A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET
1A. INT. (MONTAGE). 1A.
NIGHTMARE MUSIC THEME begins as we FADE UP on a SERIES OF SHOTS,
all CLOSE and teasing.
— A man’s FEET, in shabby work shoes, stalking
through a junk bin in a dark, fire-lit, ash-
dusted place. A huge BOILER ROOM is what it
is, although we only glimpse it piecemeal.
Then we SEE a MAN’S HAND, dirty and nail-bitten,
reach INTO FRAME and pick up a piece of METAL.
— ANOTHER ANGLE as the HAND grabs a grimey
WORKGLOVE and slashes at it with a straight
razor, until its fingertips are off.
— CLOSE ON SAME HANDS dumping four fishing knives
out of a filthy bag. Their blades are thin,
curved, gleaming sharp.
— MORE ANGLES, EVEN CLOSER. We can HEAR the MAN’s
wheezing BREATHING, but we still haven’t seen
his face. We never will. We just SEE more metal
being assembled with crude tools, into some sort
of linkage — a splayed, spidery sort of apparatus,
against a background light of FIRE, and a deep
rushing of STEAM and HEAVY, DARK ENERGY.
— And then we see this linkage attached to the glove.
— Then the BLADES attached to all of it.
— Then the MAN’S HAND slips into this glove-like
apparatus, filling it out and transforming
it into an awesome, deadly claw-hand with
four razor/talons gleaming at its blackened
fingertips. Suddenly the HAND arches and STRIKES
FORWARD, SLASHING THROUGH a DARK CANVAS, tearing
it to shreds.
1. EXT. LOS ANGELES. NIGHT. (2nd Unit) 1.
A PULSATION OF LIGHT AND SHADOW. MUSIC DROPS AWAY to a hushed
RUSHING OF WIND and DISTANT SIRENS. CAMERA RACKS INTO FOCUS on a
HIGH PANORAMA of the San Fernando Valley, its night sky lit from
within by a strange GREENISH LIGHT. TITLES BEGIN.
CAMERA TILTS DOWN and ZOOMS SWIFTLY into the valley’s web of
2. INT. CONCRETE PASSAGEWAY. 2.
TITLES CONTINUE as TINA GRAY, a strong girl of fifteen in a thin
night shift, moves towards us down a dark concrete corridor. Her
steps quicken as TITLES appear in the portion of frame she leaves
A subliminal COLLAGE of SOUND threads in and out of the MUSIC.
Distant insane LAUGHTER. Slamming iron DOORS. A bleating animal
CRY. A LAMB, white and blank-faced, skitters across her path and
on into the dark. No reason why it’s there.
Then another SOUND, much nearer — the slithering SCRAPE of
something like fingernails across slate. It sets our teeth on
edge, twists the MUSIC, and sends TINA running.
3. INT. BOILER ROOM. 3.
Suddenly TINA’s a tiny figure running among huge boilers steam
pipes and catwalks — a shadowed forest of iron and stone. She
stops, listening intently as the SOUND of tiny hooves suddenly
turns into the rattle of DISTANT RAIN.
Then she hears RIPPING FABRIC.
Someone is shouldering behind a ragged screen of dirty canvas,
CLOSER ON THE CANVAS. The long curved fingerblades suddenly
punch through, flashing in the firelight, and begin ripping
through the thick fabric, as easily as scalpels through flesh.
They make a hideous, extended RIPPING SOUND.
TINA rushes away, hands over her ears.
ANOTHER ANGLE — as the blinded girl stumbles backwards. Then
the canvas flaps free. The blades are gone. The TITLES END, and
everything goes silent.
CAMERA CIRCLES until TINA’s looking right into our eyes. The
light from a nearby boiler pours through her thin night dress,
leaving her naked and vulnerable. Then a deep, ragged VOICE
whispers at her as CAMERA CLOSES IN ON HER FACE.
One two, Freddie’s coming for
TINA opens her mouth to scream but only a dry, yellow dust pours
out. And at that precise moment a huge shadowy MAN with a grimey
red and yellow sweater and a weird hat pulled over his scarred
face lunges at her. And it’s his fingers that are tipped with
the long blades of steel, glinting in the boney light and giving
the hulk the look of an otherworldly predator.
TINA dodges away, her legs suddenly elephantine and slow. The
MAN seizes the trailing hem of her nightgown and hauls her back.
The MUSIC shrieks as TINA manages to tear free — the MAN lurches
after her with a hoarse SHOUT as we —
SMASH CUT TO:
4. INT. TINA’S BEDROOM. NIGHT. 4.
TINA convulses in bed with a SCREAM, looking around wildly.
Someone is KNOCKING on her door.
WOMAN’S VOICE (O.S.)
You okay, Tina?
TINA’S MOTHER sticks her head in with a worried look. TINA sits
up and blows out a breath, groggy.
Just a dream, Ma…
(more to herself)
Damn dream, is all…
The woman, once attractive, ventures a step into the room. A MAN
hovers BACKGROUND. TINA’S mother waves him away without looking,
shoving a strand of bleached hair from her eyes. She appraises
Some dream, judging from that.
She nods at TINA’s nightshift.
TINA looks down at her nightgown, only now aware of the chill
penetrating it from the room. There are four long slashes up its
middle, cleanly cut as if by scalpels.
You coming back to the sack or
Hold your horses.
(lower, to Tina as she
stands to leave)
You gotta cut your nails or stop
that kind of dreaming, Tina. One
or the other.
The woman shuts the door behind her. TINA looks back to her
She suddenly snatches up the cross that hangs over her head, her
face white as her sheet.
FADE TO BLACK
5. THE FIRST DAY 5.
One two, Freddie’s coming for you…
Three four better lock your door
Five six grab your crucifix…
6. EXT. HIGH SCHOOL. DAY. 6.
FADE UP ON SHOT OF this large highschool and its crowds of
STUDENTS. FOREGROUND, TINA climbs out of a cherry-red 1959
Cadillac convertible with two other students, best friend NANCY
WILSON, and Nancy’s boyfriend and owner of the car, GLEN LANTZ.
FOREGROUND several GRADESCHOOLERS are playing jump-rope, and the
old ditty they sing continues unbroken from TINA’s bedroom.
Seven eight, gonna stay up late!
Nine ten — never sleep again!
7. MOVING ANGLE FAVORING NANCY. She’s a pretty girl in a letter 7.
sweater, with an easy, athletic stride and the look of a natural
leader. GLEN, holding her hand, wears one of the school’s
football jerseys; a good-natured, bright kid. Tina’s in
(referring to kids’ song)
That’s what it reminded me of —
that old jump rope song.
Worst nightmare I ever had.
You wouldn’t believe it.
Matter of fact I had a bad dream
last night myself…
TINA turns to NANCY, but before either can say more, ROD LANE, a
lean, Richard Gere sort in black leather and New Wave studs joins
up with them and interupts.
Had a hardon this morning when
I woke up, Tina. Had your name
written all over it.
Tina cracks her gum with a look of withering indifference.
There’s four letters in my name,
Rod. How could there be room
on your joint for four letters?
The guy’s stopped in his tracks.
Hey, up yours with a twirling lawn
He cuts off across the lawn.
Rod says the sweetest things.
He’s nuts about you.
TINA makes a face and rakes her fingernails across a tree as she
Anyway, I’m too tired to worry
about the creep. Couldn’t get
back to sleep at all.
So what you dream?
Forget it, the point is, every-
body has nightmares once in a while.
Next time you have one, just
tell yourself that’s just all
it is, right while you’re having
it, y’know? That’s the trick.
Once you do that, you wake right
up. At least it works for me.
TINA looks at GLEN sharply. He kisses NANCY and darts off for
Hey! You have a nightmare too?
But GLEN’s gone.
Maybe we’re gonna have the Big
Earthquake. They say things get
weird just before that…
BELLS ARE RINGING, and STUDENTS crowding; TINA and NANCY are
drawn into the crush.
FADE TO BLACK
8. EXT. A VALLEY STREET. NIGHT. 8.
ANGLE ON A MODEST HOME; no car, just a couple of BIKES in the
drive. Every light in the house and yard is turned on. We HEAR
the rock group MADNESS played at a ‘No adults home’ volume.
9. INT. TINA’S LIVING ROOM. NIGHT. 9.
ON GLEN, dialing. Nancy and TINA are watching, giggling.
I can’t believe his mother let him
come over here.
Right. Well, she didn’t, exactly…
GLEN shoves a cassette into TINA’s Ghetto Blaster.
See, I got this cousin who lives
near the airport, that it’s okay
for me to stay with, right? So I
found this sound effects tape at
Licorice Pizza, and…
The phone is answered. GLEN jerks the tone arm off the record
with a SCRUUPT!!
(pushes the ‘play’ button)
Yeah, out here at Barry’s.
A JET PLANE begins to make itself heard on the tape. GLEN moves
the machine closer to the phone. It’s a big plane — sounds like
a 747 coming in for a landing.
Huh? Yeah, noisy as usual. Glad
we don’t live here — huh? Yeah,
Aunt Eunice says hello.
The Jet is SCREAMING IN now, full flaps and howling like a
monstrous banshee. NANCY and TINA dissolve into muffled
(shouting over the din)
Right, right — I’ll call you in the
morning! Right! Huh? Yeah, sure,
Suddenly the tape goes silent. GLEN blanches. Next moment
another ENGINE is heard, but this one is a FORD LOTUS screaming
by at 180 mph.
(reacting to his mother’s
Uh… some kid’s drag racing
outside, I think…
The sound effect changes abruptly to a SPEEDING SEDAN — and the
ages-old SCREECH of BRAKES, last-second SCREAM and horrible
COLLISION. NANCY gamely tries to find the right button to turn
it off, but misses. There’s a loud SCREEK of fast-forward mayhem
— Glen improvises desperately.
Listen, Mom, I got to go — I
think there’s been an accident out
front — I —
NANCY jumps back from the cassette player — WORLD WAR II bursts
out at top volume — MACHINE GUNS, HAND GRENADES, DIVING BEARCATS
and SHOUTS of charging Huns. GLEN makes a last-ditch dive and
flings the cassette out of the machine.
Blessed silence at last.
Right. I’ll call the police. No,
just some neighbors having a fight,
I guess. I’m fine, I’m fine!
Call you in the morning!
He hangs up and sags back.
Worked like a charm.
TINA shoves another cassette in, and MICHAEL JACKSON’S ‘THRILLER’
blasts from the STEREO. The kids relax, the CAMERA GLIDES PAST
THEM TO THE WINDOW.
The WIND is moving the bare TREE BRANCH outside. CAMERA PANS
BACK to the comfortably threadbare room, uneasy. We see NANCY
poking at a flame in the hearth as TINA comes FOREGROUND to draw
Nice to have a fire.
Really. Turn ‘er up a little.
NANCY turns a nearby valve handle, and the gas fire climbs
brightly over its artificial log. TINA joins her, heartened.
Maybe we should call Rod, have him
come over too. He might get jealous.
Rod and I are done. He’s too much
of a maniac.
He should join the Marines, they
could make something out of him.
Like a hand grenade.
TINA laughs despite herself. NANCY brightens.
See? You’ve forgotten the bad
dream. Didn’t I tell you?
TINA shakes her head, wishing she had forgotten.
All day long I been seeing that
guy’s weird face, and hearing
NANCY looks up with a flinch.
That’s amazing, you saying that.
It made me remember the dream I
had last night.
TINA looks up.
What you dream?
I dreamed about this guy in a
dirty red and yellow sweater;
I dream in color, y’know; he
walked into the room I was in,
right, right through the wall,
like it was smoke or something,
and just stared at me. Sort of
…obscenely. Then he walked
out through the wall on the
other side. Like he’d just
come to check me out…
The story has left the room deathly quiet. Especially TINA seems
So what about the fingernails?
NANCY remembers, imitating the frightful coincidence.
He scraped his fingernails
along things — actually, they
were more like fingerknives or
something, like he’d made them
himself? Anyway, they made
this horrible nose —
Nancy. You dreamed about the
same creep I did, Nancy…
The girls stare at each other.
They look at him. He looks away, as if suddenly listening.
There’s somebody out there,
I didn’t hear anything…
Then there’s an unmistakeable SOUND. A distinct SCRAPING against
the house, just outside the window. Something multiple, thin and
sharp. Something like metal fingernails. NANCY’s mouth opens a
fraction of an inch.
10. EXT. FRONT OF HOUSE. NIGHT. 10.
CLOSE ON FRONT DOOR as a BOLT UNLOCKS, a KEY TURNS, a CHAIN is
REMOVED. At last the door swings open and GLEN swaggers out.
I’m gonna punch out your ugly
lights, whoever you are.
No answer but a slight RUSTLE in the bushes. GLEN does a 180 and
walks right back inside. The girls prod him right back out,
giddy with giggling fear.
It’s just a stupid cat.
Then bring us back its tail
The girls push him farther. GLEN edges towards the shadows.
Then the SCRITCHING again. GLEN stops; TINA edges back into the
Anyway, I don’t have a cat…
ANGLE INTO THE SHADOWS. Turned from the girls, GLEN sobers,
listening. IN HIS POV we see the street. Silent houses.
Motionless trees on empty lawns.
Kitty-kitty? Chow chow chow?
Not a living, or dead, soul. GLEN turns back to the girls with a
shrug. Instantly, a large FIGURE pounces and throws him to the
ground with a shout.
The girls SCREAM in panic and run for the house.
11. REVERSE — ROD leaps up and shouts like a sportscaster — 11.
And it’s number thirty-six, Rod
Lane, bringing Lantz down just
three yards from the goal with a
brilliant tackle! And the fans
ROD dances into the light, flashing a wild gypsy’s grin at TINA.
The girl’s relieved and frightened at the same time.
What the hell you doing here?
Came to make up, no big deal.
Your ma home?
Of course. What’s that?
ROD takes the spindly hand rake he’s found and scraps the house’s
wall. It makes a terrible SCRIIITCHING SOUND. He grins and
tosses it aside.
(sizes up the three)
So what’s happening, an orgy or
Maybe a funeral, you d*ckhead.
ROD wheels, a knife suddenly in his hand, as if ready to take
Glen’s throat out. NANCY breaks between —
— Just a sleep-over date, Rod.
Just Tina and me. Glen was just
ROD eyes GLEN, laughs and flips the knife closed and away,
putting his arm around TINA’s shoulder and laughing as if it’s
all a great joke.
You see his face?
Your ma ain’t home, is she?
(to Nancy & Glen)
Me and Tina got stuff to discuss.
He pulls TINA inside without further ceremony.
But ROD’s already got himself and TINA halfway through the living
room, heading into the darker part of the house.
We got her mother’s bed.
You two got the rest.
ANGLE BACK ON GLEN AND NANCY.
We should get her out of here…
TINA darts to the front door, her blouse half out.
Hey — you guys’re hanging around —
Don’t leave me alone with this
lunatic — Pleeeeze, NANCY!
She disappears. GLEN looks at NANCY. Too innocent.
So we’ll guard her together.
Through the night.
In each others’ arms like
we always said.
Glen. Not now. I mean,
we’re here for Tina now,
not for ourselves.
She kisses him lightly, then pushes him back.
Why’s she so bothered by a
stupid nightmare, anyway?
Because he was scary, that’s
Who was scary?
NANCY turns and looks at him.
Don’t you think it’s weird, her
and me dreaming about the same
(GLEN looks away;
NANCY stares closer)
You didn’t have a bad dream
last night, did you?
GLEN gives her a funny look.
Me? I don’t dream.
He takes her inside. Over the SOUNDS of locks falling shut we
FADE TO BLACK
13. INT. TINA’S LIVING ROOM. NIGHT. 13.
FADE UP ON an old 50’s CLOCK, one of those set into the black
plaster body of a stalking panther. It’s just past 2 AM.
PAN the cold hearth and darkened living room to REVEAL GLEN on
the couch, cacooned in sheets. He’s listening miserably to the
SOUNDS OF LOVEMAKING coming from the next room. TINA peaks, ROD
howls. Then silence.
14. INT. TINA’S MOTHER’S BEDROOM. NIGHT. 14.
This is a slightly larger room than TINA’s. Adult. Female.
Spare in its appointments. The streetlight throws the narrow bed
into broken shadow and light. TINA AND ROD lie in each other’s
arms in the middle of the big bed. Satiated.
I knew there was sometihng
about you I liked…
ROD yawns into the pillows, happy.
You feel better now, right?
Jungle man fix Jane.
No more fights?
No more fights.
Good. No more nightmares for
either of us then.
He pulls the covers over his head. He’s almost out already.
When did you have a nightmare?
(under the blankets)
Guys can have nightmares too,
y’know. You ain’t got a corner
on the f*cking market or something.
He rolls over, practically snoring, and pulls another cover over
his head. A dirty red and yellow cover.
Where’d you get this snotty old
SNORES from ROD. TINA yawns, turns off the light and snuggles
against ROD, pulling the cover gingerly over herself, too.
15. INT. TINA’S BEDROOM. NIGHT 15.
CAMERA MOVES across the room of the original nightmare to find
NANCY alone in TINA’s bed, staring at the slanting ceiling above
the bed. Thinking. We can just hear her HEART beating. She
sighs and turns on her side.
Immediately the wall above her head turns a faint reddish hue,
with a broad yellow smear across its center. All unseen by
NANCY, the wall begins to pulse in exact time with her heart’s
CLOSE ON NANCY’S FACE. She closes her eyes.
