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

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 124 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 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
    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
    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)
    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: 28 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Jul 20, 2013
    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
  2. Jul 14, 2014
    Nightmare on elm street has everything a horror fan could want. The actors are good, the plot is unique
    and the movie is intensely scary.
    Freddy Kruger is one of the most iconic horror movie villains. He is
    as recognizable as Michael Meyers, Chucky, The Exorcist, Nicholson from The Shining and Pinhead
    from Hellraiser. Nightmare is a horror classic that set the bar for genuine terror.
  3. Apr 10, 2013
    This is my favorite film. There are all i need...
    This is most horrible film ever. I always loved this one. Characters have very emotional
    role. Plot is very original. Horror may be just call horror, but A Nightmare on Elm Street is realy scary. Expand
  4. Aug 19, 2011
    A Nightmre On Elm Street Takes you into a new Relam of Horror with The Iconic Freddy Kruger and This movie truly Represents a Living Nightmare. Freddy Kills Each of his victums in a painful way and They cant do anything about it because its in thier dreams. After Seeing this Movie you may never Want to go Back To Sleep Expand
  5. Oct 29, 2013
    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.
  6. May 2, 2011
    This 1984 horror classic was and still is a milestone in the history of horror cinema and is the best film of Wes Craven's career, in my opinion. The plot concerns a group of teenagers who are having terrifying nightmares about a strange man who wears a fedora hat, striped sweater and has a knifed glove on his hand. When they ask their parents, they get no response and instead an alarmed look. The main character is Nancy Thompson, who after the death of her best friend Tina pieces together the puzzle and finds out that the "strange man" in her dreams is a child killer named Freddy Krueger, who was burned alive at the hands of grieving parents who took the law into their own hands after he was set free from prison on a technicality. As all of her friends are slashed to death one by one, Nancy must find a way to stop Krueger once and for all. It may sound like the stuff of schlock, but it tells it to you in a way that makes you believe the idea is credible. All the actors are good, but Freddy steals the show. His evil laughter, famous one-liners and his sick sense of humor have all become the stuff of legend. Another notable mention is that a certain Johnny Depp had his first screen role thanks to this film. As you would expect from a 1980s horror movie made on a low budget, the effects look dodgy today but that cannot be helped. Add into the mix an atmospheric musical score and some great direction and you have a recipe for one of the most intelligent and terrifying horror films of the 1980s. Expand
  7. Jul 20, 2011
    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 30 User Reviews


Related Articles

  1. Ranked: Wes Craven's Best and Worst Movies

    Ranked: Wes Craven's Best and Worst Movies Image
    Published: October 21, 2010
    Just in time for Halloween, our week of horror-related articles kicks off with a look at the career of one of the genre's most prolific directors, Wes Craven.
  2. Ranked: The Nightmare on Elm Street Series

    Ranked: The Nightmare on Elm Street Series Image
    Published: April 26, 2010
    How does the upcoming "Nightmare on Elm Street" remake compare with the other films in the horror franchise? We run through the entire series, from best to worst.