Set on Elm Street, Freddy is the reason I struggled to sleep through the late 80’s due to being terrified of him visiting me in my dreams.
Beware pictures of blood, a lot of gushing blood and other violent deaths.
One, two, Freddy’s coming for you.
Three, Four, Better Lock your door.
Five, Six, grab your Crucifix.
Seven, Eight, Gonna stay up late.
Nine, Ten, Never sleep again.
The brilliant little rhyme is sung in each film by little kids playing jump rope and fits in with the mythology of Krueger and like the Halloween theme it will always bring a chill to your spine when heard.
Freddy is possibly the most instantly recognizable looking of the three horror killers with his burnt and disfigured face, trade mark Fedora hat, stripped Jumper and razor sharp clawed glove.
Freddy kills you in your sleep where he terrorises you by making it difficult to tell the difference between dream and reality. I remember being terrified to go to sleep after seeing it as a youngster and the concept heightened the myth that if you die in your dreams then you die in real life.
First brought to the big screen in 1984 by Wes Craven and spawning eight films in total with a 9th coming in 2010, Freddy Krueger has racked up only 31 of on screen kills but with approximately 20 deaths of kids tallied up before he was murdered by the revengeful parents.
The story of how Krueger came about is a fantastic one, A serial child killer who was caught but released on a technicality who was hunted down by the parents of the victims and cornered, he was burned alive and forgotten by the parents but not by the dreams of their children.
Freddy has done something that Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers haven’t done and that’s get his own TV show called Freddy’s Nightmares, it was an anthology show similar to the Twilight Zone that Freddy Krueger hosted and occasionally made appearances in of episodes, one being the trial of Freddy Krueger and the aftermath.
Freddy was magically brought to life on the big screen by the possibly irreplaceable Robert Englund who added a personality to Freddy that made him equally terrifying as he was comical, Robert Englund is the only Horror Icon that was performed by the same actor throughout it’s run in the eight movies over ten years, Jackie Earle Haley has a lot to live up to but his performance as Rorschach in Watchmen is definitely encouraging and potentially more insane.
A Nightmare on Elm Street in 1984 was a roaring success and came off the back of Halloween and Friday 13th franchises that were into their 3rd and 4th films respectively and receiving huge box office receipts.
The film starts with Tina in a dream being stalked by Freddy but she awakes with rips in her clothes similar to the claws that the thing in her dream attacked her with.
Tina tells her friend Nancy and they agree to have a sleep over with Nancy’s boyfriend Glen (Johnny Depp) joining them.
Whilst at Tina’s house Tina’s rebel boyfriend Rod joins them and they go upstairs to do what all teenagers do before they get murdered in these films.
And so during a dream Tina is killed by Freddy and in reality her boyfriend watches in disbelief as Tina is slashed open then dragged up the wall then across the ceiling leaving a bloody trail then dropped to the floor, As Rod is the only one present he flee’s but is arrested the next day.
Nancy starts to have dreams about Freddy, she see’s her friend Tina in a bloody body bag and is staked by Krueger awaking just in time before being killed. Nancy
visits Rod and they discuss what he saw and so Nancy believes that the man in her dreams is the one who killed Tina.
After another dream involving Rod, Nancy and Glen rush to the police station where Rod is found hung but only Nancy concludes that it must be Freddy.
Nancy’s mum takes her to a dream therapy clinic where she is studied and whilst dreaming she is cut on the arm by Freddy and brings back his hat that she was holding as she awakes with her arm bleeding also.
Nancy’s mum is hiding the truth of this monster but spills the beans when she gets drunk showing the glove of Krueger that she has hidden in their basement.
Nancy and Glen hatch a plan to bring Freddy back through to reality but that night Glen falls asleep and is eaten by his bed, spewing tons of blood in a jet from the bed in the now famous scene.
Nancy’s dad, the sheriff, now becomes involved and Nancy tells him to awaken her and arrest Freddy when she brings him through, Nancy goes to sleep and eventually brings Freddy through and using a series of booby traps, Freddy is set on fire and locked in the basement and fetches her father.
But Freddy has escaped and following his fiery footsteps they find Freddy has smothered her mum in a fiery blaze and killed her and she vanishes into the bed. Freddy Krueger then brilliantly rises through the bed sheets and Nancy confronts him saying she takes her power from him and she wants her friends and mother back as it’s all a dream and Freddy lunging to attack vanishes.
