At eleven years old, I watched A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master with my cousins in England. I remember very little of this experience. My cousin tells me that I was scared, but we were also laughing. This was my introduction to horror films and Freddy Krueger.
There were only two films in this series that I hadn’t seen when I embarked on this marathon. I had never watched them in order before, so it was interesting to find out that there is a storyline that continues from the original all the way to the sixth installment. This is probably one of the best franchises because each movie is fun and is a continuation of the story. And it all began with A Nightmare on Elm Street.
This movie sets up a world where Freddy kills teens in their dreams on Elm street. I never get tired of reliving this film. Robert Englund does a fantastic job of bringing out the creepy personality of this villain.
This is also Johnny Depp’s first major film. Despite on how you currently feel about him, Depp has one of the all-time best death scenes in a horror movie, so you can enjoy it regardless.
There aren’t many deaths in the first film, but they are all executed very well. It takes the side of quality over quantity.
Jesse’s family moves into Nancy’s house, and the nightmares begin. He dreams of other people’s deaths and thinks that he was the one who murdered them. That leads to Freddy Krueger taking over his body so he can continue his rampage in the real world. Freddy’s Revenge more than doubles the death count. It’s mostly party-goers that fall victim to his knives, but it’s fun to watch.
I watched this back in the day, but I remembered very little. It all seemed vaguely familiar. It was definitely worth the re-watch to refresh my memory.
Instead of being on Elm Street, we are in a psychiatric hospital with teenagers that have issues sleeping, and Nancy is back. She’s helping them fight Freddy.
This one expands the universe by making the kids have dream powers. Kristen’s (Patricia Arquette) power is her ability to bring other people into her dreams. This means the group can fight Freddy as a team instead of individually.
Dream Warriors goes back to the original with limited deaths, but they make them count. One girl gets smashed by a TV, and another one has a massive amount of heroin put in her arms. With fewer deaths, the writers also get you more attached to the characters, so as Freddy Krueger is hunting them down in the dream world, you feel scared for them.
As I said, this was the first Freddy movie I ever watched. For some reason, it’s the diner that sticks in my head. Even though the flashbacks I see are not really what happens in the film, the other part seared in my brain is Debbie’s death when she gets turned into a cockroach. That scene is definitely more understandable as to why that will never leave my mind.
When I read the synopsis of this one, I was a little skeptical, but it ended up being great. Freddy uses Lisa’s unborn baby’s dreams to get to her. We also learn about how Krueger came to be. Think a nun being raped by hundreds of lunatics. If you want to learn more about Freddy Krueger, this is the perfect installment to watch.
When we pick up in the sixth installment, there is only one teen left in Springwood, Ohio, because they were either killed by Freddy, end their own lives to avoid dying in their dreams or left to avoid danger.
This installment also has Freddy’s daughter, Katherine Kruger, but she doesn’t know Freddy is her father yet. She was adopted.
While she’s exploring her dreams and clues that make her believe there is a connection between her and Freddy Krueger, the other teens end up in Nancy’s old house, and Freddy starts to have fun.
One of the teens is Breckin Meyer of Clueless, Road Trip, and Robot Chicken. He has the most fun death scene because he’s a character in a video game in his dream, and Freddy is the one with the controller killing him. Breckin, as many of his other roles, is the stoner. It’s clear how he got his other parts. He was clearly born to play the stoner because he’s a delight every time.
Wes Craven decided to change things up in 1994. He goes meta. Heather Langenkamp and Robert Englund are back, but this time playing themselves. Heather played Nancy in a couple of the Freddy films, and now the dream villain is making his way into the real world. Freddy is haunting Heather in her dreams, and everyone thinks she’s going crazy. Wes is also writing a new script for the franchise that seems to be mirroring real life.
This was one of the films I watched back in middle school, but I see now how Wes Craven got his idea for Scream 3. There’s a lot of similarities between these movies. Though, this was a lot creepier than the third Scream installment.
Plus, Freddy gets a scary make-over for this one:
I remember watching this in the theater and thinking the second half got very silly but watching it now, not so much. Have I been in my horror movie bubble so long in this marathon that I’m accepting the silliness now?
Freddy vs. Jason plays with more of Freddy’s rules than Jason’s. Krueger is tired of being forgotten and needs to get the kids to remember. He appears in Jason’s dreams as Mrs. Voorhees and tells Jason to go to Elm Street. After the first death, the cops are terrified that this is Freddy Krueger again. They don’t say his name usually, but the cops say it at the crime scene, and Freddy starts creeping his way back in.
This film can be intense when you have to worry about dying in your dreams and the real world. Jason definitely holds the most kills, and the body count racks up. The best part is at the end when you get to see Freddy and Jason face off against each other.
TAKE A TOUR OF JASON’S WORLD IN THE FRIDAY THE 13TH EDTION OF REWIND MARATHONS
Before quarantine, Mandy had seen 6 of 11 Friday the 13th flicks. Now she’s watched them from first to last. Find out which to skip and which are a must see!
I haven’t seen this film since it was first released in theaters, but it was just as enjoyable the second time around. The teens are researching sleep deprivation. They discover that they can have micro-naps after being awake too long. This means you can have a nightmare for a few seconds while you are awake. Micro-naps are a real thing, too, making the scenes even more exciting where Freddy can get to them while awake.
The film also gives a whole new backstory to Freddy Krueger. Instead of Freddy killing children, he molested them. It makes for a darker twist on the original.
It also brings some of the stars starting to take prominence in the late ‘aughts, Katie Cassidy, Kyle Gallner, Rooney Mara, and Thomas Dekker. Connie Britton also plays the mom of Nancy. All of that together makes for a good viewing experience.
I’m leaving the dream world and entering the Halloween universe. Michael Myers up next.