SPOILER ALERT!!!

Shortly after I started working on The Unlucky Thirteen, I made a post similar to this one covering the Friday the 13th films.  This “Description” is really a review of each of the films in the collection.  We are looking at the Nightmare on Elm Street movies in this post and there WILL be spoilers.  Do not go any further if you want to be surprised by the movies (if you haven’t already seen them).  If you haven’t seen them, then go watch them!

Disclaimer:  I included the google description for you guys.  Many of you have probably not seen all the films and many of you have.  For some of you, maybe it has been a while and you aren’t sure which movies are which.  This is full of honest opinions, not a post to bash the franchise.  I can enjoy any horror movie, to a point.  I am not trying to convince you to (or to not) watch the films, just telling you how I liked and disliked each movie.  If anything, maybe you WILL go watch them for yourself to find out what in the world I am talking about.

  1. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

A Nightmare on Elm Street 1984

Google Description:

In Wes Craven’s classic slasher film, several Midwestern teenagers fall prey to Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), a disfigured midnight mangler who preys on the teenagers in their dreams — which, in turn, kills them in reality. After investigating the phenomenon, Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) begins to suspect that a dark secret kept by her and her friends’ parents may be the key to unraveling the mystery, but can Nancy and her boyfriend Glen (Johnny Depp) solve the puzzle before it’s too late?

My Description:

The very first Nightmare on Elm Street and, of course, one of the best.  The first films in a collection seem to always be one of the best.  I actually loved the 80’s vibe and horrible graphics.  This movie follows a group of teens and one specifically that are all being targeted by the infamous Fred Krueger.  One of them, Nancy, figures out what is happening and tries to capture the dead guy from her dreams.  Surprisingly, she succeeds, but her parents had already given up on her.  In the end, her mother is dragged through the front door window by Fred himself.  This movie introduced the now infamous franchise and did so very well.  The end scene leaves you wanting more from Krueger and ensures that you will come back for the next movie.

  1. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985)

A Nightmare on Elm Street: Freddy's Revenge

Google Description:

Jesse Walsh (Mark Patton) moves with his family into the home of the lone survivor from a series of attacks by dream-stalking monster Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund). There, Jesse is bedeviled by nightmares and inexplicably violent impulses. It turns out Freddy needs a host body to carry out his gruesome vendetta against the youth of Springwood, Ohio. While Freddy gains influence, Jesse and his girlfriend, Lisa (Kim Myers), race against the clock trying to figure out what’s going on.

My Description:

This one was a slow burn for me and not much happened until an hour into the movie.  There were the dreams and strange occurrences, of course, but nothing much until the death of Ron.  I wasn’t a fan of the scene, either.  The transformation from Jesse to Freddy was unimpressive, to say the least.  I was okay with the fact that Jesse was committing the murder, just not how Freddy literally came out of him.  Things change with the scene where the kid is trying to calm Freddy down next to the pool.  “Help yourself, Fucker.”

This movie follows Jesse, a teen who moves into Nancy’s house from the previous film.  He battles with Freddy as he is taken over and used as a host for Freddy and his revenge.  Meanwhile, his girlfriend Lisa works to find out how to get Jesse back, going as far as facing Freddy herself.  Thankfully for the two of them, their love overcomes and he is able to pull away from Freddy’s grip (until the cutscene).  While this film goes away from the characters that are brought back later, it wasn’t bad.  Since they went with a storyline later on, I feel that it would have been better to start with the complete storyline and then do the “spin-offs”.

  1. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)

A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Master

Google Description:

During a hallucinatory incident, young Kristen Parker (Patricia Arquette) has her wrists slashed by dream-stalking monster Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund). Her mother, mistaking the wounds for a suicide attempt, sends Kristen to a psychiatric ward, where she joins a group of similarly troubled teens. One of the doctors there is Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp), who had battled Freddy some years before. Nancy senses a potential in Kristen to rid the world of Freddy once and for all.

My Description:

I thought that we were going to reach remake hell with this one, but we didn’t.  Many franchises reach their downfall around the third movie, but the Nightmare on Elm Street series pushed past this and introduced another great film.  Some scenes do it for me in this movie and some scenes didn’t.  While they were comical, I’m still unsure about how the graphics made me feel.  A mean, green Freddy Krueger snake?  To be honest, this really just made me want to watch Beetlejuice!  I really enjoyed the characters and how they came together.  Who doesn’t love a bag girl and a warlock master?  The worst, for me, was the skeleton fight towards the end.  It served its purpose, but there could have been better ways to master it.  This installment in the series started off strong, maintained strength through most of the scenes, and then provided a solid ending.  This is more than you can say for many series that reach their third films.

  1. A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)

A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Master

Google Description:

Grotesque Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) gives some more suburban teenagers something to dream about.

My Description:

So much for a Google description to help you know which movie this is.  Kristen is back again for the fourth installment of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies and warns her friends right away of Freddy’s presence.  She meets her demise fairly quickly, despite her experience battling the nightmares and her ability to bring others into her own dreams.  Upon her death, she advises Alice to use her powers to deal with Freddy and Alice does as instructed.  The worst part of this movie was Sheila’s “death via sucking face” in Alice’s dream.  Of course, this led to her death in real life from an asthma attack.  Alice has to fight for her friend’s lives as she delivers them to Freddy unintentionally.

