#1 – A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
The movie that started it all is without a doubt the greatest in the franchise. I have seen this masterpiece more times than I would like to admit, and it seems to only get better with each viewing. Before Krueger’s maiden voyage, slasher villains were always portrayed as strong silent types. Although Freddy wasn’t cracking jokes, his ability to taunt and play with his victims was something chilling for audiences to sit through. To this day ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ holds up as a genuinely frightening horror movie, which given the limitations of the era and the budget is truly something the behold. It was the birth of two icons, in the form of both Freddy Krueger and one of the most beloved final girls Nancy Thompson. We get just enough Krueger backstory to answer any questions we may have, but enough mystery to leave Freddy as an enigmatic antagonist. There’s a reason this movie is still spoken about in great detail to this day, so please do yourselves a favour and watch this spine chilling classic if you haven’t already.
So there we have it, as is often the case, the original reigns supreme. Each movie offers a different flavour of Freddy, with something to satisfy the taste buds of most horror hounds. Sure, sometimes that leaves a bitter taste in your mouth, but more often than not your slasher needs are satisfied with this timeless franchise. Freddy Krueger truly is an icon of cinema that will never die, even though sometimes it feels like he should have. His memory will live on forever throughout all the future generations, especially with ever-present rumblings of another entry/reboot to the franchise. Even if the series does stay buried, Krueger will still be giving people nightmares for years to come.