ANGLE BACK UP ON THE CEILING JUST ABOVE HER HEAD. SOMETHING
presses against the surface from the inside. The plaster buldges
out as if suddenly elastic, taking the shape of the thing
pressing from inside — taking the shape of a man’s face. The
face opens its mouth. The knives rake through the surface.
ANGLE ON NANCY — as plaster dust snows down on her.
She jerks awake, sitting bolt upright. The face retracts
suddenly — the wall is normal.
ANGLE DOWN ON NANCY as she looks up to the ceiling, touching her
hair and feeling the plaster dust.
REVERSE IN HER POV TO THE CEILING. There are three parallel cuts
in the plaster there. About eight inches long. As if cut by
sharp knives. Nothing else.
Back on NANCY. She draws the covers around her and shivers.
Eyes wide open.
16. EXT. TINA’S HOUSE. NIGHT. 16.
Not a car or person in sight. A stricken breeze dies in the
17. ZOOM IN on the window of the room where TINA sleeps. By the time 17.
we’re FULL IN CLOSE on it, the air is again still as death. A
moment later a PEBBLE bounces off the pane. The NIGHTMARE THEME
appears in the lower registers and holds its breath.
Another PEBBLE strikes, with a sharper RAP.
18. INT. TINA’S MOTHER’S BEDROOM. NIGHT. 18.
CLOSE ON TINA’S FACE as her eyes open.
19. REVERSE IN HER POV. Another PEBBLE clatters off the glass. 19.
20. TINA raises slowly. 20.
SNORES FROM ROD. TINA sits up.
PAST HER TO THE WINDOW. The WIND MOVES AGAIN; the trees brush
the window with their shadows. Then another pebble. RAP! TINA
slips to the window.
21. EXT. TINA’S BACKYARD. NIGHT. 21.
She looks out on an old yard with a patch of bananna trees
rattling in the Santa Ana winds. It seems deserted, though the
welling dark won’t let her be sure. Then another pebble — PAP!
— hitting with a sharp RACK FOCUS.
22. A LOW ANGLE TO WINDOW as TINA jumps back, startled. She hadn’t 22.
seen that one coming. But she’s drawn back to the glass out of
curiousity, straining to see in the dark. It’s as if the stones
are materializing out of thin air.
23. INT. TINA’S MOTHER’S ROOM. NIGHT. 23.
WHAP! This time a heavier stone, and a thin crack bristles
across the glass.
Who the f*ck you think you are,
whoever you are?
24. EXT. TINA’S BACK YARD. NIGHT. 24.
WIDE ANGLE ON THE REAR OF THE HOUSE. A LIGHT COMES ON. TINA
appears in the doorway.
She can see through the backward to a yawning gate and the back
alley. No one there. But a word is spoken, as if by wind.
TINA straightens, unable to swallow. There’s a ragged, obscene
GIGGLE. Deep in the throat. Phlegmy.
Who the hell is that?
TINA charges across the yard and through the gate, the MUSIC
25. EXT. A SERVICE ALLEY. NIGHT. 25.
She brakes in the middle of the alley and whirls around.
Listening. Shivering in the same thin slashed nightgown.
A sharp crank of METAL, and fifty feet down the alley the lid of
an ash can rolls from the dark like a huge tin coin and spirals
26. LOW REVERSE ACROSS LID TO TINA. Despite herself she comes over 26.
and touches it. She comes up with long worms on her fingers.
Next moment the exact same shambling MAN from her nightmare
staggers into view fifty feet behind her. TINA falls back into
the shadows, shaking the worms off her fingers in repulsion. The
MAN turns and starts directly for her, something shining on his
right hand as he spreads his arms wide. He starts scraping the
steel FINGERNAILS along a cinderblock wall. Orange sparks spurt
out — his arms elongate until they reach from one side of the
alley to the other — and TINA is cut off from her home!
CLOSE ON HER as the SCRAPING of the blades gets louder and
closer. She begins to shake uncontrollably.
Oh, sh*t, please God…
This is God…
He holds up his steel-tipped hand like a surgical-steel spider.
TINA runs for her life.
27. WIDER ANGLE IN THE ALLEY — a terrifying, all-out footrace 27.
between the girl and her pursuer. The MAN is fast; the distance
between them closes with each heartbeat. TINA overturns ashcans
— claws her way through a rotten back fence, hammers against a
window. Ashen FACES appear, recoil, pull curtains closed and
disappear in fright.
28. EXT. TINA’S STREET. NIGHT. 28.
TINA runs out onto front lawns, SCREAMING for help. No help
comes. In fact, the only response is for all the porch lights on
the block to be turned off. The MAN roars out from behind a tree
— a tree too narrow to have hidden him — nearly upon the girl!
TINA runs in panic — at last making her own home, only to be
trapped against its locked front door.
She hammers against its thick wood.
Nancy! Open the door — Nancy!
The MAN slows. He has TINA now and knows it.
She’s still awake. Nancy can’t
TINA turns and looks full at the approaching MAN. Smudged by
deep shadow, he’s big and hideous. He wears the same dirty
yellow sweater from the first nightmare — from the wall-hanging
and blanket too — and has the same sagging hat and leering grin
over his misshapen face. And on his fingers are the steel
29. CLOSE ON HIM as he takes the blade on the end of his right index 29.
finger and lopes off one of the fingers of his left hand. Then
another. We SEE the PIECES OF FINGERS fall past TINA’S face in
ANGLE ON THE GROUND of the FINGERS squirming on the ground, one
flopping onto TINA’s naked foot.
TINA leaps back, sickened, and begins stamping on then as if they
were huge bugs.
The MAN snaps up his arm and the FINGERS fly back into place on
his hand. He leers at TINA — then suddenly lunges at her,
sweeping with his cutting hand!
TINA’s no weak sister — blocks his arm, deflecting the spines,
and grabs the MAN’s ugly face with her other hand. But the face
only slides off to the bone. The MAN presses in, and TINA
contorts in horror as the knives slash across her shoulder —
cutting her deeply.
29A. TINA staggers backward, GROANING, her foot now inexplicably 29A.
caught in bedclothes! She falls over her bed’s conformter, twists
away from the man and, like a child, pulls the cover over her!
The skull-faced MAN crushes down, and there’s a fierce grappling
— punctuated by his GRUNTS and the girl’s DEAFENING SCREAMS —
and they both become totally wrapped in the comforter — until
they’re beneath it, fighting for life and death.
30. INT. TINA’S BEDROOM. NIGHT. 30.
ROD lurches up into CLOSE UP in the lightless bedroom,
half-awakened by the tremendous struggle somewhere, somehow
inside the dark bed. ROD grabs groggily, lifting the blanket.
30A. IN HIS POV we glimpse the dark underside of the blanket — see 30A.
TWO SHADOWY FIGURES flailing and clawing under the bedspread —
TINA and the MAN — or a shape that could be a man — raging
against each other.
ROD drops the blanket and leaps from the bed, scared full awake
and terrified. Then the horrible TINA’s GASPS change to the
CRIES of a terribly wounded victim. ROD instantly jerks back the
IN HIS POV we SEE TINA struggling and flailing along on the
sheets, the MAN nowhere in sight.
Suddenly TINA — eyes turned inward to her tormentor — give an
awful jolt — her arms and legs are spraddled as if by
overwhelming force and pinned to the bed. Next instant, her
nightgown flies apart and four long gashes chase across her
torso. From no visible instruments! A huge irrigation of blood
floods the bed.
Terrified, ROD dives for the light — but at the same moment
something invisible grabs TINA, wielding her body in the air and
bringing it around in a swift blow that knocks ROD crashing into
the light — smashing it to bits.
31. CLOSER ON HIM as he struggles around. In the blue FLASHES OF 31.
ELECTRICITY ROD sees TINA sliding up the bedroom wall in a dark
smear, dragged feet first!
ANGLE ON ROD — paralized by terror!
ANGLE ON TINA’S DYING EYES — moving with her up the wall and
bumping around the corner onto the ceiling. She’s just looking
at who’s dragging her, eyes glazing.
REVERSE IN HER POV — to the shadowy, horrendously ugly MAN,
dragging her with fierce glee across the ceiling, literally
swabbing the ceiling with her bloody body. SEEN in FORCED
PERSPECTIVE, the SHOT carries her across a great distance without
seeming to get anywhere — as if the ceiling is an endless
ANGLE DOWN ON ROD — on his hands and knees — the lamp next to
him blurting blue SPARKS and STROBING the nightmare room. ROD’S
screaming up at TINA’S invisible tormentor.
What the hell’s going ON here!
ANGLE ON TINA — upside down, clawing at the hanging swag lamp
above her mother’s dressing table — desperate for some anchor.
But she’s dragged away from it. The lamp swings back, it’s wires
gushing more SPARKS.
CLOSER along the ceiling as TINA rakes a long furrow in the
ceiling with her fingernails. But her eyes are glazing,
glazing. And then they fall closed.
WIDE, UP ON THE CEILING, as her body suddenly flops loose,
hanging for an awful moment by the feet over the bed.
REVERSE ON ROD — staring like a terrified child.
REVERSE IN HIS POV — as the body falls like a sack of rocks onto
the devastated bed, in SLOW MOTION, striking with a huge splash
of blood. A sick, awful GIGGLE floats around the room, then
ECHOES off into infinity. ROD staggers up, staring around as if
hoping to see this phantom.
You motherf*cker! I’ll kill you
32. INT. TINA’S BEDROOM. NIGHT. 32.
NANCY is sitting straight up in bed, terrified. The CRIES of ROD
are ringing through the whole house. She forces herself to move
— bolting from the bed despite her terror and sense of dread.
33. INT. HALLWAY. NIGHT. 33.
NANCY flies into the dark hall — crashing directly into SOMEONE
who lurches out of the dark before her. She SCREAMS and jumps
What the hell’s going on!?
Oh — jeez — Glen! Rod’s
I’ll kill you!
NANCY grabs the door; it’s locked; she pounds on it. BAM! BAM!
Things fall into sudden, awful silence on the other side. GLEN’s
voice cracks with fear.
Rod, you better not hurt Tina…
ROD erupts into terrible HOARSE LAUGHTER AND SOBBING. Then they
hear BREAKING GLASS.
GLEN barrels into the door like the football player he is. The
frame splinters and they’re in.
34. INT. TINA’S MOTHER’S BEDROOM. NIGHT. 34.
Just inside the door NANCY slips and goes down hard. GLEN finds
her in the dark more by touch than sight.
Yeah. Something slippering all
No answer. The room is quiet as a tomb. Except for a stead
DRIPPING, from all over. Then GLEN finds a LIGHT SWITCH.
On the CLICK the devastation is revealed. There’s BLOOD
everywhere: up the walls, over the clawed ceiling, soaking the
killing floor of the bed, and pooling in the dark red puddle
where NANCY has slipped and fallen.
NANCY wobbles up and sees TINA in the center of the ravaged bed.
Unmistakeably and utterly dead. NANCY presses against the wall,
then contorts and chokes.
I…I’m gonna call the cops —
He bursts from the room.
35. TIGHT ON NANCY. She turns away from the body in repulsion, 35.
sticking her head through the shattered window ROD LANE used for
his escape, sucking in the cold night air and moaning.
FADE TO BLACK
36. EXT/INT. POLICE STATION. NIGHT. 36.
FADE UP ON RED LIGHTS and SIREN as an unmarked POLICE CAR speeds
to the curb.
LT DON THOMPSON, a decent-looking man in his mid-40’s, exits and
punches a cigarette from his pack. His shaken aide, a uniformed
patrolman named PARKER, greets him. (CAMERA FOLLOWS them from
the car straight into the station and eventually to THOMPSON’S
Lieutenant Thompson. Sorry to
wake you, but —
I’d’ve canned your ass if you
hadn’t. What you got?
PARKER stumbles to open the door for THOMPSON as the man bulls
into the station at a furious pace.
Her name was Tina Gray. It
was her home. Father abandoned
ten years ago, mother’s in
Vegas with a boyfriend. We’re
trying to reach her now.
LT THOMPSON grimaces as if he knows the story.
What’s the Coroner got to say?
Something like a razor was
the weapon, but nothing
found on the scene.
THOMPSON is already to the desk officer SERGEANT GARCIA. The big
MAN shoves him a sheaf of papers —
Leautenant. You know who —
Where is she?
I put her in your office…
PARKER scurries after.
Looks like her boyfriend did
it. Rod Lane. Musician type,
arrests for brawling, dope —
Terrific. What the hell was
she doing there?
She lived there.
OMIT 37. I don’t mean her — OMIT 37.
38. INT. INTERROGATION ROOM. NIGHT. 38.
THOMPSON enters his office and confronts NANCY and her mother,
LT THOMPSON (CONTD)
I mean you.
(accusingly, to Marge)
What the hell was she doing there?
MARGE SIMSON is in her middle thirties; a good-looking woman
despite the hour and circumstances.
Hello to you, too, Donald.
THOMPSON stops, the steam suddenly out of him. The girl is a
wreck and he winces to see it.
THOMPSON glances at PARKER and the other UNIFORMED COPS who are
in the room. As a man they head for the door. There’s no
question who the boss is here. THOMPSON turns to NANCY. She
fumbles a smile.
LT THOMPSON (CONTD)
How you doing, pal?
Okay. Hi, dad.
NANCY’s dress is dark with dried blood, her skin clammy and the
color of paste. MARGE shoots her ex-husband a worried glance.
THOMPSON pulls a chair close to NANCY.
I don’t want to get into this now,
god knows you need time.
But I’d sure would like to know
what the hell you were doing
shacked up with three other kids
in the middle of the night —
especially a delinquent lunatic
Rod’s not a lunatic.
You got a sane explanation for
what he did?
The girl is shredding a Kleenex, staring off.
Apparantly he was crazy jealous.
Nancy said they’d had a fight,
Rod and Tina.
It wasn’t that serious…
Maybe you don’t think murder’s
NANCY sits bolt upright in her chair, her eyes flashing.
She was my best friend! Don’t
you dare say I don’t take her
(lower, near tears)
I just meant their fights
weren’t that serious.
The girl holds the woman’s eyes a moment, then looks away.
She dreamed this would happen…
She had a nightmare about somebody
trying to kill her, last night.
That’s why we were there; she was
afraid to sleep alone.
A tear splashes off the arm of her chair.
She’s been through enough for one
night. You have her statement.
The mother and daughter rise; THOMPSON raps on the door and
PARKER opens it.
I suggest you keep a little better
track on her — she’s still a kid,
MARGE wheels on him.
You think I knew there were boys
there!? You try raising a
Then she and the girl are gone. THOMPSON glares at PARKER.
(low to PARKER)
See they get home okay.
PARKER shoves his hands in his pockets. ON HIS FACE we
FADE TO BLACK
39. INT. NANCY’S KITCHEN. MORNING. 39.
THE SECOND DAY
FADE UP ON MARGE SIMSON opening a new bottle of gin, pouring
herself a careful shot, drinking it, then chasing it with
coffee. Nearby a TV drones the morning news. We can’t yet see
TV NEWSCASTER (OS/FILTER)
In the headlines this morning —
a local teenage girl was brutally
murdered during an all-night party.
MARGE TURNS, startled, seeing NANCY coming downstairs.
The girl looks a little better than she did in the Police
Station, but her eyes are still red-rimmed, and a vacant stress
masks her face. She looks to the TV. Stops.
TV NEWSCASTER (CONTD)
Police say the victim, fifteen-year
-old Christina Grey, had quarrelled
earlier with her boyfriend, Rod
Lane, a punk rocker with a history
of delinquency. Lane is now the
subject of a city-wide manhunt.
According to —
39A. The TV PICTURE has begun featuring a HANDHELD NEWSREEL SHOT of a
dark rubber BODY BAG being carried to a CORONER’S VAN. Just
before the thing is lifted inside, TINA’S bloodied, white ARM
slips from its zippered side and lolls into the dark night air.
A man rudely shoves it back inside and pulls the zipper up the
rest of the way.
39B. WIDER — as NANCY pales visible. MARGE darts to the TV and slaps
it off, then turning to NANCY. She looks at the girl a moment,
then goes to her and hugs her.
Where you think you’re going?
I could hear you tossing and
turning all night, kiddo. You’ve
no business going to school.
NANCY pulls away, determined.
I gotta go to school, Mom.
Please. Otherwise I’ll just
sit up there and go crazy
MARGE studies her face a moment.
Did you sleep?
I’ll sleep in study hall, promise.
I’d rather keep busy, you know?
She absently drains the woman’s coffee cup — then pecks her
Right home after.
Right home after. See you.
MARGE watches the girl disappear outside, then lights a cigarette
from the one already burning in her fingers.
40. EXT. STREET. DAY. 40.
MUSIC slips back in, subtle but tense as we TRACK with NANCY as
she walks alone down a sidewalk edged with thick flowering
Oleander. She c**ks her head, puzzled, as if sensing something.
MUSIC mounts. NANCY looks across the street.
40A. REVERSE IN HER POV. A MAN is over there in dark clothes, reading 40A.
a newspaper, but really watching her.
40B. NANCY shrugs and continues on, then stops and looks back again. 40B.
40C. IN HER POV we SEE the MAN is gone. 40C.
40D. Next moment — with a MUSIC STING — a BLOODIED HAND jumps out 40D.
from the opposite direction, clamps over NANCY’S mouth and drags
her into the bushes.
