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YMMV / A Nightmare on Elm Street

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The franchise in general:

  • Awesome Art: The poster art for most of the films are amazingly done (and pretty trippy).
  • Badass Decay: Freddy never joined the good guys (who would want him?) and always was a serious threat to them, but as the series went on, he became quite the jokester, and became goofier and more playful with people's dream sequences than he was in the first few films. This came to a head in Freddy's Dead, where he turned someone's dream into a Nintendo game, where you can tell he's having a great time.
  • Broken Base: The first, third and seventh films are unanimously considered the best in the franchise by fans, while the sixth and remake are considered the worst. The fans really split and fight over the quality of parts 2, 4 and 5:
    • Freddy's Revenge: An excellent film that deserves praise for not imitating the plot of the first film and trying to do something different, besides having an interesting Homoerotic Subtext and a more frightening Freddy Krueger than ever? Or a shameful continuation that breaks all the rules of the franchise, with terrible protagonists and homoerotic content that makes the film more comical (and arguably homophobic) than really interesting?
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    • The Dream Master: The last good film in the franchise, with some of the most impressive and creative dream sequences and the introduction of the great protagonist Alice? Or the first bad sequel, more interested in the visual effects instead of telling a story, in addition to the beginning of Freddy Krueger's slide into Self-Parody?
    • The Dream Child: An interesting experiment that tries to find a balance between the darker tone of the first two films and the more exaggerated tone of Dream Warriors and The Dream Master, with some of the most frightening deaths in the franchise and a beautiful Gothic look? Or an awful sequel that disastrously fails at mixing its darkest tones with its most comical tones, and whose plot makes no sense at all?
  • "Common Knowledge":
    • Combined with Adaptation Displacement, many viewers refer to Freddy Krueger as a pedophile in the original continuity. While it was heavily implied and Wes Craven originally wrote him as such, the original films carefully referred to him as a child murderer, with the remake being the film that used child molestation as part of his backstory.
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    • Freddy's motive for coming Back from the Dead being that he wants revenge on his killers (for instance, The Simpsons Halloween Nightmare spoof explicitly had Willy the Groundskeeper vow revenge on the parents of Springfield for their part in his death). While Nancy's mother admits that she and the other parents killed Freddy to prevent him from getting away with his crimes, Freddy himself never brings this up as a reason for originally targeting Nancy and her friends, and later starts targeting unrelated groups of teens. If anything, he just seems to be continuing where he left off, rather than as some sort of outrage over his vigilante execution.
  • Complete Monster: See here.
  • Creepy Awesome: Freddy of course. He is a serial killer, but one with the ability to manipulate dreams to advantage and a ton of dark humor to boot.
  • Dork Age: The Dream Master still has its fans, but the decay set in hard with the fifth film, The Dream Child in 1989, a Franchise Killer that convinced New Line Cinema to end the series with the next film. That film, Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare in 1991, was the point at which the series became completely impossible to take seriously.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Believe it or not, Freddy has an extraordinarily high amount of fangirls. The fandom likes to portray him as a woobie whose terrible past and upbringing were responsible for his psychosis, and that his love for his daughter was genuine enough to push him off the deep end when she was taken away from him. The fact that Robert Englund has said on multiple occasions that Freddy represents neglect doesn't help this image either. Even the lead actresses have admitted that Freddy has a seductive charm due to Englund's portrayal, albeit in a molester sense.
    • The remake's version of him is starting to rapidly gain a reputation for this as well. Despite being a child molester who sleazily reminisces on his deeds and an Ax-Crazy murderer, particularly delusional fans portray him in a far more sympathetic light in fanfiction where his obsession with Nancy (and any lead female OC for that matter) is downgraded to Stalker with a Crush status.
    • Should probably be noted that the Pseudo-Freddy of New Nightmare actually does wear tight black leather pants.
  • Evil Is Cool: Freddy is among the post prominent horror villains thanks to his dream powers.
  • Fanon Discontinuity:
    • Some fans like to ignore Freddy's Revenge because the film ignores the rules of the first movie, with a plot involving Freddy Krueger trying to possess the body of the protagonist so that he can materialize in the real world. The fact that the events of this film were not mentioned by any of the sequels (except Freddy vs. Jason) does not help.
    • Many fans who hate Freddy's Dead prefer to ignore that this film did happen. Also, in Freddy vs. Jason, Springwood appears again with children, teenagers, and normal, healthy adults, something that doesn't quite match what we saw in Freddy's Dead.
    • Some people prefer to see the first movie as a standalone story, mainly due to Nancy's death and Freddy's Flanderization in later films, and how Wes Craven himself wanted a happy, resolved ending to the movie before Executive Meddling reared its head.
