A Nightmare on Elm Street: A Roundtable Discussion

I recently had the pleasure of hosting a roundtable discussion with several members of the 25YL staff. We examined the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise in great detail in what made for a great conversation. Joining me for the roundtable were: Bronson West, Chris Flackett and Robert Chipman. Be sure to let us know your answers in the comments!

Andrew: How does the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise rank compared to the other major genre franchises in your opinion?

Chris: I think it’s more imaginative. With the concept of dreams being it embedded in its core, it naturally allows for more creative scenarios and stories. Whereas Friday the 13th often feels like diminishing returns—there’s only so much you can do with Jason. Halloween tried to beat this problem first with the anthology idea, then by widening the concept and idea of Michael Myers by bringing in the supernatural with the Curse of Thorn. It doesn’t really work with Halloween, mainly because the Curse of Thorn isn’t particularly interesting, but also because it feels like what it is, an idea that was forced into being to freshen the concept and differentiate later films from newer ones. It misunderstands that Michael Myers is much more interesting than just a physical force of nature or a representation of the id. A Nightmare on Elm Street doesn’t have this kind of problem as the basic idea at the core of the franchise naturally allows for creative, imaginative ideas. This is one of the reasons why I feel A Nightmare on Elm Street is the superior franchise in horror.

Bronson: I think the stronger entries of A Nightmare on Elm Street are better than most of the other franchise’s highs, but the lows are really low. The creativity is definitely the best part about any of the films because almost any way you can think of killing somebody, Freddy is capable of. Where it starts to fall flat, though, is the treatment of Freddy as a character and the respect that he deserved but was rarely given. He turned into some weird circus act that felt exploited in the later entries so they could get a laugh instead of trying to make him effective as a villain.

The first 3 films in the franchise were a good evolution of Freddy going from completely dark and scary to having a bit of an edge and playful side that still came off as terrifying. But later on? Oh man, they really just made him into a joke machine that was a shell of his former self. Overall, it’s an okay franchise. As I said, highest of highs, but the lows are incredibly low and, honestly, kind of sad now that I think about it.

Robert: Out of the major, classic horror franchises, including Friday the 13th, Halloween, Hellraiser, and Child’s Play, the Nightmare on Elm Street series is my personal favorite. I have an early recollection of checking out the 1984 original as a little kid, and is still to this date, the only film that has scared me. Granted, I’ve seen it many times since, and the childhood terror is far behind.

The best in horror always find ways to stoke fear amongst its viewers. Whether it be the over-the-top gore of the Saw franchise or the creeping dread of John Carpenter’s Halloween. Even though horror sometimes gets unfairly looked down upon, there is no doubt it’s an art form. You have a team of creative people behind each horror movie working their hardest to strike fear into the viewer’s hearts.

What A Nightmare on Elm Street, and its subsequent sequels, did was take the idea of a slasher film, and add a fantastical element of the characters never being able to escape the evil that is Freddy Krueger. Everyone needs to sleep and try as anyone might, we all have to sleep sometime. When that happens, Freddy is there, ready to strike.

And it’s here where the film’s production goes the extra mile. They plunge the characters and audience into the darkest recesses of the creator’s imaginations, carefully creating nightmarish dreamscapes where anything can happen and if you die there, your waking world comes to a close as well. It’s a fantastic idea and, while entries in the Elm Street series vary wildly in quality, that imaginative aspect is always there.

The Nightmare on Elm Street jump roping girls

Chris: There’s some interesting ideas here. How much good will do you have towards a franchise despite its weakest entries? What is it in a franchise that you love that would make you overlook its weaknesses or even love them in spite of the weaknesses? Sure, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 and 5 are weaker than 1, 3, and New Nightmare; films which are peak Elm Street for me and for many. But, even though Freddy becomes more of a quip machine and more cartoonish, do I still enjoy 4 and 5? Hell yeah. Why? Because the ideas are still strong, even if the execution isn’t. Freddie trying to be reborn via a baby is outrageous but quite a clever, fun idea all the same. A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 has the famous looping scene which, again, is clever and (perhaps more importantly) fun. Yes, Freddy is diluted by this point in terms of scares but Robert Englund is so charismatic and clearly having a whale of a time, that it gives a different kind of thrill but no less enjoyable.

