Netflix Losing The Best ’80s Horror Franchise, Stream Before It’s Gone

By Jacob VanGundy | Updated

nightmare on elm street

The franchise that redefined the slasher subgenre is leaving Netflix at the end of June, which means you only have a few weeks left to watch A Nightmare on Elm Street. Featuring one of the most iconic horror movie villains of all time, the franchise brought humor and the supernatural to the slasher genre in the 1980s. Created by the master of horror, Wes Craven, the franchise is a must-watch for all horror fans. 

A Nightmare On Elm Street’s Legacy

A Nightmare on Elm Street was released in 1984 to immediate success. While critics at the time were mixed on the film, it made $57 million on a $1.1 million budget and gained an immediate fan base. The success of that film spawned five sequels, a crossover movie with Friday the 13th, a reboot, and a standalone spin-off.

Freddy Krueger

Nightmare on Elm Street

The original A Nightmare on Elm Street brought elements of the slasher genre popularized by Halloween and Friday the 13th together with the supernatural horror of Stephen King movies and The Exorcist.

Its central villain, Freddy Krueger, was a child murderer who was burned alive in an instance of mob justice. Years later his spirit returns to get his revenge by haunting the dreams of his killer’s children, their nightmare murders resulting in real-life deaths. 

Surreal Horror

The rest of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise followed suit, with Freddy terrorizing groups of teenagers in their dreams. Due to the kills occurring in character’s dreams, the series is known for its surreal horror with scenes featuring a girl turning into a cockroach and a possessed TV set killing a victim. These creative kills helped the series stand out in the crowded slasher subgenre. 

Robert Englund

nightmare on elm street

Wes Craven’s comedic tone and the supernatural bent of A Nightmare on Elm Street reshaped the slasher subgenre. After Freddy Kreugger’s successful debut other horror films like Child’s Play appeared on the scene with jokes and supernatural origins.

Even Friday the 13th became more like its competition, turning Jason into an undead killer in the 1986 sequel Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives. 

Robert Englund’s performance as Freddy Krueger made him one of the most recognizable horror villains, helping to make A Nightmare on Elm Street an iconic franchise.

With quippy dialogue, a knife-fingered glove, and a distinctive burned look he’s more distinct than many of the masked killers of the genre. He’s often listed as one of the most popular horror characters alongside Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, Chucky, and Ghostface. 

Stream It Now

While the first few films in the original series are beloved, later entries in A Nightmare on Elm Street fell off. Only the original movie, part three, and the standalone Wes Craven’s New Nightmare have a fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes, but most of the 80s films are considered campy classics. While most of the series is beloved by the fandom the 2010 remake was almost universally panned by critics and fans alike. 

A Nightmare on Elm Street has its ups and downs as a franchise, but the original movies and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare are delightful. Ranging from genuine horror masterpieces to campy horror comedy it’s the absolute best of 80s horror. Watch A Nightmare on Elm Street and its sequels on Netflix before it’s too late.