Scariest Elm Street Scene That Makes Modern Horrors Look Like a Joke

Scariest Elm Street Scene That Makes Modern Horrors Look Like a Joke
Image credit: Legion-Media

Wes Craven really did it best.

Have I mentioned how much I love all things autumnal? The chilly almost ethereal fog that enshrouds our mountain home, the smell of wood smoke drifting up from the slightly damp logs as they crackle and hiss, the screams of terror that pierce the air like the deadly silver bullet from werewolf lore. The screams I refer to are, of course, from frightened movie audiences during this, the spookiest of seasons.

While scrolling Reddit recently, I found a discussion about the iconic slasher film Nightmare on Elm Street. Judging by what people were saying, the 1984 movie debut of scarified serial killer and fedora aficionado Freddy Krueger still serves up heaping helpings of nightmare fuel.

Sleep, when a person is most vulnerable, is supposed to be a time of rest and renewal for mind and body, but that's not the case when Freddy is stalking and slicing his way through hellish dreamscapes. The consensus is that when it comes to the fright factor, it still stands up to newer films. Nearly four decades after its release, some fans admit they still have occasional nightmares.

The Midnight Club's Surprising Connection to A Nightmare on Elm Street

As with any other experience, the impact a movie has on the viewer depends on several variables. Age, environment, even time of day affect the viewer's response. While the age when viewers first watched the movie varied, the effects were very similar. One thing nearly everyone agreed on was which scene scared them more than any movie since.

The scene cited as the most nightmare-inducing takes place only thirteen (of course it's 13) minutes into the film. Characters Tina and her boyfriend Rod are slaughtered with Rod seeing his girlfriend dragged up the wall and dropped from the ceiling before being murdered himself. FX used so much "blood" in this gravity-defying death scene, there was an audible sploosh when Tina's stunt double landed.

Scariest Elm Street Scene That Makes Modern Horrors Look Like a Joke - image 1

Discussing their first time seeing this scene, a viewer wrote on Reddit:

"I've never been so scared in my life [...] the noises she made [...] legitimately sounds like she's being murdered. And then at the end she falls and there's so much blood that there's an actual frigging splash."

The cast and crew knew when they filmed the bloody scene, it had to be completed in one take. There was no budget to clean up the fake blood and start over. They built a replica of the bedroom that rotated so that the floor and ceiling were reversed. Director Wes Craven got the idea from an old Fred Astaire movie. It's so effective, it feels like the character really is traveling up the wall.

The reason so many horror fans list this as their favorite movie is because it works. If any single element (cast, crew, director, etc.) were changed, it might not. Wes Craven wanted to deliver thrills and chills. He worked hard at it and took it seriously, saying:

"When you have a name that means 'scares,' you better deliver."

He definitely accomplished that with Nightmare on Elm Street, with not only his own name but that of Freddy Krueger as well.