I’d argue that the only real stinkers in the franchises, the ones I just can’t watch, are Freddy’s Dead and the remake.

Robert: Oh, man, Chris, I’ll fall on the sword of Freddy’s Dead. I’m an ardent defender of the sixth film, even while conceding it’s nowhere near a good movie. Long gone are any attempts at horror, but everything else is ramped up to 11, and I appreciate a movie that is willing to self-destruct before your very eyes.

Personally, I think A Nightmare on Elm Street 5 misses the mark all around. The idea is interesting, but it shows that they didn’t have more than the initial idea. Add to that the butchering of the effects is also a glaring issue. It tried going back to the darker elements, but with mainstream horror on a downtrend in the late ’80s, and Freddy a staple of pop culture, there was too much working against The Dream Child for it to restore the franchise to glory.

Chris: I admire someone ready to fall on their sword for Freddy haha. I can understand why Freddy’s Dead would appeal to people. For people who dig the charismatic, one-liner Freddy, he’s here in spades for Freddy’s Dead. I just think it goes that step too far toward parody territory—the Wizard of Oz sequence is a prime example. I do like the video game sequence though and I give them credit for having the good taste to use In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida (laughs).

I do get what you mean about Part 5, but in a way, it demonstrates something of the versatility of the Elm Street franchise. There’s a Freddy for everyone. There’s the dark Freddy of Part 1 and New Nightmare, the dark/funny perfect balance in Part 3, the wisecracker of Parts 4-6, the homoerotic Freddy of Part 2, and the meta-Freddy of New Nightmare. Whether the character should have been so widely spread in its presentation is certainly debatable; what’s interesting is how wider-reaching the character is in terms of appealing to different sectors of the audience, certainly more so than Jason, Michael, Leatherface, Pinhead, and so on.

Mark Patton in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2
Mark Patton in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2

Andrew: Let’s take a step back here. What are your top 3 films in the franchise, remake and Freddy vs Jason included?

Chris: For me, I like the ‘Nancy’ trilogy: 1, 3 and New Nightmare. Not only is there a nice unity in there that feels like a genuine long-form story, but it is at the dark end of Freddy as well, which does appeal to me more.

Bronson: In order, mine are: 1, New Nightmare, and 3 with honorable mentions to Freddy vs Jason and A Nightmare on Elm Street 2. 

These three films have something very important to me in common: a scarier version of Freddy. He still has some playfulness to him, but even when he cracks a joke or isn’t fully serious, he still wants to rip their throat out and you can feel that. These franchises have an issue with keeping their antagonists scary, and while it’s understandable that they won’t stay as scary throughout numerous films, I don’t like the fact that Freddy essentially became a joke later on. Now, granted, I still do get enjoyment from all of the films, and like Rob, I like Freddy’s Dead, but if I’m trying to be as critical as possible, I like the darker, more serious undertones of my three favorites.

Robert: I have to fall in line with the masses. New Nightmare is easily my favorite, with Dream Warriors in second and the OG taking the bronze. I’ve already given my love to Freddy’s Dead, so I’ll keep my honorable mention, for it right here.

When it comes to New Nightmare, the film is strongest is when the meta elements are fully at play. Not seeing the entity, Freddy Krueger, for almost an hour into the film is an excellent choice. It allows the film plenty of time to breathe and understand the characters and situations while this sense of impending horror hangs over their heads. The weakest part of the film is the finale where New Nightmare shows its limited budget and turns into a standard-issue stalk-and-slash with Freddy hunting down Nancy and her child, Dylan.

