Since AFI listed Freddy as a Top 50 Villain, I decided to add a little horror to my collection. Subsequently, I came across a used copy of the huge (8 disc?) Nightmare on Elm St. collection from 1999. Each movie was priced separately for about $7 bucks. I have to say, New Line did a great job making these 80's flicks look and sound great. If you see these releases in circulation, you can spot them by the all black packaging and the lack of any bar-code (that was on the boxset shell). However, the only movies worth having are the ones that Wes Craven personally participated in (1st, 3rd, and 7th). The original movie from 1984 is pure horror and very gritty. The acting is also fairly good. I don't recall very many wisecracks at this stage, so this is probably the most hardcore of the bunch. The third movie from 1987 (Dream Warriors) is where the series really came together and peaked, IMHO. This is pure 80's popcorn and it evokes the same sort of vibe you get from watching, say, the original Terminator movie. You even get Dokken music and D&D references. The nightmares are chilling, imaginative, and deadly. Good stuff and good acting. The 7th movie from 1994 (New Nightmare) is an interesting twist. This movie takes place in the 'real' world where the original cast of the first film is haunted by an evil entity that may be connected to the fictional Freddy of the movies. Think Scream 3 in reverse. In general, it works and allows 'Freddy' to take on a somewhat altered appearance and scope. This film is genuinely creepy, but what I have to take issue with is the use of a 'child in danger' to heighten the tension. ======== Now, on to the bad... I avoided picking up the 2nd film (Freddy's Revenge?) because I read that the content and transfer were substandard. I did tested the water with the MTV-influenced episodes 4 (Dream Master) and 5 (Dream Child). In short, these films are the cinematic equivalent of toxic waste. Your 'will to live' will be seriously challenged by even a single viewing of these talent-free and imagination-free productions. Seriously, I've never seen acting this bad... Based on this experience, I decide to skip episode 6 as well. I guess New Line cooked up a 3D end sequence to send off the the series. No thanks. ======== In short, I can recommend episode 1 to all horror fans. Episode 3 is more entertaining, develops the 'back story', and is a cool 80's nostalgia trip. Episode 7 is really for fans of the series only.