A Nightmare On Elm Street is quite rightly revered as a classic, both in the annuls of horror movies and as a major influence on the slasher subgenre. Such is the familiarity it has among fans that it can be difficult to find anything different with it, but a new video has managed an innovative way to do so.
In The Margins of Elm Street is a three-minute edit of the story, containing all of the film’s footage that has no human characters in the shot. Conceptually, it’s a highly bizarre idea that makes you wonder what would inspire someone to create it, but whatever the reason, it actually works really well.
Not unlike the mismatched flow of dream logic that drives the action, it jumps from imagery like blood streaked and pooled on the floor and splattered on walls, to exteriors of the titular neighborhood, dark alleys, the key location of the school boiler room, and the memorable shot of a fountain of gore that erupts from a bed after Glen (Johnny Depp) is devoured by it, all tied together with the sinister oppression of an ‘80s synth score.
The video is a creation of Hungry Creature Productions, a small collective of film industry professionals who collaborate to produce various series about movies. The Margins series, in particular, has previously given a similar treatment to the likes of Halloween, Candyman, the original 1974 Black Christmas, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse, with the latter demonstrating that it’s not just horror films that can be transformed into visual mood pieces by removing all their people.
After A Nightmare On Elm Street’s release in 1984, it spawned a sprawling franchise that increasingly focused on its iconic villain, at times to the detriment of actually making a decent movie, but this video demonstrates that even when isolated, the atmosphere evoked by incidental shots can be just as important.