Dream Warriors is the film that showed off the franchise’s limitless potential. It smartly brought back past characters with a purpose, added new and likable characters that were, by horror standards, fleshed out, and opened the dream world with imagination. There are images and set pieces from Dream Warriors that have yet to be topped. Dream Warriors was able to balance horror with fantasy and created the most imaginative movie in the series.

And the original A Nightmare on Elm Street is where Freddy and Wes Craven are at their most frightening. Made at an independent studio with a director known for the notorious Last House on the Left, you can sense that it’s nowhere near as “safe” as the other films in the franchise. There’s a mean and maniacal element that Wes Craven employs where you feel no one is safe and all the characters can die. Add in Robert Englund playing the character of Freddy for the first time, more menacing and darkly humorous than the sequels, and you get the most dangerous entry in the Elm Street series.

Freddy with extended arms

Andrew: Let’s take it the other way now. What are your 3 least favorite films in the franchise?

Robert: The bottom three for me go, in order of worst to… less bad goes Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, the 2010 remake, and Nightmare 2: Freddy’s Revenge.

Starting with Freddy’s Revenge, it has all the hallmarks of the quick cash grab that it is. From omitting all characters, sans Freddy, to changing the rules set forth by its predecessor. It doesn’t even make a whole lot of sense overall. In recent years it has attained a, rightfully so, cult status due to the overt homoeroticism peppered throughout the runtime and the off-kilter take on the Krueger legend. Even still, it would always be hard to follow in the footsteps of such an iconic horror film; mild entertainment value aside, it’s not that good.

Everyone loves to dog pile on the 2010 remake, and I’ll refrain from the usual dumping and agree with most things that are said, but mainly, it’s an uninspired remake that felt like no one actually liked the Elm Street series. It plods along, taking all the famous scenes from prior films and making them worse with low-rent CGI and unimaginative direction. If anyone involved with making this film loved the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, it doesn’t show with the final product.

And last for me is The Dream Child. I’ve pretty much stated earlier why I do not enjoy the film, but the entire production misses the mark. The screenplay is half-baked, it was severely cut down by the ratings board, the look of the film is ugly and there’s an internal struggle with trying to recapture the darker Freddy at a time when mainstream horror was out of fashion among the masses.

There are still interesting elements I find with each of these movies, and I have no problem giving them another watch, but Freddy’s Revenge, the remake, and The Dream Child are my bottom three.

Chris: It has to be the remake in last place, then Freddy’s Dead, then Nightmare on Elm Street 5. My main problem with the remake is that, given what’s already been said about the imaginative possibilities of the franchise, it seems painfully ordinary and lacking ideas or imagination. I think Rorschach did as good a job as he could as Freddy; he’s a good actor and it must be a hard role to make fresh. That doesn’t change the fact that when the opportunity was there to push the more fantastical, creative aspects of nightmares further than the previous films, the remake failed to surpass the fantasies of even the next worst of the franchise.

Freddy’s Dead feels like the moment when they took the scale that was already tipping heavily into humor and removed any weight from the ‘dark’ scale. It feels like a comedy and not too good a comedy either. Yes, I enjoy Fred The Quip, but Freddy’s Dead replaced screams of terror with tears of laughter…and often the tears are from how bad the humor is!

Dream Child isn’t a bad film. It has a good idea and it executes it well enough. By this point we’re well into Quipsville, arguably done better in Nightmare on Elm Street 4, which had better kills and nightmares too. 5 is decent, but decent isn’t enough to compete with the good of Nightmare on Elm Street 4 and 2 and Freddy vs. Jason, and the excellence of 1, 3 and New Nightmare.

On that note, while I can understand how Nightmare on Elm Street 2 would have been seen as a disappointment after the first film, in hindsight it isn’t a bad film on its own terms. Jesse, the mess that he is, is quite likable, Maybe because the mess makes him feel more like a rounded human being, Lisa is a good foil, and Fredy, although toned down, is still downright creepy. Chalk me down as a fan!

