Welcome to Bookwise, a full-featured digital book reader.

Tap left edge for menu.

Tap page to scroll.

Sign in for the best reading experience.

Sign in   Maybe later

Previous note
Hide notes
Next note

Add comment
Share
Quote copied to clipboard
Delete

Bookwise is better with an account.

Please Sign in for the best reading experience.

A Nightmare On Elm Street

Wes Craven

Contents

INT. (MONTAGE).

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.

EXT. LOS ANGELES. NIGHT. (2nd Unit)

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 light.

CUT TO:

INT. CONCRETE PASSAGEWAY.

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 free.

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.

INT. BOILER ROOM.

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, approaching TINA.

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.

VOICE O.S.

One two, Freddie’s coming for you...

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:

INT. TINA’S BEDROOM. NIGHT.

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.

TINA

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 her daughter.

TINA’S MOTHER

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.

MAN OS

distant, annoyed You coming back to the sack or what?

TINA’S MOTHER

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 nightgown.

TINA low

Oh, shit.

She suddenly snatches up the cross that hangs over her head, her face white as her sheet.

FADE TO BLACK

BURN ON

THE FIRST DAY

CHILDREN OS

singing One two, Freddie’s coming for you... Three four better lock your door Five six grab your crucifix...

EXT. HIGH SCHOOL. DAY.

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.

ROPE JUMPERS

Seven eight, gonna stay up late! Nine ten – never sleep again!

MOVING ANGLE FAVORING NANCY. She’s a pretty girl in a letter 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 mid-conversation.

TINA referring to kids’ song

That’s what it reminded me of – that old jump rope song. shudders Worst nightmare I ever had. You wouldn’t believe it.

Nancy nods.

NANCY

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.

ROD to Tina

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.

TINA

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.

ROD

Hey, up yours with a twirling lawn mower!

He cuts off across the lawn.

TINA

Rod says the sweetest things.

NANCY

He’s nuts about you.

TINA

Yeah, nuts.

TINA makes a face and rakes her fingernails across a tree as she passes.

TINA CONTD

yawns Anyway, I’m too tired to worry about the creep. Couldn’t get back to sleep at all. beat So what you dream?

NANCY

Forget it, the point is, everybody has nightmares once in a while. No biggy.

GLEN

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 class.

TINA

Hey! You have a nightmare too?

But GLEN’s gone.

TINA CONTD

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

EXT. A VALLEY STREET. NIGHT.

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.

INT. TINA’S LIVING ROOM. NIGHT.

ON GLEN, dialing. Nancy and TINA are watching, giggling.

TINA

I can’t believe his mother let him come over here.

NANCY

Right. Well, she didn’t, exactly...

GLEN shoves a cassette into TINA’s Ghetto Blaster.

GLEN to TINA

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!!

GLEN CONTD

Hello, Mom? 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.

GLEN CONT

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 giggles.

GLEN CONT

shouting over the din Right, right – I’ll call you in the morning! Right! Huh? Yeah, sure, I, huh?...

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.

GLEN CONT

reacting to his mother’s reaction 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.

GLEN CONT

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.

GLEN CONT

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.

NANCY

Worked like a charm.

GLEN

Jesus.

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 the drapes.

NANCY

Nice to have a fire.

TINA

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.

NANCY

Maybe we should call Rod, have him come over too. He might get jealous.

TINA

Rod and I are done. He’s too much of a maniac.

GLEN

He should join the Marines, they could make something out of him. Like a hand grenade.

TINA laughs despite herself. NANCY brightens.

NANCY

See? You’ve forgotten the bad dream. Didn’t I tell you?

TINA shakes her head, wishing she had forgotten.

TINA

All day long I been seeing that guy’s weird face, and hearing those fingernails...

NANCY looks up with a flinch.

NANCY

Fingernails? blinks, laughing That’s amazing, you saying that. It made me remember the dream I had last night.

TINA looks up.

TINA

What you dream?

NANCY

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 effected.

TINA quietly

So what about the fingernails?

NANCY remembers, imitating the frightful coincidence.

NANCY

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 – imitates sssssccrrrtttt....

TINA pales.

TINA

Nancy. You dreamed about the same creep I did, Nancy...

The girls stare at each other.

GLEN

That’s impossible.

They look at him. He looks away, as if suddenly listening.

TINA

What?

GLEN

Nothing.

TINA

There’s somebody out there, isn’t there...

NANCY

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.

EXT. FRONT OF HOUSE. NIGHT.

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.

GLEN

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.

GLEN

It’s just a stupid cat.

NANCY

Then bring us back its tail and whiskers.

The girls push him farther. GLEN edges towards the shadows. Then the SCRITCHING again. GLEN stops; TINA edges back into the house.

TINA

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.

GLEN

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.

REVERSE – ROD leaps up and shouts like a sportscaster –

ROD

And it’s number thirty-six, Rod Lane, bringing Lantz down just three yards from the goal with a brilliant tackle! And the fans go wild!

ROD dances into the light, flashing a wild gypsy’s grin at TINA. The girl’s relieved and frightened at the same time.

TINA

What the hell you doing here?

ROD

Came to make up, no big deal. Your ma home?

TINA

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.

ROD

Intense, huh? sizes up the three So what’s happening, an orgy or something?

GLEN

Maybe a funeral, you dickhead.

ROD wheels, a knife suddenly in his hand, as if ready to take Glen’s throat out. NANCY breaks between –

NANCY

– Just a sleep-over date, Rod. Just Tina and me. Glen was just leaving.

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.

ROD

You see his face? lower Your ma ain’t home, is she? to Nancy & Glen Me and Tina got stuff to discuss.

He pulls TINA inside without further ceremony.

NANCY

Rod...

But ROD’s already got himself and TINA halfway through the living room, heading into the darker part of the house.

ROD

We got her mother’s bed. You two got the rest.

ANGLE BACK ON GLEN AND NANCY.

NANCY

We should get her out of here...

TINA darts to the front door, her blouse half out.

TINA

Hey – you guys’re hanging around – right? fake laughing/whine Don’t leave me alone with this lunatic – Pleeeeze, NANCY!

She disappears. GLEN looks at NANCY. Too innocent.

GLEN

So we’ll guard her together. Through the night. moving closer In each others’ arms like we always said.

NANCY

Glen. Not now. I mean, we’re here for Tina now, not for ourselves.

She kisses him lightly, then pushes him back.

GLEN frustrated

Why’s she so bothered by a stupid nightmare, anyway?

NANCY

Because he was scary, that’s why.

GLEN

Who was scary?

NANCY turns and looks at him.

NANCY

Don’t you think it’s weird, her and me dreaming about the same guy? GLEN looks away; NANCY stares closer You didn’t have a bad dream last night, did you?

GLEN gives her a funny look.

GLEN

Me? I don’t dream.

He takes her inside. Over the SOUNDS of locks falling shut we

FADE TO BLACK

INT. TINA’S LIVING ROOM. NIGHT.

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.

GLEN

Morality sucks.

CUT TO:

INT. TINA’S MOTHER’S BEDROOM. NIGHT.

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.

TINA

I knew there was sometihng about you I liked...

ROD yawns into the pillows, happy.

ROD

You feel better now, right?

TINA

Jungle man fix Jane.

ROD

No more fights?

TINA

No more fights.

ROD sleepily

Good. No more nightmares for either of us then.

He pulls the covers over his head. He’s almost out already.

TINA beat

When did you have a nightmare?

ROD under the blankets

Guys can have nightmares too, y’know. You ain’t got a corner on the fucking market or something.

He rolls over, practically snoring, and pulls another cover over his head. A dirty red and yellow cover.

TINA sleepily

Where’d you get this snotty old thing?

SNORES from ROD. TINA yawns, turns off the light and snuggles against ROD, pulling the cover gingerly over herself, too.

INT. TINA’S BEDROOM. NIGHT

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 beat.

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.

EXT. TINA’S HOUSE. NIGHT.

Not a car or person in sight. A stricken breeze dies in the trees.

ZOOM IN on the window of the room where TINA sleeps. By the time 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.

INT. TINA’S MOTHER’S BEDROOM. NIGHT.

CLOSE ON TINA’S FACE as her eyes open.

REVERSE IN HER POV. Another PEBBLE clatters off the glass.

TINA raises slowly.

TINA

ROD...

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.

EXT. TINA’S BACKYARD. NIGHT.

