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Freddy Krueger is the main antagonist of the Nightmare on Elm Street series. From 1984-2003 he was protrayed by actor Robert Englund, and by Jackie Earle Haley in the 2010 remake. He is most notable for his sense of humor, his burned features, red and green striped sweater, dirty fedora and finger gloves.
Freddy Krueger was born to Amanda Krueger (aka Sister Mary Helena), the product of rape. Known as the "bastard son of a hundred maniacs", Freddy was kicked from foster home to foster home and abused by his foster parent(s). His early life indicates that he was displaying psychopathic tendencies from a young age.
Sometime, Freddy married a woman by the name of Loretta, and they had a daughter named Katherine. When Loretta found out about his identity as "The Springwood Slasher", he killed his wife. Katherine saw this and told on him. He was arrested.
A legal technicality saw Freddy go free after murdering around twenty children in the Springwood, Ohio area. Terrified, enraged and fearing for the safety of their children, the townspeople hunted Freddy down and burned him alive. He was visited by the Dream Demons, who turned him into a supernatural dream stalker.
Weapon of ChoiceEdit
Freddy's weapon of choice is the glove of razors he wears. In Wes Craven's New Nightmare, he has razors on all of his fingers, thumb included. Until then, there are only four razors.
Freddy is also known to get creative in his kills. In Nightmare on Elm Street 4, he turned a victim into a bug and squashed her. In Nightmare on Elm Street 5, he sucks a kid into a comic book and hacks him up like paper. His creativity, his ability to speak and his ability to run sets him apart from some of the other horror movie villains of his era.
Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)Edit
Freddy returns to Elm Street with a vengeance, stalking Nancy Thompson and her friends. The four teenagers he is stalking had parents who were part of his incineration. He is successful in killing everybody out of the group -- including Marge Thompson, Nancy's mother -- with the exception of Nancy, who sends him howling back to Hell. Nancy brings him out of his dream realm and into the real world, where she turns her back on him and takes away all of his energy.
Notable deaths in this film is the death of Tina, who was dragged across her ceiling, and Glen, who was sucked into his bed, only to be regurgitated in a fountain of blood.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985)Edit
With Nancy and her family long gone, the Walsh family has now bought the infamous house on 1428 Elm Street. There, Freddy begins to set his sights on oldest child Jesse Walsh. He possesses Jesse and uses his body to kill others. Freddy then manages to completely overtake Jesse for a short period until his girlfriend Lisa saves him from the clutches of Freddy Krueger.
A notable death in this film is that of Ron Grady, where Jesse morphs into Freddy and tacks Grady up against the door.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)Edit
In Nightmare on Elm Street 3, Freddy is putting his focus on the last of the Elm Street children -- the children of the people who burned him alive and threw his remains in a trunk. Thanks to the shared nightmares and the trauma that Freddy has created, the remaining Elm Street children are now institutionalized at the Westin Hills Psychiatric facility for what has perceived to be attempted suicides. This is also the first Elm Street film to address Freddy's mother, Sister Mary Helena, an apparition that appears to Dr. Neil Gordon throughout the film.
Nancy Thompson returns, bringing the old enemies back together once again. The systematic slaughter of everybody continues, getting Nancy and her colleague Dr. Neil Gordon fired from the facility. This time, Freddy is successful in killing the remainder of the Thompson family in Nancy and her father Donald.
However, Freddy is still sent back to Hell, a joint effort between Nancy and the Dream Warriors and Dr. Neil Gordon, who removes Freddy's remains from the trunk of a car and places them in the ground.
Notable kills in this film include Jennifer, whose head is put through a television set, Philip, who is walked like a marionette and the Freddy snake, though nobody died there. Also, the death of Taryn, a former drug addict.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)Edit
In Nightmare 4, Kristen unwittingly unleashes Freddy Krueger back onto the people of Springwood. Freddy, upon his release, promptly kills the surviving two Elm Street children before finally killing Kristen. Prior to her death, Kristen summons her friend Alice Johnson into her dream, giving her dream powers to Alice before Freddy disposes of her.
Freddy then begins to use Alice, a perpetual daydreamer, as a vessel to kill her friends and her family. Thanks in part to the traits of her friends getting passed on to Alice in the event of their demise, Alice is able to defeat Freddy inside of the dream realm and release the souls of his children that have given him strength.
Notable deaths in this film are that of Debbie, who is turned into a bug and squashed, and Sheila, who is deflated by Krueger's Kiss of Death.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: Dream Child (1989)Edit
Alice is now a high school graduate. Unknowingly pregnant, Freddy uses the unborn fetus of Alice to carry out his killing sprees, feeding the souls of the victims to her unborn child in an attempt to make her son a killer just like him.
Freddy's lineage is explained further in this film, as Alice finds out that the key to defeating him is by freeing the soul of his dead mother Amanda. Freddy is conquered when Alice's son Jacob uses the powers Krueger gave him against the Dreamstalker, sending him kicking and screaming back into the womb of his mother.
Notable deaths in this film include Mark, who is sucked into a comic book and cut up like paper.
Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)Edit
Set in the future, Springwood, Ohio, has been completely emptied of children, thanks to Freddy's murderous rampages. The only surviving teenager has been exiled by Freddy to bring his missing daughter back to him. Katherine was taken away from him during his trial. Katherine is now Dr. Maggie Borroughs, adopted out when she was a child. She learns of her heritage and sets out to destroy her father once and for all.
