Note: Collider’s Halloween horror month continues this week with a look at horror’s most iconic, enduring franchises. Today we’re looking back on the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise!
When we lost Wes Craven, we lost one of the founding fathers of the modern horror film. His gifts to the genre were many, and while he would go on to reshape the slasher genre again with his meta horrors New Nightmare and Scream, Craven’s most influential contribution to the landscape of horror was A Nightmare on Elm Street, the brilliant, genre-bending movie that redefined the slasher film long before Craven started getting self-referential, and launched a decades-long franchise.
At a time when the slasher film was dying — flooded with the excess of thoughtless Halloween ripoffs and 1980s bloodbaths, Craven revigorated the genre by introducing an element of the supernatural and transporting the action to the world of dreams, where anything goes. With Freddy Kruger and the legacy of Elm Street, Craven created an iconic mythology that crept into the nightmares of generations and stands the test of time — well, most of the movies do, at least.