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.

A LOW ANGLE TO WINDOW as TINA jumps back, startled. She hadn’t 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.

INT. TINA’S MOTHER’S ROOM. NIGHT.

WHAP! This time a heavier stone, and a thin crack bristles across the glass.

TINA low

Who the fuck you think you are, whoever you are?

EXT. TINA’S BACK YARD. NIGHT.

WIDE ANGLE ON THE REAR OF THE HOUSE. A LIGHT COMES ON. TINA appears in the doorway.

TINA listening

Somebody there?

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.

VOICE garbled

Tina.

TINA straightens, unable to swallow. There’s a ragged, obscene GIGGLE. Deep in the throat. Phlegmy.

TINA

Who the hell is that?

TINA charges across the yard and through the gate, the MUSIC chasing after.

EXT. A SERVICE ALLEY. NIGHT.

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 noisily down.

LOW REVERSE ACROSS LID TO TINA. Despite herself she comes over 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.

TINA

Oh, shit, please God...

KILLER softly, approaching

This is God...

He holds up his steel-tipped hand like a surgical-steel spider. TINA runs for her life.

WIDER ANGLE IN THE ALLEY – a terrifying, all-out footrace 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.

EXT. TINA’S STREET. NIGHT.

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.

TINA

Nancy! Open the door – Nancy!

The MAN slows. He has TINA now and knows it.

MAN

She’s still awake. Nancy can’t hear you.

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 talons.

CLOSE ON HIM as he takes the blade on the end of his right index 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 SLOW MOTION.

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.

TINA staggers backward, GROANING, her foot now inexplicably 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.

INT. TINA’S BEDROOM. NIGHT.

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.

IN HIS POV we glimpse the dark underside of the blanket – see 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 bedspread.

IN HIS POV we SEE TINA struggling and flailing along on the sheets, the MAN nowhere in sight.

ROD

T-tina!?

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.

CLOSER ON HIM as he struggles around. In the blue FLASHES OF 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 plane.

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.

ROD

What the hell’s going ON here! Tina!

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.

ROD

Tina –

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.

ROD

You motherfucker! I’ll kill you for that!

INT. TINA’S BEDROOM. NIGHT.

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.

INT. HALLWAY. NIGHT.

NANCY flies into the dark hall – crashing directly into SOMEONE who lurches out of the dark before her. She SCREAMS and jumps back –

GLEN

What the hell’s going on!?

NANCY

Oh – jeez – Glen! Rod’s gone ape!

ROD OS

sobbing I’ll kill you!

NANCY grabs the door; it’s locked; she pounds on it. BAM! BAM! BAM!

Things fall into sudden, awful silence on the other side. GLEN’s voice cracks with fear.

GLEN

Rod? silence 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.

INT. TINA’S MOTHER’S BEDROOM. NIGHT.

Just inside the door NANCY slips and goes down hard. GLEN finds her in the dark more by touch than sight.

GLEN

You okay?

NANCY

Yeah. Something slippering all over here... feeling Tina?

No answer. The room is quiet as a tomb. Except for a steady 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.

GLEN

Oh, shit...

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.

GLEN CONTD

numb I...I’m gonna call the cops –

He bursts from the room.

TIGHT ON NANCY. She turns away from the body in repulsion, sticking her head through the shattered window ROD LANE used for his escape, sucking in the cold night air and moaning.

FADE TO BLACK

EXT/INT. POLICE STATION. NIGHT.

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 OFFICE.

PARKER

Lieutenant Thompson. Sorry to wake you, but –

LT THOMPSON

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.

PARKER

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.

LT THOMPSON

What’s the Coroner got to say?

PARKER

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 –

SERGEANT GARCIA wary

Leautenant. You know who –

LT THOMPSON

Where is she?

SERGEANT GARCIA

I put her in your office...

PARKER scurries after.

PARKER

Looks like her boyfriend did it. Rod Lane. Musician type, arrests for brawling, dope –

LT THOMPSON

Terrific. What the hell was she doing there?

PARKER

She lived there.

OMIT

LT THOMPSON

I don’t mean her –

INT. INTERROGATION ROOM. NIGHT.

THOMPSON enters his office and confronts NANCY and her mother, MARGE SIMSON.

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.

MARGE

Hello to you, too, Donald.

THOMPSON stops, the steam suddenly out of him. The girl is a wreck and he winces to see it.

LT THOMPSON

Marge.

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?

NANCY

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.

LT THOMPSON

I don’t want to get into this now, god knows you need time. hotter 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 like Lane.

NANCY weaves.

NANCY

Rod’s not a lunatic.

LT THOMPSON

You got a sane explanation for what he did?

The girl is shredding a Kleenex, staring off.

MARGE

Apparantly he was crazy jealous. Nancy said they’d had a fight, Rod and Tina.

NANCY quietly

It wasn’t that serious...

MARGE

Maybe you don’t think murder’s serious –

NANCY sits bolt upright in her chair, her eyes flashing.

NANCY

She was my best friend! Don’t you dare say I don’t take her death seriously! lower, near tears I just meant their fights weren’t that serious.

The girl holds the woman’s eyes a moment, then looks away.

NANCY CONTD

to herself She dreamed this would happen...

LT THOMPSON

What?

NANCY

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.

MARGE

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.

LT THOMPSON to MARGE

I suggest you keep a little better track on her – she’s still a kid, y’know.

MARGE wheels on him.

MARGE

You think I knew there were boys there!? You try raising a teenager alone.

Then she and the girl are gone. THOMPSON glares at PARKER.

LT THOMPSON

low to PARKER See they get home okay.

PARKER shoves his hands in his pockets. ON HIS FACE we

FADE TO BLACK

INT. NANCY’S KITCHEN. MORNING.

BURN ON

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 the SCREEN.

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 –

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.

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.

MARGE kind

Where you think you’re going?

NANCY

School.

MARGE

I could hear you tossing and turning all night, kiddo. You’ve no business going to school.

NANCY pulls away, determined.

NANCY

I gotta go to school, Mom. Please. Otherwise I’ll just sit up there and go crazy or something.

MARGE studies her face a moment.

MARGE

Did you sleep?

NANCY

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 cheek.

MARGE

Right home after.

NANCY cont’d

Right home after. See you.

MARGE watches the girl disappear outside, then lights a cigarette from the one already burning in her fingers.

EXT. STREET. DAY.

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 cocks her head, puzzled, as if sensing something. MUSIC mounts. NANCY looks across the street.

REVERSE IN HER POV. A MAN is over there in dark clothes, reading a newspaper, but really watching her.

NANCY shrugs and continues on, then stops and looks back again.

IN HER POV we SEE the MAN is gone.

Next moment – with a MUSIC STING – a BLOODIED HAND jumps out from the opposite direction, clamps over NANCY’S mouth and drags her into the bushes.

EXT. BUSHES. DAY.

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.

ROD

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.

ROD

Your old man thinks I did it, don’t he?

NANCY

He doesn’t know you. eyeing the blood Couldn’t you change?

ROD

The cops were all over my house. shivers They’ll kill me for sure.

NANCY

Nobody’s gonna kill you.

He runs his hands down his face, trying to believe that. The two study each other.

ROD

I never touched her.

NANCY

You were screaming like crazy.

NANCY says this without accusation, just cool observation.

ROD

Someone else was there.

NANCY

The door was locked from your side.

ROD grabs her hard. His muscular body tenses.

ROD

Don’t look at me like I’m some kind of fucking fruitcake or something, I’m warning you.

VOICE O.S.

Morning, Mr. Lane.

The boy jerks around. NANCY’s father, his .38 leveled right at ROD’s belly, eases out of the bushes.

LT THOMPSON

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 –

NANCY

No!

THOMPSON jerks his gun into the air, furious.

THOMPSON

Jesus – are you crazy!?

He plunges past the girl.

EXT. STREET. DAY.

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.

ROD O.S.

I didn’t do it – ! fading I didn’t kill her, Nancy!

The car’s door slams and ROD is gone. NANCY turns to her father, livid.

NANCY

You used me, daddy!

LT THOMPSON exasperated

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.

LT THOMPSON

Nancy! Hey!

But she just keeps going.

FADE TO BLACK

INT. CLASSROOM. DAY.

FADE UP ON an ENGLISH TEACHER and CLASS, NANCY among the kids, trying to concentrate.

