So this was a project that I started back in November after watching the original Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)., Seeing the Wes Craven original for a fifth time (probably) reminded me again about how much I loved it. To my own chagrin, what I looked at how many of the movies in the franchise I have seen, it was a pitiful amount. I had only seen four of them!

Well now that has changed. I have gone through the entire franchise and watched all nine Nightmare On Elm Street movies, including the unbearably bad. Below is the power rankings of all nine Krueger movies. Wes Craven, thank you for brining this character into my world.

9. Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)

STANKO RATING: F- (0.5/5 Stars)

How the fuck did the franchise survive after this movie? I nearly shut this movie off entirely but the Johnny Depp cameo (HOW THE FUCK DID THEY GET HIM TO DO THIS?) kept me watching till the end because I am a chump.

8. A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989)

STANKO RATING: F (0.5/5 Stars)

This is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. There is really nothing good about it. It was homework to finish it. I am shocked the franchise continued after this. That is all I have on A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child. It is just horrific.

7. A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)

STANKO RATING: D- (2.0/5 Stars)

There is really nothing good to talk about A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master.

For one, they made Freddy Krueger not terrifying at all. His makeup is not good. His bad puns do not hit at all. It is like they tried to emulate A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors but instead turned this attempt at a horror movie into a bad recess session.

The one main striking point from this movie is its increase on body horror. The amount of faces implanted in bodies seemed exponentially increased. Also there is the finale.

This is one you skip. It is messy. It is annoying. It is homework. It was a bear to watch.

Note that this trailer has a lying caption. Wes Craven did not make this movie.

6. Freddy vs. Jason (2003)

STANKO RATING: C- (1.5/5 Stars)

Freddy vs. Jason is bad. If I were to grade it purely on an objectionable, rational and logical standpoint, then Freddy vs. Jason would get at minimum a “D”. But the thing is that I found myself watching this movie with a grin on my face, even to my chagrin. Freddy vs. Jason plays out like a bad comic book movie with bodies flying around on kung-fu wires.

Freddy has some good lines and Jason has the best kills. There are also some pretty blatant references to Michael Myers in the opening portions of the movie with characters named Michael and nods to the Myers story. Freddy vs. Jason doesn’t reach the level of so self-aware and so bad that it is good, but it does someone hold its head above water. Also how about Robert Englund just never giving up his role ever.

It is said that I remembered the folding bed death in all its vivacity when rewatching this movie. My brain remembers random stupid stuff.

5. A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)

STANKO RATING: D+ (2.0/5 Stars)

A remake of the original, but not to the fullest extend, this rendition of A Nightmare On Elm Street is not an atrocity. Is this movie good? No, no way in hell. Is this movie watchable? Yes, that it is.

It is crazy to see Rooney Mara in this role. Totally forgot that she was in the movie. But I I truly did love is how Jackie Earle Haley played Freddy Krueger. He is no Robert Englund, but then again, no one is. He plays the part well and has a more sinister approach to the character than Englund’s sometimes over-the-top nature.

This movie had a bunch of references to the original but didn’t directly rip-off any scene shot-for-shot. It added depth to the Krueger storyline, which one can argue is not needed but is fine. Again, just fine. I think A Nightmare On Elm Street is better than its other modern counterpart Freddy Vs. Jason (2003) because it has Jackie Earle Haley rising to the level and it at least tries to make a coherent plot.

4. A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985)

STANKO RATING: C- (2.0/5 Stars)

Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge came out just a year after the original was unveiled into the world. The rush and the side effects of hurrying are obvious.

The first hour of Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge is not scary and not all that entertaining at all. It is all about setting up Jesse Walsh (Mark Patton), the young boy is becomes possessed by Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) after his family moved into the old home of the Thompson’s from the original.

Where A Nightmare Of Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge has some merit is when the Jesse becomes completely possessed and unhinged. The murder of Ron Grady (Robert Rusler) is well staged and the shot of the metal finger nails going through the door is legit. Krueger hopping out of the pool, taunting stupid high schoolers, and then burning/vaporizing through a fence is also stupidly entertaining. Both of these scenes happen within 15 minutes of each other.

There are a handful of scenes that were meant to be scary but were truly just cringe. The opening scene with the school bus was the opposite of tense. The bad CGI and the depths of hells opening ended up not having an impact on the story at all until the “cliffhanger” ending with Freddy’s life. Also, why was Jesse awkward in that opening scene but normal in the rest of the movie? Seemed like it was filmed before the screenplay was done.

One more really bad scene. When the gym teacher gets pelted by balls before eventually being killed. I mean come on, man.

Also can we talk about how the movie ends and Krueger ends with two high schools confessing their loves for one another? Just a trope. Love doesn’t conquer all. Krueger doesn’t know love.

3. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994)

STANKO RATING: C+ (2.5/5 Stars)

Somehow they saved this franchise from the ashes that where Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991) and created a movie that was not only tolerable but enjoyable.

Wes Craven’s New Nightmare is an incredibly meta story putting Heather Langenkamp in the forefront. Literally, the actor. Wes Craven is a character in this story and his script that he is writing for a new movie is the movie that is being told. It blends the lines of what is reality and what is fiction just like what the original Nightmare On Elm Street (1984) did.

Supposedly this scarier and less banter-filled version of Freddy Krueger is the one that Wes Craven first envisioned when creating his character.

2. A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)

STANKO RATING: B (3.0/5 Stars)

A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors is way more fun than it has any right to be. A huge bounce back from its predecessor, this third movie has many memorable moments and numerous recognizable faces. There is a young Lawrence FIshburne (who goes by Larry in the credits), a young Patricia Arquette, and the return of Heather Langenkamp as Nancy Thompson. Not having the originals hero in the direct sequel was weird, and this movie may up for it.

The kills in A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors are original and match up with Wes Craven’s original. The kill involving being dragged like a puppet and pushed off a building; yes that one got me. However, the best kill is not for the violence, but for what Freddy Krueger says.

“Welcome to prime time, bitch.” is an all-time line and when I heard it I rewound it and showed my girlfriend we could not stop laughing. This third installment brought back some of the fun hokeyness of the first and managed to blend it with a story and a character we can are bout. Bravo creators of A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, you did something good.

1. A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)

STANKO RATING: A- (4.5/5 Stars)

It’s the original. It is the OG. It is nightmare fuel.

Wes Craven’s A Nightmare On Elm Street is rightfully recognized as one of the best horror movies of all-time. Freddy Krueger (Freddy Krueger) is a vile villain the premise that his reality is our nightmares is, for lack of a better word, spooky. People often escape their horrors of reality by dreaming and A Nightmare On Elm Street was the first movie I saw that accented the idea the dreams can be as scary as real life.

The kills within A Nightmare On Elm Street make it one of the best horror movies. The mangling Tina Grey (Amanda Wyss) lets you know how bloody Krueger can make it, and then Glen Lentz (Johnny Depp) turns into a volcano of blood which is always a show stopper. Literally, my girlfriend popped the living room as this was happening and was compelled to ask, “what the hell?”

In terms of the classic horror movie villains, Krueger has the second best original movie. Halloween (1978) is number one with Michael Myers, but A Nightmare On Elm Street still stands the test of time. It holds up. It is creepy as fuck. You’ll want to stay awake to finish it no matter what time you start it, and you’ll never want to hear a nursery rhythm ever again.

One, two, Freddy’s coming for you

Three, four, better lock your door

Five, six, grab your crucifix

Seven, eight, better stay up late

Nine, ten, never sleep again

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