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Worst to First - How do you Rate the Nightmare on Elm Street Movies?

Updated on May 7, 2011

 Do you enjoy sitting down and ranking things? Me too. Have you ever sat down and tried to figure out how your favorite series stacks up against itself? With the new Nightmare on Elm Street remake (2010) I've decided to put down exactly how I rank the series, starting with the worst. . . . . .

#9 - Nightmare on Elm Street 2 - Freddy's Revenge (1985)

Above and beyond the worst of the franchise. I don't think I'm going to get many arguments on this one. Even from those who made it. With cheesy writing, terrible acting, and only 13 MINUTES of screen time for Freddy, this movie almost bankrupted New Line Cinema, and almost ended the franchise before it really got going.

It all started with an unrealistic plot line, blackouts that never really made much sense, and Freddy is trying to recruit our "so called hero" to do his killing for him. Why? And on top of all that when the Freddy/Jesse fusion is "killed" by a burning power plant, the visual of Jesse climbing out of the corpse was perhaps the worst visualization of all time. And it was left with a cliffhanger, as if anyone wanted to see a continuation of that piece of garbage.

#8 - Freddy's Dead - The Final Nightmare (1991)

As a whole there were only two movies in the franchise that I "hated", and this would be one of them. A terrible attempt at, and New Line Cinema's first ever attempt at a 3-D slasher movie, the thing I hated most about this movie was the one thing that bothers me about a lot of slasher movies. I hate when they cheat. By cheating I mean that in a sequel they make things up that weren't true in the previous movies. I understand that some liberties can be taken, but this movie took it way to far.

It's 10 years later, and Freddy has apparently succeeded in killing everyone on Elm Street, so he's moved on to Springwood, Ohio to track down Alice Johnson, and her son Jacob who moved away from Elm Street.

If the corny 3-D effects weren't enough to kill the movie for you, if you made it all the way to the end you had to turn away in disgust when Freddy is killed by a pipe bomb. So this is supposed to be the last installment, and your solution to finally get rid of him for good is a pipe bomb. Sure.

#7 - Freddy Vs Jason (2003)

If all you were expecting from this movie was a long drawn out fight between Jason and Freddy, you got it. Really, it seemed like it was 20 minutes long (it was actually only a little over 8 minutes). But for me, I was expecting a lot more from this much anticipated movie. I wanted a return to the roots of both movies. You got a taste of it, at least on Jason's side, in the beginning of the movie. But throughout most of it Freddy is weak, just regaining his powers. I'm not going to say that the entire movie was bad, but it was bad enough.

There were some good death scenes, and overall the movie worked, but I felt that it lacked vision. It seemed like the entire plot was built for the sole purpose of getting them to fight and it could have been so much more than that. And it does earn some bonus points for the end scene with Jason walking out of the water with Freddy's (still alive) head in his hand. That was awesome.

#6 - A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

As mentioned before, I hate when movie sequels cheat. And this one pulled of a doozy. First it was supposed to be a re-creation of the original, but only used bits and pieces of the original plot. 2nd the entire scene at the day care, none of that was in the original movies. That he was in love with the one little girl was not only disturbing, but untrue by definition of the other films.

My other issue with it was very simple. Robert Englund is Freddy Kruger. And the midget from Watchmen (though I enjoyed him in that movie) didn't cut the mustard for me. It seemed like he tried really hard to play the part, and maybe that was the problem. For Englund, it always just seemed to come naturally, as if he was meant to play that part. I guess for me, he was.

So let me just say that I didn't hate this movie. I actually rather enjoyed it. I only felt that it fell short to what I was expecting, and what I think it could have been.

And this is where it starts getting a little tricky for me. Because I loved all of the remaining movies. So with that being said, my choice for #5 is A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

And before you start booing and hissing or throwing rotten fruit at me, let me explain. Heather Langenkamp, only 19 years of age when filming this movie, was not a verteran actor. Though she had 2 films to her credit prior to Nightmare, she seemed hesitant and restrained. Some of the effects were not well done (it was 1984 after all) and the film seemed to struggle to grasp what direction it wanted to go near the mid point. Wes Craven is a brilliant director, but it seemed that he was testing new waters in this movie. With more special effects and such young actors he did a fantastic job for what he had to work with. But I do feel that the movies that came out later in the franchise were superior.

#4 - A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989)

Had to go back and watch 3-5 to see how I was going to rate them, and made a final determination. Nightmare on Elm Street 5 lost between the three for two reasons. First being visual effects. Throughout the franchise, there hasn't always been the best quality of effects, but I think some of the visuals on The Dream Child were worse than others. For example, the "baby Freddy" was not particularly well done, the diving board scene also bothered me, and the comic book death seemed like a cheat. On top of that, I feel that some of the other movies did better with character development. Though there were some characters that you felt for in the movie, There were a couple that just didn't meet the grade.