TEACHER

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.

TEACHER CONTD

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 Bard.

SURFER reading aloud

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.

ENGLISH TEACHER

Can it.

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.

SURFER O.S.

In the most high and palmy state of Rome, a little ere the mightiest Julius fell... 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...

NANCY’s head has sunk again, eyelids drawn as if by enormous 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.

TINA O.S.

Nancy.

NANCY gives a start. Her eyes lock onto something.

REVERSE. TILTED SIDEWAYS, IN HER HEAD’S POV, we look straight 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.

BACK ON NANCY, sitting upright, wiping the sleep from her eyes, shaking her head like a punchy prozefighter. She looks back out the door.

REVERSE IN ‘NORMAL’ POV – the hallway is empty. But there’s a dark smear on its floor tiles.

NANCY looks nervously towards the rest of the class. No one else 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.

SURFER

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...

ANGLE BACK ON NANCY. She slips from her seat, eye warily on the teacher and class. But no one turns as she disappears through the doorway.

INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY. DAY.

NANCY turns and looks both directions. No sign of anybody.

TINA O.S.

distant Nancy.

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 intersecting corridor.

NANCY

Tina!

NANCY starts running for it.

ANGLE AT THE CORNER as NANCY races blindly around the turn and smashes straight into a BODY lunging at her from the opposite direction! Both go down.

ANGLE AT THE FLOOR. A dazed freshman HALLGUARD cranks herself up on one elbow. She wears a plastic plaque on her red and yellow sweater that reads ‘Hall Guard’. Her nose is bleeding from the impact.

HALLGUARD

Y-you’re not supposed to run. W-where’s your pass – you got a pass?

NANCY leaps up –

NANCY

Screw your stupid pass!

She turns – sees the body bag halfway down this darker, narrower 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.

HALLGUARD

Hey, no running in the halls!

The HALLGUARD raises her hand and we see it’s tipped with long metal spikes.

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 THEME.

INT. A STAIRWELL.

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.

NANCY

Tina?

No answer. NANCY starts down the stairs.

INT. BOILER ROOM. DAY.

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, sinister GIGGLE.

REVERSE IN HER POV – we see a tangle of pipes, shadows, and the 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.

NANCY

Who are you?

MAN

Gonna get you.

The leering MAN brings the bloodied scalpel-fingernails across 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.

INT. PIPE TUNNEL.

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 same split second we HEAR her flesh scald, we

CUT TO:

INT. ENGLISH CLASS. DAY.

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.

TEACHER

Okay – Okay, Thompson! Everything’s all right now – Nancy!.

NANCY jerks around with panicked eyes, expecting the killer to leap from any direction. But there’s only the sea of staring eyes.

NANCY begins methodically picking up her books.

TEACHER

I’ll call your mother.

NANCY

No! No, really, I’m fine. I’ll go straight home. I’m okay.

She marches for the door.

TEACHER

You’ll need a hall pass!

But the girl’s gone.

EXT. THE SCHOOL. DAY.

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

But she shakes herself silent. Wipes the tears away with a slash 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 a half-dollar.

WIDER ON NANCY. Utterly, chillingly confused.

TINA, against the tree inches from NANCY, (SC 7) – turns to her and says –

TINA

Couldn’t get back to sleep at all. beat What you dream?

EXT. A BUSY STREET. DAY.

NANCY is walking quickly, head erect, jaw set. Then she enters her father’s Police Station.

INT. VAN NUYS POLICE STATION. DAY.

NANCY crosses directly to the GARCIA.

NANCY

My dad here?

GARCIA looks up from his paperwork.

SERGEANT GARCIA

Lieutenant.

LT THOMPSON emerges from another room, uneasy to see NANCY.

LT THOMPSON

Decide to take a day off after all?

NANCY

Dad, I want to see Rod Lane.

THOMPSON doesn’t miss a beat.

LT THOMPSON

Only family allowed, Nancy. You know the drill.

NANCY

Just want to talk to him a second.

LT THOMPSON

He’s dangerous.

NANCY

You don’t know he did it.

LT THOMPSON

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 neck.

NANCY

I just want to talk to him. beat, lower Please, Dad.

THOMPSON shifts almost imperceptibly towards GARCIA, then turns back to NANCY.

LT THOMPSON

Make it fast.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. CELL AREA. DAY.

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.

NANCY low

And then what happened?

ROD

I told you. reluctantly It was dark, but I’m sure there was someone else IN there, under the covers with her.

NANCY reacts.

NANCY

How could somebody get under the covers with you guys without you knowing it?

ROD

How the fuck do I know? beat I don’t expect you to believe me.

NANCY studies his encrypted eyes. Surprisingly, she looks like she just might believe him. She leans closer with a new thought.

NANCY

What he look like? You get a look at him?

He looks away.

ROD

No.

NANCY

Well then how can you say somebody else was there?

ROD

Because somebody cut her. While I watched.

Now the place is so quiet you can hear heartbeats.

NANCY

Somebody cut her while you watched and you don’t know what he looked like?

ROD smiles an insane smile, stuck with a reality no one will buy.

ROD

You couldn’t see the fucker. You could just see the cuts happening, all at once.

NANCY gives a twitch.

NANCY

What you mean ‘all at once’?

ROD low

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 NANCY.

NANCY

Rod!

He stops, and his fist is dripping blood as he says in a small, sad voice.

ROD

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. beat 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.

ROD CONTD

Do you think I did it?

NANCY

No.

FADE TO BLACK

EXT. ELM STREET / NANCY’S HOME. NIGHT.

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.

INT. NANCY’S KITCHEN. NIGHT.

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.

MARGE

Nancy, don’t fall asleep in there.

NANCY OS

I won’t.

MARGE

Get into bed.

INT. UPSTAIRS BATHROOM. NIGHT.

NANCY

I will.

NANCY’S in the tub, so drowsy she can hardly rinse without falling asleep. The water in the tub is opaque with suds. Luxurious.

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 deepens.

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 OS/APPROACHING

Nancy?

MARGE raps on the door. The instant she does NANCY jerks up, opening her eyes groggily. The dark wet arm, hand and knifes are gone.

NANCY

What?

MARGE OS

through the door You’re not falling asleep, are you? You could drown, you know.

NANCY

Mother, for petesakes.

MARGE OS

It happens all the time. brighter I’ve got some warm milk all ready for you. Why don’t you jump into bed? fading I’m gonna turn on your electric blanket, too. C’mon, now. then she’s gone into another room

NANCY low

Warm milk. Gross.

She slides down to water level again, and sings softly, thoughtfully to herself.

NANCY CONTD

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 sleep again...

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!

EXT. UNDERWATER SHOT. NIGHT.

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!

INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE BATHROOM.

MARGE rushes to the door and listens, alarmed at the wild SPLASHING audible through the locked door.

MARGE

Nancy! NANCY!

EXT. UNDERWATER SHOT. NIGHT.

MARGE’S VOICE reaches to the girl, who thrusts up through main force and breaks the surface with her head and shoulders.

INT. BATHTUB.

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 –

NANCY

Mommy!

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.

MARGE

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.

MARGE

You okay?

NANCY

Great

MARGE

not believing it for a minute 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 robe.

& 70”

OMIT

INT. HALLWAY. NIGHT.

NANCY emerges from the bathroom yawning. MARGE follows as the girl plods obediently to her room.

MARGE

No television, forget the homework, no phone calls.

NANCY

No, Mother. Yes, Mother. No, Mother.

INT. NANCY’S ROOM. NIGHT.

MARGE

And no school tomorrow, either. you take a little vacation, relax and rest for a change.

NANCY

Yes, Mother. G’night.

MARGE offers a smile, and a little yellow pill.

MARGE

Take this, it’ll help you sleep.

NANCY

Right.

NANCY pops it in her mouth and swallows obediently. MARGE leans to her with a kiss.

MARGE

Sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite.

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

OMIT

FADE UP ON INSERT OF TELEVISION SCREEN.

A MONSTER MOVIE in BLACK AND WHITE. NO SOUND from the set.

PULL BACK to REVEAL NANCY propped up in bed, furtively watching. Or 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.

ON THE TELEVISION SCREEN. A DIVER struggles to keep facing a large circling shark.

ON NANCY. Her eyes droop shut – then she jerks awake, rattling 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.

EXT. NANCY’S HOUSE AND STREET. NIGHT.

