Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 6 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 99 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Nancy Thompson is suffering from violent nightmares about a badly burned man wearing a glove made of knives. She quickly learns that this man – child molester Freddy Krueger – is also terrorizing the dreams of her friends and boyfriend, Glen. As they begin to die one by one in their sleep, Nancy learns, that years prior, the parents of Elm Street burned Krueger alive – and now Freddy is back to claim their children’s lives as revenge! As the teenagers of Elm Street fight to stay awake, Nancy must save their lives and her own by bringing Freddy out of their dreams and back into the real world to destroy him forever. (New Line Cinema) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. 88
    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.
  2. Reviewed by: Clark Collis
    83
    Some of the effects remain nicely repulsive; Freddy himself comes across as a genuinely nasty piece of work, far removed from his later incarnation.
  3. 80
    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.
  4. Reviewed by: Gavin Bainbridge
    80
    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.
  5. Reviewed by: (Staff Not Cretdited)
    80
    A Nightmare on Elm Street is a highly imaginative horror film that provides the requisite shocks to keep fans of the genre happy.
  6. A Nightmare on Elm Street puts more emphasis on bizarre special effects, which aren't at all bad.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. Jul 1, 2014
    10
    This film is the ultimate horror experience for me. The settings are memorable and Robert Englund's performance as Freddy Krueger is legendary. The pacing is relentless in its intensity, it never lets go and still keeps lingering for a long time after you've watched the movie.

    Strong lead characters, Heather Langenkamp and Johnny Depp were a good pairing, and the supporting characters weren't just bland figures in the background. You actually felt the loss of the characters. They certainly have more depth to them than the stereotypical horror film teenagers.

    The premise of this story holds together well, and the apparent symbolism isn't completely hidden from you.

    Freddy Krueger's character was ill-defined, but intentionally. You can feel Englund's presence as he chases the kids through terrifyingly imaginative dream sequances. Wes Craven truly is one talented director, although he does have the occasional brain fart (The Hills Have Eyes, part 2).

    This film spawned my love for cinema. I definitely recommend it.
    Expand
  2. Jul 22, 2011
    10
    I love every bit of this picture. This is not only a masterpiece of horror cinema, but a masterpiece of indie cinema. Whether you're a budding filmmaker, a horror-freak, or both (I happen to be both), this film is a must-see. Expand
  3. Jul 20, 2013
    10
    A Nightmare on Elm Street is really creepy and masterful with inventive and original ideas. The visual effects are amazing, first rate intense ideas. The plot is horrifying and scary as hell, with twists and thrills that you will stay with you for a long time. The acting is above mediocre but not perfect. Overall, it is funny, scary and great. Expand
  4. Oct 29, 2013
    9
    The natural function of sleeping and dreaming happens to be reserved for this chilling rather than outright terrifying classic. Being 1984, I could expect that the sound quality and the special effects were to be cheap and crackly. However, it was less of my concern that this lack of gloss only helped to provide an authentic, unsettling atmosphere. What my main concern was was the mismatch of music when it played during the chase scenes, which only served to sadly detract from what it was trying to achieve.
    Freddy Krueger's appearance and personality personifies the imagination and fear of the unknown in which elements of suspense become just as important as its part in the slasher genre. His scarred face, fedora, striped red and green jumper and all too well known gloves with knives serve to bring to life a standout, recognisable performance whereby he represents a villain that borders on dreams and reality with a maybe awkward inability by the film's main protagonists to distinguish the bridge when it comes to survival.
    By using a vital part of everyday life, Freddy's actions have just as much effect on reality as they do in the dreamworld. Safety is immediately compromised when we are at our most vulnerable, so it isn't enough to claim that 'this is a dream, it isn't real', of which it brings a whole new meaning to.
    Expand
  5. Sep 24, 2011
    8
    The horror may be to shallow for those who expect more, but "A Nightmare on Elm Street" has everything it needs for a movie; horror, creativity, and brutality. Expand
  6. Dec 11, 2012
    8
    A Nightmare on Elm Street is a cult classic filled with interesting kills and a story that would make one's hair stand on end with great direction by Wes Craven. Expand
  7. Jul 20, 2011
    5
    I watched this movie expecting too be scared witless. I was unfortunately not. Sure, the concept is fantastic and original. The villain in the first 3/4 of the movie is quite malevolent, when he isn't using cheesy one-liners. The music builds great suspense, and the movie as a whole does build suspense. But, those are the good things. The acting is sub-par, especially on the part of Heather Langenkamp. I am pretty sure that the death scene with Johnny Depp had more blood then what is in 3 humans. I'll admit that from the start until the deaths of the first two characters, I enjoyed the movie. But, then it got bogged down with campiness. The whole fighting Freddy scene with the elaborate traps was a little far-fetched. I mean she shouldn't know how to do any of those things, but then she suddenly does. But, my main problem with the movie is how Freddy is vanquished. "I give you no energy", seriously? That is the campiest and cheesiest thing I have ever heard in a "horror" movie. It is the worst possible way I can think of to have killed him. Overall, it is a horror classic. However, it should not be a classic. It is not that good of a movie, and I unfortunately do not recommend seeing it. Expand

See all 28 User Reviews

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