The ending is bizarre, like a dream within a dream, Nancy leaves the house and gets in a car coloured like Freddy and Nancy’s mum waves them off, The car seals itself up and Nancy’s mum gets comically dragged through the window of the front door by Freddy.
Best Kill:- There can be only one, Mega star Johnny Depp getting eaten by his bed and regurgitated in a water of blood, utter bonkers and forever memorable!
The story is set five years after part one and is about Jesse, whose family have moved into 1428 Elm Street and Jesse has moved into Nancy’s old bedroom. It begins with Jesse getting on a school bus that is shown to be driven by Robert Englund which speeds off through the desert and finally stops and the floor collapses leaving the bus dangling like a seesaw and as Freddy approaches and the kids back off the bus tips so the kids move closer to Freddy and just as it falls Jesse awakens, Nice little Nightmare. Jesse starts to have more nightmares about Freddy and in them Freddy tells him to kill for him so Freddy can come back into the real world through his body, Right….
Jesse’s friend Lisa finds Nancy’s old diary in his room and the dreams described in it are obviously similar so Jesse panics to his parents who argue and he runs out.
Jesse then works out at school with his gym teacher and afterwards whilst showering, the gym teacher is his office and attacked by balls and sports equipment, he is dragged to the showers by rope and is attacked by a Freddy silhouette and as the steams disappears its revealed as Jesse.
And so the story continues with Jesse dreaming and Freddy manipulating Jesse to commit murders which was so against everything Freddy is known for and creating a fear of dreaming, but having said that one scene has Freddy ripping out from the inside of Jesse and it’s very well done using the brilliant animatronics that was so popular in the 80’s, Jesse eventually returns to normal and runs to Lisa’s house who’s having a pool party with a load of friends and Jesse is again taken over by Freddy who proceeds in killing a few revelers who think they can take him on, they die and so it’s Lisa’s dad who saves the day by coming out with a shotgun shooting but Lisa just stops him from shooting Jesse in the form of Freddy.
Lisa has been doing her research and discovers that Freddy will be found in the factory where Freddy use to take his victims and so heads there for the final showdown. She comes face to face with Freddy and tells him/Jesse that she loves him and can fight it from the inside and so gives the burnt face killer a big kiss which finishes Freddy off as the factory and Freddy go up in flames. Freddy is dead and so it seems is the mass murderer Jesse, but not quite, Jesse crawls out from Freddy’s ashes and they live happily ever after.
(And now finally a decent bit of the film) That is until they board the school bus the next day and the bus seems to be speeding, Jesse panics but the bus stops and everyone relaxes then bam! Freddy’s gloved hand comes out the chest of one of Jesse’s friend and the bus speeds off into the desert with Freddy laughing.
Best Kill:- The ending of the film, I could only find it in Spanish but that’s an improvement really.
All seems ok but Freddy wants to wave goodbye so bursts his arm through an unsuspecting girls chest, BYE!
A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 3: Dream Warriors in 1987 was the return of Wes Craven who wrote the screenplay which is why it this is a huge improvement on part two and a return to the imaginative dream sequences that should fill the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, the possibilities are endless.
Ignoring part two and set six years after part one and starts with Kristen making a model house that looks familiar and she goes to sleep dreaming of a little girl running into 1428 Elm Street where she follows to the basement and comes across Freddy and awakes in a panic, She goes to her bathroom where she reaches for the tap which turns into a hand and attacks her, as she looks into the mirror she sees Freddy who slashes her wrist and she awakes to see her mother enter and she has slashed wrist appearing to be a suicide attempt.
Kristen is taken to a psychiatric hospital and when they try to sedate her she freaks out, grabs a scalpel and cuts one of the orderlies (Larry Fishburne) with a scalpel and starts singing the Freddy Rhyme and before she finishes in walks old Freddy killer Nancy from part one and finishes the rhyme, Nancy works out that Kristen and the other patients of this loony bin Taryn, Kincaid, Phillip, Joey, Jennifer and Will, are the last of the Elm Street children of those vigilante murdering parents who killed Freddy.
Some of the kids start to die in awesome ways, see below, and Nancy realizes she has to protect the kids. Meanwhile a decent additional plot of the origin of Freddy Krueger starts to unfold that carries on in the next films, the kids psychiatrist, Doctor Neil Gordon, gets visited by a nun Sister Mary Helena who explains that Freddy was never buried and needs to be put to rest is consecrated ground.