The infamous A Nightmare on Elm Street shower scene
The infamous Elm Street shower scene

Bronson: 4, 5, and the remake for me. 4 and 5 is where I feel like they kind of started making Freddy into a joke and shell of his former self, and the remake *tried* to make Freddy dark and have that scariness back. But honestly, Freddy looked horrible, sounded horrible, and just overall felt maybe even too serious, if that can even be a thing.

I don’t blame Jackie Earle Haley, I even believe he could be a good Freddy given the right material and direction, it just wasn’t present in the remake. Now, for all of these movies, the kills are okay (remake is the worst, CGI is really bad), and the imagination is there, but it just started to feel more on the stale side, I guess. Freddy became a jokester and nothing felt like it was being cared for other than being imaginative for kills. The characters were bad and for the most part unlikable. The deeper we get into Freddy’s lore, the less I cared. Maybe that would be different if what surrounded Freddy’s lore was a little more worked on, but to me, it just fell flat.

Chris: It’s interesting you say the remake Freddy was too serious. I get that criticism and broadly agree, but it strikes me that the Freddy of New Nightmare was extremely serious as well. I can’t remember any quips there. What differentiates the two and makes one work and not the other, do you think? I guess that Freddy in New Nightmare was supposed to be an archetype of evil and as such works to wipe the slate clean on the previous Freddy. But because it was a meta take on the franchise, it still had that link to what went before, so the contrast worked because of that.

Bronson: The execution of New Nightmare was better than the remake. Taking into account the look, sound, and overall mannerisms of Freddy, New Nightmare just hits the right notes. The remake comes off as a fan (ironically enough) interpretation of what Freddy is in their own mind if he were to be played by anyone other than Robert Englund. Which I think was the wrong way to go about it. Just play the character, not any particular person’s version of the character, if that makes sense.

Chris: I wonder if there was any intimidation in having to take on the role of Freddy for Jackie. In relative terms, I’d imagine it would be easier to take on Leatherface or Michael Myers because you’re silent, you can hide to an extent behind a mask. But because Robert Englund had a very specific personality that bled through Freddy, I’d have thought it would be terrifying for a new actor to take on that role. If you try and change the role up, you’re damned. And you’re also damned if you do a poor copy of Robert Englund. It’s a lose-lose situation.

Freddy Kruger in a shade of blue

Bronson: I think doing something different can be accepted, it just has to be good. I’m not a fan of Haley’s version of Freddy, but I liked that he at least tried to do something different. It just kind of sucked, to be honest.

I’m not exactly sure what I’d like to see in a few Freddy. I do know that I don’t just want more of the same. Maybe that’s a minority opinion, but I want something fresh for the franchise. Do a complete reboot. New Freddy, new Freddy backstory, new whatever. As long as it’s good. And for the people reading this who don’t want to “tarnish” the legacy of the original, I’ll say this: you still have the original, let us try to do something different. I respect the original, I love it, even. I’m just not a gatekeeper when it comes to experimentation within known franchises.

Chris: If they did reboot the franchise, I’d like to see a Freddy that has the creepiness and the darkness of the original film but with some of the persuasive Freddy from the second film. Make him into a real trickster figure, whispering into people’s ears, evil that seduces and deceives. At least that would put his charisma and humor to some purpose, to entice people to do his bidding. There would have to be a way to balance that with his murderous violence so as not to make Freddy look weak and to make logical sense (why would a creature that can enter anyone’s dreams need any kind of help?). If they can work that out, I think that would be an interesting direction to go.

Bronson: I agree with that version of Freddy. If there is a reboot, make him all of the good parts of the older films. Make him deceitful, and dark, and give him those one-liners where they can hit the hardest and not for the sake of a laugh. Make it clever. They have all of the pieces, they just have to put them in the right spots.

