Over the past decade, Hollywood has continually returned to the blood-soaked well of '70s and '80s horror flicks, slapping on a fresh coat of red paint and passing them off to a new generation. This week, "A Nightmare on Elm Street" joins the club.

Over the past decade, Hollywood has continually returned to the blood-soaked well of '70s and '80s horror flicks, slapping on a fresh coat of red paint and passing them off to a new generation. This week, "A Nightmare on Elm Street" joins the club.

Sure, messing with an original is almost always a bad idea, but some of these shameless money-makers have actually turned out to be decent flicks. Here's a rundown of how some notable horror franchises stack up.


"The Texas Chainsaw Massacre"

The original: Tobe Hooper's 1974 low-budget splatterfest is frequently compared to driver's ed crash films, due to its grimy documentary style.

Fright or fun?: Cult quotes and gory scares

The reboot: The first of many Michael Bay-produced reboots, it was obnoxious and got nearly everything wrong - but it made a fair share of money.

Fright or fun?: No fun, little fright

The verdict: When it comes to chili-cookin' cannibal Texans, you should roll old-school.


"Friday the 13th"

The original: Though it spawned a double-digit number of sequels, the original 1980 flick isn't nearly as scary or cool as you remember.

Fright or fun?: Scattered scary bits

The reboot: It was all gratuitous sex, drug use and a creatively climbing body count. In other words, everything a campy B-horror flick should be.

Fright or fun?: Machete party!

The verdict: With its after-school special characters getting dispensed one-by-one, the reboot is actually pretty underrated.


"Halloween"

The original: In 1978, John Carpenter did something slasher flicks rarely do: built slow tension. By the time you started spotting Michael Myers in windows, you were pretty freaked out.

Fright or fun?: Where's Waldo terror

The reboot: Director Rob Zombie shifted the focus to the villain's origin. It didn't much resemble the original, but it was a bit better than expected.

Fright or fun?: Redux scares

The verdict: Zombie's reboot was interesting, but it was messing with a scary classic.


"The Hills Have Eyes"

The original: Wes Craven twisted an American tradition - the family road trip - into a nightmare in an isolated desert populated by savages.

Fright or fun?: Sick low-budget fright

The reboot: Craven produced his own reboot, which was abhorrent and shocking enough to initially land an NC-17 rating.

Fright or fun?: More icky than scary

The verdict: The original has cult status, but both were squirmy and incorporated rape. Go with neither here.


"A Nightmare on Elm Street"

The original: Another Wes Craven flick executed a simple idea - pun-loving child murderer Freddy Krueger can kill teens in their dreams. Hello, insomnia!

Fright or fun?: One-liners and nightmares

The reboot: It looks to be a fairly faithful match with updated visual effects and a solid actor (Jackie Earle Haley) filling Freddy's sweater.

Fright or fun?: Lookin' pretty creepy

The verdict: An Oscar nominee in the lead role has my interest. It has potential to be the best reboot yet.