41. EXT. BUSHES. DAY. 41.
NANCY struggles, twisting against the powerful assailant.
A WIDER ANGLE REVEALS ROD LANE — barefoot, clad only in jeans
and leather jacket, still caked with dark blood. The rest of his
skin is pale as a ghost’s.
I’m not gonna hurt you.
He releases her warily. NANCY makes no move to run or scream,
even though several STUDENTS pass on the nearby sidewalk. This
reassures ROD just a little.
Your old man thinks I did it,
He doesn’t know you.
(eyeing the blood)
Couldn’t you change?
The cops were all over my house.
They’ll kill me for sure.
Nobody’s gonna kill you.
He runs his hands down his face, trying to believe that. The two
study each other.
I never touched her.
You were screaming like crazy.
NANCY says this without accusation, just cool observation.
Someone else was there.
The door was locked from your
ROD grabs her hard. His muscular body tenses.
Don’t look at me like I’m some
kind of f*cking fruitcake or
something, I’m warning you.
Morning, Mr. Lane.
42. The boy jerks around. NANCY’s father, his .38 leveled right at 42.
ROD’s belly, eases out of the bushes.
Now just step away from her, son.
Like your ass depended on it.
I’m warning you.
ROD backs away, looking once at NANCY with a look of terrible
sadness. Then he dives out of the bushes and runs like hell.
THOMPSON snaps his revolver to fire — but instinctively NANCY
jumps between —
THOMPSON jerks his gun into the air, furious.
Jesus — are you crazy!?
He plunges past the girl.
42A. EXT. STREET. DAY. 42A.
ROD races like a frightened animal across the lawns — but is
soon cut off by the PLANECLOTHESMAN NANCY saw watching her before
— and then TWO UNIFORMED POLICEMAN, who close from another
angle. The chase is short and pitifully off-balance, and ROD is
soon wrestled to the ground. Next moment one of the cops is
holding ROD’S knife into the air for THOMPSON to see. THOMPSON
looks at NANCY, as if to say ‘I told you.’ Background, ROD’S
SHOUTS can be heard as he’s shoved into a SQUAD CAR.
I didn’t do it — !
I didn’t kill her, Nancy!
The car’s door slams and ROD is gone. NANCY turns to her father,
You used me, daddy!
What the hell you doing going to
school today, anyway — your
mother told me you didn’t even
sleep last night!
NANCY spins angrily and walks away.
But she just keeps going.
FADE TO BLACK
43. INT. CLASSROOM. DAY. 43.
FADE UP ON an ENGLISH TEACHER and CLASS, NANCY among the kids,
trying to concentrate.
According to Shakespeare, there
was something operating in Nature,
perhaps inside human nature itself,
that was rotten — a canker, as
he put it.
The TEACHER’S eyes glance across the room. ANGLE ON NANCY;
yawning but listening.
Of course Hamlet’s response to
this, and to his mother’s lies,
was to continually probe and
dig — just like the gravediggers —
always trying to get beneath the
surface. The same was true in a
different way in Julius Caesar.
Jon, go ahead…
She nods to a SURFER who’s been waiting uncomfortably in front of
the class. He squints at his book and begins, the recitation a
struggle between baked and salted brain and the poetry of the
Uh, In the most high and palmy
state of Rome…
WISEGUY STUDENT (O.S.)
California’s the most high and
palmy state, man.
The SURFER halts with a grin; KIDS snicker.
She glares them back into silence. The SURFER starts over, as we
CUT TO NANCY.
She’s nodding off now, barely able to keep her eyes open in the
warm, close boredom of the classroom.
In the most high and palmy state
of Rome, a little ere the mightiest
(NANCY’s head pitches
forward; she jerks it
back up, barely awake)
The graves stood tenantless, and
the sheeted dead did squeak and
gibber in the Roman street…
44. NANCY’s head has sunk again, eyelids drawn as if by enormous 44.
weight. By the time her cheek’s against the desk, the SURFER’S
VOICE is ECHOED and DISTANT. But another voice, TINA’S, is very
near, very much present. A sad, thin plaint.
NANCY gives a start. Her eyes lock onto something.
45. REVERSE. TILTED SIDEWAYS, IN HER HEAD’S POV, we look straight 45.
out through the open doorway of the classroom into the hall.
There, standing in a black pool of fluid, is a full-sized rubber
body bag. Dark red and yellow. Weaving slightly, the merest
suggesting of movement within it.
46. BACK ON NANCY, sitting upright, wiping the sleep from her eyes, 46.
shaking her head like a punchy prozefighter. She looks back out
47. REVERSE IN ‘NORMAL’ POV — the hallway is empty. But there’s a 47.
dark smear on its floor tiles.
48. NANCY looks nervously towards the rest of the class. No one else 48.
has noticed a thing outside the door. All are dumbly spellbound
by the SURFER, who now recites like a deep-voiced robot, his face
wreathed by white hair.
O God, I could be bounded in a
nutshell and count myself a king
of infinite space, were it not
that I have bad dreams…
49. ANGLE BACK ON NANCY. She slips from her seat, eye warily on the 49.
teacher and class. But no one turns as she disappears through
50. INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY. DAY. 50.
NANCY turns and looks both directions. No sign of anybody.
NANCY wheels and sees the bag, prone on the tiles at the far end
of the hall, at the end of a long snail’s trail of slime. A pale
hand thrusts out of it. A moment later, as if pulled by
invisible gravity, the bag slides out of sight into an
NANCY starts running for it.
51. ANGLE AT THE CORNER as NANCY races blindly around the turn and 51.
smashes straight into a BODY lunging at her from the opposite
direction! Both go down.
52. ANGLE AT THE FLOOR. A dazed freshman HALLGUARD cranks herself up 52.
on one elbow. She wears a plastic plaque on her red and yellow
sweater that reads ‘Hall Guard’. Her nose is bleeding from the
Y-you’re not supposed to run.
W-where’s your pass — you got a
NANCY leaps up —
Screw your stupid pass!
53. She turns — sees the body bag halfway down this darker, narrower 53.
hall, upright again. But just as she sees it, it tips and
pitches headlong through a doorway — like some godawful rotten
tree finally timbering down. She can hear the sickening
CRUNCHING of it falling down a long flight of stairs.
NANCY runs for it again. The HALLGUARD staggers up FOREGROUND,
bleeding profusely from her eyes and ears.
Hey, no running in the halls!
The HALLGUARD raises her hand and we see it’s tipped with long
REVERSE ANGLE AT THE DOOR as NANCY runs up. NANCY turns to check
out the HALLGUARD. She’s vanished. NANCY turns and looks down
through the open door. The MUSIC sweeps through a strange,
brooding movement of strings, mounting towards the NIGHTMARE
54. INT. A STAIRWELL. 54.
NANCY edges into the stairwell and looks down. Looks like
there’s a fire somewhere down there, from the way the orange
light dances. But there’s only a low WHITE NOISE.
No answer. NANCY starts down the stairs.
55. INT. BOILER ROOM. DAY. 55.
NANCY comes off the stairs into a dank boiler room. The smear
trail is there. It runs behind a cracking, red-hot boiler the
size of a diesel locomotive. Everything about the place feels
dreadfully wrong, and the MUSIC is deep into the NIGHTMARE THEME
when it pauses.
TIGHT ON NANCY. Slow terror moves into her face. There’s a low,
56. REVERSE IN HER POV — we see a tangle of pipes, shadows, and the 56.
tainted fire of the huge boiler. Then from behind this, deeply
shadowed but still identifiable, steps TINA’s KILLER. The same
filthy red and yellow sweater and slouch hat, the same melted
face twisting into a smile, the same GARBLED LAUGH as he slides
the long blades from beneath his shirt and fans them on the ends
of his bony fingers.
Who are you?
Gonna get you.
57. The leering MAN brings the bloodied scalpel-fingernails across 57.
his own chest, splitting a nipple. Yellow fluid pours out.
MAGGOTS and WORMS.
NANCY forgets the question — jerks around and flees in blind
panic into the first opening she sees — a dark pipe tunnel.
58. INT. PIPE TUNNEL. 58.
ANGLE IN THE NARROW PASSAGEWAY. In the BACKGROUND the killer
shambles towards her; FOREGROUND NANCY breaks into a run.
The killer sprints — NANCY tears ahead into darkness.
She flees deeper and deeper into the labyrinth of steaming,
SIZZLING pipes, squeezing through smaller and smaller openings.
The killer is just yards behind her, and soon she’s trapped, just
as TINA was before her.
She presses her back to the wet bricks. There’s no hope of
fighting him off, for NANCY is not as strong as TINA. But she is
smart as hell, and thinking even in this nightmare. So by the
time the creep has raised his knives to strike, NANCY has
realized something. She wheels and shoves her arm against one of
the scalding steam pipes. In the sme split second we HEAR her
flesh scald, we
59. INT. ENGLISH CLASS. DAY. 59.
NANCY lurches up SCREAMING, arm raised to ward off the invisible
blow, books clattering to the floor — other GIRLS nearby SCREAM
in surprise as she stumbles over them. Then she stops, confused
and groggy from the nightmare.
WIDER ANGLE. EVERYBODY is staring at NANCY as if she’s gone
mad. The ENGLISH TEACHER rushes over, herself frightened by the
terror in the girl’s eyes.
Okay — Okay, Thompson! Every-
thing’s all right now — Nancy!.
60. NANCY jerks around with panicked eyes, expecting the killer to 60.
leap from any direction. But there’s only the sea of staring
NANCY begins methodically picking up her books.
I’ll call your mother.
No! No, really, I’m fine. I’ll go
straight home. I’m okay.
She marches for the door.
You’ll need a hall pass!
But the girl’s gone.
61. EXT. THE SCHOOL. DAY. 61.
NANCY walks out of the building, shaken. Then she pauses at one
of the big pine trees out front, stops and rests her head against
its bark, teeth set. NANCY starts to shake, and next second
she’s sobbing like a broken-hearted, frightened child. OMIT 61A.
62. But she shakes herself silent. Wipes the tears away with a slash 62.
of sleeve. She rubs her arm absently, lost in thought, then
reacts in surprise and pain. She lifts her arm and stares at the
spot she’s touched.
INSERT ON HER ARM and the BURN there; about the size and shape of
WIDER ON NANCY. Utterly, chillingly confused.
62A. TINA, against the tree inches from NANCY, (SC 7) — turns to her and
Couldn’t get back to sleep
What you dream?
63. EXT. A BUSY STREET. DAY. 63.
NANCY is walking quickly, head erect, jaw set. Then she enters
her father’s Police Station.
64. INT. VAN NUYS POLICE STATION. DAY. 64.
NANCY crosses directly to the GARCIA.
My dad here?
GARCIA looks up from his paperwork.
LT THOMPSON emerges from another room, uneasy to see NANCY.
Decide to take a day off after
Dad, I want to see Rod Lane.
THOMPSON doesn’t miss a beat.
Only family allowed, Nancy. You
know the drill.
Just want to talk to him a second.
You don’t know he did it.
No, I know, thanks to your
own testimony, that he was
locked in a room with a girl
who went in alive and came
out in a rubber bag.
NANCY flinches; her father shows the first signs of color in his
I just want to talk to him.
THOMPSON shifts almost imperceptibly towards GARCIA, then turns
back to NANCY.
Make it fast.
65. INT. CELL AREA. DAY. 65.
A GUARD exits pushing a cart of food trays. NANCY waits warily
until he’s gone, then looks back to ROD LANE. ROD looks more
like a captured coyote than a human; haggard, ribbed, expecting
poisoned bait. His hair is wet, his clothes are borrowed jeans
and work shirt.
And then what happened?
I told you.
It was dark, but I’m sure there
was someone else IN there, under
the covers with her.
How could somebody get under
the covers with you guys
without you knowing it?
How the f*ck do I know?
I don’t expect you to believe
NANCY studies his encrypted eyes. Surprisingly, she looks like
she just might believe him. She leans closer with a new
What he look like? You get
a look at him?
He looks away.
Well then how can you say
somebody else was there?
Because somebody cut her. While
Now the place is so quiet you can hear heartbeats.
Somebody cut her while you watched
and you don’t know what he looked
ROD smiles an insane smile, stuck with a reality no one will
You couldn’t see the f*cker.
You could just see the cuts
happening, all at once.
NANCY gives a twitch.
What you mean ‘all at once’?
I mean, it was as if there were
four razors cutting her at the
same time. But invisible razors.
She just… opened up…
By now he’s picking at a clot of dark blood on his jacket, as if
it was a scab on his own body. Then he catches NANCY watching
and turns away to the back of the cell. He smashes his fist into
the wall — bone-crushing blows that scare the wits out of
He stops, and his fist is dripping blood as he says in a small,
I probably could’ve saved her
if I’d moved sooner… But I
thought it was just another
nightmare, like the one I had
the night before.
There… was this guy who had
knives for fingers…
CLOSE ON NANCY, unable to swallow the gorge rising in her
throat. ROD turns to her, and to his surprise she’s ashen.
Do you think I did it?
FADE TO BLACK
66. EXT. ELM STREET / NANCY’S HOME. NIGHT. 66.
FADE UP ON ESTABLISHING SHOT as a spooky WIND sets a DOG BARKING
down the block. A CAR goes by, then this pleasant residential
street falls into silence. CAMERA has MOVED IN on NANCY’s
well-tended two-story home.
67. INT. NANCY’S KITCHEN. NIGHT. 67.
The house is in shadow. Alone, MARGE scrapes the last of the
evening’s dishes and slips them into the dishwasher. Neither she
nor her daughter has touched the food. But MARGE is well into a
bottle of gin; her appetite for that is growing, right along with
her dread. She turns and looks up the stairs, calling.
Nancy, don’t fall asleep in
Get into bed.
68. INT. UPSTAIRS BATHROOM. NIGHT. 68.
NANCY’S in the tub, so drowsy she can hardly rinse without
falling asleep. The water in the tub is opaque with suds.
CLOSER ANGLE, AT WATER LEVEL ON NANCY. Her eyes droop. She
slides closer to the surface of the water, letting its heat sooth
her nerves. Her eyes stare straight up, glazed; her breathing
REVERSE, across to her legs, crooked, one knee on each side of
the tub. There’s a ripple in the water between. Then something
tiny and shiny breaks the surface between them. It pops up with
a slithering MUSIC CUE and catches a sliver of light. Then it
begins to rise.
Higher and higher it rises, soon accompanied by another, then two
more shining, gleaming blades, and then the full glove and dark
hairy hand and then the wrist and arm, straight up light an evil
sapling between the girl’s knees, the knives bloosoming into a
bright flower of razor sharp steel in the air, moving over the
girl’s belly. The hand rears back, the claws arch to strike.
MARGE raps on the door. The instant she does NANCY jerks up,
opening her eyes groggily. The dark wet arm, hand and knifes are
(through the door)
You’re not falling asleep,
are you? You could drown,
Mother, for petesakes.
It happens all the time.
I’ve got some warm milk all
ready for you. Why don’t you
jump into bed?
I’m gonna turn on your electric
blanket, too. C’mon, now.
(then she’s gone into
Warm milk. Gross.
She slides down to water level again, and sings softly,
thoughtfully to herself.
One, two, Freddie’s coming for
you, three four, better lock
your door, five six, grab your
crucifix, seven eight gonna
stay up late, nine ten, never
The next instant she’s jerked with incredible violence straight
down beneath the surface of the tub — as if the bottom had
suddenly dropped out and she was in a bottomless well!
68A. EXT. UNDERWATER SHOT. NIGHT. 68A.
LOOKING UP PAST HER ANKLES we SEE NANCY pulled sharply down into
really deep water, the dim light of the surface and bathroom
beyond receding with each yank. And yet she somehow flails and
gasps and struggles back towards the surface, managing by pure
panic to break the surface with her hands!
68B. INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE BATHROOM. 68B.
MARGE rushes to the door and listens, alarmed at the wild
SPLASHING audible through the locked door.
68C. EXT. UNDERWATER SHOT. NIGHT. 68C.
MARGE’S VOICE reaches to the girl, who thrusts up through main
force and breaks the surface with her head and shoulders.
68D. INT. BATHTUB. 68D.
Gasping and choking, NANCY breaks the surface of her bathwater,
like a drowning sailer getting one last chance. Her mother’s
VOICE booms over her, ECHOED and frantic — and the loud BANGING
on the door finally opens her eyes. She turns and calls gasping
to her mother —
REVERSE ON THE DOOR — as MARGE, using the old hangar through the
doorhandle truck, makes it into the room. She rushes across to
the tub. NANCY is staggering up in the bathwater, again with
solid porcelain beneath her feet.
I told you! Hundreds of people
a year drown like that!
The mother throws a towel around the gasping girl, helps her from
the tub and begins drying her like a child. NANCY looks like
she’s likes paralized with some sort of weird dread.
(not believing it for
To bed with you, c’mon.
MARGE rushes out to get the room ready. NANCY turns and looks at
herself in the cabinet mirror, then opens the medicine chest and
begins a quick, furtive search.
CLOSER as she takes out the box of No Doz and slips it into her
OMIT SCS. 69 & 70——————————- OMIT SCS. 69 & 70
71. INT. HALLWAY. NIGHT. 71.
NANCY emerges from the bathroom yawning. MARGE follows as the
girl plods obediently to her room.
No television, forget the
homework, no phone calls.
No, Mother. Yes, Mother.
