I was watching a video from the youtube channel Drumdums, which you guys should check out; he does some cool horror videos. However, it was one video that grabbed my attention. He did a list, a top 50 favorite (or best) moments of the Halloween franchise, in his opinion. I thought, hmm, that’s interesting, you’d never think about moments that stick out in a movie, let alone in a franchise.
So I was inspired to do the same, except it will not be 50 and it will not be Halloween. Instead I’ll be going with a top 10 into one of my all time favorite franchises: (A) Nightmare on Elm Street. Perhaps these are some of your favorites, perhaps you’ll share one with me that I hadn’t thought of!
Let’s get started with number 10.
10. End Credits to Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare – Well, this isn’t a shock since I remember mentioning these credits somewhere else in a post (ranking the entire franchise). It’s a walk down memory lane, highlighting some great moments in the franchise, and some low ones. Also I think the song choice is very fitting. I think it’s by Alice Cooper?
9. Battle scene of Alice & Freddy in ANOES 4: The Dream Master – Now why did I pick this? The overall surrounding atmosphere is what makes it work. It’s the church-like setting, there’s stained glass, the lighting is bold and quite colorful. But what I also like is when Freddy is confronted with an image of himself in the glass, we get that cool in depth shot of basically all the souls that Freddy possesses and it’s large. I think visually, that part, is quite powerful in its own way.
8. Freddy emerges from Jesse’s body (into the real world) from ANOES 2: Freddy’s Revenge – I have to say this every time, this movie really had to grow on me. Now, with that said, there are some interesting moments in this movie (intentional or not). I can say a lot about Freddy coming into the real world and how many problems that brings up but the continually play and… teasing of Freddy talking about how he’s got the brain but Jesse had the body and boy he uses the body to come into the real world, and Jesse’s body basically just slumps and the special effects is pretty great.
7. Comic Book dream + Super Freddy from ANOES 5: The Dream Child – This movie overall has some great visuals and a huge part is that the director did create comic books (or had a background in it). But this dream/kill and seeing a “Super” Freddy that looks nothing like him but it’s a creative kill. It’s well shot, it’s in black and white, almost a grey-ish color, it’s quite a jump, visually.
6. Hall Monitor + “Screw Your Pass” from A Nightmare on Elm Street – One of the few lines on this list that remain simply iconic. We have built up Nancy’s bigger role in the film, she’s “dreaming” and seeing her now dead friend Tina around the school, following her to only run into a hall monitor. Said hall monitor is also wearing a red/green striped sweater, bloody nose but stops Nancy with a “no running in the hallway” line, equipped with Freddy’s glove (and voice).
5. Heather becomes Nancy in Wes Craven’s New Nightmare – There’s no amount of love I can give New Nightmare. I think it’s one of the best in the franchise, it’s more meta but my stance is still: it’s the blueprint for what Scream would be years later. For those who aren’t aware, New Nightmare is very meta, taking place in the “real world” or current world which was 1991/1992 and how the franchise as a whole really changed and affected everyone’s lives, especially Heather’s. Part of it is based on her reality which is being married to a spx, she experienced stalking which is included. The main plot is that Freddy, a being who attached itself to the franchise/Freddy’s face, wants to come into the real world. And the way to do it is through Heather and her family. There’s a scene almost towards the end where Heather realizes what’s happening in her surroundings to a build up of Heather having to say a certain line or reference it to save her son and set everything in motion.
4. Tina’s Death + Rotating Rooms in A Nightmare on Elm Street – One of the two most memorable deaths in the film (the other is of course Johnny Depp’s character’s death) but also memorable in the genre. It took me until I got a little older after initially seeing this as a kid to realize how they made this happen (using a rotating room) and the magic and illusion Craven and his team did is quite amazing. There hasn’t been anything like that still to this day. I prefer practical over CGI (if it’s done right). It’s brutal, Tina is wearing nothing but a sleep shirt and panties and is attacked viciously and we the audience can do nothing about it but watch. We’re watching her die a horrible death and it showcased how dangerous and violent Freddy is (or his nature) since we up to this point don’t have Freddy’s backstory.
3. “Welcome to Prime Time, bitch!” from ANOES 3: Dream Warriors – A quote that was spotlighted in Freddy’s Dead, and an impromptu line from Englund himself. The whole setup is great. We’re still in the ward, we are still having our young kids in danger and one of them, Jennifer, wants to be an actress when she can get out. She also stings herself with her cigarette to stay awake but on the tv we have Dick Cavett interviewing Zsa Zsa Gabor but its interrupted and as soon as Jennifer gets close to the tv, Freddy emerges from the tv box and picks her up and we get that iconic line and equally more iconic death. Followed by a young Laurence Fishbourne opening the door and stunned by what he sees.
2. Nancy (with Kristen) encounters Freddy since ANOES (Dream Warriors) – It has been a while since the events of the first film have occurred. We are over Jesse and re-establishing the rules of this movie with Dream Warriors. We have a new set of characters but a familiar face returns and we’re so happy to see her. Nancy is back, older, wanting to help youths, with her random strand of gray hair. There are so many great moments (and characters) in Dream Warriors and the beginning of some Freddy lore but what tops this from the previous moment from the film is the encounter of Nancy and Freddy… again. Kristen (Patricia Arquette), calls Nancy into her dreams to save her and in the process, stabs the Freddy worm. But when he sees her, recognizes her and says “you” and she responds with “oh my God”, the dynamic is established that this is now going to be about Nancy and Freddy, them versus each other.
1. Final Scene in A Nightmare on Elm Street – This ending scene is a bit shocking after all we went through with Nancy and turning her back on Freddy, taking back her power and ignoring him and she outsmarted him time and time again after bringing him into the real world. And seeing how bright it outside, almost too bright and you feel this relief of oh god it’s over. And Nancy has her mother again and it seemed like her friends were back but you knew they had died so what’s going on? The top of the car pops up with the signature red and green stripes and that’s our signal something’s wrong. The windows go up, the doors are locked, no one can escape and then… Nancy’s mother is yanked through the tiny section of the front door and we’re left with little kids jump rope in white. It’s a bleak ending that Freddy isn’t completely gone, these kids are still in danger. Thus sequel, after sequel, after sequel.
These moments are my top 10 but I do have some honorable mentions.
– Freddy trying to escape from the nun’s stomach in ANOES 5: The Dream Child
– Dan’s death in ANOES 5: The Dream Child
– Kinkaid encountering Freddy in ANOES 4: The Dream Master
– Debbie transforming into a cockroach in ANOES 4: The Dream Master
– Puppet death in ANOES 3: Dream Warriors
– Freddy Krueger’s personal credit in New Nightmare
– Glen’s death in A Nightmare on Elm Street
So what moments are your favorites from the franchise? I purposely left out Freddy vs Jason and the 2010 remake because… there’s not a whole lot of connective tissue. Yes, FvJ references a lot of ANOES more than Friday the 13th but I wouldn’t add it in. And the remake, I don’t enjoy it much and it had nothing to add to the franchise. I enjoyed Earley’s performance but that’s about it.
Sorry not sorry about that remake.