A Nightmare on Elm Street

On August 30, 2015 the world lost one of the greatest masters of horror. Wes Craven was well known for creating movie scenarios that would scare anyone at anytime. By praying on fear and horrifying situations, Wes Craven is a name that will scare many for generations to come. In A Nightmare on Elm Street he does just that with an unforgettable movie villain: Freddy Krueger.

When her best friend Tina Gray is murdered, Nancy Thompson learns quickly that it was not her boyfriend Rod. Before she was murdered Tina informed Nancy that she had been having weird dreams about a man chasing her in a boiler room. The night that she died, Nancy and Tina discover they had the same dream. The next day Nancy goes to school and has a nightmare with Freddy Krueger chasing her causing her to burn her arm. Nancy learns that Freddy killed Tina in her dream, but Rod was to blame as he was the only one in the room. When Nancy learns that Rod is in danger she heads over to the police station with her boyfriend Glen, where they learn that Rod had died at Freddy’s hand. Although, it looked like he hung himself, Nancy knows better and must convince others that she is correct. With her father as the police chief and an alcoholic mother Nancy starts to work on defeating Freddy so she can sleep peacefully again. However, when Nancy’s mother brings her to a dream clinic she pulls out his hat of his dream. Learning that she can pull things out of her dream with Freddy she starts to research on ways to stop Freddy in the real world, not her dreams. But, things become complicated when her parents place bars on the window, along with her boyfriend’s parents doing what they can to separate them because they believe, like everyone else, that a sleep deprived Nancy is going insane. Nancy’s mother informs her about Freddy Krueger, telling him that he is a child molester who murdered several children. When he was arrested he was let go due to the judge not signing on the search warrant in the correct place. When he was let go the parents of Elm Street set him on fire burning him to death. Understanding now why Freddy is killing off her and her friends, Nancy falls asleep with discovering that Glen is next on Freddy’s list. Sadly, Glen is murdered with Nancy telling her father that she is going to bring Freddy Krueger out of her dream. Setting her alarm clock she falls asleep one final time in a showdown with Freddy. When she finds Freddy she brings him out leading him on a chase around her house that she had booby trapped specially for him. She does her best to get her fathers attention, when he finally comes over she discovers that he had murdered her mother. When her father leaves the room she finally understands why Freddy got so strong, it was from fear. She tells Freddy she is not afraid allowing him to jump through her. She closes her eyes and opens them up to being outside ready for school with Glen, Rod, and Tina. When she jumps in the car she ends up trapped with them as Freddy’s laughter rings against a nursery rhyme about Freddy.

Wes Craven found a way to scare people out of wanting to sleep. How do you live without sleep? Freddy Krueger is one of the characters that Wes Craven created to scare people using techniques and a story like no other. On August 30, 2015, Wes Craven passed away leaving Freddy Krueger and other terrifying characters as his legacy.


On August 29, 1915 Ingrid Bergman was born. This beautiful and iconic actress would help pave the way for many who came after her. On the same day in 1982, she passed away. Through her many performances, her role as Isla Lund sticks out the most in the 1942 film Casablanca.

Rick runs a bar in Casablanca with the Germans having taken over French Morocco. He works alongside his piano man Sam who makes things happier than they seem. However, one night Rick’s ex-girlfriend Ilsa walks into the bar with her husband Victor. Ilsa broke Rick’s heart several years before when she left him in Paris as he and Sam were leaving after the Nazis had taken over. Rick ends up struggling with whether or not to help Victor who is active in the French Resistance. Around every corner he learns that Ilsa is willing to do whatever it takes to help her husband with freeing France from the Germans tyranny. Things get pushed too far when Rick refuses to give Ilsa the tickets she and Victor need to leave Casablanca. That night Rick and Ilsa make love and the two prepare to leave for America the next morning. However, at the last moment Rick decides to give his ticket to Victor knowing that he really belongs with Ilsa. Not to mention, Rick realizes that if he doesn’t let Victor go he could fall to punishment such as being sent to a concentration camp for breaking the law. With Ilsa and Victor on the plane Rick and his cop friend Louis ensure that the two are able to make it out of there. In the end Rick finds a good friend in Louis as they walk away from the airport together.

