A Nightmare on Elm Street
A Nightmare on Elm Street

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- 75/100 based on 167,258 votes
  • Released: 1984
  • Runtime: 91 mins
  • Director: Wes Craven
  • Studio: New Line Cinema
  • Genres: Horror

Several people are hunted by a cruel serial killer who kills his victims in their dreams. While the survivors are trying to find the reason for being chosen, the murderer won't lose any chance to kill them as soon as they fall asleep.... (Full plot summary below)

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Full Plot Details

Several people are hunted by a cruel serial killer who kills his victims in their dreams. While the survivors are trying to find the reason for being chosen, the murderer won't lose any chance to kill them as soon as they fall asleep.

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Movie Reviews

ReelViews - 9/10 by James Berardinelli A Nightmare on Elm Street is tailor made for those who like their gore leavened with thought-provoking ideas - something that is a rarity in this genre.
Entertainment Weekly - 8/10 by Clark Collis Some of the effects remain nicely repulsive; Freddy himself comes across as a genuinely nasty piece of work, far removed from his later incarnation.
Empire - 8/10 by Gavin Bainbridge Turning slumberland into a twisted murderer's den is a masterstroke by Craven, who has brought new blood to a genre that seemed as if it might choke on it's own excesses.
Chicago Reader - 8/10 by J.R. Jones Here the idea of sleep as the ultimate threat is still fresh and marvelously insidious, and Craven vitalizes the nightmare sequences with assorted surrealist novelties.
The New York Times - 7/10 by Vincent Canby A Nightmare on Elm Street puts more emphasis on bizarre special effects, which aren't at all bad.
User Review - 10/10 by GamecubeLover This horror movie is amazing at every second and is my favorite horror movie of all time. The characters are amazing and so are the effects you NEED to watch this movie.
User Review - 10/10 by kyle20ellis I love this movie, bought the Blu-Ray and it's still amazing. The story's really good, I think. A girl is haunted by nightmares and after a short while she gets killed in a really gruesome way, well, gruesome for the 80's, but still sick. Then the next girl, Nancy, is haunted, like all of her friends, which one by one get killed. Freddy Krueger might just be one of the creepiest guys you'll ever see in a movie. He also has the most awesome weapon, I mean, c'mon, who can beat a glove with knifes as fingers? I am still really impressed with the facial effects of Freddy. That mask put on Robert Englund's face really makes Krueger a believable, as far as a nightmare murderer can be believable. So, if you're looking for an awesome horror movie, even if it's old, this one's for you. Little advise: Don't watch this before you go to sleep. This movie still freaks me out, even if I watched it like 8 times.
User Review - 10/10 by lukechristiansc as i was watching i was completely bored well some parts i got bored . but i got really entertained when things got juicy . " Nightmare of elm street rocks . Robert Enguland is a kick ass nightmare killer . Grade A+ P.
User Review - 10/10 by Spangle All-time I have rated very few films a perfect 10. This is not a rating I take lightly. It has to be a film that is somehow immediately going to be among my favorite films of all-time. It has to be a film that not only has an immediate impact upon me while viewing, but is one that sticks with me. As such, it is rare for a film to be initially given a perfect 10. It is something that gets built up to over time when it dawns on me just how perfect the film truly was. A Nightmare on Elm Street is one of those films that I knew about halfway in, there was going to be some internal discussion about whether or not this was a perfect 10. With about 20 minutes left, there was no doubt in my mind whatsoever. A Nightmare on Elm Street is a horror behemoth. Few horror movies exist that are better than this film thanks to a thoroughly creepy atmosphere, otherwordly and inventive premise, horrifying score, and a knack for proving to be absolutely petrifying. Quintessentially 1980s suburbia, A Nightmare on Elm Street's first achievement is creating likable characters and then dropping them in this supernatural world. Immediately, the audience identifies with these people and is equally confused by what is transpiring in the film. Never truly showing its cards as to the limits of this dream world that director Wes Craven has crafted, A Nightmare on Elm Street keeps you guessing even as you believe that you have begun to figure how things work. This is best showcased at the end where (I'M SET TO RUIN THE ENDING HERE) Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp) declares that Freddy Kreuger (Robert Englund) is merely a dream and has no power over her in the real world. This logic is based upon her being told by boyfriend Glen (Johnny Depp) that there is a culture in which the entirety of their art and literature is created through dreams. For bad dreams, they turn their back to the monster and do not give it power, so they survive and the monster dies. A Nightmare on Elm Street sets you up with this element and provides what would have been a deeply unsatisfying ending in which Freddy dies and Nancy leaves unscathed. I want her to live, but not in some hocus pocus