72. INT. NANCY’S ROOM. NIGHT. 72.
And no school tomorrow, either.
you take a little vacation, relax
and rest for a change.
Yes, Mother. G’night.
MARGE offers a smile, and a little yellow pill.
Take this, it’ll help you sleep.
NANCY pops it in her mouth and swallows obediently. MARGE leans
to her with a kiss.
Sleep tight, don’t let the
MARGE goes out, relieved. NANCY closes the door, leans against
it and spits the pill into her hand. She tosses it straight out
her window and takes a NoDoz.
FADE TO BLACK
73. OMIT OMIT 73.
74. FADE UP ON INSERT OF TELEVISION SCREEN. 74.
A MONSTER MOVIE in BLACK AND WHITE. NO SOUND from the set.
75. PULL BACK to REVEAL NANCY propped up in bed, furtively watching. Or 75.
is she just thinking? A bedside CLOCK reads 12:45 pm.
The girl YAWNS. She shakes herself violently and sits up
straighter, forcing herself to concentrate on the movie.
75A. ON THE TELEVISION SCREEN. A DIVER struggles to keep facing a 75A.
large circling shark.
75B. ON NANCY. Her eyes droop shut — then she jerks awake, rattling 75B.
her head as if it were a radio drifting off station. She tumbles
out of bed, throws open the window and takes a deep breath of the
cool night air.
76. EXT. NANCY’S HOUSE AND STREET. NIGHT. 76.
HIGH ANGLE, AT SECOND-STORY LEVEL. NANCY looks directly across
the street to a lighted, open window. Its curtains, sucked out
and waving in the night breeze, give the only motion to the
Then someone pitches out of the dark at her. NANCY gives a YELP
— then clamps her hand over her mouth as she recognizes GLEN,
balanced precariously on the rose trellis outside her window.
Sorry! Saw your light on.
Thought I’d see how you were.
She gets herself together, barely.
Sometimes I wish you didn’t live
right across the street.
Shut up and let me in. You ever
stand on a rose trellis in your
76A. INT. NANCY’S ROOM. NIGHT. 76A.
NANCY looks over her shoulder to make sure her mother hasn’t
heard. GLEN’s already through her window and planted on her
bed. NANCY points to a chair.
If you don’t mind.
GLEN crosses to the chair and plops down.
So. I heard you freaked out
in English class today.
There’s no maliciousness in his voice, and the familiar frankness
is actually comforting to NANCY.
Guess I did.
Haven’t slept, have you?
NANCY tries to smile, but can’t fake it very well. GLEN looks
You look dead and rained on, if
you want the ugly truth. And
what you do to your arm?
She shrugs, trying to keep it casual.
Burned myself in Englsh class.
She hazards a look in the mirror, and her jaw drops.
M’god, I look twenty years old.
(turning back to him)
You have any weird dreams last
Slept like a rock.
Well at least I have an objective
wall to bounce this off.
You believe it’s possible to dream
about what’s going to happen?
You believe in the Boogey Man?
One two, Freddie’s coming
for you? No. Rod killed Tina.
he’s a fruitcake and you know it.
You believe in anything?
I believe in you, me, and
Rock and Roll. And I’m not
too sure about you lately.
Listen, I got a crazy favor
It’s nothing too hard or anything.
I’m just going to… LOOK
for someone, and… I want
you to be sort of a …guard.
GLEN makes the Twilight Zone sound.
She comes very close to him.
You won’t screw up, right? I
mean, a whole lot might depend
The way she’s looking at him gives him the creeps.
Okay, I won’t screw up.
77. Nancy takes a deep breath. Then without another word turns off 77.
the TV and the light.
GLEN (IN DARK)
Jesus, it’s dark in here.
Shhh. Now listen, here’s what
we’re gonna do…
78. EXT. ELM STREET. NIGHT. 78.
FADE UP ON NANCY, still in her pajamas, walking through the
shadowy streets near her home, listening for the slightest
sound. We MOVE with her. But nothing, not even the dog barking
earlier, is there now. NANCY peers into the darkness of lawns
and trees behind her.
You still there?
Across the street and a distance away, GLEN steps from behind a
Just checking — keep out of
GLEN throws up his hands in exasperation and walks back out of
sight. NANCY turns and looks down between the houses, deep into
a dark alleyway. Then she forces herself to walk into it.
79. EXT. ALLEY. NIGHT. 79.
MOVING WITH HER as she makes herself go deeper and deeper into
shadows. Each time she pauses and waits, the MUSIC grows more
threatening and expectant. The feeling is of immense tension —
we’re sure the killer will come screaming out on her at any
But he doesn’t. In fact absolutely nothing happens, and NANCY
emerges from the far end of the alley unscathed. The only thing
strange is that she now finds her self looking across the mall to
80. EXT. POLICE STATION. NIGHT. 80.
The Police Station. It takes her a little by surprise, it just
seems to have appeared.
MUSIC creeps into the NIGHTMARE THEME as NANCY whispers hoarsely
back down the dark alley.
81. EXT. ALLEY. NIGHT. 81.
We only HEAR the DISTANT VOICE, slightly ECHOED.
GLEN’S VOICE (OS)
On your toes, right?
NANCY stares into the dark trying to see him, but she can’t. She
turns back and makes up her mind to move without him in sight.
82. EXT. POLICE STATION. NIGHT. 82.
MUSIC MOUNTS as we MOVE WITH NANCY across the lawns to the police
station, creeping to the first lighted window she sees. It’s a
low, barred basement window, and NANCY reacts as soon as she
looks through it.
83. INT. ROD’S CELL. NIGHT. 83.
NANCY’S POV down into ROD LANE’s cell. The boy is on his rough
cot, twitching in disturbed sleep. And a long SHADOW is sliding
across the wall.
A big SHAPE appears in the shadowed corridor outside the boy’s
cell, and as IT walks closer NANCY can barely see it’s the
shambling, grimly scarred man with the filthy red and yellow
sweater and strange slouch hat pulled across his brow. The
KILLER from all of their nightmares.
And this giant shadow of a man passes through the bars of the
cell, like so much evil Jello. Halfway through he pauses,
turning to check over his shoulder. We see the bars clearly
penetrating his body, going in his head, passing out his ankles.
Then he turns back to ROD and moves forward, and within another
heartbeat is beside the boy.
84. EXT. POLICE STATION. NIGHT. 84.
NANCY draws back sharply, swallowing in terror. She looks behind
her for help.
The street is absolutely deserted. There is no motion, and no
sound save one: the distant but unmistakeable sound of GLEN
A beat of silence after the shout’s echoes die, then the steady,
boyish SNORES again. NANCY swears under her breath and jerks
back around, forcing herself to look again into ROD’s cell.
85. INT. ROD’S CELL. 85.
IN HER POV — the killer picks up ROD’s bedsheet and tests it
between his powerful hands. Without thinking, NANCY bangs
against the glass.
Rod! Look out!
The KILLER wheels around, locking eyes with NANCY. The girl goes
white. The man’s face is in the light, and it’s horrible —
seething with hatred and a twisted, insane intelligence.
The hold of those eyes is only broken when ROD rolls up on an
elbow with a deep, troubled GROAN. The instant ROD does this,
the KILLER fades into the shadows in the cell. But even then his
eyes hold on NANCY’s until the last second he’s visible.
ROD looks around the cell groggily, runs his fingers through his
matted hair, then collapses back on his pillow. No matter how
hard NANCY screams, ROD never once looks at the window. He just
pulls the twisted covers about his shoulders and succumbs once
more to sleep.
And now the bed sheet is no longer on the bed. The KILLER,
materializing out of the shadow again, is holding it between his
hands like a garrote. He looks up and leers at NANCY, then moves
86. EXT. POLICE STATION. NIGHT. 86.
ANGLE BACK ON NANCY. She pounds on the window, then turns in
frustration and yells into the night.
She turns back to the cell in desperation.
87. OMIT OMIT 87.
88. INT. ROD’S CELL. 88.
IN NANCY’S POV we look into a cell that is quite deserted save
for ROD. Sleeping peacefully.
89. EXT. POLICE STATION. NIGHT. 89.
NANCY pulls back from the window, stunned.
Suddenly NANCY feels utterly exposed. She shivers, chilled and
vulnerable to the bone in her thin night clothes. She can’t
move. It’s as if some great nerve between her instincts and body
had been severed. And she hears the SOUND behind her. A sort of
MUSIC sneaks in — the unmistakeable NIGHTMARE THEME, creeping
over her. NANCY forces herself, by sheer will, to look.
90. Ahead of her perhaps twenty-five feet, covered with a thick 90.
plastic body bag through which we can barely see her face, is
TINA. Standing square in the middle of the street. A dark ooze
of BLACK EELS roil out of its bottom, and at its top, the zipper
CHATTERS down and the greenish-white face of TINA lolls out. She
gestures, supplicating, her watery eyes desperate to convey some
The MUSIC FALLS TO A HUSH.
91. NANCY backs away, eyes streaming tears. 91.
Glen, where are you! Wake up!
DEEP RAGGED VOICE
NANCY twists around in horror at the same instant the KILLER
grabs for her face with his knife-fingers! The girl
intinctively pitches back, then scrambles up and runs like
92. EXT. ELM STREET. NIGHT. 92.
MOVING WITH NANCY at full gallop, running blind. She crashes
through a sawhorse into a new sidewalk, sinking into the wet
cement over her ankles. The stuff sticks to her legs in long
gluey globs and she can barely pull her feet loose.
The KILLER looms nearby,
mocking her — his scalpel claws gleaming in the streetlight. He
just misses the girl as she wrenches free and flees again, now so
winded she can only stagger.
MOVING WITH THEM. Time after time NANCY just barely manages to
elude the shadowy form, leaping from his reach by inches and
pouring on more steam. It’s too close to even bother screaming
now; and besides, that would take breath she doesn’t have. The
only SOUND is of RUNNING FOOTSTEPS, RASPING BREATH and the
KNIFE-FINGERS WHISTLING through the air.
93. EXT. NANCY’S HOME. NIGHT. 93.
NANCY tears across her front lawn and into the open front door of
her home, SLAMMING it with all her might. There’s a tremendously
satisfying CONCUSSION of wood against doorframe, and the LOCKS
94. INT. NANCY’S LIVING ROOM. NIGHT. 94.
But her voice is garbled as if she’s under water, and there’s no
answer. The only clue to Glen being there at all is his distant
SNORING. Innocent. Persistent. Deep.
NANCY stops, breath in shreds, face smeared with dirt and tears.
Something is clawing the window in the dark of the kitchen.
NANCY looks and catches the MAN prying at the glass with his big
knife-fingers, the sharp blades SIZZLING against the edges of the
glass as they crack it away from the frame. NANCY runs upstairs
in blind panic.
95. INT. NANCY’S ROOM. NIGHT. 95.
NANCY darts into her unlit bedroom, slams the door and locks it.
Safe at last.
She listens at the door. Nothing. She crosses to her bed. Next
second the KILLER dives through her window and seizes her in a
shower of shattered glass!
NANCY twists and manages to grab the wrist of his knife hand with
both of hers, barely keeping the blades from her throat.
The two fall backwards in a terrible, gasping struggle, crashing
onto NANCY’s bed. Her grip is broken — the MAN stabs — NANCY
twists away, backed into a corner of bed and walls. Defenseless,
she snatches a pillow up; the KILLER lashes out — disemboweling
the pilow and sending a great gush of feathers flying. NANCY
dives for escape in a virtual blizzard.
The KILLER manages to snare her with his other hand, and the two
crash across the bedside table to the floor, the table and all
its contents cascading around them in a whiteout of feathers.
ANGLE AT FLOOR LEVEL — CLOSE ON NANCY’S AND THE KILLER’S HEADS.
The blades inch towards the girl’s face — the drool of the
grizzled shadow with the horribly scarrred face spills into her
eyes. Feathers are everywhere; MUSIC is absolutely insane!
But just when the points of steel are less than an inch from her
eyes, the old fashioned alarm clock thrown to the floor next to
NANCY’s head goes off with a jarring RINGGGGGGG!
96. Instantly the MUSIC STOPS. And a moment later the room is 96.
WIDER as NANCY reels up, blinded by the sudden light, SCREAMING
AND FIGHTING on her bed.
ANGLE ON GLEN, lurching from his own sleep at the frightening
noise. He discovers NANCY pressed in terror against her
headboard, clutching a pillow like a drowning woman would a
It’s an intact pillow, and there isn’t a feather in sight.
NANCY stares incredulously at GLEN, then around the room,
untangling herself from her bedclothes. Wary and furious, her
Glen, you bastard…
The boy looks at his friend in groggy alarm. She’s absolutely
livid, more angry than he’s ever seen her, and more strange.
What I do?
He reaches for her — she flattens against the wall, eyes hard,
and terribly hurt, too.
I asked you to do just one thing.
Just stay awake and watch me —
Just wake me if it looked like
I was having a bad dream.
But you. You sh*t — what do
you do — you fall asleep!
She stops herself, wiping a bit of spittle off her lip, alarmed
at how out of control she’s become. And suddenly she breaks,
sinking into her torn bedclothes and rubbing her head.
(mostly to herself)
I must be going nuts…
Her mother’s door opens OS.
NANCY composes her voice as best she can.
MARGE’s flip-flops approach outside the door. GLEN barrels out
the window — NANCY dives for the bed, jams off the light and
disappears under the covers. MARGE, bleary eyed herself, opens
the door and flicks on the light.
Yeah. Just had a little dream.
I’m falling right back to sleep.
Okay… You need anything, just call.
MARGE closes the door. NANCY immediately sits up and looks at
the window. A single bone-white feather floats down in the
moonlight. Then it’s sucked outside and is gone.
97. EXT. POLICE STATION. NIGHT. 97.
GLEN’s CADILLAC CONVERTABLE careens into the parking lot and
SCREECHES to a stop. GLEN and NANCY jump out and head for the
You mind telling me what’s
NANCY’s races into the station without answering.
Oh, I see. That makes it all
98. INT. POLICE STATION. NIGHT. 98.
NANCY goes straight to the SERGEANT’s desk.
Garcia, I want to see Rod
I thought when I took the
night shift I’d have peace
and quiet for a change.
It’s urgent, we’ve gotta see Rod.
It’s three in the morning.
Your mother know you’re out this
Of course — look, at least go
back and look at him. Just see
if he’s okay.
GARCIA glances at GLEN.
We have reason to think there
might be something weird going
LT THOMPSON (OS)
Oh, no argument on that.
NANCY jumps around at the sound of her father’s voice. LT
THOMPSON emerges from his office, rumpled and yawning.
Dad — what you doing here?
It so happens I work here, and
there’s an unsolved murder. I
don’t like unsolved murders,
especially ones my daughter’s
mixed up in — what are you
doing here at this hour? You’re
supposed to be getting some
Listen, sir, this is serious.
Nancy had a nightmare about Rod
being in danger, or something,
and so she thinks…
He trails off, loosing it under LT THOMPSON’s glare. Besides, he
doesn’t know exactly what the hell’s really going on himself.
GARCIA puts his beefy hand on NANCY’s shoulder.
I just want to see if he’s okay!
Take my word for it, Nancy. The
guy’s sleeping like a baby. He’s
not going anywhere.
99. INT. CELL BLOCK. NIGHT. 99.
ANGLE ON ROD in his cell. He’s asleep, all right, but not safely
so. His bedsheet has come alive. It twitches, pulsates, then
snakes towards his throat.
ROD stirs, the sheet falls still; ROD slips into deeper sleep,
and the sheet moves again, completing the noose around his neck!
100. INT. BOOKING ROOM. NIGHT. 100.
NANCY makes a move for the cell block —
This isn’t your average nightmare,
Daddy — damn it!
The door’s locked; she hauls on it in desperation.
Now look, Nancy, don’t push
it. You’ve already rubbed my nose
in sex, drugs and violence — don’t
start throwing in insanity!
NANCY takes that one to heart. She wheels on him and pleads, her
intensity sobering even to him.
Just go back and check — please!
The man takes a beat, then shrugs and nods towards SGT GARCIA.
Okay, Garcia. What the hell.
(feeling in his pockets)
Now where’d I put the key…
He mumbles backs towards his desk. MUSIC BUILDS as we HOLD ON
101. INT. ROD’S CELL. NIGHT. 101.
With a terrible SNAP ROD’s sheet jerks tight around his neck.
The startled teenager is hauled upright — eyes popping, face
purple. He claws at the sheet, but despite his strength he can’t
get his fingers between the noose and his windpipe. He’s dragged
backwards across the cot.
102. INT. BOOKING ROOM. NIGHT. 102.
GARCIA finally has the keys. Urged on by NANCY he fumbles with
103. INT. ROD’S CELL. NIGHT. 103.
ROD’S being dragged backwards, gasping and struggling in vain
against the powerful pull — right across his cell and up the
wall, too. He clutches blindly at his throat at the far end of
the sheet coils around the bars of the high window. Then there’s
a powerful wrench of the sheet, and ROD’S neck SNAPS. The kid’s
body sags lifeless.
104. ANGLE THROUGH THE BARS as NANY, GLEN, LT THOMPSON and GARCIA 104.
appear in the corridor outside, the girl sprinting ahead.
But it’s too late; NANCY sinks back in horror as her father and
GARCIA rush into the cell.
Gimme a hand, dammit!
GLEN, pale as the sheet that’s killed ROD, climbs to the bars and
unties the knot. ROD slides down over the SERGEANT’S shoulders,
limp as a marrionette with its strings slashed.
