Monday, May 3, 2010

Breaking Down A Nightmare

Because I didn’t have time to do it yesterday I want to take the opportunity to talk about one of the most famous scenes out of the entire Nightmare On Elm Street series and my personal favorite scene from the original movie. The picture about is the scene that I am talking about and I am sure most of you will agree that it truly is a memorable part of the film. In this scene, Nancy is fast asleep while Freddy peers down at her from ceiling and she is unaware that he is watching over her as she blissfully slumbers away. Knowing what I know about the aesthetics of filmmaking I want to break down this scene or photo and explain why I love it.

First off, let’s look at the action of what’s going on here. Nancy is peacefully asleep in her bed and she looks cozy and completely innocent. In fact, her posture, her facial expression and the way she is positioned in bed give it this sweet and harmonious look to it. This is the kind of look that we normally think of when we think of sleep and I always told my friends and classmates that she looks like she could be the poster child for Lunesta because it’s true.

Above Nancy we see Freddy. What frightened about this scene was the way the he makes his appearance; rather than coming in from the side or just appearing out of the blue, he slowly and quietly pushes his face and hands out from the ceiling and peers over her. As a kid I always hat the creepy feeling that if I looked up on my ceiling that I would see somebody looking down at me and this was like my nightmare come true. The way that he is looking down at her gives us that feeling that he is now in her head, that he know has her where he wants her and it sets up for the rest of the movie. He doesn’t do anything; he just says there and waits for her first move. Even the fact that the ceiling is forming around him gives the audience this feeling that he is part of her world now… the he can come out of anything and attack her.

This is my favorite part of the scene because it brings everything together and that’s the lighting. We already established that Nancy (at the bottom) is sleeping rather comfortably and that Freddy (at the top) is watching over her as though he is getting to know her better for an attack. The lightening focuses on these two subjects whereas everything else in the room is darkened, and you can still see what’s in the room but it’s barely visible. I like this because it brings a surreal quality to the scene and heightens the dream-like world that is surrounding them. It’s almost as though Freddy has infiltrated her dreams and she is unaware of it.

As you can tell by my ramblings that this scene is very close to my heart but funnily enough, it didn’t have the strength for me to remember what time of the day it was when I saw it or a vivid memory of me being terrified from it. No, this scene scared me but it was more of a silent reaction; I just sat their watching in awe as the scene carried out rather than closing my eyes and screaming. As far as I am concerned, it’s one of the most famous scenes in the slasher genre if not the Nightmare on Elm Street series.


Anonymous said...

Very creepy scene. Probably my favorite in the entire movie followed closely by the glove in the bathtub. This scene looked bad in the new remake. It's funny to know all you need is a wall made out of spandex to create that terrifying scene rather than some CGI. I am not a fan of CGI in horror films.

-Mr__Chainsaw (twitter)

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