A Nightmare on Elm Street is a 1984 American supernatural slasher film written and directed by Wes Craven. It is the first installment in the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise and stars Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger and Johnny Depp in his film debut. The plot concerns four teenagers living on one street in the fictitious town of Springwood, Ohio, who get killed in their dreams (and then in reality) by a burnt killer with a bladed leather glove.
Craven filmed A Nightmare on Elm Street on an estimated budget of $1.1 million.The film was released on November 9, 1984, and grossed $57 million worldwide. A Nightmare on Elm Street is considered to be one of the greatest horror films ever made, spawning a franchise consisting of six sequels, a television series, a crossover with Friday the 13th, and various other merchandise.
The film is credited with using many of the tropes found in the low-budget horror films of the 1970s and 1980s that originated with John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978) and led this subgenre to be called the slasher film. Critics today praise the film’s ability to transgress “the boundaries between the imaginary and real”, toying with audience perceptions.