tazz13’s review published on Letterboxd:
Here it is the birth of one of the biggest pop culture icons of the 80's. They nailed a lot of it right out of the gate from the theme song, to Freddy's look, to the backstory, to the whole concept of a dream killer. There are some iconic moments like Tina's upside down death and the claw in the bathtub. It all works really well and Freddy is menacing here, as opposed to the jokester he'd become.
It's definitely a classic of the slasher genre, but it's not perfect. The acting from the teen characters is sub-par, in particular Heather Langenkamp. Even Johnny Depp is just okay. The climax also feels abrupt and you can kind of sense that they didn't know how to end it. I think they'd actually perfect the formula in part 3, but this is a solid start nonetheless and probably miles better than most horror movies at the time.
-Why is high school student Rod 41 years old?
-Why are there palm trees in Springwood, OH?