Steve Jablonsky: Nightmare On Elm Street

Steve Jablonsky: Nightmare On Elm Street

Static Mass Rating: 3/5

Release date: May 10th 2010
Running time: 50:05 minutes

Composer: Steve Jablonsky

Steve Jablonsky has scored for Platinum Dunes with Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Amityville Horror, The Hitcher and Friday the 13th, but his work on A Nightmare On Elm Street is by far his strongest yet.

The album contains 18 tracks out of which five are truly outstanding and memorable. They set the tone for the movie and give something the original did not have.

The first track, Freddy’s Coming For You, begins with the sound of footsteps, the kind you might hear at night when you’ve woken from sleep to realise someone is not only in the house but is making their way up the stairs and down the corridor to your room. And then your stomach lurches forward with that fear and this is when we hear the first strings. It moves slowly, heavily and inevitably.

Nightmare On Elm Street

The Main Title is a haunting sequence filled with mystery and darkness. It gives a sense of the hopelessness the characters in the movie are about to experience at the hands of a depraved child killer. It pulls you in, awakening a dread and you know you’re new Nightmare territory here. It’s not as playful as Charles Bernstein score for the original 1984 A Nightmare On Elm Street film, gone are the synth bells and pads.

The score was recorded with a 60-piece string ensemble of the Hollywood Studio Symphony at the Sony Scoring Stage. It has a cinematic orchestral sound, beautifully conducted and woven into the film with deep resonating string arrangements, soaring at times. It delivers a rush of adrenalin mixed with dread and knowing that if you are on Elm Street, you are doomed.


1. Freddy’s Coming For You
2. Main Title
3. Missing Pictures
4. Rufus?
5. Quiet Drive
6. Jesse and Kris
7. Jesse and the Police
8. You Smell Different
9. A Man Named Fred Krueger
10. Research
11. It’s Hot In Here
12. The School
13. Where The Monster Lives
14. Wake Me Up
15. Boo
16. Like It Used To Be
17. One More Nap
18. Jump Rope

I had a chat with Brad Fuller, producer of A Nightmare On Elm Street, and co-owner of Platinum Dunes. I asked him about his choice of composer for the movie:

“Steve did our first movie with us and if you really scrutinise our credits we tend to keep going back to the same people over and over if they’ve worked well with us. There’s comfort in doing that and Steve works a lot for Platinum Dunes as does Michael Bay, we love his work and we’ll continue working with him as long as he’ll have us.”

There’s also an updated version of the chilling song Jump Rope (One, Two, Freddy’s Coming for You…). Based on a popular nursery rhyme first published in London in 1805, this is a thoroughly unnerving and dark take. The original song was written by Bernstein for the original film and has been used throughout the A Nightmare On Elm Street film series so it’s a much welcome homage here to what came before.

Nightmare On Elm Street

Jablonsky is now working on the score for Michael Bay’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon, the third movie in the series.

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