All that being said, it did not cheat the origional rules, the plotline was well done and interesting, and it had some very vivid graphic images. Overall I do love this movie, but I felt it was inferior to those that will follow.

#3 - A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)

This movie seemed to have everything, a cast of characters that were both interesting and easy to like. A new and interesting plot, and even though Kristen's character is replaced by an unknown rather than Patricia Arquette, she dies early enough on not to take too much away from the story as a whole. On top of that it had some of the best death scenes yet, the asthma attack in the school, and the roach motel stick out more than others.

But it did fall short in just a few ways. The "invisible Freddy" fight was cheesy beyond belief, that it almost ruined it for me. I also found the acting of Alice (Lisa Wilcox) to be a bit one dimensional. But the one thing that puts this movie above the others was the ending. I think this was the best "death" of Freddy that had been done to date, possibly throughout the entire franchise.

#2 - Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994)

A new spin on an old story, I thought this was just what the franchise needed. I was sorry to see that they did not try to continue along this plot line. I thought that this movie was so interesting not in just the fact that Heather Laenkamp, Wes Craven, and Robert Englund all play themselves in the movie, but that the entire script is happening as Wes Craven is writing it. It almost seemed to make Freddy more real than before, because this was almost like a backstage view of the cast of characters experiencing the supernatural in the real world.

Miko Hughes, known to horror fanatics as Gage in Stephen King's Pet Sematary, played the roll of Dylan with perfection. Both creepy and disturbing, he brought the story a realistic feel. Overall I think New Nightmare was one of the better films Wes Craven has ever done, and again, I wish there were more movies to go along with this thought line.

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

Don't ask me why I think this was the best of the series. Did it have the best acting, no probably not. The best visuals, again no. But there was something about this movie that grabbed me like none of the others did.

A concept so simple and great that it almost had to work. Teenagers, stalked by Freddy Kruger, stuck in a mental hospital, defenseless to his terrors. On top of all that you really felt for almost all of the characters, Joey, Kincaid, Will, Roland, Taryn, Kristen, and Nancy. The entire group working together to solve the puzzle of their continuing threat.

The one and only thing I have against this movie was the junkyard scene near the end, where the re-animated skeleton or Kruger comes to life and begins fighting Dr. Gordon. This scene was perhaps the worst in any of the movies, but despite that, I still love this movie more than the others. I guess that isn't the most logical conclusion, but I cant' help what I feel.


Which Nightmare On Elm Street movie to you rank as the best?

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    • profile image

      CD 13 months ago

      I respect your opinions (and it's well written) but wow, almost all were wrong IMO. 1 is still the best and 2 deserves more love.

      My Ranking:

      1. Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)

      2. Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

      3. Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge

      4. Freddy vs Jason

      5. Wes Craven's New Nightmare

      6. A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Masters

      7. A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)

      8. A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child

      9. Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare

    • TheGutterMonkey profile image

      The Gutter Monkey 3 years ago

      As far as nostalgia goes, I'd probably go for part one as the best. But being honest with myself, if I were just seeing them for the first time, all in a row, the most well made and creative of them all would definitely have to be Wes a Craven's New Nightmare. It's too bad Wes didn't direct all of them himself. His were always the best.

    • mcrawford76 profile image

      Matthew I Crawford 3 years ago from Greeley, Colorado

      Wal Mart had 4 movie sets for like 10 bucks, or you could try checking it out from your local library

    • profile image

      Dakota mcgirt 3 years ago

      I have never seen the first one but I have seen the rest i can never find it the only place i've seen it is at blockbuster but it closed down guess I'm never going to complete the collection

    • mcrawford76 profile image

      Matthew I Crawford 3 years ago from Greeley, Colorado

      Sorry you feel that way, I was being honest, I felt the ending where she turns her back and "takes away Freddie's power" was a cheesy cop out.

    • profile image

      AM 3 years ago

      You are a moron and you ruined any credibility you may have had by not placing the ORIGINAL movie as #1. GET A CLUE! Stop trying to be different!

    • mcrawford76 profile image

      Matthew I Crawford 6 years ago from Greeley, Colorado

      Glad to see I wasn't the only one that thought so. I see by the poll though that the original is leading the pack.

      Thanks for reading.

    • amymarie_5 profile image

      amymarie_5 6 years ago from Chicago IL

      Yes!! Dream Warriors was the best of the series. The plot was interesting and creative. I prefer it to the first, although I would have put that one second to Dream Warriors. The remake of Nightmare on Elm Street was awful and turning Freddy Krueger into a child molester made my stomach turn. I also agree that Robert Englund will always be Freddy Krueger. Nobody will ever be able to replace him. Loved this hub.