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Freddy Krueger

Freddy Krueger is a fictional supernatural serial killer from the A Nightmare on Elm Street series of films. He is the only character to have appeared in every film in the series.

Created by Wes Craven and portrayed by actor Robert Englund in eight films and a TV series between 1984 and 2003, he is an undead serial killer, who can attack his victims from within their own dreams. In the original script, Freddy Krueger was a child molester, which Craven said was the worst thing he could think of. The decision was made to instead make Krueger a child murderer in order to avoid being accused of exploiting a spate of highly publicized child molestation cases in California around the time A Nightmare on Elm Street went into production. However, A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child suggests Krueger may indeed have been a pedophile, and he consistently makes sadistic and perverted jokes when indulging in killing. Freddy vs. Jason also portrays the character with implications that he may have molested his female victims, or at least achieves sexual climax through killing them.

Freddy is commonly identified by his burned, disfigured face, red and dark green striped sweater, brown fedora hat, and trademark metal-clawed brown leather glove. Wizard magazine rated him the 14th greatest villain, and the American Film Institute ranked him 40th on its AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains list.

Wes Craven claims his inspiration for the basis of Krueger's power stemmed from several stories in the Los Angeles Times about a series of mysterious deaths: all the victims had reported recurring nightmares beforehand, and died in their sleep. Physically, Craven's inspirations for Freddy included a homeless man who had frightened Craven as a youth and a bully at his school. The 1970s pop song "Dream Weaver" by Gary Wright sealed the story for Craven, giving him not only a creative springboard, but the synthesizer riff from the Elm Street soundtrack.

Robert Englund has said many times that he feels that the character represents neglect, particularly that suffered by children.

The Beginning

One night, in 1937 a nun named Amanda Krueger, a.k.a. Sister Mary Helena, was accidentally locked in an asylum full of lunatics. They tortured and raped her for several days. When they finally found her, she was barely alive. She was also pregnant with a boy. After he was born, Amanda gave him up for adoption. He was adopted by Mr. Underwood, a bitter old drunk, who named him Freddy. He abused Freddy physically and verbally. At school, he was teased by other kids who called him "son of a hundred maniacs." Freddy began killing animals when people weren't around. As a teenager, he began inflicting self-abuse. After a short time, Freddy murdered Underwood.

Child Murders

Freddy Krueger eventually married a woman named Loretta. They had a girl together and named her Kathrine. Secretly, Freddy was murdering children behind everyone's backs. He killed at least twenty kids and for a while, no one knew who was committing these gruesome crimes. Eventually, Loretta found out her husband was the Elm Street child killer. In order to keep her from talking, Freddy strangled her in front of Kathrine. She told the police, and her murderous father was finally arrested. Unfortunately, someone signed the search warrant in the wrong place and Krueger was set free. Parents of the children he murdered were outraged by this. They all formed a mob and tracked Freddy down in the boiler room where he used to take his victims. They all set the place on fire, trapping him inside. However, three Dream Demons gave Freddy an offer; he could be granted the power to turn dreams into reality. Freddy accepted, just before the fire consumed him. Everyone thought it was over, but it was only the beginning.

The Nightmare Begins

Freddy Krueger began haunting teenagers in their dreams. His first targets would be the children of the parents who torched him. As he began murdering them in their nightmares, everyone began to think that it was suicide. However, a girl named Nancy Thompson believed that the killer she's been seeing in her nightmares is responsible. Of course, no one believes her. Nancy knows that she must stop Freddy on her own. She manages to pull him out of the dream world and into reality. While chasing her, Freddy runs into booby traps that Nancy had set earlier. Nancy finally manages to set him on fire, but this doesn't kill him. While she thinks he's dead, Freddy sneaks upstairs and kills her mother. Nancy eventually defeats Freddy by turning her back on him, which drains him of all of his energy. Freddy, however is not dead, and returns months later to wreak havoc on a new teen: Jesse Walsh.

