A Nightmare On Elm Street Vs The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – The Greatest Horror Franchise Ever [Round 11]

Welcome to the Tournament of Terrors, a /Film bracket where we argue about the greatest horror franchise of all time, and you, the readers, get to decide the winners. The rules are simple: two iconic horror movie series enter the ring, each represented by a /Film writer ready to champion them. And you — yes, you, the person reading this right now — will vote on which one gets to move forward.

You can find all the details, including a schedule for all the showdowns, right here. And here is the complete bracket, so you know where things stand.

The last time we saw you, "Alien" was squaring off against "Evil Dead." Now, we have a showdown between two titans of the genre. We don't have modern horror without "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "A Nightmare on Elm Street," but there's only room for one of them in the next showdown. So, who do you pick? Freddy Krueger, the literal man of your nightmares? Or Leatherface and his family, who give you a good reason to never slow down while road tripping across the Lone Star State? 

Which one wins? That's up to you. First, the arguments. And then, you vote!

A Nightmare on Elm Street

As far as slasher franchises go, Tobe Hooper's "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" is undeniably a classic. An earlier pioneer of the slasher film, it helped the genre grow with its story of the cannibalistic Sawyer family, Leatherface, and the unfortunate folks who come across the brood. At the same time, if we're comparing it to other franchises, you can fairly say that it's a franchise that walked so "A Nightmare On Elm Street" could fly, no contest. Comparing Freddy to Leatherface is itself an easy battle. Freddy is smarter and more dangerous than Leatherface (even boasting a higher kill count), along with being much harder to kill via an infinite number of ways to creatively dispatch his victims beyond his clever bladed glove. 

While he has appeared to die multiple times, Freddy keeps finding ways to come back (even after actual decapitation in "Freddy vs. Jason"). Meanwhile, Leatherface both is a mortal man who has to sleep (advantage: Freddy) and he dies for real in the original timeline. Beyond the fact that Freddy would turn Leatherface into a ceiling-bound blood geyser with ease, he's also a lot more fun. Freddy has more personality alongside a gleeful evil charm, whereas Leatherface has a much more muted personality, often under the control of the Sawyer clan. Basically, Freddy dispatches the whole Sawyer clan any given night in clever ways while having fun before they have time to digest their dinner. Night-night, Leathy. See you in your dreams. (Jeff Ewing)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

The last time we hyped the "Texas Chainsaw" films, there was a certain amount of proliferation to lean on — we're talking a franchise with eight films, several comic adaptations, and a video game. But bringing that tenure to Elm Street isn't all that impressive to a franchise that has nine films, several comics, video game appearances, and a TV series adaptation, to boot. But maybe the money-churning ability for a franchise to breed more content isn't the draw in this case. Both film series' boast an iconic slasher villain and a funnybone streak, though the humor Freddy Krueger displays is more spoon-fed than the dark comedy existing in the systems and dysfunctions of the Sawyer family saga. They're cannibal-funny, not one liners-funny. But where the two horror icons divert is in the suspension of disbelief. Freddy needs you to sleep, simple as that. Outside of a few outliers in various sequels, Freddy can't touch you if you're fully awake and lucid, and let's be frank here, he's running on fumes — have you seen that 2010 reboot? 

But you don't have the protections of waking hours when you're in Leatherface country. The "Chainsaw" films don't luxuriate in the dream realm, where anything goes and it's all about the creativity of the kill. No, in Texas, the Saw is the law. Every scream, every slice, every invasion is rooted in American backwoods reality, and you don't need dream logic to find terror in its nooks and crannies. Very real American apprehensions, like the go-west-and-die paranoia that infused survival thrillers from "I Spit On Your Grave" to "Deliverance," find purchase in each and every entry of the series. With a new Fede Alvarez-produced, hard R-rated Leatherface sequel coming down the pike, and with New Line Cinema focusing on the highly lucrative "Conjuring" series over Mr. Krueger, we can't even hear the old childhood refrain that "Freddy's coming for you" — all we can hear is the chainsaw, baby. (Anya Stanley)

And Now It's Time to Vote

So there you have it. The arguments have been made. The defenses have been mounted. The attacks have concluded. The ball is now in your court, folks. Using the Twitter poll below (which will close 12 hours after publication of this article), vote for which movie franchise you want to see advance. Will it be "A Nightmare on Elm Street" or "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre"? Whoever wins will return this week, facing off against the winner of the "Friday the 13th" and George Romero's "Dead" showdown.