Goddamn loco kid — he didn’t
have t’do that — Madre dios!
They lay ROD at NANCY’s feet; a strange Pieta. NANCY’s father
looks at her in spooked suspicion.
How’d you know he was gonna do
NANCY says nothing.
FADE TO BLACK
105. EXT. FOREST LAWN CEMETERY. DAY. 105.
THE FOURTH DAY
FADE UP ON a stark afternoon. On a hill of sere grass
overlooking the valley, the casket of ROD LANE is lowered into
A small group of FAMILY and FRIENDS watches soberly as the
MINISTER raises his hand in benediction.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
May God be with this young man’s
ON THE FACES of MARGE, LT THOMPSON, TINA’S MOTHER and ROD’S
PARENTS. Just for a second or two, in looks too rapid for an
outsider to even notice, these adults exchange looks. Furtive,
quick glances that suggest an immense something that they all
share, something beyond even this second death among their
children. Then they are all staring ahead again, as if the
others weren’t even there.
MINISTER (CONTD OS)
His life and his death attest to
the Scripture’s warning that he who
lives by the sword shall die by
ANGLE ON GLEN, watching —
NANCY, standing alone, not believing it for a minute.
MINISTER (CONTD OS)
But let us recall also our Lord’s
admonition that we ‘Judge not,
lest we be judged.’ Let us
attempt only to love. And may
Rod Lane rest in peace.
Amen to that much.
The mourners walk away from the grave, MARGE among them. She
pauses near a MAN and two WOMEN in black — TINA’S MOTHER, ROD’S
PARENTS. They almost, it seems, speak. Then MARGE hurries on.
WE MOVE WITH HER as she’s joined by LT THOMPSON. Both are worn
and on edge. THOMPSON absently lights another cigarette,
offering one to MARGE.
How’s Nancy doing?
I don’t think she’s slept since
(shakes her head)
She’s always been a delicate
THOMPSON lights her cigarette, attempting some sort of
She’s tougher than you think.
Any idea how she knew Rod was
gonna kill himself?
No. All I know is, this reminds
me too much of ten years ago.
THOMPSON blows a plume of smoke against the hard sky and looks
Yeah. Well… Let’s not start
digging up bodies just because
we’re in a cemetery.
He gives her a look that could cut stone. MARGE toses down her
cigarete and crosses to NANCY. The girl is simply staring off
over the valley.
Time to go home, baby.
She moves her away from the brink of the hill.
106. EXT. CEMETERY PARKING AREA. DAY. 106.
MARGE opens the door of the station wagon for NANCY. NANCY turns
to them both, speaking in a still, small voice.
The killer’s still loose,
She has a wild, Cassandra aspect that sends a chill right up
You saying somebody else killed
NANCY smiles a weird sort of smile.
I don’t know who he is. But he’s
burned, he wears a weird hat, a
red and yellow sweater, real
dirty, and he uses some sort of
knifes he’s got made into a sort
of… glove. Like giant finger-
As NANCY has described this monster from her dream, unseen by
her, the faces of MARGE LT and THOMPSON have drained completely
(low, even, to MARGE)
I think you should keep Nancy
at home a few days. ‘Til she’s
really over the shock.
I got something better…
I’m gonna get you help, baby.
So no one will threaten you
She takes the girl by the arm and guides her into the car,
locking the door from outside. NANCY never taking her eyes from
her father’s as the car bears her away.
FADE TO BLACK
THE FIFTH DAY
107. EXT. UCLA SCHOOL OF MEDICINE. DAY. 107.
FADE UP ON UCLA’s WESTWOOD CAMPUS and PAN TO SIGN:
UCLA SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
INSTITUTE FOR THE
STUDY OF SLEEP DISORDERS
108. INT. A LABORATORY SLEEPING CHAMBER. 108.
A NURSE applies sencors to the head, breast, arms, and fingers of
NANCY THOMPSON. The girl is lying on a simple broad cot, in her
pajamas. The room is subdued in color and holds only this single
bed. A large mirror set into one wall hides an observation room
But I just don’t feel… ready
to sleep yet. Please, do I
109. WIDER, REVEALING DR SAMUEL KING, a young, curly-haired internist; 109.
intelligent and wry. He treats NANCY at all times like a young
adult, never patronizing. He winks as the NURSE finishes.
Don’t worry, you’re not gonna
change into Bride of Frankenstein
NANCY manages a smile, but she’s haggard and visibly thinner.
MARGE, background, looks downright distraught.
DR KING (CONTD)
Nancy have any severe childhood
illnesses? Scarlet Fever?
High temperatures — concussions?
He means, did you ever drop me
on my head.
The doctor and girl share a nervous laugh; MARGE doesn’t even
Nightmares are expected after
psychological trauma. Don’t
worry, they go away.
I sure as hell hope so.
I don’t see why you couldn’t
just give me a pill to keep me
Everyone’s got to dream.
If you don’t dream, you go…
(he drills his finger
at his temple)
They’re just simple tests,
Nan. We’ll both be right
Look, I know it’s been fright-
ening, I know your dreams have
seemed real. But… it’s
Please, Nancy. Trust us.
The girls gauges her mother, the doctor, the situation very
carefully. Then lowers her eyes.
It’s not you I don’t trust.
Okay. Let’s do it.
Greatly relieved, MARGE gives NANCY a goodnight kiss, then
follows the doctor through a doorway near the mirror. As soon as
her mother is out of sight, NANCY’S eyes drift to the mirror
itself. In its reflection she sees herself looking back, alone
on the bed.
110. INT. THE OBSERVATION ROOM. 110.
MARGE and DR KING overlook NANCY’s sleeping chamber through the
one-way mirror. And KING monitors the girl even more closely
with a bank of instruments — a mass of glowing dials, graphs and
meters. His manner with MARGE is slightly more sober.
How long’s this been going on?
Since the murder. She was fine
Not to worry. No signs of path-
ology in Nancy’s EEG or pulse
rate. I’d guess what we’ve got
is a normal young girl who just
happens to have gone through
two days of hell.
It’s just made her think…
her dreams are real…
KING adjusts a dial, watching the EKG like a hawk.
Ever hear the old Buddhist tale
about the King who dreamed he
was a beggar who dreamed he
was a king?
MARGE twitches. Then there’s a slight alteration in the sound of
the EKG. KING nods in satisfaction.
DR KING (CONTD)
Okay, good. She’s asleep.
MUSIC RISES SOLEMNLY, MAJESTICALLY into a haunting transition as
111. A MONTAGE OF SHOTS, of the EKG GRAPH, its inky needles calming, 111.
of a METER tracing the quieting of NANCY’s pulse, and of OTHER
INSTRUMENTS, indicating life processes we can only guess. All
112. CLOSE ON NANCY on TV MONITOR, asleep like the child she is. 112.
MARGE lights a cigarette, angry at her helplessness.
What the hell are dreams, anyway?
Mysteries. Incredible body
hookus pokus. Truth is we
still don’t know what they
are or where they come from.
As for nightmares…
Did you know that in the last
three years twenty Philipino
refugees in California died
in the middle of nightmares?
Not from heart attacks, either.
They just died.
He gives a “Ah don’ know” shrug. MARGE looks out into the
sleeping room. NANCY is a motionless bundle in the middle of the
113. ANGLE ON A NEEDLE on an EKG dipping to a lower reading. 113.
114. WIDER ANGLE — the mother and DOCTOR watching. 114.
What happened? That needle
sank like a rock.
She’s entering deep sleep now.
Heart rate’s a little high due
to anxiety, but otherwise she’s
nicely relaxed. All normal.
She could dream at any time now.
Right now she’s like a diver
on the bottom of an ocean no
one’s mapped yet. Waiting to
see what shows up.
115. INT. THE SLEEPING ROOM. 115.
We can see NANCY drift from the initial stage, over the
brink into deep sleep. Her hair falls into her eyes; her face
relaxes; her shoulders curl round her like comforters. THE MUSIC
DEEPENS, and begins to hint at the tones of the NIGHTMARE THEME.
116. INT. CONTROL ROOM. DAY. 116.
DR KING and MARGE watch the instruments’ every move.
One of the machines begins a slight CHIRPING. KING scans it,
liking what he sees.
Okay, she’s started to dream.
He leans forward in his chair, like a pilot starting an
instrument approach. MARGE THOMPSON licks her dry lips, fighting
a turn of nausea.
How can you tell?
R.E.M.’s. Rapid eye movements.
The eyes follow the
dream — their movement picks
up on this —
He prods a dial with his pencil and scribbles the time on a note
DR KING (CONTD)
Beta Waves are slowing, too.
She’s dreaming, all right.
A good one, too.
MARGE watches the TV MONITOR. It’s in extra-close on NANCY’s
eyes — and they’re darting beneath the lids, reacting to events
lost behind a skein of flesh and neurons.
KING points to a moving graph. A needle’s begun waving lazily
between plus and minus three. The DOCTOR nods, assured.
DR KING (CONTD)
Typical dream parameter. A
nightmare, now, would be plus or
minus five or six; she’s just
around three point —
He stops. Outside, visible through the glass, NANCY twists
around. Eyes still closed, she’s nevertheless holding her head
in the attitude of prey listening to the first faint sound of the
MARGE looks from her daughter to the DOCTOR, color draining from
What the hell’s this? She
awake or asleep?
The needle of the graph gives a jagged pitch up, plunges, then
surges well above the eight mark. A strange MUSIC CUE —
disonant and threatening, creeps in — the NIGHTMARE THEME
slurred into awful minors and weird disonance. KING stares at
the gauge in disbelief, rapping his finger on its glass.
Can’t be. It never gets
The needle swings even higher, benind.
DR KING (CONTD)
Jesus H. Christ.
He’s cut off by the high-pitched KEENING of the girl, the SOUND
cutting through the double thickness of the glass like a lasar.
A warning BEEPER has begun, the instruments light up like a
Christmas tree — and outside in the sleeping room, NANCY is
contorting as if shot through with a thousand volts. KING knocks
over his chair in his sprint for the door.
117. INT. SLEEPING ROOM. 117.
The DOCTOR and MARGE come in on the run — NANCY’s flailing and
screaming as if the devil himself were after her. KING grabs her
to shake her awake;
ANGLE ON NANCY (eyes open) — looking in terror — SOUND ECHOED
IN HER POV — dressed in KING’S clothes — the horribly scarred
MAN reaches out.
WIDER — (NANCY’S eyes closed in sleep) as the girl’s fist shoots
out with incredible force and knocks DR KING flying!
The NURSE and MARGE both descend on her —
and again in her SLEEPING POV we see the MAN stagger for her.
WIDER ON NANCY — (still in her nightmare) — fighting like a
tiger with both MARGE and the NURSE — sending the NURSE
sprawling — leaving MARGE hanging on for dear life.
ANGLE on the stunned DOCTOR fumbling with a hyperdermic needle,
spilling most of the stuff on himself with his shaking hands —
the SCREAMS AND CURSES of NANCY are deafening and worthy of a
stevador fighting off his worst enemy. Stranger still, her hair
is electrified, standing on end and greying before their very
MARGE screams at the top of her lungs.
NANCY!!! IT’S MOM — NANCY!!!!
Some deep bolt of psychic power smacks through the girl, and her
eyes flap open — they’re glazed with terror and fury, but open.
She stares around like a cornered animal in the middle of the
bed, her purple face gasping out gut-wrenching SOBS. The NURSE
and MARGE dare to go back in and hold the sweat-drenched girl as
DR KING comes for her with the needle.
Now, this is just going to let
you relax and sleep, Nan —
With incredible swiftness, NANCY backhands the hypodermic into a
far wall, shattering it into a million pieces.
No. That’s enough sleep.
Her eyes are windows straight into white fire as she locks into
KING’S face. He dabs his split lip, swallowing painfully.
Okay, kid. Okay. Fair enough.
He holds out his hand. NANCY at last takes it, and sags back
into her pillow, exhausted. Then KING comes up with blood on his
He stares at it, dumbfounded, then at the girl. Across her left
forearm, a deep gash is bleeding freely, as if made by a very
Oh my god, oh my god…
(to the NURSE)
Get the kit!
The NURSE scrambles away as the DOCTOR claps his hand over the
wounds. He looks into NANCY’s face. What he sees frightens him
even more: NANCY’S haunted, ghost-like eyes turn from him to her
mother, and a terrible, chilling smile opens across NANCY’s white
You believe this?
She pulls her free arm from beneath the sheets and reveals a
strange hat, filthy and worn — the KILLER’S hat. The sight of
it frightens MARGE more than anything that’s come before.
Where the hell did you get that?
NANCY fixes her with Xray eyes.
I grabbed it off his head.
MARGE stares at the hat as if it held her whole future, and her
future was a horror.
FADE TO BLACK
118. EXT. NANCY’S HOUSE. DAY. 118.
THE SIXTH DAY
FADE UP ON NANCY’S HOUSE, early morning.
119. INT. NANCY’S KITCHEN. DAY. 119.
MARGE is on the telephone, the dirty hat in her hand. Nearby is
a nearly empty bottle of gin.
She said she snatched it off
his head in a dream.
No, I’m not crazy, I’ve got
the damn thing in my hand!
I know we did, we all…
She hangs up and stuffs the hat and bottle into a drawer,
screening the action with her body. NANCY enters.
By now the girl has an extraordinary look. Her hair is ashen,
her skin transluscent, and eyes dark-ringed. Her right forearm
is heavily bandaged over the slashes. In short, instead of the
girl next door, we now could be looking at the lunatic from the
next cell. MARGE, though she does her best to hide it, is
downright frightened of her.
You didn’t sleep, did you?
The doctor says you have to
sleep or you’ll —
NANCY pours herself a cup of black coffee.
Go even crazier?
I don’t think you’re going
crazy — and stop drinking
that damn coffee!
Did you ask Daddy to have the
I threw that filthy thing away —
I don’t know what you’re trying
to prove with it, but —
NANCY comes closer, her eyes shining with a new sureness.
What I learned at the dream
clinic, that’s what I’m trying
to prove. Rod didn’t kill Tina,
and he didn’t hang himself.
It’s this guy — he’s after
us in our dreams.
But that’s just not reality,
120. Furious, NANCY janks open the drawer before MARGE can stop her 120.
and spills the bottle and hat onto the counter.
MARGE grabs away the bottle protectively — but it’s the hat
NANCY goes for. She waves it triumphantly — demonically.
It’s real, Mamma. Feel it.
Put that damned thing down!
MARGE lunges for it — NANCY leaps out of reach —
His name is even in it — written
right in here — Fred Krueger —
Fred Krueger! You know who that
is, Mamma? You better tell me,
cause now he’s after me!
MARGE swallows, then persists in the lie.
Nancy, trust your mother for
once — you’ll feel better as
soon as you sleep!
NANCY shoots a hard humorless laugh, holding up her slashed arm.
You call this feeling better?
Or should I grab a bottle and
veg out with you — avoid
everything happening to me
by just getting good and loaded —
MARGE slaps her hard.
Fred Krueger can’t be after you,
Nancy — he’s dead!
The room falls silent, both women staring at the other.
Fred Krueger is dead. Dead and
gone. Believe me, I know. Now
go to bed. I order you, go to
MARGE snatches the hat away. NANCY is furious, betrayed.
You knew about him all
this time, and you’ve been acting
like he was someone I made up!
MARGE pulls away.
You’re sick, Nancy. Imagining
things. You need to sleep,
it’s as simple as that.
NANCY wheels and smashes MARGE’S bottle of gin in the sink.
But NANCY runs past her mother for the front door.
Nancy — it’s only a nightmare!
NANCY turns in the doorway.
On the door SLAM, we
121. EXT. SHAKESPEARE BRIDGE. DAY. 121.
ANGLE ON A NEIGHBORHOOD STREET. We hear GLEN’s VOICE and PAN UP
to REVEAL NANCY and GLEN high above, two tiny figures walking
across this strange white bridge in old Los Angeles. CAMERA
BEGINS A SLOW ZOOM.
Whenever I get nervous I eat.
And if you can’t do that, you
Used to. Not anymore.
GLEN jams more Big Mack into his face. By now our ZOOM reveals
he’s attacking a huge bag of Big Macks, and furtively eyeing
NANCY. The girl’s hair is startlingly white in the sunlight.
She’s reading a book, hardly paying attention.
You ever read about the Balinese
way of dreaming?
They got a whole system they
call ‘dream skills’. So, if
you have a nightmare, for
instance like falling, right?
Instead of screaming and getting
nuts, you say, okay, I’m gonna
make up my mind that I fall
into a magic world where I can
get something special, like a
poem or song.
They get all their art literature
from dreams. Just wake up and
write it down. Dreamskills.
He stops, seeing the look on NANCY’s face. Our ZOOM is much
closer now, a wide medium, and still coming in on the kids.
And what if they meet a monster
in their dream? Then what?
They turn their back on it.
Takes away its energy, and
What happens if they don’t do
I guess those people don’t
wake up to tell what happens.
She leans over the railing, poking her face back into her book.
GLEN tips its cover and reads its title. OUR ZOOM IS STILL
MOVING CLOSER, a MEDIUM CLOSE UP NOW.
‘Booby Traps and Improvised
I found it at this neat
survivalist bookstore on
Well what you reading it for?
OUR ZOOM LOCKS IN ON A TIGHT TWO ON THEIR FACES, NANCY’s grimly
I’m into survival.