Casablanca is by far my favorite movie of all time. In 1942 Casablanca premiered to critical acclaim and is a beloved movie by many others. Ingrid Bergman starred as Ilsa Lund in this romantic drama. On August 29, 1982 she passed away as well as she was born on the same day in 1915. Casablanca is one of the many films that brought out her beauty, talent, and poise.

Rosemary’s Baby

In 1968 Rosemary’s Baby scared the wits out of many people with the story of the Son of Satan being born into the world. This movie would not have been as scary as it is if it was not for Ruth Gordon’s portrayal as the villainous Minnie Castevets. As the wife of a Satanist, we find an innocent young girl in a world where she is terrified and stuck with no way out.

Rosemary Woodhouse and her husband Guy rent an apartment in New York City. The newlywed couple are on cloud nine with the life they are living as it is heavily implied the two hope to start a family soon. When they move in they meet their new neighbors the Castevets. Rosemary and Guy are put off by their behavior but are happy to be welcomed into their new home. Rosemary makes the acquaintance of Terry, a recovering drug addict, who ends up committing suicide. When Rosemary discovers this she is heartbroken and the Castevets explain that she was a troubled young girl. Later that evening Rosemary has a dream that she was being raped by the devil, the only problem is it wasn’t a dream.

Shortly after this encounter Rosemary discovers that she is pregnant. She tells Guy and the Castevets come over to celebrate. However, soon, Rosemary starts to suspect that her pregnancy is anything but normal. She soon starts to crave raw meat and chicken liver, as well as losing weight. She goes to a doctor only for him to not be much help. With the encouragement of her friends she tells Guy she is going to get a second opinion only to infuriate him at the idea. Rosemary starts to do some investigating and comes to the conclusion that the Castevets and her doctor are Satanist. When she approaches Guy on the subject she realizes that he is in on the plot for her to give birth to the son of Satan. Attempting to prevent being taken hostage by the satanist cult, Rosemary discovers they are everywhere and tries to flee. But, she ends up being knocked out only to wake up to discover she has given birth to a son. When she goes to meet her son for the first time she is taken aback by his looks. The Castevets and the other satanist encourage her to take on her motherly duties. She does so as the credits role.

On August 28, 1985 Ruth Gordon passed away with a slew of characters for people to remember her by. But none stands out as much as Minnie Castevets in the 1968 film Rosemary’s Baby. There she brings to life a villain in the form of a kindly neighbor. Ruth Gordon had lived a quiet life, but she did bring to life characters that are loved and feared.


Spy Kids

Alexa PenaVega has brought to life many characters in her life as an actress. However, it was not until Spy Kids premiered in 2001 when she had her big break. In this family comedy there are two normal children discover a secret about their supposedly boring parents.

Carmen and Juni Cortez have a basic picturesque life with two parents who love them. Unbeknownst to the two kids their parents are former spies who end up being called back into the field when a popular television character is believed to have kidnapped agents. When their parents end up being kidnapped, Carmen and Juni are pulled into the world of spies as they head off to bring their parents home. However, this journey is dangerous as they dodge spies who are aware that the two kids are on to them. Carmen and Juni end up finding their parents friends and working with them. But, along the way they learn that Floop, the beloved children’s character is the mastermind behind a kidnapping scheme. With Carmen and Juni eventually finding their parents they end up having to stop Floop from replacing all the leaders of the world with robots. The family starts to work on bringing down Floop and they manage to do so. In the end Carmen and Juni agree with their parents to take cases as a family.

