In 1994 A Nightmare on Elm Street was 10 years old and I was 9. The local video shop allowed underage kids to rent out 15 & 18 certificate films as long as we ‘had a note’ from our parents.
In short they generally didn’t care who they rented what to as long as they got their money and you returned it on time.
My primary school best friend, Sarah, and I would always go to the video store and rent out various films. We didn’t really have to worry too much about the 15s or 18s as we had older siblings who would rent them out anyway. I do remember looking at all the video covers in the horror section and being really intrigued by them, especially Cape Fear. I’m not sure why, but I do specifically remember seeing that video cover and really wanting to watch it.
This was the year my interest in horror was peaked and was the start of what makes me who I am now.
1, 2 Freddy’s coming for you..
Things I remember about 1994 : Sarah and I LOVED Aladdin, we had the videos and toys and knew all the words. We listened to boy bands, I was still wearing dresses (just), Saved by the bell and California dreaming were THE best things we could ask for, we had slumber parties, went to the shop with £1 and came back with ice poles, sweets, pop and change, I was reading the Beano and Dandy comics religiously every week and we had the opportunity to watch A Nightmare on Elm Street.
The opportunity arose because – if I remember correctly – Sarah’s older sister’s friend had rented the film from the video store about a year before and didn’t return it (naughty naughty, but yay for us). Sarah’s sister borrowed it (and I don’t think ever returned it to the friend who never returned it to the video store) and we decided one sleep over night to watch it.
I don’t remember the exact first time watching the film, but I know we watched it ALOT over the next couple of years. I remember not being particularly scared watching it, but afterwards moments would come when I would walk home in the dark for instance, and I would get a sudden fear that Freddy was round the corner, waiting to drag me to his boiler room or to chase me with his extending arms down an alley way.
3, 4 Better lock your door..
Those are the moments I remember being scared, but I couldn’t get enough of the film. Around the same time we also watched IT, Candyman and Hellraiser and played the Atmosfear video boardgames.
We also pretended to do successful séances (of course they were pretend, like Elvis didn’t have anything better to do than go and see a bunch of 10 year old girls high on sugar and bullshit and excited from just watching the latest Saved by the Bell episode, in Ipswich just to knock and orange around on the floor), tell scary stories and of course we had to dare each other to look in a mirror and say Candyman 5 times.
The seed of my love for horror was planted and was blossoming wonderfully. I am proud to say that A Nightmare on Elm Street was the first 18 film I saw and I still hold it in my top 5 favourite horror films.
In 2006 Matt and I went backpacking around America and I discovered the world of Spencer’s store at Halloween! Well, what I saw I had to buy. An official Freddy sweater. Boom. Mine now!
5, 6 Get a crucifix
In 2010 Heather Langenkamp was at Collectormania, I can’t remember why but Matt or I couldn’t go, but our faithful pal and convention buddy Scott, was going. We gave him the money and he got us a signed picture from Heather.
It was also around this time that the Never Sleep Again documentary was going to be released on DVD. We had it pre-ordered and it came with a signed poster from Heather too.
So, we haven’t met her, but do have her autograph twice – maybe one day we will!
London Film and Comic Con 2011 and Robert Englund is announced. Stop. The. World. I have to meet him. Tickets bought and day arrives. As I get closer to the front of the photoshoot queue I see he has his glove and is posing with it with people. EXCITED.
But there was one thing I wanted, one thing I just wanted to ask ‘can I have a hug’. So I ask, and I get a hug. Yes, that’s right I got a Krueger cuddle! I love this picture and having seen the way he interacts with his fans at cons I cannot recommend highly enough that if you get a chance to meet him, you should.
2014 I went as Freddy Krueger for a Halloween party, I had the official sweater, I had a greeny/brown trilby and Scott had the official NECA replica glove that he lovingly lent me that night.
7, 8 Gonna stay up late..
Christmas 2019 & Matt super surprises me with my very own official NECA glove – which is AMAZING. As it turns out, we do actually have quite a bit of Nightmare on Elm Street merchandise not already mentioned; the Bishoujo (pictured earlier on in the blog – one of my favourite statue ranges), a couple of T Shirts and large original posters. Matt has a personalised signed picture from Robert Englund that my brother bought him online one Christmas.
9, 10 Never sleep again..
I have seen the rest of the franchise and sure some are better than others but they are all fun and entertaining and I love ’em.
Watching a Nightmare on Elm Street 25 years ago most certainly was the start of the beautiful relationship I have had since with horror films, especially 70s/80s slasher flicks.
Can you remember when you first saw A Nightmare on Elm Street? What about your first horror film? How did it impact on your adult life?
Stay strong everyone.
Love, Ray x