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 deserted street.

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.

GLEN

Sorry! Saw your light on. Thought I’d see how you were.

She gets herself together, barely.

NANCY

Sometimes I wish you didn’t live right across the street.

GLEN

Shut up and let me in. You ever stand on a rose trellis in your bare feet?

INT. NANCY’S ROOM. NIGHT.

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.

NANCY

If you don’t mind.

GLEN crosses to the chair and plops down.

GLEN

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.

NANCY

Guess I did.

GLEN

Haven’t slept, have you?

NANCY

Not really.

NANCY tries to smile, but can’t fake it very well. GLEN looks her over.

GLEN

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.

NANCY

Burned myself in Englsh class.

She hazards a look in the mirror, and her jaw drops.

NANCY

M’god, I look twenty years old. turning back to him You have any weird dreams last night?

GLEN

Slept like a rock.

NANCY pleased

Well at least I have an objective wall to bounce this off. off You believe it’s possible to dream about what’s going to happen?

GLEN

No.

NANCY

You believe in the Boogey Man?

GLEN

One two, Freddie’s coming for you? No. Rod killed Tina. he’s a fruitcake and you know it.

NANCY

You believe in anything?

GLEN

I believe in you, me, and Rock and Roll. And I’m not too sure about you lately.

NANCY thinks.

NANCY

Listen, I got a crazy favor to ask.

GLEN

Uh-oh...

NANCY

It’s nothing too hard or anything. beat I’m just going to... LOOK for someone, and... I want you to be sort of a ...guard. Okay?

GLEN makes the Twilight Zone sound.

NANCY

Okay?

GLEN

Okay, okay. beat I think.

She comes very close to him.

NANCY

You won’t screw up, right? I mean, a whole lot might depend on it.

The way she’s looking at him gives him the creeps.

GLEN

Okay, I won’t screw up.

Nancy takes a deep breath. Then without another word turns off the TV and the light.

GLEN IN DARK

Jesus, it’s dark in here.

NANCY

Shhh. Now listen, here’s what we’re gonna do...

EXT. ELM STREET. NIGHT.

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.

NANCY stage whisper

You still there?

Across the street and a distance away, GLEN steps from behind a tree.

GLEN

Yeah. So?

NANCY

Just checking – keep out of sight!

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.

EXT. ALLEY. NIGHT.

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 second.

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

EXT. POLICE STATION. NIGHT.

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.

NANCY CONTD

Still there?

EXT. ALLEY. NIGHT.

We only HEAR the DISTANT VOICE, slightly ECHOED.

GLEN’S VOICE OS

yawning Still here!

NANCY

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.

EXT. POLICE STATION. NIGHT.

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.

INT. ROD’S CELL. NIGHT.

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.

EXT. POLICE STATION. NIGHT.

NANCY draws back sharply, swallowing in terror. She looks behind her for help.

NANCY CONTD

Glen.

No answer.

NANCY CONTD

louder Glen?!

The street is absolutely deserted. There is no motion, and no sound save one: the distant but unmistakeable sound of GLEN SNORING.

NANCY CONTD

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.

INT. ROD’S CELL.

IN HER POV – the killer picks up ROD’s bedsheet and tests it between his powerful hands. Without thinking, NANCY bangs against the glass.

NANCY CONTD

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 for ROD.

EXT. POLICE STATION. NIGHT.

ANGLE BACK ON NANCY. She pounds on the window, then turns in frustration and yells into the night.

NANCY

Glen!!

She turns back to the cell in desperation.

OMIT

INT. ROD’S CELL.

IN NANCY’S POV we look into a cell that is quite deserted save for ROD. Sleeping peacefully.

EXT. POLICE STATION. NIGHT.

NANCY pulls back from the window, stunned.

NANCY

I swear...

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 filling-vibrating Scrriiitchh.

MUSIC sneaks in – the unmistakeable NIGHTMARE THEME, creeping over her. NANCY forces herself, by sheer will, to look.

Ahead of her perhaps twenty-five feet, covered with a thick 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 desperate message.

The MUSIC FALLS TO A HUSH.

NANCY backs away, eyes streaming tears.

NANCY

Glen, where are you! Wake up! Glen!

DEEP RAGGED VOICE

I’m here.

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 hell!

NANCY

Glen! Glen!!!

EXT. ELM STREET. NIGHT.

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.

EXT. NANCY’S HOME. NIGHT.

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 fall shut.

INT. NANCY’S LIVING ROOM. NIGHT.

NANCY

Glennn!!!

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.

INT. NANCY’S ROOM. NIGHT.

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!

Instantly the MUSIC STOPS. And a moment later the room is light.

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 straw.

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 voice hoarse.

NANCY

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.

GLEN

What I do?

He reaches for her – she flattens against the wall, eyes hard, and terribly hurt, too.

NANCY low

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. eyes wild But you. You shit – 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.

NANCY CONTD

mostly to herself I must be going nuts...

MARGE OS

Nancy?

Her mother’s door opens OS.

GLEN

Oh, shit.

NANCY composes her voice as best she can.

NANCY

Yes, mother?

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.

MARGE beat

You okay?

NANCY weakly

Yeah. Just had a little dream. I’m falling right back to sleep.

MARGE beat

Okay... You need anything, just call.

NANCY

Okay.

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.

EXT. POLICE STATION. NIGHT.

GLEN’s CADILLAC CONVERTABLE careens into the parking lot and SCREECHES to a stop. GLEN and NANCY jump out and head for the station.

GLEN

You mind telling me what’s going on?

NANCY’s races into the station without answering.

GLEN CONTD

Oh, I see. That makes it all perfectly clear.

INT. POLICE STATION. NIGHT.

NANCY goes straight to the SERGEANT’s desk.

NANCY

Garcia, I want to see Rod Lane again.

GARCIA winces.

SGT GARCIA

I thought when I took the night shift I’d have peace and quiet for a change.

NANCY

It’s urgent, we’ve gotta see Rod.

SGT GARCIA

It’s three in the morning. Your mother know you’re out this late?

NANCY faking it

Of course – look, at least go back and look at him. Just see if he’s okay.

GARCIA glances at GLEN.

GLEN faking it

We have reason to think there might be something weird going on.

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.

NANCY

Dad – what you doing here?

LT THOMPSON

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 sleep.

GLEN

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.

NANCY

I just want to see if he’s okay!

SGT GARCIA

Take my word for it, Nancy. The guy’s sleeping like a baby. He’s not going anywhere.

INT. CELL BLOCK. NIGHT.

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!

INT. BOOKING ROOM. NIGHT.

NANCY makes a move for the cell block –

NANCY

This isn’t your average nightmare, Daddy – damn it!

The door’s locked; she hauls on it in desperation.

LT THOMPSON

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.

NANCY

Just go back and check – please!

The man takes a beat, then shrugs and nods towards SGT GARCIA.

LT THOMPSON

Okay, Garcia. What the hell.

SGT GARCIA

Right... feeling in his pockets Now where’d I put the key...

He mumbles backs towards his desk. MUSIC BUILDS as we HOLD ON NANCY’S FACE.

INT. ROD’S CELL. NIGHT.

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.

INT. BOOKING ROOM. NIGHT.

GARCIA finally has the keys. Urged on by NANCY he fumbles with the lock.

INT. ROD’S CELL. NIGHT.

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.

ANGLE THROUGH THE BARS as NANY, GLEN, LT THOMPSON and GARCIA appear in the corridor outside, the girl sprinting ahead.

NANCY

Rod!

But it’s too late; NANCY sinks back in horror as her father and GARCIA rush into the cell.

LT THOMPSON

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.

SGT GARCIA

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.

LT THOMPSON

How’d you know he was gonna do this?

NANCY says nothing.

FADE TO BLACK

EXT. FOREST LAWN CEMETERY. DAY.

BURN ON:

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 its grave.

A small group of FAMILY and FRIENDS watches soberly as the MINISTER raises his hand in benediction.

MINISTER

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. May God be with this young man’s soul.

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 the sword.

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.

NANCY quietly

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.

LT THOMPSON

How’s Nancy doing?

MARGE

I don’t think she’s slept since Tina died. shakes her head She’s always been a delicate kid.

THOMPSON lights her cigarette, attempting some sort of nonchalance.

LT THOMPSON

She’s tougher than you think. Any idea how she knew Rod was gonna kill himself?

