Worst to First: Ranking the Nightmare on Elm Street Movies
In the 1980’s, horror movies were dominated by the slasher genre. Michael Myers started a trend in the late 70’s and Jason Vorheese took it to the next level. For the most part, the killers in these movies were big, silent killing machines who walked slowly from the shadows. But Freddy Kruger was different. He was talkative. Funny even. And he didn’t have to sneak up on you. He was already in your dreams waiting for his next victim to fall asleep. Freddy gets you when you are completely defenseless.
Over the course of the decade, the lunatic with a scarred visage and knives for fingers became a pop culture icon. But as audiences moved away from the slasher genre, Freddy struggled to remain relevant. The last few Nightmare on Elm Street movies have relied on stunts to try to win back Freddy’s fans. Some have worked out better than others. So let’s rank the Nightmare on Elm Street movies from worst to first.
9. A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
Summary: As the series progressed, Freddy Kruger became more comedic than truly scary. After he went toe to toe with his arch rival, Jason, there just wasn’t a lot to do with the character. The series sat dormant for seven years. But by 2010, there was a wave of horror reboots and Freddy was next in line. The reboot retells the story from the original movie but with a greater emphasis on the idea that Freddy was a sexual deviant.
What’s Good: An effort is made to make Freddy scary again. Jackie Earle Haley’s Freddy doesn’t pop off quips and one-liners. And while we’re on the subject of Haley, the remake has a pretty terrific cast that includes Rooney Mara, Clancy Brown and Connie Britton.
What’s Bad: Returning Freddy to his roots is a good idea. But the remake overshoots its goal. The first Nightmare on Elm Street wasn’t full of laughs. But it was hyperkinetic fun for fans of the genre. Everything about the 2010 remake is dark and dour to the point where it becomes something to endure. The first movie was a creepy fun house. The remake was just uncomfortable. And while Haley does his best, neither his make-up nor the script do him any favors when it comes to filling Robert Englund’s rather large shoes.
Verdict: No fun Freddy is no good.