Wes Craven's child slayer, who was captured and burned alive by a mob of angry parents only to haunt the nightmares of horny teens, lives on in the half-billion-dollar franchise that spawned six sequels, one reboot, and a crazy crossover with Friday the 13th's hockey-masked murderer Jason Voorhees.
With such a rich history in the fright film realm, it's only natural that worldwide fans might want to demonstrate their loyalty to Freddy's (and Robert Englund's) cinematic legacy with inspired, not-for-profit, amateur shorts of their own. We've plucked out nine of our favorites from the unauthorized ranks of fan films for you to inspect as a special Halloween treat.
Check out the myriad ways A Nightmare on Elm Street is honored in this gruesome group below and let us know if you stay awake long enough to vote for the best of the bunch. One, Two, Freddy's Coming For You!...
A Nightmare on Elm Street Fan Film (2012)
This fun little movie goes for a minimalist approach and shows the more human, or less-gruesome, visage of the supernatural maniac. It's written and directed by Guy Tullett and essentially follows the vile villain's vengeful exploits after being burned alive by the parents of Springwood. The Elm Street kids don't stand a chance! Might have been even better with a Freddy mask of some sort but for a group of college kids having fun over a weekend, there's no foul with us. Post-credit bloopers are a nice extra.
A Nightmare on Elm Street: The New Blood (2007)
Here's an oldie from 13 years ago, representing one of the first A Nightmare On Elm Street fan films on YouTube. It's directed by Nate Greene and surrounds the nightmares that follow a horror flick lover who learns the meaning of fandom when he gets a visit from his nightmare idol, or at least his knife-fingered glove. Shot on a zero budget, it paved the way for other NOES productions demonstrating their passion for the Wes Craven creation.
A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Message (2015)
Here's a true one-man show, with amateur filmmaker Keith Davies shooting this excellent short for Halloween 2015 on an iPhone 5s. One Guy. One Phone. One Movie. Simplicity is often the hallmark of a great fan film and this grainy, retro-looking example scores extra points for its ingenuity and spartan production that delivers some genuine scares. Shows exactly what can be done when all you've got is a cell phone and some spare time.
A Nightmare on Elm Street: A Fan Film (2011)
Check out this brief but effective short filmed on the campus of the University of West Georgia by student Jared Thornton. Keeps the action rolling in a limited array of locations. Great use of music and sound effects create a mood of true dread, and with limited funds, this decent entry finds a way to honor the legacy of Freddy movies. Stick around for a lengthy post-credit sequence that wraps it all up for a potential sequel.
Before the Nightmares (2017)
Director Brendan Wynne delivers an effective Freddy fan film filled with heart and horror. Acts as a prequel to the familiar story and contains some tragic scenes of Freddy Krueger and his family life as he gradually transforms into the iconic slasher. Nancy's father, Sgt. Don Thompson, hunts down Springwood's notorious serial killer when the murderous spree cuts too close to home. A lot of work and planning went into this admirable effort which reflects its creators' eternal Freddy love.
Emily Elmstreet: A Freddy Krueger Fan film (2012)
Another short that contains some smart writing and an intriguing story by director Terrell Culbert that focuses on the character of Emily Grace, the last child of Elm Street, and her psychiatrist recounting the story of her nightmares and tormented afflictions. Flashbacks explain how fear fueled Freddy's rage and caused the girl's permanent disfigurement. Injected with some provocative psychology that runs deep in the franchise's veins.
Don't Fall Asleep (2016)
This solid production actually got the original Nancy, Heather Langenkamp, to narrate! Directed by Paige Troxell with an obvious love of the source material, it's a well-paced, well-acted offering that chronicles Nancy Thompson's fractured life after the events of the first movie... and before her reappearance in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors and that awesome Dokken anthem! Effective nightmare sequences and a frightening Freddy move this near the top of our list.
Krueger: A Tale From Elm Street (2011)
One of our favorites, as director Chris Notarile takes a different approach with actor Roberto Lombardi doing a fantastic Freddy Krueger sans mask or makeup. It's set in the '70s before Freddy is killed by an infuriated mob of parents. The alleged Springwood Slasher is arrested and interrogated by Lieutenant Donald Thompson, Nancy's dad, who is only interested in an honest confession. Richard Chamberlain singing "All I Do Is Dream Of You" at the end is a perfect touch!
Nightmare: Return to Elm Street (2017)
This superb fan trailer hits all the right notes for us and required repeat viewings to extend the enjoyment. Directed by Dominic Smith, it serves to drum up interest in a possible A Nightmare on Elm Street series that continues the slasher saga from its roots. Eerie cinematography using the Red Dragon digital camera and punctuated by the creepy 1913 tune, "At The Devil's Ball." Brings home the gold!