A Nightmare on Elm Street remains one of the most popular horror movie franchises on the planet. The movie series ranks fifth on Rotten Tomatoes based on the average audience scores of the biggest horror franchises. This particular franchise has been able to reinvent itself on multiple occasions, unlike other horror movies that have been forced to live off the goodwill of their originals. It has also transcended other areas of the entertainment industry, most notably in the iGaming scene, where it has launched a branded online slot game. Furthermore, there are sites that have some casino promotions for those who enjoy these kinds of games.
Fans of the franchise still have hope of yet another reboot – this time involving the original Freddy Krueger star Robert Englund. Blumhouse Productions has produced a string of popular horror movies in recent years, including Insidious, Halloween and Ouija: Origin of Evil. The founder and CEO of Blumhouse, Jason Blum, said he would have no issues with convincing Englund to return to the rule of Freddy Krueger, despite his advancing years.
A recent interview with Blum on Screen Rant revealed that he could “make [Englund] come back”. Blum alluded to the way in which he managed to get Ellen Burstyn back who will be 87 when she appears in The Exorcist sequel soon. Blum described Englund as “young” in comparison.
Blumhouse Productions has been at the centre of many of the biggest hit horror movies in the last decade. The studio shot to prominence with the release of the low-budget Paranormal Activity – shot for just $15,000 but went on to gross $193 million at the box office globally. Three years later, Insidious had a similar impact at the box office, raking in $99 million from a meagre budget of $1.5 million. The 2012 movie Sinister, starring Ethan Hawke, also grossed $87.7 million from a $3 million budget.
In 2019, the estate of Nightmare on Elm Street’s original creator, Wes Craven, confirmed it was considering proposals for a new movie as well as a TV series inspired by the original movie. Pitches are likely to be made for a movie reboot and with Jason Blum’s recent quotes it’s clear that he’s likely to throw Blumhouse’s hat firmly into the ring. A TV series could also be a big draw for one of the streaming platforms looking to attract a ready-made fanbase.
A Nightmare on Elm Street certainly remains a firm favourite in terms of popular culture. TV series Stranger Things recently paid tribute to the franchise during its fourth season. Shawn Levy, executive producer and director of Stranger Things, also spoke about the decision to cast Englund as Victor Creel. Levy and Englund drew parallels between Creel and Krueger, with Creel’s fingernails scratching against a “desk in his cell” designed to be a nod towards Krueger’s iconic metal blades.
It’s by no means the first time that Englund has returned in the role of Freddy Krueger. In 2018, Englund appeared as Krueger in the hit family sitcom The Goldbergs. Englund had attempted to land a role in the third season of Stranger Things, but was seemingly typecast for the role of Victor Creel in season four.
The best releases in the franchise of A Nightmare on Elm Street
Between 1984 and 2010 there have been nine movie releases inspired by A Nightmare on Elm Street and the Englund’s chilling Freddy Krueger figure. Below we look at three of the franchise’s most popular entries:
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
There is no denying that the original remains the most engaging and visionary release of this franchise. As with so many long-standing franchises, it can be hard to compare with an original and it’s the same story with A Nightmare on Elm Street. It’s the movie that gave us Krueger’s spine-tingling nursery rhyme, the frailty and bravery of Nancy, and Krueger himself.
The original was released in an era where slasher movies were in their prime. Friday the 13th had redefined the horror genre, but A Nightmare on Elm Street soon made Friday the 13th look one-dimensional and tired in terms of its plotline. Ultimately, it’s the liaisons between Nancy and Krueger that leave us coming back for more. Krueger is also undeniably at his scariest and most gruesome in the original too.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)
If it wasn’t for the original, Dream Warriors would be at the top of the pile. In fact, it’s head and shoulders above the rest of the franchise. Most fans of the franchise have long said that Dream Warriors is the finest out of all the sequels. One of the enduring features of Dream Warriors is its immediately likeable cast, with complex characters within the Westin Hospital providing an atmospheric and terrifying location for the film’s action.
The hugely popular ‘Final Girl’ Nancy makes a triumphant return in Dream Warriors too, though the story also focuses on new characters drawn from Elm Street’s next generation. Krueger’s dark personality really comes to the fore here, with a macabre sense of humour almost akin to the Joker from the Batman franchise.
Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994)
A decade on from the original, Wes Craven returned to direct Wes Craven’s New Nightmare. Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare proved to be a catastrophic flop, which could have easily consigned the Nightmare franchise to the 80’s slasher history books. Craven had other ideas, however. New Nightmare is almost a spin-off of the original release rather than a loyal sequel.
Few are unaware that New Nightmare was Craven’s proving ground for his Scream franchise too. He would eventually go on to write and appear in this spin-off, alongside many other original cast members such as John Saxon, Heather Langenkamp and Englund himself. There is a healthy dose of meta maddening here, as viewers struggle to decipher the difference between reality and fiction by the end of this dizzying release.