Review of the Nightmare on Elm Street Series (1984-2003)
Created by Wes Craven
For directors and writers, see below
Starring Robert Englund, Heather Lagenkamp, and Lisa Wilcox
Directed by Wes Craven, Written by Wes Craven, Starring Robert Englund and Heather Lagenkamp
Nancy and her friends are getting stalked and murdered in their dreams by a man who can?t possibly exist.? When Nancy discovers that her parents recognize the name of the killer, she begins to wonder who she can really trust?
Directed by Jack Sholder, Written by David Chaskin, Starring Robert Englund, Mark Patton, Kim Myers and Robert Rusler
Freddy Krueger’s back, quickly stating his intentions with Jesse: (“You’ve got the body, I’ve got the brain!”).? Freddy soon begins to exert his influence on the real world, almost as if flexing his muscles, on those who challenge or otherwise irritate Jesse.? Freddy begins to kill by possessing Jesse, and it appears that he can do this either in Jesse’s sleep or when he’s awake.
Directed by Chuck Russell, Written by Wes Craven and Bruce Wagner, Starring Robert Englund, Patricia Arquette, Heather Lagenkamp and Craig Wasson
?Dream Warriors? begins with Kristen entering a psych ward.? Nancy, now an intern, struggles to convince the staff of Freddy’s reality as patients are picked off at a fairly regular pace.? They discover together that they all have special abilities in their dreams, giving much of the movie the feel of a Bandai TV show.? Nancy returns for a final dream confrontation with Freddy while her father and Dr. Gordon fight Freddy’s physical remains.? Combat ensues on multiple fronts, and at the cost of several lives Freddy is defeated- once and for all?
Directed by Renny Harlin, Written by Brian Helgeland and Scott Pierce, Starring Robert Englund and Lisa Wilcox
Freddy’s back, resurrected by a stream of flaming piss sent straight to the bowels of hell, and ready to take his revenge on Kristen and the others, using her powers to get access to a new variety of victims.
Directed by Stephen Hopkins, Written by Leslie Bohem, Starring Robert Englund and Lisa Wilcox
Freddy Krueger was born to Amanda Krueger, victim of the rape of 100 madmen- again.? This time, he goes to work as the step-father of Alice and Dan from part 4?s baby, and oh, what a fathering job he does.
Directed by Rachel Talalay, Written by Michael DeLuca, Starring Robert Englund and Lisa Zane
Freddy Krueger has succeeded in killing every person below the age of FORTY in Springwood.? Never one to be out of work for long, he?s ready to find new ground.
Directed by Wes Craven, Written by Wes Craven, Starring Heather Lagenkamp
Freddy’s dead, but killing off the story has let something more evil emerge into the real world: an age-old demon determined to continue Freddy’s reign of terror, starting with his first nemesis, actor Heather Lagenkamp.
Directed by Ronny Yu, Written by Damion Shannon and Mark Swift, Starring Robert Englund and Ken Kirzinger
An important secret about Springwood?s history is being kept from the youth of the town.? When this dark secret enlists the aid of the Crystal Lake killer to spread the word, it is revealed? but is it already too late?
NOTE: Spoilers are not individually indicated in the following.? Read ahead at your own risk.
The Nightmare on Elm Street series is classic.? The series follows the career of madman Freddy Krueger, from his birth as the ?Son of a Hundred Maniacs? to his many deaths, his raising by an abusive stepfather, his covenant with the dream demons and the destructive conflict between Krueger and fellow icon Jason Voorhees.
The NOES series starts with one of the most original slasher movies I?ve seen, then slowly progresses to carbon copies with less and less acting, effort and effects.? After hitting rock bottom, the series returns to hovering somewhere between the quality of the first two movies, and from there… who knows?? The next ?Freddy versus Jason?, whenever it happens, could be as good as the original Nightmare- or as bad as ?Freddy?s Dead?.
Some statistics on the Nightmare series:
Number of times Freddy was brought to the waking world to be defeated: 3
Number of times Freddy came into the waking world willingly: 1
Number of theories about dreams/Freddy?s existence: 5
Yeah, just a little repetitive.? Thankfully, his kills remain as individual throughout, even if they start to lose luster around Part V.
Not that all of the movies beyond the first are carbon copies.? ?Freddy?s Revenge? is by far the second most original in the series, introducing Freddy?s abilities to affect the waking world and possess the bodies of the living, both of which are used in different ways later on (notably in ?Dream Warriors? and ?Freddy versus Jason?, respectively).? ?Dream Warriors? introduced the first attempts to fight Freddy on his own turf, a concept which ?The Dream Master? expands upon while focusing more on the characters and less on Freddy than any other movie in the series.? ?Freddy?s Dead? introduces Freddy?s greater powers, including the ability to go beyond simply killing his targets.
Overall, I would say that the ?Nightmare on Elm Street? series is greater influenced by its upsides than the down.? ?A Nightmare on Elm Street? is one of the greatest horror movies I have ever seen.? Wes Craven?s other two contributions are great movies in their own right, and even parts 2, 4, and FvJ have earned their titles as movies sufficiently beyond average quality.? In fact, if parts 5 and 6 were never made, NOES might very well be one of the greatest movie series in horror history.