John's Horror Banana-nanza Episode Seven: A Nightmare on Elm Street (All Original Movies)

Those shades...are so Freddy.
Those shades...are so Freddy.


This series is one I really wanted to avoid as long as possible. It's a series that lacks effective storytelling, scares, likeable characters, or any real elements of good horror. While it started out honest enough, the longer it went, the more downhill it predictably slid. Wes Craven gave us a masterpiece in the 90's with New Nightmare, but Freddy was brought back to clown status in Freddy vs. Jason. With a remake starring someone other than Robert Englund, maybe there is some light on the dream horizon.

8. Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master
7. Freddy's Dead : The Final Nightmare
6. Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge
5. Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child
4. Freddy vs. Jason
3. Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors
2. Nightmare on Elm Street
1. Wes Craven's New Nightmare

Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

What an ugly mess this turned out to be. Some of the characters who survived the last movie are worried that Freddy is still around. After Kincaid's dog pisses on Freddy's grave in the junkyard, he is indeed back, and cornier than ever. At one point, he's on a beach with sunglasses. Wow! Scary! He also eats a soul pizza and turns a girl in to a roach in a roach motel. The plot isn't worth mentioning. The only saving grace in this piss and shitfest is the most satisfying death of Freddy in the whole series. But beyond that, as the fans will tell you, this is an even numbered entry, and you must avoid those at all costs.

Freddy's Dead : The Final Nightmare

If the objective of this movie was to prove that Freddy being frightening was dead, then success! Freddy is the Wicked Witch, he plays with a Nintendo power glove, he cracks an awful one liner at the end...this is more comedy than horror, and for this to be the end of what is, to some (but not me) one of the greatest horror series of all time, it just shows where the character had crashed to at this time. He was on kids' TV shows, on MTV, on lunchboxes...how is that scary? It's not. And neither is this movie. It's more of a parody than a serious entry. The end is a montage of the previous movies, and it's neat if you're a fan. Oh yeah, and watch for a Johnny Depp appearance. Yes, he did two episodes, not just one.

Nightmare on Elm Street 2 : Freddy's Revenge

Of course, when a movie like the original Nightmare on Elm Street has the kind of success it had, a sequel is demanded. There are some cool, creepy effects in this entry, but other than Nancy's house, this has nothing to do with the previous movie. Last time I watched this one, I counted three kills. In a slasher movie. Somehow, I think the writer forgot what kind of movie he was writing for. There's some sadistic nude-whipping to death and Freddy pops out of a kid from the inside, so that's cool. However, the ending sucks. Bad. And the beginning sucks. Real bad. Freddy doesn't really use his one-liners in this one, and it might be the only time until New Nightmare that he is truly frightening. The music is the best in the entire series, but it just shouldn't be the second entry. It's like Halloween 3. It just doesn't fit.

Nightmare on Elm Street 5 : The Dream Child

So Alice is having nightmares, but not about Freddy. Instead, they're about an unborn child who is getting possessed by Freddy in order to bring him back into the real world. All the old characters from 3 and 4 are dead or die in this one, so this is the end of the mini-series inside the series. Every horror series seems to have at least two separate stories going on, making a mess out of continuity. In the Nightmare series, 1,3,4 and 5 go together. The rest of the series is its own entity. Anyway, back on track here. This movie has neat effects, but not much punch. It kind of drags on through muck and in the end, is not very satisfying. But there is effort here from director Stephen Hopkins, who also directed Predator 2 and the first season of 24. All in all, not great, but not terrible either.

Freddy vs. Jason

Since I already reviewed this movie from a Jason standpoint, so from a Freddy standpoint, this movie makes about as much sense as any of the other entries, which is to say, it makes nearly no sense at all. Freddy needs to come back to haunt more stupid people who move onto Elm Street. So he uses Jason to scare them. The hospital and drugs from 3 make a re-appearance, and Freddy has a bitch-fit about how Jason won't stop killing all his would-be victims. Then Jason basically kicks the shit out of his scrawny ass. That's pretty much it. Overall, this feels like a Friday the 13th movie, or later entry Nightmare flick. Goofy, not scary, and way over the top.

Nightmare on Elm Street 3 : Dream Warriors

A movie that should be considered the follow-up to the original. Good acting from Lawrence Fishburne, Patricia Arquette, and a return appearance from Heather Langenkamp make an okay script work with good effects and a not too over the top Freddy to make a competent entry. Nancy is back to help some kids at a hospital who keep dreaming about Freddy. The doctors try to give the kids an experimental drug called Hypnocil, but the kids just plain don't want to sleep. Meanwhile, we find out Nancy's dad is a drunk and Freddy's bones are buried in an auto yard. What ensues is a Jason and the Argonauts climax, and some of the best visuals in the series. A definite stand-alone film. And the great band Dokken makes an appearance too!

Nightmare on Elm Street

I have differing opinions on this movie. It is a sort-of classic in its originality. It's the debut of Johnny Depp. And the effects are pretty cool. But I keep asking myself. If I was in a dream, and a creepy old pervert cut off his fingers and bled green, would I cry and run away or giggle hysterically? Freddy is a character with so much potential that was occasionally reached, but most of the time he wasted 90 minutes of people's lives. This movie is an alright flick. Nancy is a great character, and John Saxon acts his ass off. There's not too much to diss in this movie, except that it's gory, goofy and again, not scary. However, ten years later, Wes Craven would make up for every single mistake this series ever made.

Wes Craven's New Nightmare

This movie doesn't have to be about Freddy. It could be about any horror series character. The story is that the original actors and crew of the first movie are working on a new Nightmare movie, and neglecting to tell the star, Heather Langenkamp, that she's not only in it, but the main character! Wes Craven, Robert Englund, John Saxon, and Langenkamp play themselves and their movie characters. Also, Heather's son Dylan starts having nightmares, which allows Freddy to come into the real world. So much about this movie is un-Nightmare-like. I'm not going to go into great detail because when I do my favorite horror movie list, this will be on it, and I have a whole lot to say about it, because it is simply a great film. Don't be fooled by the title in this one. It's one of the best horror movies ever made

Comments 1 comment

FatFreddysCat profile image

FatFreddysCat 5 years ago from The Garden State

I was totally burned out on this series by the 4th film, with "Dream Warriors" being my fave... I'm not sure if I've even seen any of the Freddy flicks that came afterwards, till "Freddy Vs. Jason" came along.

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