MARGE

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 away.

LT THOMPSON

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.

MARGE very gently

Time to go home, baby.

She moves her away from the brink of the hill.

EXT. CEMETERY PARKING AREA. DAY.

MARGE opens the door of the station wagon for NANCY. NANCY turns to them both, speaking in a still, small voice.

NANCY

The killer’s still loose, you know.

She has a wild, Cassandra aspect that sends a chill right up MARGE’S spine.

LT THOMPSON

You saying somebody else killed Tina? Who?

NANCY smiles a weird sort of smile.

NANCY

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 fingernails.

As NANCY has described this monster from her dream, unseen by her, the faces of MARGE LT and THOMPSON have drained completely of color.

LT THOMPSON low, even, to MARGE

I think you should keep Nancy at home a few days. ‘Til she’s really over the shock.

MARGE

I got something better... to NANCY I’m gonna get you help, baby. So no one will threaten you any more.

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

BURN ON:

THE FIFTH DAY

EXT. UCLA SCHOOL OF MEDICINE. DAY.

FADE UP ON UCLA’s WESTWOOD CAMPUS and PAN TO SIGN:

UCLA SCHOOL OF MEDICINE

INSTITUTE FOR THE

STUDY OF SLEEP DISORDERS

INT. A LABORATORY SLEEPING CHAMBER.

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 beyond.

NANCY

But I just don’t feel... ready to sleep yet. Please, do I have to?

WIDER, REVEALING DR SAMUEL KING, a young, curly-haired internist; intelligent and wry. He treats NANCY at all times like a young adult, never patronizing. He winks as the NURSE finishes.

DR KING

Don’t worry, you’re not gonna change into Bride of Frankenstein or anything.

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?

MARGE

No, nothing.

NANCY

He means, did you ever drop me on my head.

The doctor and girl share a nervous laugh; MARGE doesn’t even smile.

DR KING

Nightmares are expected after psychological trauma. Don’t worry, they go away.

MARGE

I sure as hell hope so.

NANCY

I don’t see why you couldn’t just give me a pill to keep me from dreaming...

DR KING

Everyone’s got to dream. If you don’t dream, you go... he drills his finger at his temple All set?

NANCY

No.

MARGE

They’re just simple tests, Nan. We’ll both be right here.

DR KING

Look, I know it’s been frightening, I know your dreams have seemed real. But... it’s okay. Okay?

MARGE

Please, Nancy. Trust us.

The girls gauges her mother, the doctor, the situation very carefully. Then lowers her eyes.

NANCY

It’s not you I don’t trust. It’s... gives up 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.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. THE OBSERVATION ROOM.

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.

DR KING

How long’s this been going on?

MARGE

Since the murder. She was fine before that.

DR KING

Not to worry. No signs of pathology 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.

MARGE

It’s just made her think... her dreams are real...

KING adjusts a dial, watching the EKG like a hawk.

DR KING

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.

MARGE immensely relieved

Thank God.

MUSIC RISES SOLEMNLY, MAJESTICALLY into a haunting transition as we

DISSOLVE TO

A MONTAGE OF SHOTS, of the EKG GRAPH, its inky needles calming, of a METER tracing the quieting of NANCY’s pulse, and of OTHER INSTRUMENTS, indicating life processes we can only guess. All smoothing out.

CLOSE ON NANCY on TV MONITOR, asleep like the child she is. Innocent.

MARGE lights a cigarette, angry at her helplessness.

MARGE

What the hell are dreams, anyway?

DR KING

Mysteries. Incredible body hookus pokus. Truth is we still don’t know what they are or where they come from. As for nightmares... leans closer 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 bed.

ANGLE ON A NEEDLE on an EKG dipping to a lower reading.

WIDER ANGLE – the mother and DOCTOR watching.

MARGE

What happened? That needle sank like a rock.

DR KING quietly

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. beat Right now she’s like a diver on the bottom of an ocean no one’s mapped yet. Waiting to see what shows up.

INT. THE SLEEPING ROOM.

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.

INT. CONTROL ROOM. DAY.

DR KING and MARGE watch the instruments’ every move.

One of the machines begins a slight CHIRPING. KING scans it, liking what he sees.

DR KING

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.

MARGE

How can you tell?

DR KING

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 pad.

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 predator’s approach.

MARGE looks from her daughter to the DOCTOR, color draining from her face.

MARGE

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.

DR KING

Can’t be. It never gets this high...

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.

INT. SLEEPING ROOM.

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 STRANGELY.

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 eyes!

MARGE screams at the top of her lungs.

MARGE

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. NANCY’s awake.

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.

DR KING

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.

NANCY

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.

DR KING

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 hand.

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 sharp instrument.

MARGE

Oh my god, oh my god...

DR KING 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 lips.

NANCY

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.

MARGE deathly pale

Where the hell did you get that?

NANCY fixes her with Xray eyes.

NANCY

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

EXT. NANCY’S HOUSE. DAY.

BURN ON

THE SIXTH DAY

FADE UP ON NANCY’S HOUSE, early morning.

INT. NANCY’S KITCHEN. DAY.

MARGE is on the telephone, the dirty hat in her hand. Nearby is a nearly empty bottle of gin.

MARGE

She said she snatched it off his head in a dream. listens No, I’m not crazy, I’ve got the damn thing in my hand! listens I know we did, we all... hears NANCY approaching Gotta go.

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.

MARGE CONTD

You didn’t sleep, did you? The doctor says you have to sleep or you’ll –

NANCY pours herself a cup of black coffee.

NANCY

Go even crazier?

MARGE

I don’t think you’re going crazy – and stop drinking that damn coffee!

NANCY

Did you ask Daddy to have the hat examined?

MARGE

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.

NANCY

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.

MARGE

But that’s just not reality, Nancy!

Furious, NANCY janks open the drawer before MARGE can stop her 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.

NANCY

It’s real, Mamma. Feel it.

MARGE horrified

Put that damned thing down!

MARGE lunges for it – NANCY leaps out of reach –

NANCY

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.

MARGE

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.

NANCY

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.

MARGE losing it

Fred Krueger can’t be after you, Nancy – he’s dead!

The room falls silent, both women staring at the other.

MARGE CONTD

low, raw Fred Krueger is dead. Dead and gone. Believe me, I know. Now go to bed. I order you, go to bed.

MARGE snatches the hat away. NANCY is furious, betrayed.

NANCY

You knew about him all this time, and you’ve been acting like he was someone I made up!

MARGE pulls away.

MARGE

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.

NANCY

Screw sleep!

MARGE CONTD

Nancy!

But NANCY runs past her mother for the front door.

MARGE CONTD

Nancy – it’s only a nightmare!

NANCY turns in the doorway.

NANCY

That’s enough!

On the door SLAM, we

CUT TO:

EXT. SHAKESPEARE BRIDGE. DAY.

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.

GLEN

Whenever I get nervous I eat.

NANCY

And if you can’t do that, you sleep.

GLEN

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.

GLEN CONTD

You ever read about the Balinese way of dreaming?

NANCY

No.

GLEN

They got a whole system they call ‘dream skills’. So, if you have a nightmare, for instance like falling, right?

NANCY

Yeah.

GLEN

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. grins hopefully 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.

NANCY

And what if they meet a monster in their dream? Then what?

GLEN

They turn their back on it. grins hopefully Takes away its energy, and it disappears.

NANCY

What happens if they don’t do that?

GLEN shrugs

I guess those people don’t wake up to tell what happens.

NANCY

Great.

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.

GLEN

‘Booby Traps and Improvised Anti-personel Devices’!

NANCY

I found it at this neat survivalist bookstore on Ventura.

GLEN shocked

Well what you reading it for?

OUR ZOOM LOCKS IN ON A TIGHT TWO ON THEIR FACES, NANCY’s grimly determined.

NANCY

I’m into survival.

She walks away, OUT OF FRAME, leaving GLEN watching after her in astonishment.

GLEN

She’s starting to scare the living shit out of me.

EXT. ELM STREET/NANCY’S HOME/EVENING

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 Nancy’s house.

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 it.

FOREMAN

And the other...

MARGE forks over a wad of cash, hands trembling in her half-drunk, helpless rage.

MARGE

Where’s your mask and gun?

The FOREMAN counts the money swiftly.

FOREMAN

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.

NANCY

Oh gross...

WIDENING TO REVEAL THE HOUSE as NANCY walks across her front 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.