nonsense matter. Craven then brilliantly pulls the rug out from under you and you realize that this nightmare is not over, rather it is just beginning. This dreamworld created by Wes Craven proves to be one of the most interesting worlds I have seen in a film as it is truly expansive and seems to defy all logic (in a good way). This world proves to make the entirety of the proceedings that much scarier, as you realize that Krueger is always lying in wait for his victims and just waiting for them to sleep in order to catch them. There is no escaping his creepy claw hands or his raspy warnings of your imminent demise. The fear instilled by the thought of Krueger is bolstered significantly by Charles Bernstein. Supplying A Nightmare on Elm Street with a truly tremendous score, Bernstein outdoes himself in assisting Craven to set the right mood with the right downright scary tones played during tense moments. If the events on the screen did not place you on pins and needles, then the ambiance supplied by Bernstein will do the job. Scary in its own right, the score of a horror film is usually the make-or-break element for me when it comes to judging its success. A Nightmare on Elm Street gets full marks. Often times, a film can lose scariness over time just because it gets a bit cheesy at moments. Admittedly, John Carpenter's Halloween features some of these age spots. I loved it all the same, but it did hold it back from being even better (notice too the cheeky reference to Halloween when Krueger holds up a lifeless white mask that used to the face of Christina, his first victim). In A Nightmare on Elm Street, there are no age spots. No moment played comically, rather each punch thrown by Wes Craven lands with the force offered up by a heavyweight boxer. The end result is a film that leaves you feeling numb, on edge, and thoroughly unwilling to ever sleep again. It is a film that has aged gloriously and not just captures the feeling of 1980s suburbia perfectly, but also dumps you into this world to experience the events alongside the characters. It is honestly weird. I love horror movies, obviously. However, I would not call horror my favorite genre. Yet, many of my favorite films (The Silence of the Lambs, Psycho, The Shining, and It Follows, for example) are horror films. Adding in A Nightmare on Elm Street, there seems to be a trend at the very top of my favorite films. All the same, when watching a film, I want to be impacted. I want to feel something. A Nightmare on Elm Street delivers on this as it sure as hell made me feel something. Watching this horror behemoth felt unlike any other viewing I have ever undertaken. It is an experience that will not let go and will undoubtedly haunt me in my dreams.
User Review - 10/10 by Urbanlistener A Wes Craven masterpiece like any other! A landmark in the horror genre, with an unforgettable and nasty villain we all came to love and dress up as every Halloween and a great soundtrack that makes the horror scenes much more frightening. A classic you can't pass up on.
User Review - 10/10 by FanBoyCritic1 A Nightmare On Elm Street(1984) Starring:John Saxon,Ronne Blaxely,Heather Langenkamp,Amanda Wyss,Nick Corri,Johnny Depp,Robert Englund Written and Directed By: Wes Craven My Review A long time has come and gone since the essental slasherA Nightmare On Elm Street(1984) Starring:John Saxon,Ronne Blaxely,Heather Langenkamp,Amanda Wyss,Nick Corri,Johnny Depp,Robert Englund Written and Directed By: Wes Craven My Review A long time has come and gone since the essental slasher from the 80's was released and I have been wanting to see it for years. When i first tried to watch this it was the most terrifying movie I had ever seen and I couldn't even finish it. But finally it was on the television once more and I finally got to watch it, what do I think? Everyone knows at this point what this movie is about. I first saw the sequel Freddy's revenge which was terrible,un-enjoyable,boring,and un-scary. When it was released I saw the remake which was very boring but had a cool looking trailer. Freddy's original outing with Heather Langenkamp is about the small town the elm street teenagers dropping like flies, apparently in the grip of mass hysteria causing their suicides. A cop's daughter (Heather Langenkamp) traces the cause to child molester Fred Krueger (Robert Englund), who was burned alive by angry parents many years before. Krueger has now come back in the dreams of his killers' children, claiming their lives as his revenge. With a supporting cast that includes horror veterans like John Saxon and Ronee Blakley, director Wes Craven creates moments of real dread by examining the line between nightmares and reality, as well as the "sins of the parents" theme. All of the effects and deaths are still slick,smooth,and disturbing. The movie has aged over the years but it's still pretty cool to watch and I just love how the father just didn't see Freddy at all I personally thought he was going to find out. Heck this movie even introduced Johnny Depp. I give A Nightmare on Elm Street a 5 out of 5.
User Review - 10/10 by Castiel_Angel Definitely a 10/10 worthy film. My all time favorite horror movie. A Nightmare on Elm Street has a perfect creepy suspenseful type theme to it. The whole idea of a serial killer being able to invade people's dreams and kill them as they sleep is amazing.

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