As a horror fan, so much of my childhood was defined by A Nightmare on Elm Street. Even though Halloween has been my favorite horror film of all time for as long as I can remember, A Nightmare on Elm Street was the one film I would watch consistently. I’m pretty sure I wore out my VHS copy that I owned and it was one of those films that I was always told to bring over to a friend’s house whenever I was staying overnight.
The first film set a standard that was so high that it would be near impossible to top. Director Wes Craven jumped directly into our psyche and toyed with our subconscious enough that he made us afraid to fall asleep. That’s the skill of a true horror master and it’s a signature of some of his best films.
With a success like A Nightmare on Elm Street a sequel is inevitable but not in the mind of its creator. The first film was a one-off idea and Craven wanted to move on to other projects. New Line Cinema had other plans in mind and they knew after the original grossed $25 million on a $1.8 million budget, they had to keep this thing going: with or without Wes Craven.
The end result was A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge which has been the subject of polarizing opinion since its release in 1985. The only signature player to come