    • The third movie can be a tempting stopping point, given how the remaining films are all Contested sequels to some degree and kill off still more well-liked survivors of earlier movies. Adding to this sentiment is how Wes Craven had no involvement with any of the subsequent movies aside from Wes Craven's New Nightmare, which is set in a different reality. Kristen being played by a different actress when the other recurring characters all have the same performers across the franchise also makes it easier to mentally separate the third and fourth movies.
  • First Installment Wins: The first film is hailed as a horror classic. Opinions on the sequels vary (though The Dream Warriors and New Nightmare are considered quite good by the fanbase).
  • Franchise Original Sin: The third movie, Dream Warriors, is considered one of the best in the franchise. But this movie already has several of the problems that would be seen in the next installments, such as a more overemphasis on comedy and visual effects.
  • Friendly Fandoms: With Evil Dead and Friday the 13th. Each franchise references the other at one point or another, and there were so many fans of all three franchises that they even had a three-way crossover.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In perhaps the only time this particular method of death would apply here, Wes Craven passed away in his sleep.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Depending on how you define ‘hilarious’, the strong resemblance between his design and that of the Titans.
  • Love to Hate: Again, Freddy. He lacks any redeeming qualities but his skill set and dark humor make him extremely memorable.
  • Misaimed Fandom: It is truly disturbing how many 12 year old girls on DeviantArt draw cutesy anime-esque fan art about Freddy Krueger falling in love with their Distaff Counterpart OC of him they made. Who knew skinless demonically powered child rapists are so "cute"?
  • Misaimed Marketing: Though the marketing of his R-rated movies to said 12 year olds doesn't help. This was particularly prevalent with the heavy promotion leading up to the fourth movie, which downplayed his more gruesome aspects for mainstream appeal as a comic villain. This included an "interview" on MTV, his own rap number, and even a cheesy pop album (because "happy feet dancing to the beat" is apparently fitting music for a serial child killer).
  • Moral Event Horizon: Freddy Krueger crosses the line when he murders his own wife for discovering he was the Springwood Slasher. He likely crossed it long before that, as he was already murdering the town's children. And he ups the ante in every subsequent film with the cruel and sadistic ways he torments his victims as a dream demon. Really, Freddy's entire life is one big Moral Event Horizon.
  • Narm Charm: Freddy's make up isn't exactly a realistic depiction of what a burnt person would look like, but the look has become so iconic fans love it anyway. To the point that when the remake tried to go for a more realistic make-up, it was criticized as "generic".
  • Nausea Fuel: Freddy just loves invoking this, in the most ghoulishly creative of ways.
  • Nightmare Retardant:
    • The whole concept becomes significantly less scary when you remember that Freddy only kills in one suburb (a fictional one at that), though it does get worse in Freddy's Dead, in which he states that "every town has an Elm Street" and makes clear that he's planning to expand his reach to the whole world.
    • As the original series goes on, Freddy's burned skin goes from horrifying to looking like a mild skin condition.
    • Physical combat isn't Freddy's forte, as whenever he tries to go up-close-and-personal with his victims, he loses. Freddy vs. Jason averts this by making him able to have an even fight with Jason.
    • The mystique and terror of Freddy invading your nightmares becomes a lot less scary when you remember later on down the line he’s able to do this thanks to the dream demons. Three sperm looking demons that can possess anybody who is evil enough.
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: The installments with Wes Craven's involvement tend to gather more praise from fans and critics: the first movie, Dream Warriors and New Nightmare (although it should be noted that the final version of Dream Warriors is quite different from Craven's original script).
  • Paranoia Fuel: The premise alone qualifies, obviously. It's one thing when you fall off a cliff in your dreams and wake up safe at home seconds later. But it's completely different when that can cross over into the real world.
  • Periphery Demographic: Despite Freddy getting most of the attention, and the slasher genre being typically marketed towards teenage and young adult men, the series has a notable feminist following due to its strong female protagonists who teenage girls easily relate to. This includes their lead actresses who encourage this demographic.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Some of the sequels have characters so boring that it is not uncommon for the viewer to hope that Freddy Krueger kills everyone.
  • Sequelitis: Outside of Dream Warriors and New Nightmare, every one of the sequels receives a sizeable amount of dislike. It didn't help that parts 2, 4 and 5 were rushed so they could come out every year.
  • The Woobie:
    • Amanda Krueger. She was just a nun who wanted to help the mentally ill, but ended being captured and repeatedly raped by them, eventually giving birth to one of the worst known killers in existence. And even in undeath, she has to deal with her son's crimes.
    • Alice Johnson. Has all her friends and her brother killed by Freddy the first time out. Convinced she had him beat, he instead comes back and kills her boyfriend/father of her child, then he sets his sights on corrupting and possessing her unborn child? Life is not good to her. What's worse, all those deaths happen as an indirect result of her own dream power.
    • Freddy's victims in general tend to be portrayed more sympathetically than usual for the genre, featuring troubled teenagers whose problems are only exacerbated by the adults refusing to acknowledge Freddy's threat. This is especially evident in Dream Warriors in which the main crew are stuck in a mental institution due to being accused of self-harm.

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