The Nightmare On Elm Street Collection (1999)

DVD Cover (New Line Studios Front)
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Overall Rating 72%
Overall Rating
Ranked #12,218
...out of 12,370 movies
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For two generations Freddy Krueger has scared the dickens out of movie goers. Now the most-dreamed-about name in horror history can be seen from beginning to end in this must-have collection. --Amazon
Included In This Collection
A Nightmare On Elm Street A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors A Nightmare On Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge New Nightmare A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare A Nightmare On Elm Street: The Dream Child
Review by Chad
Added: February 21, 2007
I've been going through and reviewing the Nightmare on Elm Street films over the last couple of months, and today, I thought that I'd wrap things up with a review of the box set that I purchased. This box set contains all seven movies from the series, and as I've reviewed each and every last one of them, I'll let you, the reader, check out the individual movies if interested. They are:

1. A Nightmare On Elm Street
2. A Nightmare On Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge
3. A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
4. A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master
5. A Nightmare On Elm Street: The Dream Child
6. Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare
7. New Nightmare

I won't cover them here, but instead, I'll focus on the box set as a whole as well as the eighth disc, which is entitled "The Nightmare Encyclopedia." This disc alone makes the box set worth a purchase for Freddy fans even if you already have the individual movies, as there is an absolutely massive amount of bonus features to wade through. There's about four hours worth of content here, including the theatrical trailers for each of the movies, alternate endings, interviews, making-of featurettes, music videos, and plenty more.

The disc begins with "Welcome To Primetime", a 45-minute documentary about the first film which goes into detail regarding Craven's inspiration for the Freddy Krueger character, how the dream-killer concept came to be, the troubles that he had selling the idea, the making of the film, etc. This is an excellent documentary that is chock-full of interesting facts and told by all of the usual suspects (Wes Craven, Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp, Robert Shaye, and plenty of others).

The next feature is entitled "Labyrinth", and it's exactly as the name would imply. Using your remote, you navigate your way through a huge maze of a house, stopping in rooms along the way and "clicking" on things to gain access to bonus features. As an example, one room finds you looking at a corpse laying on a metal table, and you can choose to click the light-switch, the note on the wall, either of the corpse's eyes, or his mouth. Clicking these will reveal various things, such as interview segments, alternate movie endings, music videos, Freddy's appearance as a MTV VJ, and plenty of other things. It will definitely take you a couple of hours to get through everything found here, and that's both a good thing and a bad thing (more on this later in the review).

The third and final option on this disc isn't so much a bonus feature, but merely an index of most of the items that you can find inside the Labyrinth broken down by movie. Note that I said "most", which is my chief complaint with the presentation of the disc (again, more on this later). If you thought that the 45-minute documentary was extensive, just wait until you see what they have here. There's interviews with each of the directors responsible for the Nightmare films as well as cast and crew members, and you also get three music videos (including the infamous Dokken video and the hilarious Fat Boys video). Sitting through all of this will easily eat up three hours of your life, and no stone is left unturned in detailing the history of these films. What makes these features so interesting is that the people being interviewed are completely down-to-earth about their work - I sort of expected a lot of "No, really, my movie was great!" memories from the people responsible for the lesser-films, but with the exception of Jack Sholder (Freddy's Revenge), these people were quite frank about their work. For example, Rachel Talalay (Freddy's Dead) makes no bones about admitting that she wasn't very happy with the final version of her film and goes into detail as to why she didn't like it and what she would have changed in hindsight. Again, Freddy fans certainly won't be disappointed by the enormous amount of material here.

As mentioned, my only real complaint with the disc is the "Labyrinth" feature. This is interesting to play with and would have been fine had it been completely optional, but this is the only way that you're going to gain access to some of the juicier bonus features. Want to see the alternate endings? One is included in the indexes, but other than that, be prepared to spend a lot of time hunting for it in here. The same can be said about a lot of the other advertised options, so it definitely would have been nice to have had everything included in the index and had this left as an optional navigation system.

This disc hasn't quite sold you on picking up the set? Also included is a couple pairs of 3D glasses (for use with Freddy's Dead, which is presented in both the original 3D version and the normal version), Wes Craven commentary tracks for both A Nightmare On Elm Street and New Nightmare, restored video and audio for all the films (with the exception of a bad video transfer on Freddy's Revenge), a 36-page full-color booklet detailing the series, and a wealth of DVD-ROM features. You'll find the original screenplays for each of the films, an interactive trivia game which spans all eight discs, screensavers, pictures, and an "interactive Freddy that haunts your PC" (which I decided not to install, but it's there).

I've always enjoyed the Friday the 13th series more than the Nightmare series, but this box set makes the From Crystal Lake to Manhattan release look like a sad joke. This is how a box set should be, and Freddy fans should already have this sitting in their collection. 8/10, and that probably would have been a perfect 10/10 if not for the "Labyrinth" issues.
bluemeanie #1: bluemeanie - added 02/23/2007, 03:53 AM
In agreement. I didn't get the whole 'Labyrinth' thing and thought it totally took away from the set, as a whole. The first film I ever saw in theatres was "A Nightmare On Elm Street" (though I was two and don't remember), and I have always preferred Freddy to all of the other movie villains. I think the first film was a masterpiece...the second one had moments but was ultimately a disappointment...the third was fantastic and a perfect example of how new creative blood could add on to the Freddy legacy...the fourth film was a joke with a couple decent moments...the fifth was horrible...Freddy's Dead was good as a comedy and as a 3D work but nothing else...and New Nightmare was the best since the original, and wholly creative. Freddy goes on an evolution from evil monster to sinister comedian, and he handles both well. What has always separated Freddy from the other movie monsters is that understands the importance of a perfect kill. If Jason kills someone in a kick ass way, it's by accident. With Freddy -- the most elaborate the kill, the greater the satisfaction. This is a fine box set for any collection. 9/10.
Crispy #2: Crispy - added 12/03/2008, 04:47 AM
Labyrinth map
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