Alien Vs A Nightmare On Elm Street – The Greatest Horror Franchise Ever [Final Round]

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.

And now, we have reached the finals. Only two horror franchises remain.

Since Freddy officially trounced Jason yesterday, we're left with an unlikely final showdown. It's the scariest extra-terrestrial in cinema history versus the ultimate boogeyman. It's the acid-blooded xenomorph versus the dream-invading Freddy Krueger. It's "Alien" versus "A Nightmare on Elm Street," and neither series needs further introduction. 

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


And then there were two. The xenomorphs have dispatched each and every opponent in their path thus far with ease, from "Final Destination" to "Evil Dead" to "Scream." In fairness, not a one of those franchises could boast the kind of singular, elemental villain that could even hope to compete with the Lovecraftian horrors first dreamt up by H.R. Giger. That's finally changing in this final round, as "Alien" comes face-to-face with a truly worthy foe: Freddy Kreuger in "A Nightmare on Elm Street."

By now, however, we've weathered every criticism lobbed at "Alien." Oh, it's more action than horror? Sorry, I can't hear you over the entirety of "Alien," Ripley's chest-burster nightmare or the xenomorph rising out of the water behind Newt in "Aliens," Ripley's bleak battle for autonomy versus both man and extraterrestrial in "Alien 3," uh, everything Brad Dourif is doing in "Resurrection," and the more subversive, disturbing philosophical existentialism in both of Ridley Scott's prequels. Want to talk about series low points? By all means, let's pit those "Alien vs Predator" movies against "Freddy vs Jason" and call it a draw. Unnecessary franchise revivals that watered down the magic of the original? Please don't make me mention that 2010 "A Nightmare on Elm Street" remake. We can do this all day, folks.

There's a lot to be said for consistency, which seems like a pretty even fight considering the trajectory for both franchises are eerily similar. Conventional wisdom dictates that an unquestionable classic of the genre was then followed up by lesser — if still entertaining — movies of varying degrees of quality. But at least "Alien" retained its core identity from beginning to end. In the case of "A Nightmare on Elm Street," the franchise traded in its (literal) nightmarishness for a goofier, quippy, and wildly disappointing parody of itself. "Alien" has defeated one of Wes Craven's beloved horror franchises already and all I'm saying is it can certainly do so once more. Let's bring this one across the finish line! (Jeremy Mathai)

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Like "A Nightmare on Elm Street," "Alien" is a surefire classic, introducing us to the xenomorph, one of the great movie monsters of all time. If we're looking at franchises, though, no franchise has let us down more times than the "Alien" franchise. One of film history's most powerful creatures is reduced to an overgrown bug in "Aliens." "Alien 3" is a fun film disowned by its creator and far short of its potential, "Alien: Resurrection" is an abomination, "Prometheus" isn't an "Alien" film, and "Alien: Covenant" is a hot mess that turns the iconic Xenomorph into the two-bit science project of a glorified robot with daddy issues. And then you have the "Alien vs. Predator" offshoots. Ouch.

Meanwhile, you have our nightmare lord Freddy over here with his iconic glove, nigh-godlike powers, intelligence, perverse charm, and the imaginative kills he comes up with time and again. I won't lie, in theory the Xenomorph is a menacing beast with a number of forms and serious power (that they often betray in practice), but Freddy boasts so much more variability and power. Not to mention, you have to go to future deep space for a xenomorph visit, but all you need for a Freddy comeuppance is to sleep, and you have to sleep. Freddy wins. Freddy has a better franchise, better kills, and in a conflict the xenos couldn't hurt him. But Xenomorph Queens do sleep. Freddy's got her and the brood. Dream-slash them from orbit, it's the only way to be sure. (Jeff Ewing)

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 win the whole Tournament of Terrors. Will it be "A Nightmare on Elm Street" or "Alien"? Whoever wins will be crowned our champion tomorrow.