Another kid, Joey is kidnapped in his dream by Freddy and is put in a coma and Nancy and Dr Gordon get fired for their involvement in helping the kids and Sister Mary explains to Dr Gordon that a young girl was locked by accident with 100 insane maniacs who raped her and when se was released she was with child her name was Amanda Krueger, Freddy was the Bastard son of 100 Maniacs and so Dr Gordon and the recruited Lt Donald Thompson, Nancy’s dad from part one, head off to bury Freddy’s remains as Donald is the only one left who knows where they are hidden, in a junk yard.
Nancy gets the kids and performs mass hypnosis to get all the kids into dream together so they can battle Freddy once and for all and rescue Joey from his coma, and as they get into the dream world they take on their Dream Warrior forms and their alter egos, Freddy splits them up and kills Taryn and Will. Nancy, Kincaid and Kristen save Joey and and Kristen fights Freddy and Nancy realizes Freddy is more powerful as he absorbs the souls of the children and just as he is about to kill Kincaid Freddy realizes his bones are about to be buried so he takes control of his skeleton (awful animated scene) and kills Nancy’s dad and knocks out Dr Gordon. Exciting.
The kids battle on and Nancy dies by trusting a ghost of her dad visiting her and gets stabbed by Freddy, and as he goes for Kristen Nancy grabs Freddy’s arm and stabs Freddy with his own glove, at the same time Dr Gordon is finishing the ritual with holy water on Freddy’s bones and Freddy starts to die and with a finishing touch of a crucifix on his head and he is killed but so too is Nancy from her wounds.
At the funeral Dr Gordon sees the Nun again and goes to thank her but she has vanished and he stands by a grave of Amanda Krueger/ Sister Mary Helena the mother of Freddy Krueger. Dr Gordon heads to bed and owns the model house that Kristen built and as he closes his eyes the light comes on.
Best Kill:- I couldn’t decide on these two. Young Dream Warrior Jenny is trying to stay awake watching TV but nods off and awakes to see Freddy Krueger kill a cameo from Zsa Zsa Gabor on a show then as she gets closer gets picked up by the TV which turns into Freddy and he smashes her head into the screen.
Also Philip gets his tendons cut from his arms and legs and Freddy uses them to control Philip like a puppet and it looks horrible!
Following on from the Dream Warriors, Kristen (now played by Tuesday Knight), Kincaid and Joey have all somehow been released from the loony bin after their friends and Nancy were all killed on the premises in suspicious circumstances with them surely being the only suspects! But on with the plot where they have been released and living there lives as normal teenagers with new friends.
Whilst having a bad dream she pulls Joey and Kincaid to her dream (her dream warrior power) and the next day they freak out for her doing it. That night Kincaid dreams of Freddy in the scrap yard where Freddy’s remains lie, Kincaid’s dog urinates on his grave that then goes up in flames and Freddy bones rises and grow flesh and Freddy is back, Somehow.
Freddy Kills Kincaid and then visits Joey who is killed in his dream in a great little scene involving his water-bed and the next day as they both fail to turn up for school Kristen gets worried and tells her friends Alice, Sheila, Debbie and Rick who all have a Dream power, Alice tells Kristen about the
Dream Master Rhyme but can’t remember all of it which helps you have happy dreams.
Kristen tries using the Rhyme and has a dream but then gets killed and passes her power to Alice who gets dragged into Kristen’s final dream. Kristen also gets the powers/abilities of Sheila, Debbie and Rick when they die that she eventually uses to fight Freddy in the final fight after her boyfriend Dan is put into a coma after a Freddy induced car crash and Alice goes to sleep to save Dan and to face Freddy inside a run down Church.
The new found abilities she uses are not enough to kill Freddy but she remembers the final line of the Dream Master Rhyme and sings it:
Now l lay me down to sleep.
The master of dreams, my soul l’ll keep.
ln the reflection of my mind’s eye…
Evil will see itself, and it shall die!
Alice uses a piece of mirror and shows Freddy’s reflection and he vanishes leaving just he clothes and Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah Freddy is dead until part 5.
Best Kill:- Debbie, who’s arms horribly break when doing weights and if that wasn’t bad enough is then turned into a cockroach and Freddy offers the only solution you can do with cockroaches.
