*Excluding the 2010 reboot*
Nightmare on Elm Street much like Halloween is a weird one. It has three great movies, two okay ones, and two terrible movies. Still, I think I like A Nightmare on Elm Street more than the Halloween films. I like Freddy better than Micheal and whenever we do get a bad Nightmare movie Freddy is at least somewhat worth tuning for…
7. Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)
…expect not here. Robert Englund as Freddy can’t save Freddy’s Dead. This was terrible, everything about this movie was terrible. I can’t say anything positive about this film, I really can’t. Robert Englund, the shining light of this franchise can’t save this movie. I appreciated the backstory of Freddy, but I didn’t need it. I especially didn’t want to see him become the Freddy we see in the first Nightmare on Elm Street. I didn’t care about any of the characters in the movie which meant I didn’t care if they died or not. That’s a problem if you’re watching a horror movie. This is by far the worst movie of the franchise, though Dream Child is also pretty bad.
6. A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child (1989)
Dream Child is bad, but I liked that we continued with the surviving characters from the Dream Master. I liked Dream Master better than this obviously. I wasn’t attached to any of the characters especially all the new ones, but I liked seeing the survivors from Dream Master. I don’t think there are any other real positives in Dream Child though. It’s better than Freddy’s Dead, but that doesn’t make this one any good. Freddy is a full-on comedian and I like his humor, but there are barely any kills in this movie to balance out the comedy. The plot is silly, the established rules are thrown out, and it’s boring. Not a lot of highlights in this.
5. A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985)
Elm Street 2 is a weird one. It’s not a particularly good Nightmare Elm On Elm Street movie, but I think if it weren’t apart of this franchise and had a different villain take the place of Freddy, it would be better than what it is. The movie has a good premise, but the execution isn’t very good. It reminds me of Halloween III: Season of the Witch in that regard. Both movies are fine, but both would have benefited if they weren’t apart of their respective franchises and were just standalone movies. Also, this movie is very gay and may have made me like it a little more if it weren’t. I’m biased like that.
4. A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)
I wasn’t expecting a lot from Dream Master. I didn’t hear too much about this one before I watched it which worried me and I was expecting a big drop after the fantastic Dream Warriors. But, I was wrong Dream Master was not bad at all. The survivors of Dream Warriors are back and took out pretty early, but the newcomers weren’t bad. They weren’t as good as the last group of teens, but they had their own charm to them. What I liked most about this one was the 80s of it all. The soundtrack (which I liked) and the aesthetic screams 80s and I loved every bit of it. Dream Master is one of the better sequels in the franchise.
3. New Nightmare (1994)
Wes Craven knew how to do meta. New Nightmare was everything I wanted and is the perfect ending to a franchise that hasn’t been plagued with issues. New Nightmare feels like a return to form with a new layer of meta added in. I know a lot of people don’t like it when films go meta, but personally, I enjoy it when it is done right and New Nightmare definitely does it right. The biggest compliment I can give the movie is bringing back Heather Langenkamp who other than Robert Englund is the heart of the series. And even though, Langenkamp isn’t playing Nancy, but rather herself it is a joy to watch her be brought into the Nightmare franchise. Just like it said in the film, Heather is who brought Nancy her strength so having her just play herself was a nice choice. Another great decision made was making Freddy scary again. After the last two movies made Freddy into a comedian, he’s scary again here and it made me so happy to be afraid of him. This was a fantastic end to the Nightmare franchise that makes me glad I stuck with it.
2. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
A Nightmare on Elm Street is a classic and rightfully so. Wes Craven rejuvenated the horror genre something that he seemed to do often. First with A Nightmare on Elm Street and then with Scream. I will be honest I didn’t love A Nightmare on Elm Street the first time I saw it. I still don’t, (although I do like it more and more I rewatch it) but I have plenty of appreciation for it. I appreciate everything it had done for the genre and its influence on pop culture. I also believed that this by far has the best story of the big three slasher movies between Halloween and Friday the 13th. It’s a well thought out and well-written plot. Freddy Kruger himself is the perfect serial killer and it’s easy to see why he is such a big horror icon. Robert Englund as Freddy is what makes the first movie as iconic as it is.
1. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)
Dream Warriors took everything good about the first Elm Street and made it great. Everything felt crisp and polished. Freddy is better than ever and his kills here were pretty creative and fun to watch. The setting at a mental institution is perfect and fits right in for an Elm Street movie. I liked just about every character and more importantly, I cared about what was happening to them. Nancy, our final girl from the first Nightmare on Elm Street returns and with Heather Langenkamp’s wonderful performance makes Nancy my favorite final girl (alongside Sidney Prescott) ever. I truly felt sadness when [*SPOILER*] Nancy dies at the end. This is by far my favorite movie of the franchise, I love it so much.