Spy Kids was enjoyed by families all over the world when it premiered. Alexa PenaVega, then known as Alexa Vega, starred in the film as the daughter Carmen who ends up in the world of spies. On August 27, 1988, Alexa PenaVega was born with a life of acting ahead of her.

The Stepford Wives (1975)

Stepfordwivesposter.jpgOn August 26, 1970 a movement led by Betty Friedan resulted in Women’s Strike for Equality. This historic movement raised awareness for equal rights for women in the workforce, politics, and social equality in marriage. However, as history would show women have not always been treated fairly. In the 1975 film The Stepford Wives we are introduced to a young married woman who ends up moving with her husband to a place to learn to be the perfect housewife.

When Joanna Eberhart and her husband Walter move to Connecticut with their young children. Upon arrival something is strange about area to Joanna, but not to her husband. She strikes up a friendship with Bobbie start to investigate the strange happenings around Stepford. The two learn that some of the wives were successful women until they moved. One incident at a supermarket where Joanna accidentally backs into another car causes her to become more suspicious about the happenings in the area. Then one day Joanna wins a prestigious prize her photographs being featured in a museum. When Joanna goes to visit Bobbie to tell her the great news she notices that Bobbie is not the same. Bobbie’s house has completely changed, as did she. She now has become a picture perfect housewife unlike her original persona. Upset Joanna ends up being in a car accident with damage to the car. Her upset husband fails to see and understand why she is so angry with what has happened to Bobbie. But, Joanna learns that the club that her husband has been apart of with the mayor has been more deceitful. This all happens when she returns to her house to get her children to leave for New York. When she is hurriedly looking for her child she ends up lured into a trap set up by her husband and the men who are part of the club. She finds out that the Stepford Wives are robots who are set up to be model housewives. Upset and annoyed with their wife’s independent success each husband has killed his own wife and replaced her with robot in her liking. Joanna ends up suffering the same fate with a robot as a new couple moves into town.

The Stepford Wives premiered in 1975 based on the book by the same name. In this picturesque movie women know their place based on what their husbands want diminishing their equality. On August 26, 1970 the Strike for Women’s Equality started to eliminate the allow equality for women like the one that was taken from Joanna Eberhart.

The Garde Through the Eyes of the Next Generation

Image result for garde arts centerOn August 19, I had the privilege of attending The Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut to see the hit movie Love & Friendship. This film was part of the Summer Film Festival at The Garde in which seventeen critically acclaimed films were shown. During the festival films such as Eye in the Sky starring Alan Rickman, The Innocents a French film, the comedy The Nice Guys and the captivating film Midnight Special. As a young child, I had participated in dance recitals and I have seen several live shows throughout the years at The Garde, but nothing compared to this moment. As I was preparing to watch my first film at The Garde, I noticed how happy everyone seemed to be. The ushers were gladly accepting the tickets given to them by the patrons, while the bartenders joyously served them. Then the lights flickered in the lobby filled with beautiful finger painted portraits; it was time to go take my seat.

Image result for garde arts center   As I made my way to the balcony, I noticed the house manager was making his final rounds to let people know that the film was starting. Shortly, after I sat down, Steve Sigel made his entrance to thank everyone for coming. However, this was no ordinary thanks to the audience; he had no problem welcoming the new patrons to The Garde. In a segment, he started The Garde’s Embarrassed Audience Member. In this he welcomed two new patrons who had never set foot inside The Garde Arts Center. By showing his gratitude towards them for coming he told everyone a little about each of them. One of them was a mechanic from Groton, Connecticut who has always wanted to see the inside of the theater. The other was a well known television producer from New York who was happy to be inside the historic theater for the first time. After Steve finished up with this segment, he thanked the audience and sponsors again giving the cue for the theater to darken for the show.

