A Nightmare on Elm Street is an American horror franchise that consists of eight slasher films, a television show, novels, and comic books initially developed by Wes Craven, with various other individuals taking over those jobs for each sequel. The franchise is based on the fictional character of Freddy Krueger, introduced in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), who stalks and kills teenagers in their dreams; if Freddy kills the teenager in the dream world then they are ultimately killed in the real world. His motives were to seek revenge on their parents, who had burned him alive years before the events of the first Nightmare film. The original film was written and directed by Craven, who returned to co-script the second sequel, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987), and to write and direct New Nightmare (1994).
The original film was released in 1984, and following its success a series of sequels was produced by the independent film company New Line Cinema. New Line often attributes the growth of their company to the success of the Nightmare franchise. The film series as a whole has received mixed reviews by critics, but has been a financial success at the box office. When comparing the United States box office grosses of other American horror film series, A Nightmare on Elm Street is the third highest grossing franchise in adjusted US dollars.
In 1988, a television series was produced with Freddy as the host. The pilot episode focused on the night Freddy was burned alive by the angry parents of the children he had killed, though the rest of the series featured episodes with independent plots. Twelve novels, separate from the adaptations of the films, and multiple comic book series were published featuring Freddy Krueger.