Rank the Franchise: Nightmare on Elm Street
536 5 5.17. A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989)
It was at this point where Freddy was becoming a full on comedian and the series was at its strangest/most macabre. It's strengths lie within the return of Alice Johnson. I'm very glad they didn't decide to kill her off like they did to Nancy and Kristen in their second appearances. I liked Alice's developing relationship with her father, the idea of Freddy returning through her kid, the pro-life message, and the disorienting climax was pretty well done.
746 5.4 5.36. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Reveng... (1985)
753 5.1 4.95. Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)
By this point Freddy was mostly comedic, so you might as well enjoy all of his scenes for the black comedy that they are. Most people consider this the worst of the franchise, but I thought this had some very cool aspects that makes it better than Parts 2 and 5.
Even though a lot of scenes were played for laughs I thought this one had a pretty good story. I liked the mystery sounding Freddy having a child (even though the actor clearly isn't old enough to be his kid). I thought the concept of Springwood being a crazy town after losing all of the children was pretty interesting. It was cool that they filled in the last blanks concerning Freddy's origin, and the climax was pretty fun too.
642 5.7 5.64. A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Maste... (1988)
This one is just a fun slasher film. This is where the films started turning very macabre, but not as much as Part 5. It is also where Freddy was starting to become mostly a comedian.
One of its strongest points is the new heroine it introduces with Alice Johnson. It also had one of the coolest final confrontations in the series, with one of the only times you'll see the hero have a straight up fight with the villain in a slasher film.
And I also thought that it had the most disturbing death in the franchise. The Roach Motel one.
513 6.2 6.43. Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994)
And who said slasher films couldn't be entertaining and intelligent. Wes Craven was able to prove his genius once again with this thrilling metafictional installment. The story line of Freddy coming to the real world in of itself is terrifying. And the best part is that after all of the sequels that started turning him into a joke, he became much darker and more terrifying again. I also think this is where Heather Langenkamp turned in her best performance of the saga.
726 6.4 6.52. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)
This one may not have been as thought provoking as NEW NIGHTMARE, but this one is just a load of fun, with some very good ideas and was immensely creative. The concept of the Dream Warriors and their powers were brilliant. This is where Freddy started getting more comedic, but here it's not done too much and he is still pretty terrifying. I had mixed feelings towards Nancy's death though. She was a great character.
2433 7.1 7.51. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
You probably saw this one coming. Obviously this one gets to be number one. It's not only a horror classic, it's a horror masterpiece. Wes Craven crafted an ingenious and original story about a killer who could attack you where you're most vulnerable and can't escape: Your Dreams!
I also thought that this is where Freddy was definitely at his most terrifying. While you could tell he had a sadistic sense of humor here, this was before he started to give constant one liners.
A true classic!
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