A Nightmare On Elm Street Vs Friday The 13th – The Greatest Horror Franchise Ever [Round 14]

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.

Earlier today, we saw the unusual match-up of "Scream" and "Alien." But now, we have a showdown so classic they actually made a movie about it. Yes, it's "Freddy vs. Jason" all over again, with "A Nightmare on Elm Street" and "Friday the 13th" contending for one of the remaining spots in the finals. You don't get more iconic, more influential, than these two, and we do not envy the horror fans having to make this choice. Perhaps the arguments below will sway you?

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

A Nightmare on Elm Street

The start of a franchise sets the tone, series potential, and establishes the antagonist(s). "Child's Play" is a wonderful campfest. "Halloween" is a slasher masterpiece. "A Nightmare on Elm Street" introduces one of the most distinct, smart, gleefully malicious, powerful slashers in history. By contrast, Jason isn't even the star of the first film of his own franchise, a feat that's akin to being uninvited to your own birthday party. A straight up "Michael Myers" knock-off, the personality-free Jason Voorhees has none of Freddy's smarts, charm, or ingenuity, forgoing Freddy's active self-driven killing spree for a puritanical, plodding, masked nothing that kills because mommy tells him to. You know what isn't scary? A villain Sigmund Freud could defeat. 

Every single kill in "A Nightmare on Elm Street" is better than any kill in a "Friday the 13th" film, Freddy is more fun to watch in any frame than Jason, and no killer is like Freddy whereas every other killer is like Dollar Store Goalie Michael Myers. When the latter isn't busy being outshined by his Captain Kirk-wearing progenitor and not being the star of his own franchise's first film, he's being manipulated by Freddy for Freddy's own goals in a spin-off movie. At the bottom of it, Freddy and "A Nightmare on Elm Street" rock in every way that Jason and "Friday the 13th" is derivative, boring, and tired. Go back to the lake, you're in time-out. (Jeff Ewing)

Friday the 13th

So it's come to this. Freddy battled Jason once before (and it was a draw) so I'm just going to leave the "Freddy vs. Jason" discussion at that. With that said, we are at the horror legends portion of the show, ladies and gentlemen, and there are no easy answers here. However, I do believe that when we truly comb through it and look at what the best horror franchise is, "Friday the 13th" must retain the edge over "A Nightmare on Elm Street." Painful though it may be for any horror fan to realize, logic and reason must bring us to this conclusion. 

I won't get caught up in the obvious arguments here as I will concede that Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger are equally iconic, with emphasis on the equal part. That said, there have been 12 "Friday the 13th" movies to nine for "Nightmare on Elm Street." That indicates a more consistent appetite for one franchise over the other. Not only that, but "Friday the 13th" has sustained that appetite over a longer period of time, with the franchise kicking off in 1980, whereas the original "Nightmare on Elm Street" debuted in 1984. 

One last thing to the iconic point. Let's look at it this way, and this is extremely important; the original "Friday the 13th," a bonafide slasher classic, exists almost entirely without Jason. And the little bit we do get is not the machete-wielding slasher that now stands along with horror's most identifiable icons. Now, try to imagine a "Nightmare on Elm Street" movie without Freddy. Audiences would riot if such a thing were announced. Therein lies the key, in my mind, to one being the better horror franchise than the other. We must look at the question being asked here. When we do, the answer is clear. Vote Voorhees. (Ryan Scott)

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 "Friday the 13th"? Whoever wins will return one more time in the finals! See you tomorrow.