While it was one of the strangest endings that I have seen so far, it is definitely one of the best of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies.  I am honestly surprised that these movies keep getting better and better.  I feel that the strong storylines help prevent the downfall of the series, as this keeps the movies moving along and doesn’t leave much room for a bad remake.  While Krueger is the focus, each movie has its own premise rather than trying to rewrite the same story over and over.

  1. A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989)

A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child

Google Description:

The fifth installment of the popular franchise focuses on Alice (Lisa Wilcox), a survivor of the fourth, who believes Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) has been eliminated for good. She optimistically hopes to start a life with fellow survivor Dan (Danny Hassel). The nightmares begin soon enough, though, and Alice learns she is pregnant. When her friends start dying, Alice suspects that Freddy is using the fetus within her as a weapon. Can she fight the demon while protecting her unborn child?

My Description:

One thing that I have enjoyed while watching all of the Nightmare on Elm Street films is the storylines.  I know that this keeps coming up, but it is my favorite part of a series.  Who wants to watch the same movie over and over with slightly better graphics as the years go on?  While each film features the Freddy that we all know and love, each film is different than the last and gives you something that you weren’t expecting.

This movie, like the last, carries a character over from the previous movie and she happens to be a very important one.  Alice is graduating from high school now and finds out, after the death of her boyfriend Danny, that she is pregnant.  I can’t lie, I spent over half of the movie wondering if Freddy was the “father” of the poor kid.  It takes her awhile (as always) to convince her friends that Freddy is the culprit of Danny’s death and later the death of another friend.  Alice figures out that Freddy is attacking her friends while she is awake by using her baby’s dreams and panic sends her on a mission to stop him.  The strength of a mother prevails as she tries to save her last living friend and her unborn child.  While the animation was “out there” again (featuring some comic book scenes), I liked it.

  1. Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)

Freddy's Dead

Google Description:

The fifth installment of the popular franchise focuses on Alice (Lisa Wilcox), a survivor of the fourth, who believes Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) has been eliminated for good. She optimistically hopes to start a life with fellow survivor Dan (Danny Hassel). The nightmares begin soon enough, though, and Alice learns she is pregnant. When her friends start dying, Alice suspects that Freddy is using the fetus within her as a weapon. Can she fight the demon while protecting her unborn child?

My Description:

And….we have reached remake hell.  Compared to other franchises, they made it pretty far before getting cheesy, unrealistic, and routine.  The movie started out with the last kid falling into a nightmare and getting himself into a teen’s shelter.  Unintentionally dragging the other teens with him, he ends up fighting Freddy amongst his new acquaintances in the now childless town.  The story had the potential to be a great ending to the franchise (or so we thought) but just fell short.

I didn’t hate the movie but, after getting into the fourth and fifth installments, I wasn’t impressed.  The continuation of unrealistic graphics, like the video game scene, didn’t help the movie as it progressed and seemed like a grasp at creativity.  While it was creative, I would have rather seen more in the area of the continuing storyline.  The characters from the previous movie or some element from them (like how all the kids went missing) would have been a better ending to the series.  Freddy’s daughter killing him added a nice touch and strengthened the storyline, but there wasn’t enough backstory for me.  A lot happened between the fifth movie and this one that all could have been explained in its own movie.  All in all, this was my least favorite thus far.

  1. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994)

Wes Craven's New Nightmare

Google Description:

Reality and fantasy meet in unsettling ways in this installment of the long-running horror series, which finds director Wes Craven and actors Heather Langenkamp and Robert Englund all portraying themselves. As Heather (Heather Langenkamp) considers making another film with Craven, her son, Dylan (Miko Hughes), falls under the spell of the iconic disfigured villain Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund). Eventually, Langenkamp must confront Freddy’s demonic spirit to save the soul of Dylan.

My Description:

This was a long one, but a lot better than I had expected.  Wes Craven’s New Nightmare was a refreshing installment to the series.  The movie features actors from the previous films as themselves, rather than the characters they played, and the plot was something new entirely.  It was interesting to see how the writers and actors were being haunted by the demon from their previous jobs and gave the movie a “real” feeling.  They did away with many of the crazy graphics that had been growing more and more intense in the previous movies and focused more on the true horror of being stalked in your dreams.  I would highly recommend bearing through the other five before jumping into this one to get the full effect and to get a better understanding of what the characters are feeling.

  1. Freddy Vs. Jason (2003)

Freddy Vs. Jason

Google Description:

Two horror icons face off in this supernatural movie. Disfigured serial killer Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), who attacks his victims in their dreams, has lost much of his power since citizens of his town have become less afraid of him. Enlisting the help of fellow violent murderer Jason Voorhees (Ken Kirzinger), Freddy orchestrates a new killing spree. However, when the hockey-mask-wearing psychopath won’t stop chopping up Freddy’s intended victims, the two ghouls start to battle each other.

My Description:

I’m not sure where this one fits, but I decided to include it since it didnt make it into the Friday the 13th review. Freddy Vs. Jason was actually the first scary movie that I watched as a child and I was super excited to give it another go.  The premise of this movie was interesting and different from the previous films, which I liked.  While some of the scenes weren’t as great as they could be, they still worked.  The movie follows a group of teens that are targeted by both Freddy and Jason, after Freddy calls on Jasons to ignite fear on Elm Street.  After Jason “steals” many of Freddy’s victims, the two get into it and with the help of the teens, Jason wins.  There were a lot of great fights throughout the film and enough of both characters to satisfy both Freddy and Jason fans.