Freddy's plan is to leave Springwood and carry on his killing sprees elsewhere, but he needs Katherine to help him. Katherine is an unwilling vessel, which leads to Freddy attempting to kill his own daughter. Delving deep into his brain before their final battle, Katherine learns just what kind of a difficult life her father had, including foster homes, and the sociopath behaviour he exhibted -- from killing his stepfather, to killing class pets. This is also the first film to delve into the Dream Demons, a powerful entity that passed power to Krueger upon his death at the hands of the Springwood residents.
Freddy is unsuccessful in killing his daughter, who blows him up and expels the Dream Demons from him.
Notable deaths in this film include Spencer, who is played like a video game.
Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday (1993)Edit
Freddy Krueger does not specifically appear in The Final Friday, though his glove shows up at the end to drag Jason's hockey mask down to Hell.
Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994)Edit
New Nightmare takes place in reality, with Freddy trying to break free, into the real world, when the films have stopped. Standing in his way is Heather Langenkamp, the woman he has been tormenting, the actress who played Nancy in the original film. Freddy is also now terrorizing Heather's son Dylan, to the point where Dylan falls practically catatonic.
In the end, Heather steps back into the role of Nancy one more time, going into Freddy's lair to defeat Freddy in his own court.
Notable deaths in this film include Julie, who is given the Tina Treatment.
Freddy vs. Jason (2003)Edit
After years of waiting, fans are finally treated to the match of Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees.
Unable to terrorize the teenagers of Springwood -- thanks to a wipeout campaign -- Freddy sends Jason Voorhees to Springwood in an attempt to stir up fear again in Springwood. It works, as Jason is doing all the killing while Freddy is getting all the credit. Unfortunately for Freddy, Jason won't stop and Freddy can't kill anybody, leading to a showdown between them.
Freddy and Jason battle it out at Camp Crystal Lake, where the winner of the battle is ambiguous.
Notable death includes Mark. It's notable because he's the only one killed by Freddy.
Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash: The Nightmare Warriors (2009)Edit
Captured by the United States government, the Pentagon is hoping that they can use the powers of the Necromonicon Ex-Mortis, or the Book of the Dead. It is also their hope to be able to use Freddy Krueger to do some nightmare reconning, to work for the United States government. They soon find out Freddy is hard to control.
Freddy and Jason team up to take over the world and kill the bane of their existence, Evil Dead's Ash Williams. Harnessing the power of the Necromonicon Ex-Mortis, Freddy and Jason amass and army of Deadites and take over the White House. Freddy's daughter Katherine finally switches to the Dark Side, teaming up with her father to take over.
In this six-issue comic book series as well, Freddy is finally successful in killing Alice Johnson, who has fallen terminally ill thanks to her powers of dream control. He is conquered when the spirit of Nancy Thompson and Dr. Neil Gordon recite the spell of the Necromonicon, and send Freddy back to Hell, where the Necromonicon strips Freddy of his power.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)Edit
This is the first Elm Street film without Robert Englund. Krueger is now played by Jackie Earle Haley. Freddy is a child molester who worked at a preschool in Springwood, Ohio. He has a personal connection to every character in this film, especially Nancy Holbrook.
Though the teenagers thought that Freddy had been wrongly accused and burned alive by the parents, Nancy and Quentin soon realize that Freddy was in fact a child molester who had gone so far as to take photographs of his crimes. Nancy brings him out of the dream and kills him.
However, like the other films, Freddy isn't dead for good.
From 1988-1990, a Nightmare on Elm Street anthology series titled Freddy's Nightmares aired. The series filmed 44 episodes in its two season run. Robert Englund reprised the role of Freddy Krueger for this series. While a small number of episodes -- pilot included -- directly involved Freddy Krueger, most of the episodes had him in the host or "Cryptkeeper" role.
Freddy Krueger was featured in a couch gag on a Simpsons Halloween Episode. He was voiced by Robert Englund, who sat with Jason on the Simpson's couch.
In Popular CultureEdit
Freddy Krueger is a downloadable character in 2011's Mortal Kombat. Freddy also appears in a video game adapted from the films for Nintendo in 1989.
There is a Simpsons Halloween story called "A Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace", where Freddy is Groundskeeper Willie.
Freddy has also been featured in songs by artists such as Nicki Minaj, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince and Eminem, to name a few.
Robert Englund was not the initial choice to play Krueger. Series creator Wes Craven admitted he initially was looking for an older man and stuntmen to play the part.
The appearance of Freddy Krueger came from an experience Wes Craven had while dreaming. He had a nightmare about a man chacing him with finger knives and made his nightmare into a timeless horror classic.
Fred Krueger is the name of a person who shared a paper route with Wes Craven as a child, and had bullied him for several years.
Freddy was originally supposed to be a child molester; however Wes scrapped the idea as there had been a rash of molestations in the California area and Wes did not want to be accused of exploiting them.
Robert Englund says that he based Freddy's physicality on Klaus Kiniski's role in Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht. He states that Freddy Krueger represents those neglected in society.
Robert Englund improvised the line "Welcome to primetime, bitch!" in Elm Street 3.
Billy Bob Thornton was considered to play Freddy Krueger for the remake.
Jackie Earle Haley won his role as Freddy Krueger thanks to his role as Rorshach in Watchmen
Robert Englund wrote a script that was unused for Elm Street 3.
"I'm your boyfriend now, Nancy." -- Elm Street 1
"This is God." -- Elm Street 1
"Did you know that the heart stops beating the brain functions for up to seven minutes? That means we've got six more minutes to play." -- Remake
"Why are you screaming? I haven't even cut you yet." -- Remake
"Welcome to prime time, bitch!" -- Elm Street 3