A Nightmare on Elm Street

1984 Horror

A decade of wisecracking sequels have not diminished the power of this striking horror film from the director of Scream. Teenagers in a small town are 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. The teenaged leads are sympathetic and intelligent, unlike the dumb victims presented in most films of the period, and they are ably backed up by 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, and although the film is quite gory, it never resorts to cheap bloodletting for its effect. A unique and disturbing experience, this film is highly recommended for horror buffs. more..

Director: Wes Craven

Starring: Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp,John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Amanda Wyss


  • Some of the effects remain nicely repulsive; Freddy himself comes across as a genuinely nasty piece of work, far removed from his later incarnation.

    - Entertainment Weekly

    29 November 2012

  • 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.

    J.R. Jones - Chicago Reader

    29 November 2012

  • A Nightmare on Elm Street is a highly imaginative horror film that provides the requisite shocks to keep fans of the genre happy.

    - Variety

    29 November 2012

  • 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.

    - Empire

    29 November 2012

  • A Nightmare on Elm Street puts more emphasis on bizarre special effects, which aren't at all bad.

    Vincent Canby - The New York Times

    29 November 2012


  • Best DVD Classic Film Release

    Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films (2007)

  • Wes Craven

    Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival (1985)