Slasher Classic Versus Actually Scary

Nightmare on Elm Street and Hills Have Eyes

Timothy A Rowland
4 min readOct 14, 2020

Nostalgia Versus Actually Scary

Every Halloween; and even during other more neutral months, I love to watch the one movie I will forever call a “Classic.” That movie… is; Nightmare on Elm Street. I am talking about the original series of movies that came out in the 80’s and 90’s. In the years that they were released; they kept many children up at night and refusing to go to sleep. Many nightmares were had; the irony not escaping anyone, given the name of the movie franchise. These movies were scary! Even the predictable deaths in each movie, would still make you jump and have you looking around as you took your bathroom break and had to walk down the hallway of your own house. The effects and all out gore were groundbreaking in their day and considered impressive, though by today’s standards, they are far below the standard. Despite showing their age, and even though most of us know exactly what happens next, we still sit with our eyes glued for each scene. That is what makes it a classic. Besides, let’s face it; anything starring Robert England, is going to be creepy, if not downright scary. His portrayal of Freddy Kreuger in this franchise is easily just one of the reasons it went down in movie history and will forever be a classic.

Photo by Alex Iby on Unsplash

In terms of a slasher movie that still makes me uncomfortable and that I consider scary; even to this day? For that, I would have to go with the Hills Have Eyes series. The gore in the scenes and the sheer brutality certainly adds to the scary factor, but the aspect that is most frightening about this series; is that it could really happen. The antagonist isn’t a demon or fictional creature; it’s people. The “monsters” in these movies, are humans. Reality will always be more threatening and way scarier than fiction ever could be. Granted; it is highly unlikely that people who are inbred to that degree would survive long enough to become a threat, but you have to remember; the characters in that movie are actually based on real people. Don’t believe me? Do a simple Google search on, “The Sawney Bean Clan” and you will see the true story and people that this movie is based on. Reality brings a level of scary to this movie series that truly gets into your mind and your bones; and won’t let go.

Comparative Love of Both Scary Franchises

Both of these movie franchises had to be mentioned in equal respect. Nightmare on Elm street, as I said, holds up with the gore and creativity and still makes us jump and cringe on the couch. It is forever etched into scary movie history as a classic. The attempts at remakes didn’t work simply because the franchise cannot be re-created with the same horror and magic as the originals. However; the realism of Hills Have Eyes, is what terrifies viewers even more than watching the gore and jump scares on the screen. It is another level of terror when you know that similar things have happened and could happen again… all while you watch people getting torn apart, chopped up, eaten, and a vast array of horrifying fates.

Aside from the greatness and gore of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise; for many of us, it also brings back memories of being kids and watching it for the first time. It is a part of our childhood or teenage years that marked a love for horror films. We watched in a time when we were transitioning from little children into more maturing beings; while still being terrified by what was on the screen, but pretending that we were less scared than we were. In contrast; many of us watched Hills Have Eyes at a time when we were mature enough to know that what we were watching could happen; which was then amplified for those of us who researched and found out that it had in fact happened. These two movie franchises are equal measure the top of the best for me and millions of others. In fact; I’m off to begin my marathon of each franchise now. Thank you for reading and going down memory lane with me.



Timothy A Rowland

I’m an every day human Xennial living in the SE United States. I have many interest. For specific topics, check out each of my publications pinned on top post.