#7 – A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
When this movie was first released, I was excited to see how this great franchise could evolve with a modern touch. I really should have known better. The most noticeable difference is this dark, grungy version of Freddy we are presented with. The director wanted to create a more realistic looking Krueger, with the makeup heavily inspired by real-life burn victims. I for one don’t need realism in movies about a spooky sleep demon with a dusty hat and a torture glove. None of the victims in this movie make me care about them, and as soon as the credits rolled I had already forgotten everyone’s name. The main factor that stops this movie being enjoyable is just how dark they make Freddy. Previously Krueger was only known as a child killer, however, in this reboot, they take it to the next level and Freddy becomes a child molester. On paper, this should make Stabbatha Christie a more effective antagonist, but in reality, it makes the film an uncomfortable watch. Freddy goes from having “heel heat”, to simply having “go home heat”.
#6 – A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master
Finally, a movie I enjoy watching! Although far from a masterpiece, ‘Dream Master’ manages to be an entertaining entry with a comedic, yet not overbearingly so, Freddy. Director Renny Harlin went on to create action flicks such as ‘Die Hard 2’ and ‘Cliffhanger’, with his exciting flair present throughout this entry. ‘Dream Warriors’ gives us one of Freddy’s greatest kills as we witness a woman slowly transform into a cockroach before being crushed by Krueger. However, we are also presented with arguably the worst kill in the franchise, when a teenage martial artist has to fight an invisible Freddy…This scene was heavily restricted due to budget limitations, which is a shame as Harlin could definitely have given us a fight for the ages. One of the more bizarre moments in this movie occurs when Bacon Features is resurrected following his death in the previous instalment. Freddy is brought back to life when a dog called Jason (yes, Jason) urinates fire onto his grave which somehow makes Krueger live again. This movie is definitely fun, but the decline in the series is also very apparent.
#5 – A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge
This entry is a tricky one, and its position on my list can change day-to-day. ‘Freddy’s Revenge’ breaks almost every rule created in Wes Craven’s original movie, so would perhaps work better as a standalone film. Freddy now has infiltrated the real world and does not rely on attacking his victims while they sleep. Elm Street purists tend to be divided when it comes to this slasher romp, but watching this controversial film in the modern-day offers a fresh perspective. ‘Freddy’s Revenge’ tackles difficult LGBTQ+ issues. The protagonist, Jesse Walsh, appears to struggle with his own sexuality, which could also be mirrored to the life of the actor who portrayed him. Mark Patton was (at the time) a closeted homosexual actor, but upon coming out this hopefully gave young LGBTQ+ horror fans a relatable role model. The not so subtle homosexual subtext is ever-present, including an entire scene shot in a BDSM bar. As a possession movie with an important issue to confront, this is a stellar picture. But as an entry in the Nightmare franchise? I can understand why not everyone is a fan.