Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, John Saxon, Johnny Depp, Ronee Blakley, Amanda Wyss, Nick Corri, Joe Unger, Charles Fleischer

Because Freddy Krueger's become as cartoonish a figure as Child's Play's Chucky or the Leprechaun from that abysmal series, A Nightmare on Elm Street has lost some of its luster. But try to remember the film outside the light of pop culture references and bad sketch comedy. Remember it in the dark.

Wes Craven's eighth feature as a director pits a group of teenagers against Krueger, a child molester who was killed by the parents of the teens. Krueger has returned from the dead, now able to kill you in your dreams, while you sleep. The premise allows Craven to blur the lines—no Robin Thicke—between waking life and what lies beyond. It allows for memorable and inventive scares like the one depicted above, and creates instant suspence because, after all, you have to go to sleep at some point. And when you do... —RS