INT. MARGE’S ROOM. EVENING.

ANGLE ON THE DOORWAY INTO THE HALL. Easy listening MUSIC wafts through the air. NANCY appears in the doorway.

NANCY OS

Mom, what’s with the bars!?

REVERSE to MARGE, propped against the headboard of her bed, a crooked shadow in the gloom. A fresh bottle of Gin glints in her hand.

NANCY

Oh, Mom...

The girl crosses and reaches gently for the bottle. MARGE snatches it away.

MARGE

‘S’mine...

She rocks the bottle in her arms.

NANCY

What’s with the bars?

MARGE

S’curity.

NANCY sits on the bed, a surprising compassion entering her voice.

NANCY

Mom, I want to know what you know about Fred Krueger.

MARGE

Dead and gone.

NANCY

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 chest.

MARGE CONTD

Your father the cop. That’s a good one. colder Forget Fred Krueger. You don’t want to know, believe me.

NANCY

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 grin.

MARGE

All right.

INT. NANCY’S CELLAR/NIGHT

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.

MARGE

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.

MARGE CONTD

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.

NANCY

So he’s alive?

MARGE smiles grimly.

MARGE

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 touch him.

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.

MARGE CONTD

What was needed were some private citizens willing to do what had to be done.

She reels slowly, looking at NANCY is defiance.

NANCY hushed

What did you do, mother?

MARGE cradles the bottle.

MARGE

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...

NANCY dreading it

Go on...

MARGE reaches over and taps a dusty two-gallon jug of gasoline near the lawn mower.

MARGE

We poured gasoline all around the place, left a trail out the door, locked the door, then...

She mimes striking a match –

MARGE CONTD

WHOOSH!!!

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.

MARGE CONTD

hushed, remembering 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 kids...

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.

MARGE CONTD

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.

MARGE CONTD

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.

NANCY

Who was there? Were Tina’s parents there? Were Rod’s?

MARGE sags back.

MARGE

Sure, and Glen’s. All of us. But that’s in the past now, baby. Really. It’s over. slyly 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.

MARGE CONTD

See?

NANCY stares at the damn things, chilled.

NANCY

All these years you’ve kept those things buried down here? In our own house?

MARGE CONTD

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.

MARGE CONTD

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.

EXT. ELM STREET. NIGHT.

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 BEDROOM WINDOW.

INT. GLEN’S & NANCY’S BEDROOMS - INTERCUT. NIGHT.

GLEN, yawning, crosses and picks up his telephone.

GLEN

Hello?

NANCY telephone

Hi.

GLEN

Oh. Hi, how y’doing?

NANCY looks out the window and touches her hair.

NANCY CONTD

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 the bars.

NANCY CONTD

Much better.

GLEN

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?

NANCY

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. beat Listen, I... I know who he is.

GLEN

Who?

NANCY

The killer.

GLEN

You do?

NANCY

Yeah, and if he gets me, I’m pretty sure you’re next.

GLEN is appalled.

GLEN

Me!? Why would anyone want to kill me?!

NANCY

Don’t ask – just give me some help nailing this guy when I bring him out.

GLEN pales.

GLEN

Bring him out of what?

NANCY

My dream.

GLEN

How you plan to do that?

NANCY

Just like I did the hat. Have a hold of the sucker when you wake me up.

GLEN

Me? switching back to a more comfortable reality Wait a minute, you can’t bring someone out of a dream!

NANCY

If I can’t, then you all can relax, because it’ll just be a simple case of me being nuts.

GLEN

I can save you the trouble. You’re nutty as a fruitcake. I love you anyway.

NANCY

Good, then you won’t mind cold-cocking this guy when I bring him out.

GLEN

What!?

NANCY simplicity itself

You heard me. I grab him in the dream – you see me struggling so you wake me up. We both come out, you cold cock the fucker, and we got him. Clever, huh?

GLEN

You crazy? Hit him with what?

NANCY

You’re a jock. You must have a baseball bat or something. Come to my window at midnight. And meanwhile...

GLEN weakly

Meanwhile..?

NANCY

Meanwhile whatever you do don’t fall asleep. Midnight.

She hangs up. GLEN’s eyes bug out.

GLEN

Holy shit! Midnight. Baseball bats and boogemen. Unfucking real.

OMIT

EXT. THE VALLEY AND HILLS. NIGHT.

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.

EXT. POLICE STATION. NIGHT.

A palm frond scuttles across the center of the parking lot. LT THOMPSON arrives in an unmarked car.

COP passing

Lieutenant Thompson – what you doing in at this time?

LT THOMPSON

Can’t sleep, thought I’d come break up the poker game.

The COP laughs and goes his way. THOMPSON’s smile evaporates.

INT. POLICE STATION. NIGHT.

THOMPSON enters and checks the log. Nearby, SGT GARCIA pours coffee.

SERGEANT GARCIA

If it was any more quiet we could hear owls farting.

LT THOMPSON

Is quiet, isn’t it?

SERGEANT GARCIA too casually

How’s your girl?

THOMPSON looks at the Desk sergeant a moment, then tosses down the log.

LT THOMPSON

She’s sensible. She’ll sleep sooner or later.

EXT. ELM STREET. NIGHT.

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.

INT. GLEN’S LIVING ROOM. NIGHT.

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.

MR LANTZ

You’d think they’d have something ‘bout the Lane kid hanging himself.

MRS LANTZ walks through the room, drying her hands on a dishtowel.

MRS LANTZ

Maybe we’re all making more out of it than we should.

She heads upstairs. MR LANTZ pops the automatic tuner. CARSON blinks ON.

CARSON TV

I wouldn’t touch that line with a ten foot pole.

ED MCMAHON and the AUDIENCE laugh in delight.

INT. GLEN’S HOUSE/UPSTAIRS CORRIDOR. NIGHT.

MRS LANTZ comes along the upstairs hall and knocks gently at a closed door.

MRS LANTZ

Glen? you all right?

She puts her ear to the door and listens.

MRS LANTZ CONTD

Glen honey?

No answer.

INT. GLEN’S ROOM. NIGHT.

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, arms windmilling.

GLEN

Whuu?

He refocuses his eyes, takes off his earphones.

MRS LANTZ

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.

GLEN

Wasn’t listening to the tube, just watching. Miss Nude America’s supposed to be on tonight.

MRS LANTZ

Well how you gonna hear what she says?

GLEN

Who cares what she says?

The mother gives up.

MRS LANTZ

You should get to sleep soon, Glen. It’s almost midnight. Goodness knows we’ve all had enough of a time the last few days...

GLEN

I will, Mom...in a while. You guys turning in?

MRS LANTZ

Pretty soon.

His MOTHER sighs and goes out, closing the door behind her. GLEN flips the TV back on and glances at the clock.

INSERT OF CLOCK. It’s 11:42.

TIGHT ON GLEN’s face. He clamps the earphones back on, and turns 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:

EXT. ELM STREET / NANCY’S HOUSE. NIGHT.

CONTINUE ZOOMING into the LIGHTED window of NANCY’s barred second floor bedroom and

CUT TO:

INT. NANCY’S ROOM. NIGHT

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 than MARGE.

MARGE

We’ll go away, take a vacation. Get your hair colored nice, the way it was. No one will ever know. sniffs This whole room smells of coffee, y’know?

She gathers up NANCY’s coffee cups and empty NoDoz boxes, leans down and kisses her.

MARGE CONTD

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.

NANCY

Okay.

She scrunches into her pillow. MARGE smiles haggardly and shuts off the light, taking the coffee pot with her as she leaves.

NANCY CONTD

Night-night.

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 is.

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.

INT. NANCY’S HOUSE/DOWNSTAIRS. NIGHT.

ANGLE ON MARGE as she checks the lock on the backdoor. Firm.

ANGLE IN THE LIVING ROOM as she pads through the darkened house, 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 gin.

EXT. NANCY’S HOUSE AND ELM STREET. NIGHT.

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.

REVERSE ON GLEN’s father, standing on the front porch of his home, also in the shadows, looking straight across and up at NANCY. He draws on his cigarette; his face glows red.

NANCY pulls down the shade.

GLEN’s father grinds the cigarette beneath his shoe.

MRS LANTZ

Shouldn’t stare.

As the man turns our SHOT WIDENS TO REVEAL MRS LANTZ.

