A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) - Rotten Tomatoes

A Nightmare on Elm Street1984

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)



Critic Consensus: Wes Craven's intelligent premise, combined with the horrifying visual appearance of Freddy Krueger, still causes nightmares to this day.

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Movie Info

A group of teenagers are terrorized by "Freddy Krueger", an evil being from another world who gets to his victims by entering their dreams and killing them with gloves that have knife blades attached to each finger.

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Robert Englund
as Freddy Krueger
Heather Langenkamp
as Nancy Thompson
John Saxon
as Lt. Thompson
Ronee Blakely
as Marge Thompson
Joe Whipp
as Sgt. Parker
Joseph Whipp
as Sgt. Parker
Jack Shea
as Minister
Ed Call
as Mr. Lantz
Edward Call
as Mr. Lantz
Sandy Lipton
as Mrs. Lantz
Joe Unger
as Sgt. Garcia
Jeff Levine
as Coroner
Donna Woodrum
as Tina's Mom
Don Hannah
as Surfer
Lin Shaye
as Teacher
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News & Interviews for A Nightmare on Elm Street

Critic Reviews for A Nightmare on Elm Street

All Critics (55) | Top Critics (11)

Great build-up, the suspense and apprehension, getting you invested in a sequence...this movie has that.

November 2, 2018 | Rating: A | Full Review…

The script is consistently witty, the camera work (by cinematographer Jacques Haitkin) crisp and expressive.

January 2, 2018 | Full Review…

A smart, streamlined slasher with plenty under the bonnet.

October 31, 2013 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

A highly imaginative horror film that provides the requisite shocks to keep fans of the genre happy.

September 21, 2007 | Full Review…

What makes Freddy truly terrifying, and an inspired invention on Craven's part, is that he exists not in the real world but in the shadowy realm of dreams.

September 21, 2007 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Craven vitalizes the nightmare sequences with assorted surrealist novelties.

September 21, 2007 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for A Nightmare on Elm Street


One of the most criative horror movies I ever saw!

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

Really like this one - classic 80's horror. Acting is a bit hammy, but it works. Nancy is a likeable lead and Freddie Krueger is just horrible and still quite scary even now. Just bought the box set of 6 movies, so will be working my way through them this long weekend. (Happier about this than I probably should be!).

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer


Nancy: Whatever you do don't fall asleep.  "If Nancy Doesn't Wake Up Screaming She Won't Wake Up At All..." A Nightmare on Elm Street is a horror classic and deserves every bit of praise it has gotten. This is one of Wes Craven's best movies, probably only behind Scream. An iconic villain is created here in Freddy Krueger, and is effect would be felt through countless sequels and even a remake. None of the sequels or the remake can touch this one though. It's a great mixture of gore and atmosphere. There's always that ominous feeling in the air. A former child murderer comes back to life and kills by taking kids when they are asleep. As kids continue to die, Nancy must find a way to bring an end to it all. The story is one that was pretty groundbreaking for the time and also extremely smart. This is a story that can truly keep people up at night, because if you fall asleep; Freddy might get you. Wes Craven has always been hit or miss for me, but this one lands squarely in the hit section. The atmosphere he creates is absorbing to say the least. There's also always a cool appeal to the film. It's just one of those classic horror movies that I can watch many, many times; like Halloween or Scream.  A Nightmare on Elm Street is required viewing for the horror fanatic in us all. It spins a web of crazy dream sequences, blood, and intelligence. It isn't the same old, same old slasher, but one with something to spice up the normal formula. Some scenes are among some of the coolest the genre has ever seen, and there's something about Freddy that makes him more than the average villain. It's almost as if, he were truly alive.

Melvin White
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

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