Image result for garde arts center    The reel then started with showcasing the films that were to be shown as part of their film festival and asking the audience to silence their cell phones. As the movie started the audience grew silent with the opening scene. Throughout the film, there was laughter at the jokes made about Connecticut in this Jane Austen film. You see, Love and Friendship is based on a novella by Jane Austen by the name of Lady Susan. In this film, a widower who has a reputation for being a flirt tries to make the best arrangements for her daughter while dealing with a tarnished reputation. There were many jokes that were from the 1790’s that everyone seemed to get.

As the movie ended, the lights came back on giving the audience the path to the lobby. In the lobby, the audience made their way towards the exit, but not without hearing how wonderful the film was. It seems that Love & Friendship had been shown in movie theaters, but to some of the audience members there was something special about The Garde. This historic theatre first opened the doors in 1926. There is an aura that makes The Garde Arts Center unlike any other entertainment venue in Southeastern Connecticut. With the 2016 Summer film festival screening movies including: Maggie’s Plan, Miles Ahead, A Bigger Splash, Sing Street, and The Man Who Knew Infitity, are just to show how much The Garde has taken initiative into adding culture to Southeastern Connecticut. As The Garde enters its 90th season, there is a special touch that the theater palace has to offer. My time viewing Love & Friendship at The Garde Arts Center was enjoyable as an adult same as it was when I was a child.

North By Northwest

Northbynorthwest1.jpgYesterday on August 25 the National Park Service celebrated their 100th birthday. Many national parks are celebrated year round by people of all ages. Some are old and iconic that draw many to them. Others are just a nice place to go and relax. In the 1959 thriller North by Northwest one of the most iconic National Parks is featured, Mount Rushmore.

Roger Thornhill is a typical advertising agent who ends up in a whirl of trouble when he ends up kidnapped and interrogated. After being shaken up by his mysterious kidnapper he tries to convince others about his ordeal. However, no one close to him believes him. Through all of this he ends up fleeing in order to find the real Kaplan, the man who he was mistaken for. Along the way he meets Eve Kendall who believes him. The two end up in a race against time with espionage and spies around every corner. After nearly being assassinated in a cornfield by an airplane, Thornhill realizes that he it is up to him to find out the truth behind a spy ring that brings him all the way to the top of Mount Rushmore. There he learns about a secret piece of microfilm and what it contains. But, I won’t spoil the ending.

In 1959 Mount Rushmore was featured in North by Northwest. Mount Rushmore is one of the most iconic National Parks in America being visited by thousands of people everyday. On August 25, 1916 the National Park Service opened for the first time in America.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban movie poster. This has to be my favorite movie: Yesterday on August 24 Rupert Grint celebrated his birthday. This personal and funny actor brought to life the character of Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter series. In 2004 he reprises the role of Ron Weasley in the third installment Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

After accidentally blowing up his Aunt Marge and running away from his horrible aunt and uncle’s house, Harry Potter learns that hardened criminal Sirius Black escaped. While on his way to the Leaky Cauldron he is informed that he was a follower of Lord Voldemort. When he arrives he ends up spending the rest of his summer in Diagon Alley with his friends Hermione Grange, Ron Weasley, and the Weasley family. However, upon his return to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry he is attacked by dementors who are looking for Black on the Hogwarts Express.

Upon arrival at Hogwarts, Harry and his friends notice that security has been ramped up quite a bit. When he starts his usual classes he becomes fond of the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher Remus Lupin who starts to teach Harry the patronus charm after he is attacked during a quidditch game while the rest of his friends are at Hogsmeade. Now, this is Harry Potter who finds a way into the village, there after running into Ron and Hermione he learns that Sirius Black is his godfather and that he betrayed his parents to Lord Voldemort.

