I have a confession: I’m a 36-year-old male who is still afraid of Freddy Kreuger. I’ll wait until you’re finished laughing.
Right, this fear came about when I saw (I think) Nightmare on Elm Street 4 when I was six. My sisters or my mom (don’t remember) were watching this and I decided to watch too. I had a nightmare (or twenty) after that. That doesn’t mean I never went back and watched the movies. Hell, as an adult I decided to finally watch every Nightmare on Elm Street movie.
The first movie is a great introduction to the series. It introduces the basic setup of every Nightmare movie to follow: teenagers are having nightmares about a demon who wears a striped shirt, dirty hat and had a glove with razor-sharp blades on them. If you die in the dream, you die in real life. While not as many deaths as the later films, the deaths are nicely done and are creepy. Hell, that blood geyser is still one of the best-looking things in cinema. Also, Freddy in this movie is a lot creepier than in the sequels. It’s obvious why this movie did so well.
The second movie is the worst out of all of them. It’s about a teenager who is being controlled by Freddy and it looks like he’s killing people and not him. It’s not worth talking about since the plot makes little sense, the scares and deaths are terrible.
Nightmare 3 is the best out of all of them. Here, we have teenagers who are all in a mental institute for suicidal teens and they’re all being chased by Freddy. The deaths in this movie are all creative, we learn a little more about Freddy, the acting is great. It’s just an overall great film.
Nightmare 4 was the one that scared me at six. After watching it as an adult, it’s OK. The deaths aren’t as creative and this is where Freddy starts to become a lot more comedic and less scary. It’s still worth watching, though.
Nightmare 5 is bad. This is where the series starts to really go downhill. The kills aren’t that great, the lore starts to become too convoluted and it’s obvious the studio was running out of ideas.
Nightmare 6, AKA Freddy’s Dead, The Final Nightmare is just balls to the walls silly. How silly? There’s one scene where a teenager’s house is falling from the sky and Freddy comes in on a flying broomstick and witches hat and says, “I’ll get you my pretty, and your little soul too.” That’s way too funny and silly to say that this is a horror movie.
Finally, there’s Wes Craven’s New Nightmare. This movie takes place in the real world where Heather Langenkamp, the actress from the first movie who defeated Freddy the first time, has to deal with Freddy in the real world. The movie keeps you guessing on whether Freddy is real or if Heather is just imagining things.
As an adult, I’m not that scared of Freddy but still have nightmares about him (nightmares that I can make into my own movies if the series didn’t have copyright.) In fact, I can bravely say that Nightmare on Elm Street is my favorite horror movie franchise and Freddy is my favorite monster. Yes, the series goes downhill but they’re still fun and they knew when to stop (unlike another slasher series…)