A Nightmare on Elm Street ★★★½

The exemplar of the Nightmare series if only because Craven understands that these films are best when Freddy is more a symbolic threat than a character with dialogue. Note how little he speaks in comparison to the later films, which is a relief because his variety brand Rodney Dangerfield schtick is insufferable. As a sort of contemporary rendition of the grim reaper Freddy is never as potent or foreboding as he is in this film, leading the array of morally suspect teens to wildly imaginative deaths.