Been playing a fair amount of Freddy on Dead By Daylight lately, and that got me thinking about the “Nightmare” franchise, so here’s my take on ranking all nine movies from worst to best!
#9 – Freddy’s Dead : The Final Nightmare
This movie was trash. Most of their plots and ‘revelations’ were lifted from other movies that the viewer had known for a while (Wait… you can PULL FREDDY OUT OF A DREAM?!?!?…) which made things very boring for me, and the times they tried to be original (Freddy having a daughter.. his power coming from ‘Dream Demons’…) were so schlocky that this movie easily falls to the bottom of the list.
#8 – A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge
Regardless of the possible ‘subtext’ of this movie… it was a huge downgrade from the original with lackluster acting, cheesy visuals, and ZERO memorable scenes. The lack of memorable scenes gives it JUST enough of a boost over the AMAZINGLY memorable(ly bad) Final Nightmare to have this one clock in at number 8.
#7 – A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010 Remake)
Rebooting a beloved franchise that had fallen off in recent years? Casting Jackie Earl Haley (who was amazing as Rorschach in ‘Watchmen’) as Freddy? I’m in! At least… I wanted to be in. It felt like a college film project based on the original. Visually it was close (although, I wasn’t a fan of Freddy’s ‘new’ look), but it lacked the heart and… dare I say charm.. .of the original. All in all, the title was accurate, though not in the way that was intended.
#6 – Freddy VS Jason
It was a bold move to even attempt this movie as it had the potential to ruin two different, beloved horror franchises…however, out of all the matchups that could have been made… the ‘immovable object’ of Jason paired up with the wise-cracking Freddy was the perfect match. While the ending was to be expected, it was a valid homage to both fan bases and well done.
#5 – Wes Craven’s New Nightmare
This movie is underrated. Arriving 3 years after ‘The end of the franchise’, I love the metaness of it. I love seeing the principle cast back. While it’s the poorest performing movie of the lot, and falls a bit outside of the continuity of the franchise, it was an amazingly bold direction to go in and I applaud the choice.
#4 – A Nightmare on Elm Street : The Dream Child
The wrap up of the ‘middle trilogy’, “The Dream Child” uses Alice’s unborn baby’s dreams to fuel Freddy’s ability and was the poorest performing of said trilogy. The gas was starting to run out of the series, which lead to the inevitable “Final Nightmare” debacle.
#3 – A Nightmare on Elm Street : The Dream Master
This was the mid point of the “Dream….” trilogy and it effectively put Renny Harlan on the map. Pulling in nearly $50 mil on a $6.5 mil budget, it was the highest grossing film of the series in the U.S. until Freddy VS Jason came out… even with Patricia Arquette’s role recast to Tuesday Knight.
#2 – A Nightmare on Elm Street : Dream Warriors
Spots 2 and 1 are close enough for me to almost be interchangeable… (almost). With a great cast (Langenkamp, Arquette, Fishburn…) it revitalized the franchise after the dismal “Freddy’s Revenge” and really drove the series for the next two films. Had this movie tanked, it easily could have relegated “Nightmare” movies to late-Saturday-night-schlockfests until it died with a whimper. Instead, it lit a fire in the fandom and shifted the series from straight horror/slasher to more Horror/SciFi/Fantasy which was a wise choice.
And the number one is!
#1 – A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
This is the one that started it all, and therefore deserves top spot on the list. With an original concept for a slasher/killer and amazing practical effects, this movie put not only Freddy, but Langenkamp and a young Johnny Depp on viewer’s radar. Without the impact this movie had, none of the others would have been made, and therefore takes its rightful spot at the top of my list.
Every week, the Somethings will be giving you a little something extra, so please check back every week for reviews, lists, cool finds, and more!