Robert: One of the biggest missed opportunities of the remake was not following through on having Freddy innocent of child molestation. This small change could have affected the Freddy character in more ways than one, most notably, he would be mean and seeking vengeance. Gone is the joking personality of someone toying with his victims and instead on a bloodthirsty rampage, for any and all who damned him. The personality change would be enough to have the same character as Freddy Krueger but would be changed up enough to not be branded as a low-rent take on what Robert Englund did.

Chris: It’s an interesting idea, for sure. The difficulty would be to balance Freddy’s righteousness with the fact that he’s meant to be the bad guy. It’d be a question of justice; does murder ever really bring justice? There’d be a lot to explore in that.

Andrew: Robert & Chris—Bronson called The Dream Master one of his bottom 3 films but neither of you did. What do you both think of the film & where does it stand in your personal rankings?

Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) and Alice (Lisa Wilcox) share a pizza.

Bronson: I don’t necessarily hate the film, but it’s not the first one I think of when I want to watch A Nightmare film. But, in a marathon or once in a while with a random thought, I get a fair bit of fun from it.

Andrew: I know we’ve discussed the remake a fair amount but let’s shift gears to Freddy vs Jason. When you first saw the film, what was your immediate reaction compared to how you feel now about the film?

Bronson: I might’ve lightened up a bit on the remake as weird as that sounds. I used to completely detest it and say it was horrible, a waste of a movie, etc. Since then, I’ve lightened up on my stance on films in general. Yeah, it sucks, and yeah, Freddy looks like a melted cheese pizza, but I can watch it and not completely hate myself and distance myself from the fact that it’s a Nightmare on Elm Street film.

I’m always for remakes/reboots, and I’m not ashamed that it’s an entry in the franchise. I am just disappointed in how bad it is. It doesn’t do anything negative to the original, I know people love to say something ruins the original, but if you want to watch the original, watch the original. At the end of the day, it does suck, but I can have fun with some kills, the poor acting, and the bad CGI. It is what it is. Freddy vs Jason is just not that shot of life to the franchise that we hoped they would make.

Robert: Like many horror fans of the time, after renting Jason Goes to Hell from my local video store and witnessing the final shot, my teenage brain couldn’t hold back the excitement. Little did I know that it would take many years before seeing these two titans collide. In the meantime, and in the early days of the internet, I read many of the leaked, fan, and fake scripts for Freddy vs. Jason. Hell, I wrote my own, at one point. It never seemed like it would happen, but a glorious one-minute trailer dropped, and I was hooked. Images of a burning cornfield, a shadow Freddy, launching oxygen canisters, explosions, and Freddy leaping out of a lake and 15 feet into the air. Hell. Yes.

Then, it finally happened.

I don’t recall every film I’ve seen in theaters, but I remember my girlfriend at the time and I got to the theater opening night and had a freaking blast. The theater was packed, the crowd was raucous, and the movie was entertaining. Now, is it good? It’s okay. Freddy vs Jason doesn’t hold up as well as other films in the franchise. Some of it has to do with Ronny Yu’s direction, the acting is fairly silly, bordering on terrible, the plot makes no sense, and it’s about as 2003 as you can get.

That said, does it deliver the goods? I’d say it does if you’re a Nightmare on Elm Street fan. If I were more of a fan of Friday the 13th, I’d be kind of pissed because it feels much more like an Elm Street film than the latest chapter in the Friday the 13th series. I have to admit, though, that the film is not an accurate representation of either franchise.

Was Freddy vs. Jason worth the wait after many years stuck in Development Hell? No. It’s a pretty flimsy story with many flaws, the worst being the proximity of Springwood and Crystal Lake and Jason’s inexplicable fear of water. That may turn off some people, but I was able to roll with it, even as I rolled my eyes.

