't quite live up to its reputation, too often hampered by bad acting, dialogue, and erratic special effects. Still, Craven's ingenuity puts it a head above its contemporaries. Fans of Nightmare will love this new disc, especially if they have access to a DVD-ROM drive. The film can be watched in either 1.85 anamorphic widescreen or pan-and-scan, and with either the original 2.0 mono soundtrack or a 5.1 Dolby Digital re-mix. The commentary by Craven, actors Heather Langenkamp and John Saxon, and cinematographer Haitkin is a plus, but the DVD-ROM content provides a plug-in-heavy array of Freddy-themed games, Flash animations, and web links, as well as an interactive version of the screenplay. A great package. Keep case.

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