What’s the best slasher franchise of all time? That question is certain to start an argument among horror fans. But with all due respect to “Scream,” Wes Craven’s original horror franchise “A Nightmare on Elm Street” has quite possibly the most legitimate claim to the title.

Sure, not every film about wacky child murderer Freddy Krueger (the delightfully menacing Robert Englund) and his mission to kill the teenagers of Springwood in their sleep is an A+ effort. Like many a slasher franchise, the series eventually succumbed to its own ridiculousness as sequel after sequel was steadily pumped out and quality diminished. But the series also has more hits to its credit than most of the other classic slashers. The original “Halloween” is arguably the best slasher of all time, but it’s also the only genuinely great film in the franchise (though there are dozens of “Halloween H20” defenders! Dozens!). “Friday the 13th,” depending on who you ask, has anywhere from three to zero solid entries, and the rest of the films are frankly kind of a mess. The less said about most “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” films, the better.

But “A Nightmare on Elm Street” has at least four great entries that horror fans can look to as genuine classics. And even the subpar entries, with the exception of one or two, still have a bit of juice in them that makes them watchable fun. Part of why the series managed to retain a relatively high level of baseline quality throughout its run is the great premise that Craven laid out in his legendary 1984 original film. Krueger, a child murderer seeking revenge on the parents who killed him by targeting their own kids, can only attack and kill his victims while they sleep. It’s a setup that proves very malleable, opening up the series to interesting possibilities and potential exploration of the lead character’s psyche. Also helping to keep the franchise a consistent, nasty delight is Englund. Unlike many slashers, which substitute the men behind the hockey or face masks from installment to installment, Englund portrayed Freddy in eight of the nine “Elm Street” movies. It gives the films a real character to latch onto, and whether Freddy is at his most menacing or his most jokey, Englund smashes it out of the park every time.

As Halloween approaches, IndieWire went back to Springwood to determine what’s the best, what’s the worst, and what’s the most mediocre film in the entire “Elm Street” mythos. This list includes the six films that make up the film’s original continuity (the 1984 original, “Freddy’s Revenge,” “Dream Warriors,” “Dream Master,” “Dream Child,” and “Freddy’s Dead”), along with Craven’s meta side film “New Nightmare,” crossover “Freddy vs. Jason,” and the false start 2010 reboot film.

Here are all nine of the “Nightmare on Elm Street” films ranked. Read on to find the movie of your wildest dreams.

With editorial contributions by Alison Foreman.

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