The Nightmare on Elm Street franchise is a series of cult American horror films created by writer/director Wes Craven. It began with the original film in 1984, and ended with the sixth and final installment in 1994. The franchise follows different groups of teenagers (with the exception of the sixth film) as they battle the demonic spirit of malevolent killer Freddy Krueger in their dreams, sometimes succeeding, but always dying eventually. Freddy's Dead finally killed off Krueger and closed the original Nightmare storyline.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)Edit
Teenager Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp) suffers from a series of terrifyingly realistic nightmares even as the 'boogeyman' of these nightmares, Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), starts killing off her friends one-by-one. Krueger starts by first attacking Nancy's best friend Tina (Amanda Wyss) in a dream, brutally killing her in reality. He next goes after Tina's boyfriend Rod (Jsu Garcia) - who was blamed for Tina's murder - and hangs him in a prison cell at the local police station where Nancy's father, Lt. Don Thompson (John Saxon) is on duty. Nancy and her boyfriend Glen (Johnny Depp) begin planning on how to lure Freddy into the real world and kill him, but before they can do so, Glen falls asleep himself and is dragged down through his bed by Freddy, who then releases Glen's remains - a gory fountain of blood - back into the bedroom. As Lt. Thompson and a team of horrified police descend on Glen's home, Nancy falls asleep and into her dreams again, and finally drags Freddy back to the real world when she wakes up, leading him through several improvised booby traps and into the basement, where she sets Freddy on fire and locks him. Screaming through a broken front window, Nancy calls for her father, who breaks through the front door to find a series of fiery footprints leading up the stairs - to Nancy's mother Marge's bedroom. There they find the burning Freddy trying to smother Marge in her sleep, at which Lt. Thompson throws a blanket over Freddy to put out the flames, only to watch as Freddy drags Marge's shriveled corpse down through the bed and return to the dream world. Nancy then asks her father to leave, at which she calls out to Freddy - who is actually still there - to tell him she's not afraid of him anymore, and refuses to take part in his 'game'. Freddy is now drained of his power and disappears as Nancy walks through the bedroom door and onto her front porch the next morning, where everyone is alive and well again. But as Nancy and her friends drive off to school, Freddy suddenly drags Marge through the front door, killing her as a group of young girls jump rope to the so-called 'Freddy chant' (One, two, Freddy's coming for you... Three, four, better lock your door...).
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Dream Warriors (1986)Edit
The last of the 'Elm Street Children' - those whose parents killed Freddy Krueger in the real world - join forces with Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp) after they are placed in the psychiatric hospital where Nancy works. Slowly, the teens learn to control their dreams and prepare for their battle with Freddy, after which Nancy dies and Freddy is defeated (if only temporarily), and the last three of the group are subsequently released from the hospital to resume normal lives.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Master (1987)Edit
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: Dream Child (1989)Edit
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: Freddy's Dead (1991)Edit
A Nightmare on Elm Street 6: The Ascension (1994)Edit
In 1994, three years since the release of Freddy's Dead and the subsequent end of the series, Heather Langenkamp is plagued by a nightmare where a mechanical hand containing Freddy's claws comes alive while filming a new Nightmare movie and starts killing the crew. In the real world, just after a major earthquake in LA, Heather's son Dylan (Jake Lloyd) starts having 'episodes' or trances in which he speaks in a voice not his own, uttering warnings and threats in a distinctly Freddy-like fashion. Heather's special-effects expert husband Chase Porter (David Newsom) starts having unexplained experiences as well, while secretly working on a new Nightmare movie for Wes Craven and Bob Shaye. As Dylan's episodes become more frequent, Heather is visited by John Saxon and Johnny Depp, old friends from the original two movies, who offer their support for Heather's situation, especially after Chase is killed in a vehicle crash while returning home late at night. Following a conversation with Robert Englund, Heather makes a terrifying discovery from none other than Wes Craven himself - that Freddy is a demon-like spirit 'trapped' in the Nightmare series and that since the movies ended, he is trying to enter the real world to terrorize Heather, Dylan, and the entire cast and crew of the series.
Ascension is notable as being the final film of the series, but it does not follow the established continuity of the Nightmare series, with Freddy as a fictional character who enters the real world.
The Nightmare series is a cult hit among most American horror fans and was also the first film franchise to utilize movie robotics in the various scenes where a life-size mannequin would have normally been used, providing a greater sense of realism to the movies' already chilling psychological and visual effects.