88

ReelViews

By James Berardinelli
A Nightmare on Elm Street is tailor made for those who like their gore leavened with thought-provoking ideas - something that is a rarity in this genre.
Full Review
83

Entertainment Weekly

Some of the effects remain nicely repulsive; Freddy himself comes across as a genuinely nasty piece of work, far removed from his later incarnation.
Full Review
80

Empire

Turning slumberland into a twisted murderer's den is a masterstroke by Craven, who has brought new blood to a genre that seemed as if it might choke on it's own excesses.
Full Review
80

Chicago Reader

By J.R. Jones
Here the idea of sleep as the ultimate threat is still fresh and marvelously insidious, and Craven vitalizes the nightmare sequences with assorted surrealist novelties.
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80

Variety

A Nightmare on Elm Street is a highly imaginative horror film that provides the requisite shocks to keep fans of the genre happy.
Full Review
70

The New York Times

By Vincent Canby
A Nightmare on Elm Street puts more emphasis on bizarre special effects, which aren't at all bad.
Full Review
78 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.