MR LANTZ

Know what I think? I think that kid’s some kinda lunatic.

The woman spoons more sweetness into her mouth and rubs her forehead.

MRS LANTZ

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.

INT. NANCY’S ROOM. NIGHT.

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.

INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE NANCY’S DOOR.

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.

INT. NANCY’S ROOM. NIGHT.

NANCY eases the door closed again and sinks to the key hole, watching through it with a sinking heart.

NANCY very quiet, very intense

Hang on GLEN...

INT. GLEN’S ROOM. NIGHT.

GLEN, coat now on, goes to his window, checking.

INT. ELM STREET. NIGHT.

GLEN’S POV – NANCY’S porch is deserted; front door closed, lights out. No sign of NANCY.

INT. GLEN’S ROOM. NIGHT.

GLEN shrugs, takes off his jacket and plops back onto his bed.

GLEN

Well, I’m not gonna risk sneaking out until she does.

He puts the earphones back on.

INT. NANCY’S ROOM. NIGHT.

Absolutely frustrated, NANCY turns from the keyhole to the window. She opens the blind and eases back the curtain.

EXT. ELM STREET. NIGHT.

IN NANCY’S POV THROUGH THE BARS we ZOOM directly across to GLEN’s window.

INT. GLEN’S ROOM. NIGHT.

GLEN lies on his bed, fully clothed, earphones over his ears, CARSON droning from the TV. And the boy’s eyes begin to droop.

INT. NANCY’S BEDROOM. NIGHT.

NANCY picks up her phone, bites her lip, then begins dialing.

INT. GLEN’S ROOM. NIGHT.

TIGHT ON PHONE as it begins RINGING loudly.

WIDER SHOT, revealing GLEN asleep BACKGROUND, the MUSIC still LOUD in his earphones.

INT. GLEN’S LIVING ROOM. NIGHT.

RINGING here, too, just as MR LANTZ is turning out the lights for bed. He stops in the dark, scowling.

MR LANTZ

Who at this hour?

He refuses to turn the light back on. His wife picks her way to the telephone.

MRS LANTZ

Hello? listens, frowns slightly Oh... Hold on. covers the mouthpiece It’s her. She wants to talk to Glen.

The father crosses to the telephone, suspicious.

MR LANTZ whispering

About what?

MRS LANTZ into phone

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.

MR LANTZ

Glen’s asleep. Talk to him tomorrow!

He SLAMS down the telephone with a grunt of satisfaction to his wife.

MR LANTZ CONTD

Just got to be firm with kids, is all.

Then as a refinement he takes the phone off the hook and lays it on the table.

INT. NANCY’S ROOM. NIGHT.

NANCY dials again. This time she gets a BUSY SIGNAL. She slams the phone down in frustration and looks out the window.

NANCY

Glen. Don’t fall asleep...

She goes and sits on the bed, propping her chin on her fists.

Yawns. The TELEPHONE RINGS.

NANCY snatches it up.

NANCY

Glen?

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.

NANCY

Brilliant. Now what if Glen calls?

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.

REVERSE IN HER POV. THE TELEPHONE RINGS again, despite the fact 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.

NANCY CONTD

Hello?

The unmistakeable VOICE of FRED KRUEGER comes over the phone, garbled by time and unknown dimensions, but clear enough.

KRUEGER FILTER

triumphant 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 mouth!

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 telephone.

She pinches herself hard – until tears come and her flesh is nearly bleeding.

NANCY

I’m awake, I am awake. This is not a dream! I am –

She stops, realizing what Krueger meant.

NANCY CONTD

My boyfriend...!

INT. NANCY’S LIVING ROOM. NIGHT.

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.

VOICE OS

Locked.

NANCY jumps around in shock. Her mother has posted herself on the couch with her bottle.

NANCY furious

Give me the key, mother.

MARGE

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 her prison.

MARGE CONTD

drunk satisfaction 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 me.

NANCY clenches her fists and screams at the top of her lungs, a heart-wrenching, eardrum-breaking cry of love in despair –

NANCY

GLEEENNNNNN!

SMASH CUT TO:

INT. GLEN’S ROOM. NIGHT.

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.

NANCY OS

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 ABRUPTLY.

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.

EXT. ELM STREET. NIGHT.

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 out FOREGROUND.

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.

INT. NANCY’S ROOM. NIGHT.

CLOSE ON NANCY’S BIG OLD WINDUP ALARM CLOCK. Its big and little hands sweep together at midnight.

BURN ON:

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 bed.

NANCY

Okay, Krueger, you bastard. We play in your court.

INT. GLEN’S LIVING ROOM/NANCY’S KITCHEN – INTERCUT. NIGHT.

LT THOMPSON is halfway across the living room when he stops. 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.

PARKER

Lieutenant. It’s your daughter. Says it’s urgent.

THOMPSON turns away from the dripping.

LT THOMPSON low

Tell her I’m not here, tell her...

PARKER

Uh, she just saw you, sir...

THOMPSON nods, crosses and picks up the telephone. SCREEN SPLITS; we see both.

LT THOMPSON CONTD

Hello Nancy.

NANCY

Hi daddy. I know what happened.

LT THOMPSON

Then you know more than I do – I haven’t even been upstairs.

NANCY guessing

You know he’s dead though, right?

THOMPSON debates, then admits it.

LT THOMPSON

Yeah, apparantly he’s dead. How the hell’d you know?

A tear coarses down NANCY’s cheek, but her voice remains firm.

NANCY

I’ve got a proposition for you. Listen very carefully, please.

LT THOMPSON

Nan, I –

NANCY

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. Okay?

LT THOMPSON

Just tell me who did it and I’ll go get him, baby.

NANCY

Fred Krueger did it, Daddy, and only I can get him. It’s my nightmare he comes to.

The detective flinches at the name.

LT THOMPSON

Where’d you hear about Krueger –

NANCY presses, very firm, very rational.

NANCY

– I want you to come over here and break the door down exactly twenty minutes from now – can you do that?

LT THOMPSON

Sure, but...

NANCY

That’ll be exactly half past midnight. Time for me to fall asleep and find him.

LT THOMPSON

Sure, sure, honey. You just do that – get yourself some sleep – that’s what I’ve been saying all along.

NANCY

And you’ll be here to catch him, right?

PARKER

Lieutenant – they’re waiting upstairs.

THOMPSON waves curtly, still speaking to NANCY.

LT THOMPSON

Sure, okay, I’ll be there. Now you just turn in and get some rest, sweetheart. Please. Deal?

NANCY

Deal.

NANCY hangs up. LT THOMPSON starts upstairs. But then he stops, and as an afterthought he could never really explain, turns to PARKER.

LT THOMPSON CONTD

Get outside and watch her house. If you see anything funny call me.

PARKER

‘Anything funny’ like what?

THOMPSON shakes his head, embarassed.

LT THOMPSON

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.

INSERT – five past midnight. NANCY switches modes to stopwatch and sets the COUNTDOWN going at twenty-five minutes.

INT. GLEN’S BEDROOM. NIGHT.

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.

INT. HALLWAY. NIGHT.

He sags against the wall, unable to look at the COPS who hover there.

COP faint

What the hell did that, Lieutenant? There ain’t even a head left.

LT THOMPSON

Goddamed if I know. tries to straighten What’s the Coronor say?

COP

He’s in the john puking since he saw it.

INT. CELLAR. NIGHT.

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.

INT. NANCY’S LIVING ROOM. NIGHT.

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)

INT. NANCY’S UPSTAIRS HALLWAY. NIGHT.

– 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.

INT. MARGE’S BEDROOM. NIGHT.

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.

MARGE

Guess I should’n’a done it.

NANCY

Just sleep now, Mom.

MARGE

Just wanted to protect you, Nan. Just wanted to protect you...

MARGE slides over on her side. NANCY smooths her hair, covers her as she would a child, then exits the room.

DELETE SC 177

INT. NANCY’S ROOM. NIGHT.

The girl enters, turns out her bedside light, slips out of her dress and puts on her nightgown. Then she kneels by her bed.

NANCY quietly

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.

CUT TO:

INT. GLEN’S LIVING ROOM. NIGHT.

LT THOMPSON trudges down the stais and confronts GLEN’S FATHER.

LT THOMPSON

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.

MR LANTZ

He done it.

THOMPSON looks at the man, baffled.

LT THOMPSON

Who? Who did that?

