Running time: 91 mins
A decade of wisecracking sequels have not diminished the power of this striking horror film from the director of Scream. Teenagers in a small town are dropping like flies, apparently in the grip of mass hysteria causing their suicides. A cop's daughter (Heather Langenkamp) traces the cause to child molester Fred Krueger (Robert Englund), who was burned alive by angry parents many years before. Krueger has now come back in the dreams of his killers' children, claiming their lives as his revenge. The teenaged leads are sympathetic and intelligent, unlike the dumb victims presented in most films of the period, and they are ably backed up by veterans like John Saxon and Ronee Blakley. Director Wes Craven creates moments of real dread by examining the line between nightmares and reality, as well as the "sins of the parents" theme, and although the film is quite gory, it never resorts to cheap bloodletting for its effect. A unique and disturbing experience, this film is highly recommended for horror buffs.