Film Friday: Nightmare on Elm Street Films, Ranked

A ranking of the nine major/canon Freddy Krueger films.

9.) Wes Craven's New Nightmare
imdb/source
This movie takes itself seriously but the meta aspect actually makes it less creepy than any of the others and the ending is just dumb. It alternates between unintentionally hilarious and dull.


8.) NoES 2: Freddy's Revenge
imdb/source
While this installment has some super awesome individual scenes, it also suffers from the worst premise in the entire franchise and some of the worst individual scenes in the series. Good scenes: everything with the overly masculine homoerotic coach. Bad scene: pool party.


7.) A Nightmare on Elm Street - 2010 Remake
imdb/source
Jackie Earl Haley is not an actor to sneeze at for the role of the infamous Freddy Krueger. In himself, he does a good job, and there are some interesting aspects to this incarnation that make it ultimately not a total suckfest, but definitely one that is not good enough for me to want to own. Think: "I'll watch it on HBO if it happens to be on." The biggest sin this movie makes is throwing subtlety out the window and opting for producer Michael Bay's approach to story telling which is less "show don't tell" and more "HERE LOOK AT THIS NEON SIGN THAT SAYS THIS THING!!!! LOOK!!! LOOK!!!"

6.)  NoES 5: The Dream Child
imdb/source
I had a hard time ranking Dream Child and Freddy v. Jason. In the end, FvJ  won out because while Dream Child is definitely a superior film, the whole baby thing always got to me, and the dramatic tone is heaviest in this movie. It often feels like less horror-with-dramatic elements and more drama-that-happens-to-be-horror.


5.) Freddy vs. Jason
imdb/source

Again, less quality than Dream Child, but this one is much more fun by far. The characters are silly, the acting is delightfully fun, and the mood is perfect. I just really enjoy watching this silly-fest.


4.) Freddy's Dead - The Final Nightmare
imdb/source
Widely considered to be one of the worst in the franchise, mainly because plot holes abound and also, it is openly and unabashedly the silliest of the series with Freddy being practically a cartoon, I have a special nostalgic place for this movie in my heart. Not for the scares, but because this is the first Elm Street movie I ever saw, and I always enjoyed the humor and fun Freddy had tormenting the kids in the movie. Also, Carlos and the ear scene have a special place in my heart, my ear situation being what it is.

3.) NoES 4 - The Dream Master
imdb/source
It's just a really good movie. The ending fight isn't my personal favorite, but the movie overall is awesome.


2.) NoES 3: Dream Warriors
imdb/source
Widely acknowledged to be one of the best of the bunch. Good story, good acting, genuine creep factor. There is a lot to love about this installment. It is immensely watchable.

1.) A Nightmare on Elm Street - 1984 Original
imdb/source
Obviously. The newness of the idea, the practical effects, the story, the genuine creepiness of the whole idea, the discovery of who Freddy is, was, and what he is capable of. The subtlety and the shock, so much to love. Nancy Thompson is the epitome of final girl and everything the living Freddy Krueger would've hunted. It remains creepy and delightful to this day.














4 comments :

  1. I feel like I need to know more about the overly masculine homoerotic coach, ha.

    I think I've might have seen one or two of these??? I never watched any horror films growing up and my husband has been trying to get me caught up on genres/decades but it's slow going. Plus I think I hurt his soul by saying I don't like Film Noir, ha.

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    1. Dude, you must watch #2, Freddy's Revenge. It is so super awesomely gay (and I say that with affection). And it does have some good stuff, just the overall context of Freddy trying to come to the real world is not good.

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  2. I know I've seen one and two, I was way too young too because they scared the shit out of me! I haven't seen any of the more recent ones though. That Freddy song used to scare me so much! I had no idea someone besides Robert Englund played Freddy - that is just wrong!

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    1. Actually Jackie Earl Haley did a great job in his performance - I have nothing negative to say about him and how he did. It was the script and production and how the story was told that made that particular movie much less enjoyable.
      Yeah, I was in sixth grade, I think, the first time I saw any of these, because my parents were weirdly restrictive about this franchise. They let us watch whatever we wanted but refused to let me see any Freddy films (probably because I had night terrors and they figured a horror movie about nightmares would push me over the edge). :)

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