And so Freddy is dead and Alice and Dan live on with no sign of Freddy, until of course during a dream Alice dreams of Amanda Krueger being locked in the asylum with 100 maniacs and another dream of Amanda giving birth to a baby, the baby escapes to the run down church from the end of part 4 and crawls into Freddy’s clothes and grows quickly into Adult Freddy and she awakes.
Alice calls Dan and he has another Freddy induced car crash on his way to see her and dies in front of Alice and she faints. When she awakes she’s told she is pregnant with Dan’s baby and see’s a young boy called Jacob walking the hospital who apparently doesn’t exist according to her friends.
And so Freddy starts to kill off Alice’s friends who take on some pretty decent alter egos in their dreams to fight Freddy but alas die. Alice she is informed that Freddy is using her unborn baby’s dreams to kill off her friends, How, I do not know. Further more she finds out that Jacob is Alice’s unborn son who’s being haunted by Freddy and so Alice sets off to release her son from his dreams by getting Freddy. Bonkers!
Alice sends her friend to find Amanda Krueger’s soul and releases it whilst she goes to get Freddy, Freddy however traps Jacob and Alice in an Escher type labyrinth to slow them down. Finally Amanda’s Soul is released and she instructs Jacob how to kill Freddy and using some sort of nonsensese power turns Freddy and himself back into babies, Alice absorbs Jacob and Amanda absorbs Freddy who puts up a fight but the church doors close.
We fade out to the new Alice Family with kids in back ground singing One, Two Freddy’s coming for you. What a crazy mess!
Best Kill:- One of the dream kids uses his obsession with comics to create the ultimate character to destroy Freddy, but alas Freddy has a better imagination.
Ah good, the final film as promised right? nope, At least it came in 3D right?, no way, only the last ten minutes were in 3D, well they used Peter Jackson’s script for this one right? Not at all, his awesome sounding script was rejected and they commissioned a script by veteran Freddy producer Rachel Talalay who also directed.
In the futuristic year of 1999 Freddy has long since returned and killed almost all the kids in Springwood and the last one, known as John Doe, is confronted by Freddy in a dramatic imaginative dream and ends up getting hit by a bus throwing him through the border of Springwood which is a barrier Freddy can not cross, the poor kid gets amnesia after hitting his head.
John Doe ends up at a youth shelter and is introduced to three other kids all with troubled pasts, Carlos is deaf, Tracy was abused and Spencer is unable to live with his fathers expectations and all are cared by Dr Maggie Burroughs who confiscates some items of the naughty kids (lovely plot devices).
Maggie finds a newspaper article from Springwood and suggests they go there to jog his memory with Spencer, Tracy and Carlos stowing away to escape the Shelter. They enter Springwood and come across a crazy bunch of adults who haven’t seen kids for years, two being a bizarre cameo from the happy couple Rosanne Barr and Tom Arnold, Weird.
They learn that Freddy had a child that was taken away from him which was why he went a bit crazy and John Doe suspects it’s him which is why he is still alive, meanwhile The three other kids take the van to drive back to the shelter but are unable to leave continually driving in circles due to Freddy’s powers.
They eventually give up and decide to enter a house, no prizes for guessing what house it is, 1428 Elm Street.
Freddy starts to get the kids in their sleep in more decent and imaginative dream sequences and kills two of them, Carlos, by turning his hearing aid to 11 and Spencer in a video game dream. John Doe confronts Freddy and is killed but learns Freddy’s child was a girl and he tells Dr Maggie before he dies.
Freddy possess Maggie and as Tracy and Maggie drive through the Springwood border the barrier collapses, Freddy is out. On their return to the shelter no one remembers Carlos or Spencer except for Doc who has learned to control his dreams, of course he has.
Maggie discovers her adoption papers and when sleeping is visited by her father who explains he used her to escape Springwood so he can start killing another towns children.
Good old Doc discovers that Freddy’s power comes from Dream Demons that continually revive him but he can be killed if he’s pulled into the real world (haven’t we heard this all before?) and enters Freddy’s mind where she puts on her 3D glasses, seriously!
