A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) - Rotten Tomatoes

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.

A Nightmare on Elm Street Trailers & Photos

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.more
Rating: R (adult situations/language, nudity, violence)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Horror
Directed By:
Written By: Wes Craven
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 21, 2001
New Line Cinema - Official Site


Robert Englund
as Freddy Krueger
Heather Langenkamp
as Nancy Thompson
John Saxon
as Lt. Thompson
Ronee Blakely
as Marge Thompson
Joseph Whipp
as Sgt. Parker
Joe Whipp
as Sgt. Parker
Lin Shaye
as Teacher
Ed Call
as Mr. Lantz
Jack Shea
as Minister
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
Jack Shea
as Minister
Jason Adams
as Surfer #1
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for A Nightmare on Elm Street

Critic Reviews for A Nightmare on Elm Street

All Critics (47) | Top Critics (5)

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

Full Review… | September 21, 2007
Top Critic

Craven vitalizes the nightmare sequences with assorted surrealist novelties.

Full Review… | September 21, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Not since the shower scene in Psycho did one director discover our most intimate vulnerabilities: in bed, while we're asleep, in a state of consciousness where absolutely no one could help us.

Full Review… | November 11, 2014

A smart, streamlined slasher with plenty under the bonnet.

Full Review… | October 31, 2013
Little White Lies

A top-flight terror classic that spawned seven sequels and a TV series.

Full Review… | October 7, 2013
Radio Times

Craven knows which big, red Freudian buttons to push, turning Freddy into a true monster from the Id.

Full Review… | October 9, 2012
Total Film

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

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

Super Reviewer

A Nightmare on Elm Street Quotes

Freddy Krueger: Am your boyfriend now Nancy.
– Submitted by Matthew B (20 months ago)
Freddy Krueger: Why are you screaming? I haven't even caught you yet.
– Submitted by Erica L (2 years ago)
Nancy Thompson: One two... Freddy's coming for you... 3, 4 better lock your door..5, 6 grab a crucifix... 7, 8, gonna stay up late, 9, 10, never sleep again!
– Submitted by Facebook U (3 years ago)
Nancy Thompson: Wathever you do... DON'T... FALL... ASLEEP...
– Submitted by André A (3 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss A Nightmare on Elm Street on our Movie forum!