MR LANTZ

Krueger.

LT THOMPSON

Krueger?

The father gives him the strangest look.

MR LANTZ

Had to’ve done it. No one else was in there.

LT THOMPSON

How you know that?

MR LANTZ

Cause I thought Glen was gonna sneak out to see your lunatic daughter, that’s why. So I locked him in his room! getting control Sorry. Anyways, the door was still locked when we heard the screams.

He blinks.

MR LANTZ CONTD

Maybe god’s punishing us all...

LT THOMPSON much lower and hard

Keep your head – this is a fucking flesh and blood killer we’re talking about.

MR LANTZ

Like Rod Lane?

A voice calls down from upstairs.

COP OS

Lieutenant Thompson. Coronor wants to show you something.

THOMPSON gives MR LANTZ one final look, then heads upstairs.

CUT TO:

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.

INT. DOWNSTAIRS, NANCY’S HOUSE. NIGHT.

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.

INT. NANCY’S CELLAR. NIGHT.

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.

INT. BOILER ROOM.

NANCY decends like Orpheus into hell, but without weapon save her wits.

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 down.

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.

INSERT ON NANCY’S WATCH –

the COUNT-DOWN a blur of black digits counting down to zero. They’ve just crossed the ten minute warning.

CLOSE ON NANCY’S FACE.

She speaks into the night.

NANCY quietly

Come out and show yourself, you bastard.

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.

EXT. THE HEAVENS. NIGHT.

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.

OMIT

EXT. ELM STREET/NANCY’S HOUSE. NIGHT.

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:

INT. NANCY’S BEDROOM. NIGHT.

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.

NANCY

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 –

INT. HALLWAY. NIGHT.

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 force.

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 flagpole.

NANCY SLAMS the DOOR as KRUEGER struggles up, clutching his head.

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.

CUT TO:

EXT. ELM STREET/NANCY’S HOME. NIGHT.

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.

NANCY

Help! Hey – Daddy – I got him trapped! Where are you!?

ANGLE ON the street. PARKER, assigned to guard the house, sees 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.

PARKER yelling up at her

Everything’s going to be all right! Everything’s under control!

ANGLE at the window. Close on NANCY’s face, incredulous at his response.

NANCY

Get my father, you asshole!

PARKER does a little take. That almost sounded sane.

PARKER OS

You heard what I said! Now get back inside or I’ll tell your dad!

Behind her the DOOR SPLINTERS. NANCY whirls around just in time 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.

MARGE

No!

She blocks the charge perfectly – blocking the knives. Both she and NANCY are slammed backwards against the bars behind. Drunk though she is, is hanging onto KRUEGER’S weapon hand, keeping the knives inside herself, away from her daughter!

MARGE

Nancy – for god’s sake’s run!

But NANCY turns to the window instead, screaming for her father.

NANCY

Daddy! Where are you!

EXT. ELM STREET. NIGHT.

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.

PARKER

Poor woman’s got her hands full with that kid. Maybe I better tell the lieutenant.

He turns and jogs towards GLEN’s house.

INT. MARGE’S BEDROOM. NIGHT.

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.

NANCY

Hey fuckface – can’t catch me!

The bait works – KRUEGER leaves MARGE and howls after NANCY.

INT. UPSTAIRS HALLWAY. NIGHT.

As NANCY clears the hall and makes the stairs, KRUEGER lurches through the shattered doorway after her.

INT. LIVING ROOM. NIGHT.

The girl careens down the stairs, across the room and to the front door, banging against it with terrified fury.

NANCY screaming

Come on – he’s in here! Daddy! Don’t let him kill me too!

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.

NANCY CONTD

HEELLLPPP!!! Daddyyyyyyy!!!!

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.

NANCY CONTD

Hey – Daddy! Hey! I got the bastard!

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.

OMIT

INT. CELLAR. NIGHT.

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.

KRUEGER

Ready for these?

ON NANCY – she ducks behind the furnace – comes out the other 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 KRUEGER’s face.

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 pyrrhic rage.

INT. NANCY’S KITCHEN. NIGHT.

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 flames.

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

CUT TO:

INT. GLEN’S UPSTAIRS HALLWAY. NIGHT.

The CORONER steps out of the bathroom peeling bloody rubber gloves. Pale and sweating.

CORONER

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.

CORONER CONTD

Only place I ever heard of such a thing before was ten years ago. Remember that fucker Fred Krueger?

LT THOMPSON has just knocked PARKER sprawling in his race to the stairs.

PARKER

Hey – your daughter’s acting kinda – ! THOMPSON’S gone Strange...

EXT. NANCY’S HOME. NIGHT.

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!

NANCY

DAD! GET US OUTTA HERE!

LT THOMPSON

Oh, Jesus – Nancy! to his men Hey! We got a fire!

ANGLE ON NANCY’S FRONT DOOR. Many MEN batter the door down as 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 woman.

NANCY

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.

INT. LIVING ROOM. NIGHT.

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.

LT THOMPSON

What the hell are you talking about, Nancy?

NANCY wheels without answering. A series of tiny, isolated fires burn across the living room and up the stairs. Firesteps.

NANCY CONTD

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 her.

LT THOMPSON

NANCY!

INT. MARGE’S BEDROOM. NIGHT.

NANCY STOPS IN THE SPLINTERED DOORWAY – a ragged gold-red light splashing her horrified face.

REVERSE IN HER POV – FRED KRUEGER, literally a man of fire, has 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 flames.

NANCY

He’s under there! Watch it!

THOMPSON pushes the girl back – yanks out his .38 and pulls off 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 manage.

NANCY

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.

PARKER

You find him? looking closer at THOMPSON Sir?

LT THOMPSON just walks by him. PARKER chases after.

PARKER CONTD OS

fading Sir – here, let me light that for you – Lieutenant? What happened? gone

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.

CLOSER ON NANCY from the direction of the bed. MUSIC SUDDENLY 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 through.

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.

NANCY quietly

I know you’re there, Krueger.

She turns and faces him.

FREDDIE

You think you was gonna get away from me?

NANCY shakes her head.

NANCY

I know you too well now, Freddie.

KRUEGER smiles bitterly. Coming closer.

FREDDY

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.

NANCY simply shakes her head again, as if seeing a light at the end of her long, long tunnel. And the way she says the words, they might be appearing on the inside of her eyes.

NANCY

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 fuck off! I want my mother and friends again.

KRUEGER grins insanely, confused and amused at the same time.

FREDDIE

You what?

NANCY even, firm

I take back every bit of energy I ever gave you. You’re nothing. You’re shit.

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.

CUT TO:

EXT. ELM STREET. DAY.

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.

CHILDREN playing.

Early morning SOUNDS.

NANCY to herself

God, it’s bright.

MARGE sticks her head out, squinting, and nods. Sober.

MARGE

Gonna burn off soon or it wouldn’t be so bright.

NANCY turns and looks her mother over.

NANCY

Feeling better?

MARGE

They say you’ve bottomed out when you can’t remember the night before. shakes her head No more drinking, Baby, suddenly I just don’t feel like it any more.

She touches NANCY.

MARGE CONTD

Didn’t keep you up last night, did I? You look a little peeked.

NANCY smiles.

NANCY

Nah. Just slept heavy.

The girl gives a wave and goes off. MARGE calls after.

MARGE

See ya.

NANCY turns and waves.

NANCY

See ya.

WIDER ON NANCY as she walks to the curb. The whole scene is 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 climbs in.

GLEN calling

You believe this fog?

MARGE laughs

I believe anything’s possible.

TINA slaps five with NANCY.

TINA

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.

CAMERA PANS TO a group of LITTLE GIRLS, half-hidden by the fog, jumping rope and singing gayly.

GIRLS

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.

#haveread
Login to use this functionality
Link copied to clipboard
Library
Contents
Notes
Settings
Read

Title

Author

#reading #haveread
Login to use this functionality
Link copied to clipboard

This website © 2022 Bookwise.io [v0.93]

Notes & Highlights

Highlight some text to create a note.

Clear Notes & Highlights

Are you sure? Yes / No

Reading History

Your reading sessions will be listed here.

Clear Reading History

Are you sure? Yes / No


Settings

“Read more, beautifully”

Typography

Default size
Smaller font
Bigger font

Colour scheme

Dark
Light
Nightvision

Tap zones

Diagonal
Top & bottom
Left & right
None