The glasses magically disappear (Ready everyone, this is where you put your 3D glasses on) and Maggie finds out that Freddy was teased as a child, abused by his foster father (Alice Cooper!) self inflicted himself as a teenager, killed his wife in front of his daughter and when the vigilante parents came a knocking with Molotov cocktails he was possessed by the Dream Demons creating the legend that is Freddy Kreuger. Well I’m glad that all makes sense.
Maggie brings Freddy through to reality (still in 3D) and have a royal old punch up using the plot device items that were confiscated at start of film, Maggie disarms Freddy and picks up the glove encouraged by Freddy to “wear it, it’s in your blood” so she does and stabs him, then puts a pipe bomb (another confiscated item) in his chest and kisses him on the check wishing him Happy Fathers day. Freddy looks into the camera and says “Kids” then boom, three 3D fish looking Dream Demon’s come flying out of him. Freddy’s Dead.
Best Kill:- After following a deaf Carlos and trying to get his attention by hilariously shouting and making noises at him constantly with no reaction Carlos has to hear things a bit louder after Freddy possesses his hearing aid and proceeds to torture him with sound in fantastic ways with an exploding finale. Brilliant. Freddy at his comical best.
And so finally we come to the penultimate Freddy. A nice change in idea for the franchise with Wes Craven back on board in directing and writing duties and Nancy actress Heather Langenkamp back as the star and the quality is immediately clear.
This was an interesting idea from Wes Craven, with a wide selection of old Nightmare on Elm Street actors, producers etc coming back and playing themselves in a story of how Freddy does come back.
Heather is on set of a new Nightmare on Elm Street film where a glove is being forged with blades and all. Wes Craven calls cut and we see Heather, her son Dylan and her husband Chase wandering the set where suddenly the glove prop comes to life and kills two special FX guys and as it goes for Dylan, Heather awakes to an Earthquake.
Heather is a tad uneasy and mentions of phone calls from someone sounding like Freddy, but it’s put down to an obsessed fan and so she goes to be interviewed on a talk show as it’s the tenth anniversary of A Nightmare on Elm Street where Robert Englund makes a surprise appearance as Freddy Krueger to the delight of the fans but to the worry of Heather.
Heather is approached by Newline Cinema to reprise her role as Nancy one last time as Wes is writing a new Nightmare film and her husband Chase is making the new Glove but she declines and goes home to kick her husbands arse.
When she gets home Dylan has a funny turn where he says in a freaky voice “Never Sleep Again” and so calls chase to come home but he crashes his car in a Freddy fuelled loss of control, he dies with a huge quadruple claw mark on his chest.
Heather approaches Wes for help who reveals he has dreams and writes them down to form his new screenplay and he reveals that evil has manifested itself as into a demon that has taken the form of Freddy Krueger because it’s the most familiar one and so focusing on Heather to make her weak to be able to enter the world. I think”¦.
Wes asks Heather to play Nancy one more time.
Nancy starts freaking out because Dylan is becoming more unstable and is taken to the hospital when he enters a trance. Here they try to put Dylan to sleep when Heather is taken for questioning, presumed insane, but Dylan’s babysister tries to stops them but Dylan eventually falls asleep and Freddy arrives killing the babysitter.
Dylan runs home being chased by a huge Freddy Krueger across a busy motorway and as she arrives back home Freddy has turned her home into 1428 Elm street and Heather into Nancy which releases Freddy into the real world where he takes Dylan.
Nancy follows them through to Freddy’s world by taking sleeping pills and entering through the bottom of Dylan’s bed where she faces Freddy for the final time and eventually after some more cat and mouse Nancy and Dylan get Freddy into a furnace and he burns revealing the true demon inside and as they escape the collapsing world they end up back home where a script is waiting for them from Wes with the message “Thanks for playing Nancy one last time” Nancy proceeds to read the script which is the same as the opening to this movie.
The End, well kind of as Freddy vs Jason came out Nine years later. Read the run down of that film here.
Best Kill:- Baby sitter of Dylan gets dragged around the hospital room in a homage to the original film in a brilliant revolving room set up. Classic kill.
Nightmare Elm Street 2010
In case you havent seen the trailer here it is.
And that’s Freddy Krueger done, a more comical killer and a horror icon that killed for fun making the most of each kill and using his victims mind to make creative deaths way beyond anything Jason and Michael could do. Good job Mr. Krueger.
This brings and end to my run down of all three films, following very shortly is the verdict on who is the ultimate killer. Who do you choose?