An enraged Harry finds comfort in Ron and Hermione, but there is more going n as their friend Hagrid is having his hippogriff executed for attacking Draco Malfoy during a class. Around the time this is going to happen Ron’s pet rat ends up missing. Blaming Hermione’s pet cat Crookshanks for eating him the two end up fighting. But, when they get to Hagrid’s to comfort him as his pet is about to be executed they find Scabbers, the rat. After being hurried away by Hagrid as there are people approaching for the execution, Ron is dragged by a mysterious black dog into the Whomping Willow. Harry and Hermione follow where they learn the dog is Sirius Black. Soon after Remus Lupin and Severus Snape, the disgruntled potions master, show up. After Harry knocks out Snape, it is revealed that Black has been innocent the entire time. Lupin and Black reveal Ron’s pet Scabbers to be Peter Pettigrew, a cowardly man who was once thought brave for standing up to Black. It is revealed that Pettigrew was the one who Harry’s parents trusted nd betrayed to Lord Voldemort. With this being revealed they head back to Hogwarts to prove his innocence. However, Remus Lupin is a werewolf and didn’t take his wolfsbane potion causing him to turn. In the commotion Pettigrew escapes along with proof of Black’s innocence. Black holds Lupin off with Harry chasing after him to a lake where they are attacked by dementors. Harry faints leaving Black and the rest defenseless to them.

When Harry wakes up he is inside the hospital wing where he learns that Sirius Blacks horrible fate of getting his soul sucked out is approaching. Dumbledore, the headmaster, tells Hermione to use her time turner in order to get Black to freedom. She does so leaving Ron behind in the hospital wing. Harry and Hermione end up reliving the past three hours with Harry saving himself and Sirius with a powerful patronus. When Harry and Hermione return to the hospital wing, they find a confused Ron who doesn’t quite understand what happened. The next day it is revealed that Lupin is leaving due to him being outed as a werewolf. Harry receives a gift from his godfather, a brand new racing broom, as the old one got ruined during Harry’s quidditch match.

Rupert Grint’s portrayal as Ron Weasley was one that is unforgettable. In the role of Ron he was able to bring comic relief while being serious at the same time. On August 24, 1988 Rupert Grint was born with the iconic character of Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter series in his destiny. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban premiered in 2004 with Grint as the lovable wizard again.

Singin’ in the Rain

Gene Kelly sang the iconic song Singin’ in the Rain in the 1952 musical comedy Singin’ in the Rain. In his life Gene Kelly was able to help pave the way for future musicals. On August 23, 1912 Gene Kelly was born to a humble beginning with dance, song, and acting in his future.

Don Lockwood is a humble silent star who can barely tolerate his leading lady. However, Lina, believes that the two are in love and meant to be. When his new film premieres Don decides to tell an exaggerated story of his life leading to his words being contradicted. When the movie ends he hurriedly escapes his fans by jumping into a cab with Kathy Seldon. Kathy tells him that she is a stage actress while sniping at his talents. When Don heads to a party, he is delighted when Kathy shows up as a chorus girl. However, things go awry when Lina tells Don that she got Kathy fired because she realized that he is smitten with her. Furious with what Lina had done Don starts to search for Kathy to bring her back.

When he does find Kathy she tells him that she has been a fan of his all along. With Kathy back, Don looks to find  new talent to bring to the stage with the success of the first “talkie” The Jazz Singer. Along the way they meet Cosmo who comes up with the idea of the taking a silent film and turning into a musical. By chance the movie The Dueling Cavalier fails giving Cosmo, Don and Kathy the door to turn this film into what they had been looking for. After some hilarious results, Lina finds herself being sent away as she cannot sing with Kathy taking the lead. This leads to Lina sabotaging everything Kathy does in order to make the film what they want. When the film hits, it is a financial success even. However, when Lina, Don and Cosmo are asked to put on a concert with the songs from The Dueling Cavalier the curtain is raised revealing Kathy as the singer. An infuriated Lina leaves the stage with Kathy being revealed to be the big star by Don who heads after her where they embrace.

Gene Kelly’s role as Don Lockwood has became iconic the moment the Singin’ in the Rain hit theaters. On August 23, 1912, Gene Kelly was born with a life that would be strongly influential ahead of him. Singin’ in the Rain continues to be a classic that continues to beloved by many today.