She walks away, OUT OF FRAME, leaving GLEN watching after her in
She’s starting to scare the
living sh*t out of me.
122. EXT. ELM STREET/NANCY’S HOME/EVENING 122.
ANGLE ACROSS NANCY’S “TREE LAWN”, the grass between
the sidewalk and the street, in the general direction
of GLEN’s home. This ANGLE doesn’t quite reveal
FOREGROUND is a utility truck in which a half dozen
Hispanic WORKERS are loading tools, extension cords
and hardware. They
look like they’ve put in one hell of a hard day’s work.
MARGE appears and hands a check to the FOREMAN of the crew, a
white guy in clean coveralls and a gold chain. He scrutinizes
And the other…
MARGE forks over a wad of cash, hands trembling in her
half-drunk, helpless rage.
Where’s your mask and gun?
The FOREMAN counts the money swiftly.
Don’t bust my chops, lady.
If the city found out I put
’em in without inside releases
I’d loose my license.
He shoves the money in his pocket and climbs in his truck. MARGE
EXITS FRAME for her house.
PAN WITH THE TRUCK as it pulls away, THEN PICK UP NANCY, walking
across the street from the corner. Alone. Dispirited. She
lifts her eyes to her home and stops in her tracks.
123. WIDENING TO REVEAL THE HOUSE as NANCY walks across her front 123.
yard. Every single window has been covered with brand-new
ornamental iron bars, bolted deeply into their frames.
CLOSER, AT A WINDOW. NANCY gives a set of bars a powerful
shake. They don’t budge. Then girl looks up and sees even the
window to her second floor bedroom is barred. And the rose
trellis has been ripped down and heaped at the foundation in a
tangle of wood, thorns and broken flowers.
124. INT. MARGE’S ROOM. EVENING. 124.
ANGLE ON THE DOORWAY INTO THE HALL. Easy listening MUSIC wafts
through the air. NANCY appears in the doorway.
Mom, what’s with the bars!?
125. REVERSE to MARGE, propped against the headboard of her bed, a 125.
crooked shadow in the gloom. A fresh bottle of Gin glints in her
The girl crosses and reaches gently for the bottle. MARGE
snatches it away.
She rocks the bottle in her arms.
What’s with the bars?
NANCY sits on the bed, a surprising compassion entering her
Mom, I want to know what you
know about Fred Krueger.
Dead and gone.
I want to know how, where —
if you don’t tell me, I’m going
to call daddy.
MARGE gives a laugh — a rasping chachination from deep in her
Your father the cop. That’s a
Forget Fred Krueger. You don’t
want to know, believe me.
I do want to know. He’s not
dead and gone — he’s after me
and if I sleep he’ll get me!
I’ve got to know!
MARGE blinks at her a moment, then cracks a terrible, crooked
126. INT. NANCY’S CELLAR/NIGHT 126.
MARGE drags NANCY headlong down the cellar stairs and across the
room with a crazy fury, twisting her down near the foundation.
And she thrusts her face so close to her daughter’s that NANCY
reels from the alcohol.
You want to know who Fred
Krueger was? He was a filthy
child killer who got at least
twenty kids, kids from our
area, kids we all knew. It
drove us all crazy when we
didn’t know who was doing it —
but it was even worse when
they caught him.
MARGE draws herself up with a shake.
Oh lawyers got fat and the judge
got famous, but someone forgot to
sign the search warrant in the
right place, and Fred Krueger
was free, just like that.
So he’s alive?
MARGE smiles grimly.
He wouldn’ve stopped. The
bastard would’ve got more
kids first chance he got —
they found nearly ten bodies
in his boiler room as it
was. But the law couldn’t
At the mention of “boiler room”, NANCY gives a shake. MARGE
misses this, too busy taking a pull on the bottle that’s never
left her hand.
What was needed were some private
citizens willing to do what had
to be done.
She reels slowly, looking at NANCY is defiance.
What did you do, mother?
MARGE cradles the bottle.
Bunch of us parents tracked him
down after they let him go. Found
him in an old boiler room, just
like before. Saw him lying there
in that caked red and yellow sweater
he always wore, drunk an’ asleep
with his weird knives by his side…
MARGE reaches over and taps a dusty two-gallon jug of gasoline
near the lawn mower.
We poured gasoline all around
the place, left a trail out the
door, locked the door, then…
She mimes striking a match —
Her arms shoot up and her eyes go wide with the light of that
fire. There’s awe in her voice. Then she drops her arms.
But just when it seemed not
even the devil could live
in there any more — he crashed
out like a banshee, all on fire
— swinging those fingerknives
every which direction and
screaming he… he was going
to get us by killing all our
She stops with a sudden quake and drinks for a long moment. But
the intake doesn’t hide the image. Her face bathed in tears, she
looks at her daughter and shakes her head.
There were all those men, Nancy,
even your father, oh yes, even
him. But none could do what
had to be done — Krueger rolling
and screaming so loud the whole
state could hear — no one could
take your father’s gun and kill
him good and proper except me.
She sweeps her hand across the air in a terrific slash, then
stops, her hand shaking, her voice hoarse and terrified. She
looks at her daughter, begging.
So he’s dead Nan. He can’t
get you. Mommy killed him.
For someone who started this film at a very young seventeen,
NANCY’s now the battle-tempered veteran as she takes her mother
in her arms and rocks her.
Who was there? Were Tina’s
parents there? Were Rod’s?
MARGE sags back.
Sure, and Glen’s. All of us.
But that’s in the past now,
baby. Really. It’s over.
We even took his knives.
The woman twists around and opens the door on an old furnace — a
furnace unused since the newer gas one nearby was put in. She
fishes inside the cavity — as then we hear a touch of the
familiar ‘SCRRIITCH’. Next moment she pulls out an object
wrapped in rags, opens it and displays the long, rusted blades
and their glove-like apparatus.
NANCY stares at the damn things, chilled.
All these years you’ve kept those
things buried down here? In our
Proof he’s declawed. As for him,
we buried him good and deep.
MARGE shoves the knives into their hiding place, closes the
little iron door.
So’s okay, you can sleep.
She lurches up and staggers upstairs.
NANCY shivers and looks down at her arm. The cut beneath her
bandage has begun to bleed again. And from inside the furnace,
as if from deep below, the PULSING of the boundless
nightmare-boiler room can be faintly heard.
127. EXT. ELM STREET. NIGHT. 127.
WIDE ON THE STREET AND BOTH HOUSES, GLEN’s on the right, NANCY’s
on the left. A TELEPHONE RINGS. ZOOM IN ON GLEN’S UPSTAIRS
128. INT. GLEN’S & NANCY’S BEDROOMS – INTERCUT. NIGHT. 128.
129. GLEN, yawning, crosses and picks up his telephone. 129.
Oh. Hi, how y’doing?
NANCY looks out the window and touches her hair.
Fine. Stand by your window
so I can see you. You sound
a million miles away.
In the lighted window across the way, she can SEE GLEN move into
sight. In his shot, we can SEE NANCY step into her window behind
I heard your ma went ape at the
security store today. You look
like the Prisoner of Zenda or
something. How long’s it been
since you slept?
Coming up on the seventh day. It’s
okay, I checked Guiness. The
record’s eleven, and I’ll beat
that if I have to.
Listen, I… I know who he is.
Yeah, and if he gets me, I’m
pretty sure you’re next.
GLEN is appalled.
Me!? Why would anyone want to
Don’t ask — just give me some
help nailing this guy when I
bring him out.
Bring him out of what?
How you plan to do that?
Just like I did the hat. Have
a hold of the sucker when you
wake me up.
(switching back to a more
Wait a minute, you can’t bring
someone out of a dream!
If I can’t, then you all can
relax, because it’ll just be a
simple case of me being nuts.
I can save you the trouble.
You’re nutty as a fruitcake.
I love you anyway.
Good, then you won’t mind cold-c**king
this guy when I bring him out.
You heard me. I grab him in the
dream — you see me struggling
so you wake me up. We both come
out, you cold c**k the f*cker,
and we got him. Clever, huh?
You crazy? Hit him with what?
You’re a jock. You must have
a baseball bat or something.
Come to my window at midnight.
Meanwhile whatever you do
don’t fall asleep. Midnight.
She hangs up. GLEN’s eyes bug out.
Holy sh*t! Midnight. Baseball
bats and boogemen. Unf*cking
130. OMIT OMIT 130.
131. EXT. THE VALLEY AND HILLS. NIGHT. 131.
HIGH, WIDE SHOT. The moon is above the horizon. A cool wind
slides a bank of white fog inland. The valley and its lights
stretch forever, an endless net of illumination and darkness. A
coyote HOWLS on the dark hill.
132. EXT. POLICE STATION. NIGHT. 132.
A palm frond scuttles across the center of the parking lot. LT
THOMPSON arrives in an unmarked car.
Lieutenant Thompson — what
you doing in at this time?
Can’t sleep, thought I’d come
break up the poker game.
The COP laughs and goes his way. THOMPSON’s smile evaporates.
133. INT. POLICE STATION. NIGHT. 133.
THOMPSON enters and checks the log. Nearby, SGT GARCIA pours
If it was any more quiet we
could hear owls farting.
Is quiet, isn’t it?
How’s your girl?
THOMPSON looks at the Desk sergeant a moment, then tosses down
She’s sensible. She’ll sleep
sooner or later.
134. EXT. ELM STREET. NIGHT. 134.
The neighborhood is utterly still, most of the homes already
dark. But not NANCY’s. Or GLEN’s.
ZOOM TO GLEN’S LIGHTED LIVING ROOM WINDOW.
135. INT. GLEN’S LIVING ROOM. NIGHT. 135.
GLEN’s father watches eleven o’clocks news, a dreary FILM CLIP
(STOCK) of war and refugees in a far-away land.
MR LANTZ takes a pull on his Bud.
You’d think they’d have some-
thing ’bout the Lane kid hanging
MRS LANTZ walks through the room, drying her hands on a
Maybe we’re all making more out
of it than we should.
She heads upstairs. MR LANTZ pops the automatic tuner. CARSON
I wouldn’t touch that line with
a ten foot pole.
ED MCMAHON and the AUDIENCE laugh in delight.
136. INT. GLEN’S HOUSE/UPSTAIRS CORRIDOR. NIGHT. 136.
MRS LANTZ comes along the upstairs hall and knocks gently at a
Glen? you all right?
She puts her ear to the door and listens.
MRS LANTZ (CONTD)
137. INT. GLEN’S ROOM. NIGHT. 137.
GLEN lies sprawled across the bed, long legs flung over the end,
head not visible.
His mother enters. She looks at the boy, turns off the TV.
Looks at him again.
From this angle she can see his head, earphones crammed over it
rasping their tinny noise. But no movement from the kid at all.
MRS LANTZ crosses and pokes him in the ribs. GLEN lurches up,
He refocuses his eyes, takes off his earphones.
How can you listen to Carson and
a record at the same time?
GLEN swings his legs over the edge of the bed and shakes his head
to clear the cobwebs.
Wasn’t listening to the tube,
just watching. Miss Nude
America’s supposed to be on
Well how you gonna hear what
Who cares what she says?
The mother gives up.
You should get to sleep soon,
Glen. It’s almost midnight.
Goodness knows we’ve all had
enough of a time the last few
I will, Mom…in a while.
You guys turning in?
His MOTHER sighs and goes out, closing the door behind her. GLEN
flips the TV back on and glances at the clock.
138. INSERT OF CLOCK. It’s 11:42. 138.
139. TIGHT ON GLEN’s face. He clamps the earphones back on, and turns 139.
the volume up high. The MUSIC is so loud we can hear it
resonating inside his skull.
CAMERA MOVES PAST GLEN to his window, then ZOOMS through to:
140. EXT. ELM STREET / NANCY’S HOUSE. NIGHT. 140.
CONTINUE ZOOMING into the LIGHTED window of NANCY’s barred second
floor bedroom and
141. INT. NANCY’S ROOM. NIGHT 141.
CLOSE ON MARGE, weaving on the edge of NANCY’s bed, stroking
the girl’s hair. NANCY’s still something of a wreck, but less
We’ll go away, take a vacation.
Get your hair colored nice, the
way it was. No one will ever
This whole room smells of coffee,
She gathers up NANCY’s coffee cups and empty NoDoz boxes, leans
down and kisses her.
It’s all over now, baby. The
nightmare’s over. Please.
NANCY nods her head, half stubborn, half sadly. She can barely
keep her eyes open now.
She scrunches into her pillow. MARGE smiles haggardly and shuts
off the light, taking the coffee pot with her as she leaves.
MARGE smiles, relieved. The girl pulls the blanket around her
shoulders. Her eyes flutter closed, her breathing becomes regular
and deep. Once again she’s the litle girl MARGE fantasizes she
The mother tiptoes out of the room, closing the door behind her.
HOLD ON NANCY’s sleeping face as the DOOR CLOSES. Her eyes
remain closed another beat, then open wide.
She quietly jumps out of bed and shakes herself savagely to
scatter the sleep settling so quickly.
Still in the dark, she fishes a full electric coffepot from under
her bed and pours herself a fresh fix into a mug she digs from
beneath her pillow. The face illuminated by the neon light on the
pot is set in absolute determination.
NANCY drains the cup, then crosses to her closet, retrieves a
pitcher of ice water from behind a heap of clothes and splashes
her eyes and the back of her neck. That done she eases open her
window and presses her face to the bars, sucking in cool night
air until every shred of sleep is gone from her brain.
Then she starts pulling on clothes.
142. INT. NANCY’S HOUSE/DOWNSTAIRS. NIGHT. 142.
ANGLE ON MARGE as she checks the lock on the backdoor. Firm.
143. ANGLE IN THE LIVING ROOM as she pads through the darkened house, 143.
feels her way to a wall of shelves and takes down a book. Then
another, and a third. Then reaches in and fishes out a bottle of
144. EXT. NANCY’S HOUSE AND ELM STREET. NIGHT. 144.
The sky has gathered in greater darkness. LOW, DISTANT THUNDER
rolls around the horizon like a great drum.
ANGLE ON NANCY’S HOUSE from across the street. The moon glints
off the barred windows. CAMERA ZOOMS to NANCY’s window. The
imprisoned girl hovers in the darkness behind the grill like a
ghost, her eyes turned towards GLEN’s. Then she switches to
something much CLOSER TO CAMERA ANGLE, and she draws back.
145. REVERSE ON GLEN’s father, standing on the front porch of his 145.
home, also in the shadows, looking straight across and up at
NANCY. He draws on his cigarette; his face glows red.
146. NANCY pulls down the shade. 146.
147. GLEN’s father grinds the cigarette beneath his shoe. 147.
As the man turns our SHOT WIDENS TO REVEAL MRS LANTZ.
Know what I think? I think
that kid’s some kinda lunatic.
The woman spoons more sweetness into her mouth and rubs her
Shouldn’t say such a thing about
the poor child. If you mean the
bars, Marge’s just being cautious,
her being alone and Nancy acting
so nervous lately.
The woman rises and pulls him gently towards the living room. As
he goes inside he takes one last look.
MR LANTZ (CONTD)
Well, she ain’t gonna hang around
our boy no more.
Once the two are inside, the door is locked.
148. INT. NANCY’S ROOM. NIGHT. 148.
CLOSE ON NANCY’s face. VERY CLOSE. Her eyes stare ahead,
red-rimmed, anxious. She picks absently at the thick bandage
covering her forearm. The long cuts from Fred Krueger’s fingers
are bleeding again, but she doesn’t even care anymore. Too late
to sweat the small stuff. She crosses the room.
On the bedside table with the nearly empty Pyrex coffee maker,
the empty cup and the empty box of No-Doz, is her old fashioned
alarm clock, and a phone.
NANCY pours herself the last of the coffee and drinks it to the
dregs, then looks to the clock.
INSERT CLOCK — ten minutes to midnight.
NANCY’S eyes go to the door.
WIDER. Fully clothed and in a jacket now, she creeps to the door
and cracks it, just to make sure. Then freezes.
149. INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE NANCY’S DOOR. 149.
IN NANCY’S POV through the door we see MARGE, rummaging around in
the linen closet not fifteen feet away. There’s no way NANCY can
get past her. The woman pulls out a full bottle of gin in
satisfaction and begins fumbling with its cap.
150. INT. NANCY’S ROOM. NIGHT. 150.
NANCY eases the door closed again and sinks to the key hole,
watching through it with a sinking heart.
(very quiet, very intense)
Hang on GLEN…
151. INT. GLEN’S ROOM. NIGHT. 151.
GLEN, coat now on, goes to his window, checking.
152. INT. ELM STREET. NIGHT. 152.
GLEN’S POV — NANCY’S porch is deserted; front door closed,
lights out. No sign of NANCY.
153. INT. GLEN’S ROOM. NIGHT. 153.
GLEN shrugs, takes off his jacket and plops back onto his bed.
Well, I’m not gonna risk
sneaking out until she does.
He puts the earphones back on.
154. INT. NANCY’S ROOM. NIGHT. 154.
Absolutely frustrated, NANCY turns from the keyhole to the
window. She opens the blind and eases back the curtain.
155. EXT. ELM STREET. NIGHT.
IN NANCY’S POV THROUGH THE BARS we ZOOM directly across to GLEN’s
156. INT. GLEN’S ROOM. NIGHT. 156.
GLEN lies on his bed, fully clothed, earphones over his ears,
CARSON droning from the TV. And the boy’s eyes begin to droop.
