Steve Simels
April 19, 1996 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Wes Craven had a great idea — mating the horny teenager/slasher movie with Cocteau-ish surrealism, sort of Halloween meets Blood of a Poet. But in retrospect, his execution was cheesy, Freddy Krueger’s finger knives notwithstanding: no big-deal special effects, uninteresting characters, and a barely competent cast (including Johnny Depp). Hardcore fans, though, will rightly swoon for this ultra-deluxe new letterboxed edition of A Nightmare on Elm Street, with a (first time ever) stereo soundtrack, commentary by Craven and cast, outtakes, and more. Best bonus: letters from execs at most of the major Hollywood studios who passed on Craven’s great (and moneymaking) idea yet kept their jobs.

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