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Nightmare on Elm Street Collection, The (Blu-ray)

Cover art:

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The Nightmare on Elm Street Collection (Blu-ray)Starring Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon, Wes Craven

Directed by Wes Craven, Jack Sholder, Renny Harlin, Stephen Hopkins, Rachel Talalay

Distributed by Warner Brothers


As an associate producer on the award-winning documentary Never Sleep Again (review), it’s pretty safe to say that I know the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise as well as anyone possibly could. These films are much beloved amongst genre fans, and Freddy is without a doubt one of the single most recognizable villains ever. That’s why when this box set first hit our radar, I’ve been hoping and praying it would deliver. Truth be told, it’s a bit of a mixed bag.

First off, let’s be clear… this is the same exact box set that’s been available overseas and region free for months now. Nothing has changed for its domestic release. I’m not gonna bother reviewing each film individually because if you’re reading this, then you’ve already watched each countless times. You, too, know their ins and outs, and honestly, after working on NSA so long, I’m still pretty Elm Streeted out. That being said, we’re gonna talk about how the movies look and sound along with the bonus DVD.

The collection includes Wes Craven’s original A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) as well as its six sequels: Freddy’s Revenge (1985), Dream Warriors (1987), The Dream Master (1988), The Dream Child (1989), Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994).

Out of all the Blu-ray transfers, it’s the original A Nightmare on Elm Street that looks and sounds the best, rocking a full 1080p and 7.1 surround mix. It’s pretty incredible and the benchmark for quality in this package. The rest of the movies all sport a 5.1 Dolby surround mix and definitely look better than their DVD cousins, but it’s nothing dramatic. Sadly, of all the movies included here, it’s A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors which gets the short end of the stick visually as the transfer is at times blurry and muddled, but then it has moments of razor-sharp brilliance. Simply put, it’s inconsistent but even at its worst looks better than any standard definition package. The only other true sin committed here is once again the uncut version of A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child is completely absent. Come on, guys, get with the program.

The supplemental features from each film have been ported over from past releases, and the majority of them are in standard definition. No need to rehash all of that because you undoubtedly already own them so let’s move on to the DVD bonus disc, which clocks in at over three hours of goodness.

Things kick off with the 30-minute featurette Fear Himself – The Life and Crimes of Freddy Krueger. Think of this as sort of a condensed version of Never Sleep Again. The focus here is on Englund and Craven, and rightfully so. I highly recommend giving this one a spin; it’s short but meaty. From there we get two episodes of the “Freddy’s Nightmares” TV show – “Miserable Life,” directed by Tom McLoughlin (Friday the 13th Part VII: A New Blood), and “Killer Instinct,” directed by Mick Garris and featuring Lori Petty. Given that the show wasn’t exactly stellar to begin with, these things look absolutely hideous transfer-wise, and I’m not even sure why these particular episodes were picked. Of the two “Miserable Life” is easily the better episode, and it’s good to see Friday VII star Lar Park Lincoln stretching her legs in Nightmare land. Still, both are home to mere glorified cameos from Krueger and don’t exactly achieve what their intentions were. Capping things off we have 20 minutes of interviews in Conclusions, in which genre luminaries Clive Barker, Sean Cunningham, and more make an appearance; and then finally there’s Welcome to Prime Time, which consists of interviews from past documentaries as well as the hidden bits from the old Nightmare DVD box set. All in all this is a pretty solid offering.

The Nightmare on Elm Street Collection without question has its ups and downs, but you cannot beat the amount of Freddy bang you get here for your buck. If you’re a fan, this is nothing short of an essential must-have so pick it up with confidence and enjoy. Till next time… PLEASANT DREAMS! *insert Freddy cackle here*

Special Features
A Nightmare on Elm Street:

  • Audio Commentary: Craven, DoP Jacques Haitkin, Heather Langenkamp and John Saxon
  • Audio Commentary: Assorted cast and crew
  • Never Sleep Again: 50-minute HD documentary
  • The House that Freddy Built: 23-minute HD documentary
  • Night Terrors
  • Focus Points
  • Alternate Endings
  • Fact Track

    A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge:

  • Heroes & Villains
  • Psycho Sexual Circus
  • The Male Witch
  • Freddy on 8th Street
  • Theatrical Trailer

    A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors:

  • Onward Christian Soldiers
  • Trading 8′s
  • Snakes and Ladders
  • Burn Out
  • That’s Showbiz
  • The House that Freddy Built
  • Fan Mail
  • Music Video
  • Theatrical Trailer

    A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master:

  • Krueger, Freddy Krueger
  • Hopeless Chest
  • Let’s Make Up
  • The Finnish Line
  • Theatrical Trailer

    A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child:

  • Womb Raiders
  • The Sticky Floor
  • Hopkins Directs
  • Take the Stairs
  • A Slight Miscalculation
  • Music Videos
  • Theatrical Trailer

    Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare:

  • Rachel’s Dream
  • 3D Demise
  • 86′d
  • Hell Raiser
  • Theatrical Trailer

    Wes Craven’s New Nightmare:

  • Audio Commentary with Wes Craven
  • Becoming a Filmmaker
  • Craven Interview
  • The Problem with Sequels
  • An Insane Troupe
  • Two Worlds
  • Theatrical Trailer

    Bonus Disc:

  • Fear Himself – The Life and Crimes of Freddy Krueger: 30-minute retrospective
  • Two Freddy’s Nightmares TV episodes
  • Conclusions: 20-minutes of interviews
  • Welcome to Prime Time: an additional 50-minutes of materials

    Films Combined:

    4 out of 5

    Special Features:

    5 out of 5

    Discuss The Nightmare on Elm Street Collection in our comments section below!

  • Steve Barton

    You're such an inspiration for the ways that I will never, ever choose to be.

    7 Comments

    1. I would have liked audio commentaries for all the films and not just for the two directed by Craven.

      You mention that the uncut version of A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child is missing, well, so is the uncut version of the first film! Or maybe one should call it the “extended” version, since it was apparently released on Laserdisc by New Line without Craven’s involvement. It’s pretty ridiculous that I have to hold on to Laserdiscs and VHS tapes just because studios can’t get their shit together.

      The bottom line is that this is a good box set but there’s much room for improvement. Personally I think 5 knife ratings should be reserved for cases in which we get a definitive package. Definitive this ain’t.

    2. I really must check out that “Never Sleep Again” documentary… like, immediately. Anyways, nicely written DVD review Creepy! Enjoyed the deeper info on the special features very much.
      Might as well quickly drop my ratings off while here.

      A Nightmare on Elm Street (1985) – 10/10
      A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s revenge – 3/10
      A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors – 9.5/10
      A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: Dream Master – 7/10
      A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: Dream Child – 6/10
      Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare – 3/10
      Wes Craven’s New Nightmare – 10/10
      Freddy VS Jason – 8.5/10
      A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) – 1.5/10

    3. “Never Sleep Again” should be standard additions to the new DVD and Blu-Ray NOES boxed sets. It’s just that damn good.

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