157. INT. NANCY’S BEDROOM. NIGHT. 157.
NANCY picks up her phone, bites her lip, then begins dialing.
158. INT. GLEN’S ROOM. NIGHT. 158.
TIGHT ON PHONE as it begins RINGING loudly.
WIDER SHOT, revealing GLEN asleep BACKGROUND, the MUSIC still
LOUD in his earphones.
159. INT. GLEN’S LIVING ROOM. NIGHT. 159.
RINGING here, too, just as MR LANTZ is turning out the lights for
bed. He stops in the dark, scowling.
Who at this hour?
He refuses to turn the light back on. His wife picks her way to
Oh… Hold on.
(covers the mouthpiece)
It’s her. She wants to talk to
The father crosses to the telephone, suspicious.
What’s this about, Nancy?
She listens, covers up again.
MRS LANTZ (CONTD)
She says it’s private. Very
private and very important.
MR LANTZ grabs the telephone from his wife and barks into it.
Glen’s asleep. Talk to him
He SLAMS down the telephone with a grunt of satisfaction to his
MR LANTZ (CONTD)
Just got to be firm with kids,
Then as a refinement he takes the phone off the hook and lays it
on the table.
160. INT. NANCY’S ROOM. NIGHT. 160.
NANCY dials again. This time she gets a BUSY SIGNAL. She slams
the phone down in frustration and looks out the window.
Glen. Don’t fall asleep…
She goes and sits on the bed, propping her chin on her fists.
161. Yawns. The TELEPHONE RINGS. 161.
NANCY snatches it up.
TIGHT ON HER, ZOOMING EVEN CLOSER ON HER EAR AND THE EARPIECE as
we HEAR the awful SCRITCHING SCRAPE of STEEL FINGERKNIVES.
NANCY slaps the phone down as if it were diseased — then, in
pure rage, rips the thing’s cord from the wall.
Spent instantly, she puts the receiver back on the cradle and
lays it on her bed, chiding herself.
Brilliant. Now what if Glen
She wraps the phone cord around the useless machine and puts it
on her bed, then sneaks back to the door. This time she gives an
expression of relief, and opens the door. MARGE is gone.
Then the TELEPHONE RINGS again.
CAMERA MOVES IN ON NANCY as she turns slowly.
162. REVERSE IN HER POV. THE TELEPHONE RINGS again, despite the fact 162.
that the end of its janked-out cord is clearly visible. The
NIGHTMARE MUSIC THEME slips right up our spines.
BACK ON NANCY. She starts to shake. She goes to the telephone
as we WIDEN, unwraps it as it RINGS even louder. She’s shaking
so hard by now she can barely manage to lift the receiver. MOVE
IN CLOSE ON HER, so close we can HEAR her teeth chattering as she
brings the phone to her ear.
The unmistakeable VOICE of FRED KRUEGER comes over the phone,
garbled by time and unknown dimensions, but clear enough.
I’m your boyfriend now…
CLOSE ON THE MOUTHPIECE. It’s changed from a normal telephone
mouthpiece to an actual mouth — Fred Krueger’s mouth — and his
long, slick tongue flicks out and darts into the startled girl’s
WIDER — as NANCY explodes from her micro-dream — absolutely
mad. She jerks the telephone away from her and smashes it
against her wall, then attacks it with her feet and hands,
smashing it to smithereens.
ANGLE ON THE TELEPHONE PIECES. Normal pieces of a normal
She pinches herself hard — until tears come and her flesh is
I’m awake, I am awake. This is
not a dream! I am —
She stops, realizing what Krueger meant.
163. INT. NANCY’S LIVING ROOM. NIGHT. 163.
NANCY barrels down the stairs and across the darkened living room
to the front door.
It takes her a moment of tugging and fumbling to realize the
deadbolt is locked from inside. And there’s no key in it now.
She races to a porch window and throws it open, shaking and
banging on the bars like a mad woman. But there’s no getting
through. She staggers back, stymied and furious. Then somebody
moves behind her in the dark.
NANCY jumps around in shock. Her mother has posted herself on
the couch with her bottle.
Give me the key, mother.
I don’t even have it on me,
so forget it.
The word is final. NANCY runs past the woman to the back door,
to one window after the other, shaking bars and slamming locks
and SCREAMING in teenage fury. But it’s no good. The house is
Paid the guy damn good to make
sure you stayed put. You ain’t
goin’ nowhere, kid. You’re
gonna sleep tonight if it kills
NANCY clenches her fists and screams at the top of her lungs, a
heart-wrenching, eardrum-breaking cry of love in despair —
SMASH CUT TO:
164. INT. GLEN’S ROOM. NIGHT. 164.
CLOSE ON GLEN’S FROM DIRECTLY ABOVE. The MUSIC is tinny from the
earphones, the TV SOUND DISTANT AND ECHOED. The boy is breathing
deeply now, slowly and gently. Then, unmistakeably, he begins to
SNORE. Very faintly, far in the background, we can hear NANCY.
Glen!! Don’t fall asleeeeeep!
CAMERA PULLS BACK AND STRAIGHT UP as the SNORES merge with a
weird, unsettling MUSIC CUE. The boy lies sprawled, still
clothed, in the middle of his bed. Save for the bedside lamp,
the room is dark.
FULL WIDE ANGLE FROM THIS HIGH SPOT looking down at him as from
the eyes of some great fly hung on the ceiling. THE MUSIC
REACHES A TERRIFYING PITCH OF ANTICIPATION — THEN STOPS
There’s a heartbeat’s pause. Then with tremendous force, two
powerful arms shoot up beneath the red and yellow bedspread and
grab GLEN around the waist!
Next moment the young man’s body is dragged straight down into
the bed, as if some huge beast had grabbed him and heaved him
down! His feet and his arms shoot up — there’s another hauling
yank — and the boy disappears except for his hands and fingers
— down into the pit in the middle of the bed! His hands are
last to go, clawing for a hold. But soon they vanish as well,
dragging blankets and bedsheets, wires and stereo across the
caved-in bed and into the abyss.
There’s HIDEOUS SCREECHING of MUSIC jamming in with GLEN’s
ECHOING SCREAMS — then an unholy, sudden silence.
Next moment what’s left of GLEN is vomited up from the pit of the
nightmare bed…a horrible mess of blood and bone and hair and
wires…streaming out and over the bed. Then the pit in the bed
is gone as if it were never there.
Drawn by the terribly screams and struggle, GLEN’s mother bursts
into the room. The women stares for one moment of horrified
disbelief, then reels back and lets out the most god-awful SCREAM
imaginable. The cry splits the night.
165. EXT. ELM STREET. NIGHT. 165.
The SOUND of the SCREAM CROSS-FADES WITH the WAIL of the
AMBULANCE as it screeches to a halt at the curb, followed by two
BLACK AND WHITES and an UNMARKED CAR. Uniformed POLICEMEN spill
LT THOMPSON and PARKER exit the unmarked car. By habit or by
premonition THOMPSON glances at the house that was his home. His
eye is caught by a movement; his daughter is at her upstairs
window, white-haired, hollow-eyed, looking down on him through
her bars. She gives a little wave.
Unnerved, THOMPSON waves back, then walks rapidly for GLEN’s
home. MR LANTZ, pale as a ghost himself, waits on the porch; we
can hear the mother’s WAILING inside.
166. INT. NANCY’S ROOM. NIGHT. 166.
CLOSE ON NANCY’S BIG OLD WINDUP ALARM CLOCK. Its big and little
hands sweep together at midnight.
THE NINTH DAY
There’s a BABBLE of POLICE RADIOS, SIRENS WINDING DOWN, RUNNING
FOOT-STEPS, SHOUTS, NEIGHBORHOOD KIDS and DOGS BARKING as CAMERA
LIFTS TO NANCY’S FACE. Set. Unafraid. Ruthless.
The girl pulls the window shade on it all, then looks at her
Okay, Krueger, you bastard.
We play in your court.
167. INT. GLEN’S LIVING ROOM/NANCY’S KITCHEN — INTERCUT. NIGHT. 167.
168. LT THOMPSON is halfway across the living room when he stops. 168.
Something dark and red is welling from a crack in the ceiling.
One of his men is rigging a bucket beneah to catch the leaking.
The telephone rings and PARKER picks it up.
Lieutenant. It’s your daughter.
Says it’s urgent.
THOMPSON turns away from the dripping.
Tell her I’m not here, tell
Uh, she just saw you, sir…
THOMPSON nods, crosses and picks up the telephone. SCREEN
SPLITS; we see both.
LT THOMPSON (CONTD)
Hi daddy. I know what happened.
Then you know more than I do —
I haven’t even been upstairs.
You know he’s dead though, right?
THOMPSON debates, then admits it.
Yeah, apparantly he’s dead.
How the hell’d you know?
A tear coarses down NANCY’s cheek, but her voice remains firm.
I’ve got a proposition for
you. Listen very carefully,
Nan, I —
Please. I’m gonna go get
the guy who did it and bring
him to you. I just need you
be right there to arrest him.
Just tell me who did it and
I’ll go get him, baby.
Fred Krueger did it, Daddy,
and only I can get him. It’s
my nightmare he comes to.
The detective flinches at the name.
Where’d you hear about Krueger —
NANCY presses, very firm, very rational.
— I want you to come over here
and break the door down exactly
twenty minutes from now — can
you do that?
That’ll be exactly half past
midnight. Time for me to fall
asleep and find him.
Sure, sure, honey. You just
do that — get yourself some
sleep — that’s what I’ve been
saying all along.
And you’ll be here to catch
Lieutenant — they’re waiting
THOMPSON waves curtly, still speaking to NANCY.
Sure, okay, I’ll be there.
Now you just turn in and get
some rest, sweetheart. Please.
NANCY hangs up. LT THOMPSON starts upstairs. But then he stops,
and as an afterthought he could never really explain, turns to
LT THOMPSON (CONTD)
Get outside and watch her house.
If you see anything funny call
‘Anything funny’ like what?
THOMPSON shakes his head, embarassed.
I don’t know — but one thing
for sure, I don’t want her
coming over here. She’s way
too far gone to be able to
to handle this.
As PARKER exits, ANGLE CUTS TO NANCY’S KITCHEN as the girl hangs
up and sinks back agiainst the wall, trapped by her own
resolution. She looks at her watch.
169. INSERT — five past midnight. NANCY switches modes to stopwatch 169.
and sets the COUNTDOWN going at twenty-five minutes.
170. INT. GLEN’S BEDROOM. NIGHT. 170.
LT THOMPSON steps into GLEN’s room, anxious to be done with it.
He hits a wall of stench and horror even before he takes it in
with his eyes, and as soon as he sees the bed he claps his hand
over his mouth, pivots and walks right back into the hallway.
171. INT. HALLWAY. NIGHT. 171.
He sags against the wall, unable to look at the COPS who hover
What the hell did that,
Lieutenant? There ain’t even
a head left.
Goddamed if I know.
(tries to straighten)
What’s the Coronor say?
He’s in the john puking since
he saw it.
172. INT. CELLAR. NIGHT. 172.
NANCY pulls tools and hardware out with grim resolution. Hammer,
nails, spools of wire, an old square of heavy fishneting, some
old shot gun shells, a file — referring only once to the booklet
in her hand.
173. INT. NANCY’S LIVING ROOM. NIGHT. 173.
Barely able to control her shaking hands, NANCY starts stringing
off the spool of wire across the living room, crying and swearing
at the same time.
DISSOLVE TO HER HANDS wrapping bare lamp wire around two
thumbtacks stuck into the insides of the pinchers of a common
wooden clothespin. The wire goes OFF SCREEN.
ANOTHER ANGLE as she inserts a Lifesaver between the two prongs.
One end of the fishline is tied to the lifesaver. The whole now
is stretched taut about three inches off the living room carpet.
ON NANCY carefully filing a hole in a LIGHTBULB.
OH HER pouring powder and shot from shotgun shells into the
opening in the bulb until it’s full, then sealing it with tape.
DISSOLVE TO HER screwing the bulb back into the floor lamp, and
placing the thing near the foot of the stairs.
SC 174 (DELETE)
175. INT. NANCY’S UPSTAIRS HALLWAY. NIGHT. 175.
— NANCY completes installing a sturdy sliding bolt to the
outside of her own bedroom door.
— NANCY screws a hinge into the wall directly above her door.
Attached to the hinge is the shank of something — some kind of
tool. We can’t see what it is because CAMERA never quite frames
the whole thing.
— NANCY tiptoes to her mother’s door and peeks in.
176. INT. MARGE’S BEDROOM. NIGHT. 176.
MARGE lies propped in her bed looking back at NANCY. Her
drunkeness has been altered by the SIRENS and BABBLE outside into
a sort of comatose clarity.
Guess I should’n’a done it.
Just sleep now, Mom.
Just wanted to protect you,
Nan. Just wanted to protect
MARGE slides over on her side. NANCY smooths her hair, covers her
as she would a child, then exits the room.
DELETE SC 177
178. INT. NANCY’S ROOM. NIGHT. 178.
The girl enters, turns out her bedside light, slips out of her
dress and puts on her nightgown. Then she kneels by her bed.
Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.
She gets into bed and pulls the blankets to her chin.
CLOSE ON NANCY’s face. She stares straight up at the ceiling for
a long moment, then closes her eyes.
179. INT. GLEN’S LIVING ROOM. NIGHT. 179.
LT THOMPSON trudges down the stais and confronts GLEN’S FATHER.
I know it’s hard to think at
a time like this, Walter, but
can you think of anyone who
could’ve done such a thing?
The father stares away, his voice low and dull.
He done it.
THOMPSON looks at the man, baffled.
Who? Who did that?
The father gives him the strangest look.
Had to’ve done it. No one
else was in there.
How you know that?
Cause I thought Glen was
gonna sneak out to see your
lunatic daughter, that’s why.
So I locked him in his room!
Sorry. Anyways, the door was
still locked when we heard the
MR LANTZ (CONTD)
Maybe god’s punishing us all…
(much lower and hard)
Keep your head — this is a
f*cking flesh and blood killer
we’re talking about.
Like Rod Lane?
A voice calls down from upstairs.
Lieutenant Thompson. Coronor
wants to show you something.
THOMPSON gives MR LANTZ one final look, then heads upstairs.
NOTE: These rewrites of scenes 180 and 180 A replace NANCY
walking through the ‘dream streets’ at night, and NANCY
approaching the huge deserted building at night, prior to her
entering the Boiler Room the final time.
180. INT. DOWNSTAIRS, NANCY’S HOUSE. NIGHT. 180.
LOW ANGLE UP STAIRS as NANCY appears at head. As she comes
downstairs, CAMERA MOVES WITH HER through the hallway to the
cellar door. She opens the door.
180A. INT. NANCY’S CELLAR. NIGHT. 180A.
NANCY appears at top of these stairs, hesitates, then comes down.
WIDER as NANCY approaches center of room, stops in CU, then turns
eyes. We HEAR the distant SOUND of the boiler room now, faint
but unmistakeable. NANCY MOVES, and CAMERA PANS HER to the
cellar’s side WALL, where another, new doorway is REVEALED.
NANCY opens this door and looks down. FIRELIGHT is on NANCY’S
face now, and the SOUND of the Boiler Room is very clear. NANCY
goes through the door.
180B. INT. BOILER ROOM. 180B.
NANCY decends like Orpheus into hell, but without weapon save her
She decends a steel stair to the lowest level, then hears the
SOUND of the knives from down another shaft. She sees there’s an
even deeper place down there. She starts down.
Again, and then again, NANCY decends, each ladder narrower or
more twisting, each level deeper, wetter, darker, more airless.
Soon she’s gasping for air, but still she pushes herself on. She
doesn’t stop until she breaks out at last at the very bottom of
the place, a wet, firelit sump deep in the bowels of the place.
CAMERA NOW PANS AROUND WITH HER, and for the first time we SEE
the vast maul of the empty boiler behind her.
She stares at it. It’s seething with some dark WIND that soughs
and whines like a huge dying dog.
NANCY crosses to it, touching the pile of old, coal-dusted dirt
at its base. It looks almost like an old grave.
She turns suddenly, listening. Then, hearing nothing, she looks
NANCY’S POV as she picks up GLEN’s earphones.
WIDER as she suddenly drops them, staring at her fingers.
They’re dripping blood.
There’s another BEEP.
180C. INSERT ON NANCY’S WATCH — the COUNT-DOWN a blur of black digits 180C.
counting down to zero. They’ve just crossed the ten minute
180D. CLOSE ON NANCY’S FACE. She speaks into the night. 180D.
Come out and show yourself,
No sooner are these words off her lips than the huge bulk of FRED
KRUEGER lurches up behind her! The man is even more hideous
hatless, his bald head and tormented face veiled in skeins of
ruined flesh, his ragged teeth barred, the great spider of
razor-blades flashing from his fingertips.
He leaps, but the girl leaps just as fast, a fierce jump,
that sends her out over black space and down into a huge, dark
sump of blackness.
180E. EXT. THE HEAVENS. NIGHT. 180E.
CLOSE ANGLE ON NANCY as she curves like a swan though her
apogee, and begins falling, diving, planing through black air,
the wind ripping at her hair and eyes. Suddenly the complex,
glittering skein of light that is the San Fernando Valley seen
from the air slides INTO FRAME, and we see she’s falling from
high, high over the earth.
NANCY falls, falls in slow motion against the spinning lights,
free as a sky diver freefalling — a giddy, acrophobic plunge.
