Critic Reviews

76

Metascore

Based on 12 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Empire
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.
90
Washington Post
For such a low-budget movie, Nightmare on Elm Street is extraordinarily polished. The script is consistently witty, the camera work (by cinematographer Jacques Haitkin) crisp and expressive.
88
A Nightmare on Elm Street is tailor made for those who like their gore leavened with thought-provoking ideas - something that is a rarity in this genre.
83
Some of the effects remain nicely repulsive; Freddy himself comes across as a genuinely nasty piece of work, far removed from his later incarnation.
80
Empire
Turning slumberland into a twisted murderer's den is a masterstroke by Craven, who has brought new blood to a genre that seemed as if it might choke on it's own excesses.
80
Variety
A Nightmare on Elm Street is a highly imaginative horror film that provides the requisite shocks to keep fans of the genre happy.
80
Here the idea of sleep as the ultimate threat is still fresh and marvelously insidious, and Craven vitalizes the nightmare sequences with assorted surrealist novelties.
80
Time Out
There are some genuinely frightening dream sequences - and some throwaway black humour...it's all good scary fun."
75
Slant Magazine
Nightmare’s skill wasn’t that it invented such associations—which had already been thoroughly mined by its ’70s predecessors—but that it refined them in uniquely disturbing ways, drenching itself in an atmosphere of unreality positioned somewhere between waking and slumbering states.
70
A Nightmare on Elm Street puts more emphasis on bizarre special effects, which aren't at all bad.

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