There’s a bit more imagination in the dream sequences than other films I rank lower in the franchise. Some of the visuals pop, including Freddy jumping out of the lake, the Freddy shadow, and the idea of entering Jason’s thoughts is intriguing. The best thing I can say about Freddy vs. Jason is the final fight delivers the goods. Both characters beat the living hell out of each other, the blood gets spilled and sprayed by the gallons, and it’s gloriously over the top.

As it is, I think it’s a good swan song for Robert Englund to hang his fedora on, and while some may balk at Kane Hodder unfairly losing his chance at reprising Jason for this match-up, Ken Kirzinger is an intimidating-looking, if unremarkable, iteration of Jason. If nothing else, it’s just fun.

Freddy Vs Jason

Chris: It’s a film I didn’t like for a long time. Saying that, I didn’t bring the same emotional investment to it as others—I’ve always liked the Friday the 13th films but I’ve never loved the franchise, so the idea of a battle between these two horror titans didn’t have the same weight it did for other horror fans. Now, if it had been Freddy vs. Michael…

I do think it suffers from the time it’s made. It’s very early 2000s horror—the party in the cornfield could have come straight from Jeepers Creepers. A lot of horror films from that era feel pretty shallow. Watching it nowadays though I appreciate it more. It’s a silly film but I do enjoy the Jason/Freddy fight and love the audacity of Freddy’s dismembered head laughing at the end; that does make me laugh. The film does try to make the clash of the titans feel important and I do appreciate that about it.

Andrew: Let’s shift gears back to what fans call The Craven Trilogy. What is it exactly that makes those 3 films stand out compared to the rest of the franchise for you? Do those three films tell a complete story on their own?

Robert: I don’t believe in a Craven Trilogy because a lot of what makes The Dream Warriors work so well came from writer Frank Darabont and co-writer/director Chuck Russell. The fantastical elements and imagery mesh beautifully with the troubled teens and themes of suicide and alienation that started with Wes Craven and his screenwriting partner Bruce Wagner’s script. It’s just a divine marrying of storylines and themes that came together for the most imaginative entry.

For the full-on Wes Craven films, the original and New Nightmare, I think they stand out because they offer more than just another entry in the “dead teenager” sub-genre of horror. Everyone knows Wes Craven was a teacher and professor before becoming a filmmaker. His studies in English, psychology, and philosophy no doubt shaped his view on ideas and characters, and it shows in his work. He worked hard to build more than average teenagers in average horror scenarios. You feel for the characters and the scenarios they find themselves in; hunted by Freddy, and no one believing them. Both are scary, and they add levels to the horror that many films of the genre wouldn’t even attempt.

In New Nightmare, his character work only got better, and he used his additional decade of filmmaking experience and his Hollywood know-how to its full advantage. Knowing there was no saving the franchise from where Freddy’s Dead left off, he took the ambitious route and went meta, turning the horror onto the creators, himself included instead of a fresh batch of teenage kids. It was a brilliant move and never really got the recognition it deserved. While Scream was more mainstream with its attempts at acknowledging horror films, most audiences were not prepared for New Nightmare going cerebral.

Chris: The Craven Trilogy isn’t a trilogy. Craven didn’t even direct Dream Warriors, and the script only used some of his ideas. What can be argued, though, is that there is a Nancy trilogy, and that works a lot better for me.

Not only are the films in the Nancy trilogy, A Nightmare on Elm Street 1, 3, and New Nightmare, my 3 favorite films in the franchise but there is a natural progression of the Nancy (and Heather) character through the three films. The girl in 1 is on the cusp of adulthood and loses innocence, realizing the world is not as her parents told her it was, finding her strength through resistance. The grown woman of 3, coming to terms with the trauma of her teens, negating it and finally defeating it, becoming her own woman (even if she died in the process) and an example to the next generation. Finally (and yes this is meta, but hell, it’s a meta film) in New Nightmare, Heather Lagenkamp realizes the character of Nancy was a mask covering the real trauma that was there all along and was still there. Sometimes, we make up characters, stories, and false narratives that we have dealt with our trauma when really we have had a minor confrontation with it. New Nightmare, as the end of the Nancy trilogy, acts as a metaphor for that and plays that out to one of its logical conclusions, that trauma needs to be fully confronted and defeated for us to move on, and to prevent the same thing from being passed on to and claiming our children.