181,182,183,184 OMIT OMIT 181,182,183,184
185. EXT. ELM STREET/NANCY’S HOUSE. NIGHT. 185.
NANCY crashes suddenly out of the night and into a hedge just
outside her own front door, rolling out at its bottom scratched
and bloodied. If she were in any normal reality she’d be a mass
of broken bones — but somehow she’s able to claw her way up and
look at her watch once more.
INSERT. Just a few seconds from zero.
She staggers for her house’s front door — but a moment later
KRUEGER crashes down atop her! NANCY struggles to her knees just
as the man lunges with that godawful handful of blades. But
instead of running, she ducks inside the deadly grab and seizes
him in a desperate bearhug!
The surprise move sends him pitching backwards, her still on him
–and they fall into the jumble of torn-down trellis of roses
beneath her window. Almost at that very second we HEAR the
jarring, deafening RINGING of NANCY’s alarm clock!
SMASH CUT TO:
186. INT. NANCY’S BEDROOM. NIGHT. 186.
NANCY sprawls out of her bed onto the floor, twisting from the
jabs of the already vanished thorns, briars and brush. Gasping,
she takes a second to get her bearings
ANGLE ON THE BED as she recovers quick as she can, snatching up
the net, ready for an assault from any direction.
But the room is empty.
Hardly able to catch her breath, her hair tangled, her nightgown
torn, she drops the net. She sits on the bed, turns on the
bedside lamp and re-examines her room. No one there but herself.
It’s a terrible blow, despite the fact that she’s safe. Her face
is covered with tears, she’s shaking and breathless. She rattles
her head in confusion and despair, realizing her own madness.
I’m crazy after all…
At that very instant FRED KRUEGER leaps up from the far side of
the bed with an EXPLOSIVE SHOUT of rage!
He lunges across the table for her, missing by inches as NANCY
pitches backwards and scrambles for the window. But she’s
stopped by the bars.
KRUEGER, incredibly fast, regains his feet and leaps again — the
girl wheels and shatters the coffeepot over his head. As he
crashes backwards NANCY flings open the door of her room and
dives through — only to rebound off someone on the other side —
187. INT. HALLWAY. NIGHT. 187.
MARGE, knocked flying by NANCY’S charge, hits the floor hard,
knocking the wind out of herself. NANCY sees what she’s done,
jumps over the body and slams the door and throws the new bolt
home. Next instant she gingerly ties a string to the door’s
knob, a string that trails down from the ceiling, attached to
something up there that’s still just barely out of sight.
Next instant she’s dragging her MOTHER towards the woman’s
bedroom as fast as she can.
KRUEGER is already splintering the doorway behind her as NANCY
dips and makes it into MARGE’s room, SLAMMING the DOOR behind her
and locking it in a flash.
The MANIAC breaks the bolt and rips open the door.
But the in the very act of doing this he of course unknowingly
pulls the string attached to the outside doorknob with terrific
CLOSE ANGLE ON THE CEILING. The string jerks against a
single-edged razor, which in turn cuts a tight wind of cord
holding a heavy wedge of steel to the ceiling.
WIDER as the thing falls free, pivoting at the hinge at the far
end of its handle, and drives straight into KRUEGER’S groin with
a terrific blow. As he catapaults backwards with an incredulous
shriek, the twenty pound sledge hammer swings back and reveals to
camera just what it is!
ANGLE DOWN ON KRUEGER, clawwing his way up despite his agony,
lurching and cursing forward like an enraged bull.
WIDER ANGLE IN THE HALLWAY as KRUEGER roars out — only to
immediately strike the length of WIRE strung across the hallway,
catching it just above the thigh. He cartwheels head-over-heels
and lands flat on his back!
Instantly the DOOR to NANCY’s MOTHER’s bedroom flies open and
NANCY brings a brass lamp down over KRUEGER’s head with all her
might! It sounds like a line-drive caroming off a metal
NANCY SLAMS the DOOR as KRUEGER struggles up, clutching his
Enraged, the huge man CRASHES against the door with terrific
force, and rears back and starts smashing against the door like
the utter homicidal lunatic that he is.
188. EXT. ELM STREET/NANCY’S HOME. NIGHT. 188.
HIGH ANGLE at the second floor level. NANCY jerks open the
window to her MOTHER’s bedroom and jams her face to the bars.
The AMBULANCE is pulling away with a tremendous WAIL of its SIREN
as NANCY SCREAMS down, trying to make herself heard.
Help! Hey — Daddy — I got
him trapped! Where are you!?
189. ANGLE ON the street. PARKER, assigned to guard the house, sees 189.
NANCY — hair white, eyes wide — pounding on the bars and
screaming like a lunatic. But her meaning is utterly lost in the
noise of the ambulance next to him.
(yelling up at her)
Everything’s going to be all
right! Everything’s under
ANGLE at the window. Close on NANCY’s face, incredulous at his
Get my father, you asshole!
PARKER does a little take. That almost sounded sane.
You heard what I said! Now get
back inside or I’ll tell your
191. Behind her the DOOR SPLINTERS. NANCY whirls around just in time 191.
to see KRUEGER bull in! NANCY’s eyes go wide — she’s trapped
against the bars and has nowhere to go. The man bunches his
knives into a single thick blade and rushes her, stabbing. NANCY
closes her eyes —
Then from OUT OF FRAME Marge leaps between the two.
She blocks the charge perfectly — blocking the knives.
Both she and NANCY are slammed backwards against the bars
Drunk though she is, is hanging onto KRUEGER’S weapon hand,
keeping the knives inside herself, away from her daughter!
Nancy — for god’s sake’s run!
But NANCY turns to the window instead, screaming for her father.
Daddy! Where are you!
192. EXT. ELM STREET. NIGHT. 192.
PARKER, just about to turn back to the business at GLEN’s house,
sees NANCY and SOMEONE else fall just inside the window.
Something begins to dawn on the man. Just a little.
Poor woman’s got her hands full
with that kid. Maybe I better
tell the lieutenant.
He turns and jogs towards GLEN’s house.
193. INT. MARGE’S BEDROOM. NIGHT. 193.
ANGLE ON KRUEGER, hauling MARGE up in rage, knocking her
senseless across her bed and climbing after her with his knives
raised. NANCY wheels behind him and whams him in the kidneys
with her fists, spilling him back off the bed, then running past
him for the door. She makes it to safety,
then turning back. She flips the monster the bird, her eyes wild
with pain and fury.
Hey f*ckface — can’t catch me!
The bait works — KRUEGER leaves MARGE and howls after NANCY.
194. INT. UPSTAIRS HALLWAY. NIGHT. 194.
As NANCY clears the hall and makes the stairs, KRUEGER lurches
through the shattered doorway after her.
195. INT. LIVING ROOM. NIGHT. 195.
The girl careens down the stairs, across the room and to the
front door, banging against it with terrified fury.
Come on — he’s in here!
Daddy! Don’t let him kill
Behind her the huge MAN is thumping down the stairs, KNOCKING
THINGS OVER, SCRAPING his LONG STEEL FINGERNAILS along the wall
with a horrible sound!
NANCY flings a heavy ash tray through the porch window and
screams through the bars.
KRUEGER, bloody and spewwing threats, staggers for her — NANCY
dives behind the couch.
CLOSE ON KRUEGER’S FEET as they hit another wire.
CLOSE ON the Lifesaver jerking out — the clothespin snapping
together, completing the circuit with a CRACKLING SPARK.
WIDER ON THE EXPLOSION that rips out of the floor lamp next to
KRUEGER and knocks him sprawling across the room.
NANCY peeks out from behind the couch. The man lies in a smoking
heap. NANCY runs to the windows and screams out again.
Hey — Daddy! Hey! I got the
KRUEGER roars up behind her — she throws herself sideways — he
crashes into the window frame, smashing glass and wood to bits.
NANCY turns SCREAMING and runs deeper into the house.
196. OMIT 196.
197. INT. CELLAR. NIGHT. 197.
She careens down the stairs, throwing on the lights, the man
thundering after her.
ANGLE AT THE FAR END OF THE CELLAR. NANCY brakes at the wall.
Nowhere left to hide.
THE SCRAPPING of the blades against brick turns her to see the
huge killer holding his knife-laden fingers up for her.
Ready for these?
198. ON NANCY — she ducks behind the furnace — comes out the other 198.
side with the big jug of gasoline and lets KRUEGER have it
straight over the head. The heavy container shatters, showering
its contents over every square inch of the man.
He staggers backwards with a ROAR of fury, NANCY screaming after
him with a box of kitchen matches. Before the man can realize
what she’s up to, she ignites the whole box and throws it in
There’s a blinding WHOOSH — and KRUEGER goes up in a terrific
BALL OF FIRE. Faster than a flash the girl runs past the howling
maniac and makes for the stairs, KRUEGER after her in full
199. INT. NANCY’S KITCHEN. NIGHT. 199.
NANCY holds the heavy door until the precisely right moment.
Just as the burning, blind monster tops the stairs, NANCY brings
the heavy oak door round with all her might and catches him in a
great RINGING CONCUSSION. It sends him windmilling backwards and
down the stairs in an ass-over-teakettle sprawl of sparks and
NANCY slams the door and throws the deadbolt home.
No sooner does she accomplish this than the man is SLAMMING again
and again against the door from the cellar.
The terrible SCREAMS and CURSES PEAK,
THEN GROW WEAKER AND MORE GARBLED. Then there’s just silence.
NANCY staggers, half blind, from the kitchen.
As the room begins seething SMOKE from every pore, we
200. INT. GLEN’S UPSTAIRS HALLWAY. NIGHT. 200.
The CORONER steps out of the bathroom peeling bloody rubber
gloves. Pale and sweating.
Found you something, Donald.
Should remind you of something…
The man shoves out his hand to LT THOMPSON. THOMPSON stares at
it without touching it. A long, thin steel blade, razor sharp,
attached to some sort of ring and armature — broken off…
The CORONER gives a sweaty, grim smile.
Only place I ever heard of such
a thing before was ten years
ago. Remember that f*cker
LT THOMPSON has just knocked PARKER sprawling in his race to the
Hey — your daughter’s acting
kinda — !
201. EXT. NANCY’S HOME. NIGHT. 201.
CRASH as NANCY breaks another window and presses against the
bars. The house shudders and glows orange behind her. She sees
her father bursting out the front door of Glen’s house!
DAD! GET US OUTTA HERE!
Oh, Jesus — Nancy!
(to his men)
Hey! We got a fire!
202. ANGLE ON NANCY’S FRONT DOOR. Many MEN batter the door down as 202.
black smoke pours from the windows and NANCY’s SCREAMS and SHOUTS
fill the air. Within moments they’ve destroyed the door and LT
THOMPSON has pulled his daughter into the safety of his arms.
But NANCY immediately fights free and darts right back to the
front door — beckoning him to follow — gesturing like a wild
I got him — I got Fred Krueger!
THOMPSON stares at his wild little girl in astonishment, then
runs in after her. The others follow, coughing and choking.
203. INT. LIVING ROOM. NIGHT. 203.
THOMPSON collides with NANCY as she brakes, frozen. THE SMOKE IS
BELCHING OUT OF THE CELLAR, but whoever was locked in there
certainly isn’t now. The door is flat on the kitchen floor.
What the hell are you talking about,
NANCY wheels without answering. A series of tiny, isolated fires
burn across the living room and up the stairs. Firesteps.
He’s after Mom! Come on!
She darts across the living room, following the flaming
footprints of FRED KRUEGER up the stairs before THOMPSON can stop
204. INT. MARGE’S BEDROOM. NIGHT. 204.
NANCY STOPS IN THE SPLINTERED DOORWAY — a ragged gold-red light
splashing her horrified face.
205. REVERSE IN HER POV — FRED KRUEGER, literally a man of fire, has 205.
a screaming MARGE pinned to the bed and is crawling all over
her! NANCY gives a banshee’s howl, snatches up a chair and
brings it down over the back of the firey beast, stunning him.
By the time LT THOMPSON races into the room NANCY’S seized a
heavy blanket has thrown over both of them, fighting the flames.
The father joins his daughter without a second thought, heaving
another blanket over the bed and smothering the last of the
He’s under there! Watch it!
206. THOMPSON pushes the girl back — yanks out his .38 and pulls off 206.
the first cover. No movement. He pulls back a second one,
ready to fire. But the only thing he sees is the blackened
half-skeleton of his ex-wife, smoking and seething and sinking
into the fluid-like mattress, sinking right down through it as if
she were sinking into a lake. A blackened, gnarled hand goes
last, then the bed solidifies over the place she’s disappeared.
And it’s as if no one was ever there.
NANCY turns and looks at LT THOMPSON, her face white as her
ghostly hair. THOMPSON shoves his .38 back in its holster and
finds a cigarette, his hands shaking so badly he can barely
Now do you believe me?
PARKER barges in. The room is filled with smoke, the bed is
stripped, but other than that, the place seems normal.
You find him?
LT THOMPSON just walks by him. PARKER chases after.
PARKER (CONTD OS)
Sir — here, let me light that
for you — Lieutenant? What
WIDER, ON NANCY alone in the room. She turns and looks at the
bed. MUSIC slips in and builds. The bed has changed color.
It’s now an ash-darkened red and yellow.
207. CLOSER ON NANCY from the direction of the bed. MUSIC SUDDENLY 207.
STOPS, and the surface of the red and yellow bed gets a bump in
its center that keeps raising, raising until it’s a hump that’s a
head and shoulders, still raising until it looms over NANCY.
Then FRED KRUEGER’s entire shape sweeps up into the yellow and
red mass — and the garish head, smoking and seething, pops
NEW ANGLE — KRUEGER, a burned, sizzling black hump of a killer,
clumps onto the floor between NANCY and the door.
NANCY falls absoltely still, and her face goes through a
strange, almost sublime transformation.
I know you’re there, Krueger.
She turns and faces him.
You think you was gonna get
away from me?
NANCY shakes her head.
I know you too well now,
KRUEGER smiles bitterly. Coming closer.
And now you die…
There’s a SLICKERING RATTLE at his side, and he raises the only
thing on him not charred — the gleaming steel talons.
208. NANCY simply shakes her head again, as if seeing a light at the 208.
end of her long, long tunnel. And the way she says the words,
they might be appearing on the inside of her eyes.
It’s too late, Krueger. I
know the secret now — this
is just a dream, too — you’re
not alive — the whole thing
is a dream — so f*ck off!
I want my mother and friends
KRUEGER grins insanely, confused and amused at the same time.
I take back every bit of
energy I ever gave you.
You’re nothing. You’re
And then she turns her back on him. KRUEGER bunches his
fingers, producing a single ragged bundle of razor talons and
raises his hand over the back of her head and neck.
NANCY closes her eyes and steps to the door.
CLOSE ON HER HAND, touching the door knob.
CLOSE ON KRUEGER’S KNIFE-FINGERS poised.
MUSIC BUILDS then SHRIEKS as KRUEGER stabs down, right through
NANCY — as if she were an optical illusion — loosing his
balance and falling down, down, down… And he’s gone.
209. EXT. ELM STREET. DAY. 209.
CLOSE ON NANCY’S FRONT DOOR AS NANCY jerks it open and blinks in
the bright, diffused light. The MUSIC FADES on a transitional
note, into light.
We hear BIRDS.
Early morning SOUNDS.
God, it’s bright.
MARGE sticks her head out, squinting, and nods. Sober.
Gonna burn off soon or it
wouldn’t be so bright.
NANCY turns and looks her mother over.
They say you’ve bottomed out
when you can’t remember the
(shakes her head)
No more drinking, Baby, suddenly
I just don’t feel like it
She touches NANCY.
Didn’t keep you up last night,
did I? You look a little
Nah. Just slept heavy.
The girl gives a wave and goes off. MARGE calls after.
NANCY turns and waves.
210. WIDER ON NANCY as she walks to the curb. The whole scene is 210.
wrapped in an unseasonal tule fog, bright yet diffuse. We notice
that NANCY’s house no longer has bars on its windows. Then we
see a familiar convertible pull up at the curb, top down. TINA
and ROD are in the back seat. They all wave to MARGE as NANCY
You believe this fog?
I believe anything’s possible.
TINA slaps five with NANCY.
Lookin’ good, girl!
ANGLE INSIDE THE CONVERTIBLE. GLEN slips into the seat next to
NANCY. Someone else is driving, it seems. NANCY looks up to the
DRIVER. The big MAN turns and grins at NANCY, a terrible,
scarred, hideous leer of a grin — FRED KRUEGER’S grin!
ANGLE BACK OUTSIDE THE CONVERTIBLE as its top clamps over the
kids within — a bright red and yellow top that closes as fast
and hard as a beartrap! NANCY’S frightened face flies to the
window, pressing against the thick glass as the car roars away
from the curb and into the thick fog.
211. CAMERA PANS TO a group of LITTLE GIRLS, half-hidden by the fog, 211.
jumping rope and singing gayly.
One two —
Freddy’s coming for you!
Three four —
Better lock your door!
Five six —
Get your Crucifix
Seven eight —
Gonna stay up late!
Nine ten —
Never sleep again!
MUSIC CROSSFADES WITH THIS SONG, expanding the simple tune to
symphonic, boundless dimensions as the little girls fade into
thin air, and we
FADE TO BLACK
ROLL END TITLES.
Movie | Film Script: A Nightmare on Elm Street (Shooting Script)