Way back in 1984, Wes Craven brought one of the best movie monster creations of all time to the big screen. Freddy Krueger is a member of a class of movie monsters that encompasses the likes of Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, and Pinhead, not to mention countless others. He also happens to be my favorite of this bunch of baddies. He attacks through dreams using a glove with knives for fingers, in combination with a razor sharp wit. Granted, not all of the films are great — some of them are pretty bad, including the first of the sequels, and the later incarnations relied a bit too heavily on the humorous aspect of the killer. Still, despite the flaws that infect the whole series, I always liked how they tried to be at least a little more interesting than your typical slasher flick.
Looking back at the trailers, they all did a pretty good job of showing us what we were going to get.
A Nightmare on Elm Street
You know, whenever I see the New Line Cinema logo, this is the film that always comes to mind. This first trailer is actually quite good, with that creepy Charles Bernstein music building up some dread. This is not about funny Freddy, this is downright scary Freddy.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge – Trailer
“You all are my children now.”
“Daddy can’t help you now.”
“You’ve got the body, I’ve got the brains.”
This trailer plays up Freddy a lot more than the original. It amps up the aggressive nature of the killer as well as the slightly more comedic side. Then there is the case of the Meryl Streep lookalike. Anyway, this film was not all that good, but the trailer isn’t all bad.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors – Trailer
The third outing in the series featured the return of original film star Heather Langenkamp as Nancy. Also among the cast are Patricia Arquette and Laurence Fishburne! This film really got the series back on track following that first sequel. This teaser is actually pretty good, made me jump.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master – Trailer
Part four of the franchise quickly finished off the survivors of its predecessor so that it could get into a new tale of murder and mayhem. Rather than a team of warriors, there is a single master tasked with stopping Freddy’s rampage. This outing was directed by Renny Harlin, who would go on to helm such “classics” as Deep Blue Sea and Driven. This outing, along with the Friday the 13th entry from the same year (1988), feature a psychic angle as the Dream Master battles the Dream Killer.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child – Trailer
This entry takes a closer look at Freddy’s past, including his mother and his birth — not to mention diving into Freddy’s desire to leave a legacy. The fifth film relies heavily on the comedic side of Krueger.
Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare – Trailer
The “final” Freddy flick gets a touch of the video game era with the integration of Nintendo, not to mention a climax in “amazing” 3D. Keep an eye out for cameos by Johnny Depp (whose first screen role was in the original), Roseanne, Tom Arnold, and Alice Cooper. Even the trailer is dated. This is one of, if not the worst of the franchise.
Wes Craven’s New Nightmare – Trailers
The final (so far) entry in the Nightmare series (not counting Freddy vs. Jason) sees the return of Wes Craven to the director’s chair and a change in direction for the series. It is something of a reinvention as Wes makes Freddy truly scary again. The first trailer is a rather traditional one, while the second is made to look like a behind-the-scenes. Clever.