While there are films that have retroactively been classified as horror movies, the humble horror picture first fully came into the fore in the 1930s. And immediately, this murky corner of cinema became synonymous with iconic villains; a tradition that has obviously continued on in the subsequent decades.
Those early years were filled with the likes of Dracula, Frankenstein's monster, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, the Wolf Man, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. And while later years introduced antagonists such as Norman Bates or even the concept of the ghoul/zombie, the '70s and '80s went hard in bringing plenty of new, to-be-legendary villains to the silver screen. From Leatherface, to Michael Myers, to the Xenomorph, to Jason Voorhees, to the Deadites, to Pinhead, and beyond.
Of course, one member of horror royalty missing from that list is Freddy Krueger. With A Nightmare on Elm Street released in 1984, the genius of Wes Craven carved up a new sinister presence that would go on to become a legend of the genre. And here we are 39 years later, with six sequels, a crossover with Friday the 13th, and a reboot to reflect back on and rank.
Those films clearly vary in quality, mind, and so here are are all nine Elm Street films, ranking from utter worst to absolute best.
9. A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)
Remaking a classic of yesteryear is always a bold move, with that do-over always going to be held up to its predecessor. Stick too faithfully to what has gone before, and a remake can be deemed as utterly pointless. Bring too many fresh ideas to the table, and that film will lambasted for veering too far away from the original tale.
With the 2010 A Nightmare on Elm Street, though, we got he worst kind of remake; a totally soulless, bland, formulaic, and miserable one.
Jackie Earle Haley was as good a choice as any to replace Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger, but the dour tone of this remake means his Freddy doesn't particularly have any of the playfulness of Englund's. Of course, Englund's spin on the character did become way too playful at times, but the 2010 Freddy and the 2010 Elm Street were just so dark and broody - and not in a good way.
With the likes of Rooney Mara, Kyle Gallner, Katie Cassidy, Connie Britton, and Clancy Brown, Haley was joined by quite the impressive ensemble in this redo. The problem is, all of those characters were just so vanilla. There was no reason to care about any of them, they had minimal characteristics, and it really was a case of they were just there to add to Freddy's victims list.
Also, the decision to turn Freddy Krueger from a child killer to a child r*pist was quite the questionable call.