Viewed in that way, the Nancy trilogy makes for a satisfying and compelling story that while not intended to have a throughline, works well on emotional and philosophical levels. And it boasts three excellent horror films in their own right that I could watch any day of the week!

Nightmare on Elm Street, Nancys House
Image courtesy of Ivan Bukta

Bronson: I’ve also never viewed it as a Craven Trilogy, either, but I do find that the tone is consistent throughout, along with Freddy. Although Freddy gets a little more playful in Dream Warriors, he still has that edge to him that makes him scary and effective (also good to note that this is my favorite Freddy, and the Freddy that I wish they’d stick with—best of both worlds).

I do like Nancy’s story coming back to put a cap on it and give the audience a little closure along with her character in Dream Warriors. I honestly don’t have too much else to say other than the tone of all three seem to be a natural evolution of each other along with Freddy being the natural evolution of his character, and that I think it’s the best three movie stretch in the franchise.

Andrew: What would you like to see from the franchise, if anything, moving forward?

Chris: If they were to continue with the franchise, I’d like them to take the franchise’s strengths—the balance of darkness and humor in Freddy, the imaginative potential presented by the dream concept, the subtexts concerning trauma, generational lies, the world not being what it appears to be, and use those as foundations to build upon. I don’t need them to reinvent the wheel, or make Freddy especially different from what’s been before. I’d rather they take what was good and then see where they could explore from there, with a firm base beneath them. Some horror relaunches focus on the name value and milks it without remembering what people loved about the originals. If the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise can use its strengths and rather than rehash them, but progress those strengths, then there’s still mileage there and it would be worth doing.

Bronson: A hard reboot with what works in mind is the best route for them to take. Make Freddy scary and witty, keep the best of both of those traits and you’ll have a great foundation. Also, a big thing that I’d love for them to do is to keep most things practical. Most of all, they need to just have fun with the kills and work to expand their imaginations so we can get some fun and original kills. Also, cast nobodies. I don’t want to see a bunch of people I already know unless they’re smalltime or newer faces on the scene. We need to see these people as their characters, not how much cache their name carries.

Overall, reset it. Give Freddy a fresh, new, up-to-date backstory, and make sure that you give more of a sh*t than when the other remake came out. Take pride in this franchise and don’t be afraid to let that shine through.

Robert: The first thing I would like to see is another entry in the franchise. 13 years, as of this writing, is way too long of a wait to remake Elm Street.

Beyond that, I’d like to see a movie where those associated with the film open their imaginations to the unlimited possibilities that A Nightmare on Elm Street offers. I don’t think you can scare the same way that the 1984 original did. I’d like to see a new attempt at scaring, instead of typical stalk-and-slashings, but marry it with frightening and mesmerizing imagery.

What if David Lynch took a stab at the series? He’s a director who’s never done a true, “typical” horror film. Still, most of his filmography has plenty of scary elements mixed with imaginative elements that no one has seen before. Allowing David Lynch creative freedom to make an entry in the Elm Street series would be a film like no other. What if…

Written by Andrew Grevas

Andrew is the Founder / Editor in Chief of 25YL. He’s engaged with 2 sons, a staunch defender of the series finales for both Lost & The Sopranos and watched Twin Peaks at the age of 5 during its original run, which explains a lot about his personality.

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  1. I completely agree with Sarah’s point about the cultural significance of A Nightmare on Elm Street. As a teenager growing up in the 80s, this movie had a huge impact on me and my friends. We were all terrified of Freddy Krueger and his ability to haunt our dreams. The film’s exploration of the subconscious and the power of fear is still really resonant today. Great read, thank you!

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