A seminal slasher classic, Wes Craven’s trend-setting blockbuster has aged extraordinarily well. The practical special effects are dated but effective, the score is memorably eerie, and Craven’s imaginative approach to the death scenes manages to stand out even for seasoned horror fans. Additionally, Craven’s screenplay is compelling and intelligent, in particular its treatment of main character Nancy, who defies genre tropes in subtle but effective ways and benefits from a sincere performance by Heather Langenkamp. However, none of this would matter were it not for Robert Englund’s iconic performance as Freddy Krueger, imbibing the character with an unsettling menace that bleeds out of the screen.
Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)