In 1984, a new horror icon emerged into the world (and especially into our dreams). Freddy Krueger, with his burnt face, red sweater, brown beanie hat, and burnt face, began slaughtering a group of teenagers from the fictional town of Springwood in Ohio. This is largely where my story as a horror fan was born, but also one of the most recognizable horror franchises. The cinematic world of A Nightmare on Elm Street includes as of the current point in time nine films. it seems every horror fan must know Freddy, but are all of the movies a must?
To answer this question, we will review each of the films in the franchise in three categories: the viewers’ score (based on votes of the world’s leading movie website, IMDB), the score in the critics’ index according to Rotten Tomatoes, and the box office success. So what’s the best nightmare on elm street movie? The findings, at least in some cases, are surprising.
Best Nightmare On Elm Street According to Viewers
The first check we made is the calculated score of viewers on the IMDB website. True, this score can change from time to time, but we assess that in a series that has been with us for decades, the changes are expected to be relatively minor.
Unsurprisingly, the film that received the highest score (7.4) is the first Nightmare on Elm Street. Most of the sequels received reasonable to moderate scores, even if you won’t find here masterpieces. Since there are some plot revelations here that build with the films, especially when it comes to Freddy Krueger’s past and his motives, we recommend watching Nightmare on Elm Street collection in chronological order.
Note that alongside the original film and its six sequels, there is the spin-off that brought together Freddy Krueger and Jason from the Friday the 13th series and the 2010 remake starring Rooney Mara. Both did not receive high scores (5.7 and 5.2, respectively).
This is how all Nightmare on Elm Street movies ranked by viewers:
|#||Film||Rating||Number of Voters|
|1||A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)||7.4||243,000|
|2||A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)||6.6||84,000|
|3||Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994)||6.4||60,000|
|4||Freddy vs. Jason (2003)||5.7||121,000|
|5||A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)||5.6||57,000|
|6||A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985)||5.4||72,000|
|7||A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)||5.2||102,000|
|8||A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989)||5.0||47,000|
|9||Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)||4.7||48,000|
Best Nightmare On Elm Street According to Critics
There is not always a connection between the scores of the surfers and those of the critics: one of the common jokes among movie lovers is that the viewer should see the films that the critics kill, and stay away like fire from those that they praise. Is this the picture also in the case of the Nightmare on Elm Street series? Not sure.
So how all Nightmare on Elm Street movies ranked by movie critics? Here too, without a shadow of a doubt, it was “A Nightmare on Elm Street 1” that received the highest rating. 95% of the critics gave it a positive review – What makes it the best Nightmare on Elm Street according to critics. easily. “Wes Craven’s New Nightmare”, which was ranked in third place in terms of the audience, is the runner-up here with 79% positive reviews.
In other cases, the ratings more or less aligns with the audience’s taste, even if not 100% precise. For example, the remake from 2010, the only one in the series so far without the legendary Robert Englund, stands out negatively with only 14% positive reviews. The audience liked it more (a little bit).
Here’s the summary of Nightmare on Elm Street reviews:
|#||Film||Rating (Tomatometer)||Number of Critics|
|1||A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)||95%||58|
|2||Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994)||79%||42|
|3||A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)||72%||39|
|4||A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)||53%||30|
|5||Freddy vs. Jason (2003)||42%||162|
|6||A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985)||42%||31|
|7||A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989)||30%||33|
|8||Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)||23%||35|
|9||A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)||14%||185|
Which Nightmare On Elm Street Movie Broke The Box Office? And Who Struggled?
Finally, we come to the measure that some would say is the most important: the total amount each film brought at the the box office.
As you saw in our review of the highest-grossing horror franchises, the “Nightmare on Elm Street” series – including the spin-off “Freddy vs. Jason” – is ranked 19th with an overall gross of over $545 million worldwide.
In this category we can witness a certain surprise, especially in terms of the quality of the films in the first place. At the top, you’ll find the two newest films: “Freddy vs. Jason” (2003) and the 2010 remake, which are quite similar in grossing. It’s hard to say they are the best Nightmare on Elm Street movies, but still they nail it. The reason may be that there is a new horror audience interested in getting to know the classics and meet the horror icons. The reason may also be related to the ticket prices that have naturally risen in the decades since the franchise started.
There are, as expected, several cases of inadequacy between viewer ratings and professional reviews, and box office successes. The most obvious example is “Wes Craven’s New Nightmare” which ranked first among viewers and critics – but didn’t really make it at the box office with a total gross of less than $20 million worldwide.
Check the full list here:
|1||Freddy vs. Jason (2003)||$116,632,628|
|2||A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)||$115,664,037|
|3||A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)||$112,000,000|
|4||A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)||$49,369,899|
|5||A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)||$44,793,222|
|6||Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)||$34,872,033|
|7||A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985)||$29,999,213|
|8||A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989)||$22,168,359|
|9||Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994)||$19,721,741|
So Should You Watch Nightmare on Elm Street?
Freddy Krueger is one of the most memorable – and terrifying – characters that horror cinema has brought us in recent decades. Some will say the entire Nightmare on Elm Street collection are a must, others will argue that a few films are enough giva us a taste (with an emphasis, of course, on the first film which is one of the most influential in the genre). Our approach is that you should give the series the respect it deserves and watch most of the fims, and maybe watch the whole Nightmare on Elm Street collection, certainly if you start from the premise that most movies are reasonable and not a complete failure.
Will Freddy Krueger continue to terrorize in the future? Not sure. In recent years, the idea of renewing the film series has come up several times, which surprisingly is not too loaded with sequels or remakes: since the beginning of the 2000s, only two more films were released. Today, a horror series focusing on Freddy seems more logical.
In an area where money is the bottom line, we can understand why this happens. The reason may be that the production company, New Line Cinema, decided to focus in those decades on much more profitable films – and they had quite a few of them. Suffice it to mention the series of films “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit”, or in the world of horror: the plots of Pennywise in “It” (remember, the highest-grossing horror film ever) and its sequel, or the cinematic universe of “The Conjuring” which is the franchise The most profitable in horror cinema.