Horror master Wes Craven first broke away from the pack with this nifty 1984 slasher about a quartet of high school kids menaced in their dreams by a barbecued bogeyman in a slouch hat and ratty pullover (Robert Englund). It spawned countless sequels and a TV series, though here the idea of sleep as the ultimate threat is still fresh and marvelously insidious, and Craven vitalizes the nightmare sequences with assorted surrealist novelties (carpeted stairs that behave like quicksand, a victim sucked into a sinkhole in his mattress). With Heather Langenkamp, Ronee Blakley, Amanda Wyss, and Johnny Depp in his screen debut.