Freddy's Return

Months later, a new family, the Walsh's, move into Nancy's old house. Jesse, the son, begins having nightmares of Freddy Krueger, demanding for Jesse to kill for him. This eventually leads to Freddy possessing Jesse, and he forces him to kill his school coach. Jesse goes to his friend, Ron Grady, for help, but Freddy forces him to kill Grady. Afterwards, Jesse completely turns into Freddy. As he begins slaughtering teens at a near by pool party, he is driven away by Jesse's girlfriend, Lisa. Lisa follows Freddy to his boiler room, where he prepares to kill her. However, Jesse is fighting Freddy from the inside. The psychic battle eventually leads to the factory being set on fire, along with Freddy. Luckily, Jesse manages to survive the burning. Jesse is finally free from Freddy, but Freddy's rein of terror is far from over.

Dream Warriors

Kristen Parker is nearly killed by Freddy Krueger when he slits her wrists. Her mother thought it was a suicide attempt, so she sends her to a mental hospital. While she's there, Kristen befriends new staff member Nancy Thompson. After two patients are murdered, Nancy learns that Freddy is still alive. She and Kristen form a group of other teen patients to fight Freddy. They go into the dream world, but Freddy begins killing them one by one. Meanwhile, a Dr. Gordon from the hospital, along with Nancy's father, are preparing to bury Freddy's bones in the ground in order to put his soul to rest. In order to stop them, Freddy possesses his bones and kills Mr. Thompson. Gordon, luckily, only gets knocked out. Meanwhile, in the dream world, Freddy finally manages to kill Nancy. Before he can kill Kristen, Gordon awakens and begins pouring holy water on his bones. He then burns a crucifix through his head, defeating him. Once again, it appears that Freddy is finally dead, but evil never dies too easily.

Alice vs. Freddy

Kristen has been living in constant fear that Freddy Krueger will return. Freddy eventually does return and murders Kristen and her friends. Freddy has finally succeeded in killing all of the children of the parents who killed him. However, Freddy wants to continue killing, so he uses Alice, Kristen's best friend, Alice in order to get to the "new kids." Alice has the ability to pull other people into her dreams, so Freddy uses her power to reach the other teens. Alice, however, is gaining the teen's dream powers when Freddy kills them. Alice eventually uses her new dream powers to fight Freddy in the dream world. Freddy proves to be too strong for Alice to beat in hand-to-hand combat. So Alice shows Freddy his own reflection, which allows him to see all of the evil that's inside of him. This releases all of his power, vaporizing him. Freddy and Alice aren't finished here, though. Freddy again returns and kills Alice's boyfriend and her friends. Strangely, this is happening when she's awake. Alice soon learns that she's pregnant with her boyfriends baby and that Freddy's been using the baby to bring more teens to him. Alice enters the dream world and defeats him by reversing his birth. Alas, Freddy still isn't finished here.


Freddy Krueger returns and manages to kill nearly every kid in Springwood,Ohio. Only John Doe remains. Freddy knocks John unconsciousness, but for some reason spares him. John loses his memory and wanders into another town. In that town, he goes to a shelter for troubled teenagers. He asks one of the therapists, Maggie Burroughs, for help. They decide to return to Springwood for answers. Three other kids from the shelter, Tracie, Spencer, and Carlos, decide to tag along. Once there, they spend the night in Freddy's old house. Freddy kills Carlos first, and then Spencer. Meanwhile, John begins to suspect that Freddy spared him because he's his son. However, Freddy reveals to John that Maggie is really his child, and that he used John to lure her back to him. After telling him this, Freddy murders John. Maggie later goes into the dream world to pull him out. Once in there, Maggie, or Kathrine, witnesses Freddy killing her mom, just like when she was a small child. An outraged Kathrine pulls Freddy into reality. After a long battle between father and daughter, Kathrine manages to stick a pipe bomb in Freddy's chest, destroying his body and releasing the demons inside of him. The Dream Demons are unable to revive him in reality, so they fly off, leaving Freddy's scorched remains behind.

Film series events

In A Nightmare on Elm Street through A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, Krueger was referred to as an urban legend. Presumably because of their complicity in murdering Krueger, coupled with his own terrible crimes, Elm Street parents remained tight-lipped about the events of the decade before, especially now that their children were teenagers. In the closing months of 1981, the children of Springwood, in particular those teens whose parents had formed the mob that killed Krueger, began dying in peculiar ways as they slept.

  • Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp): Nancy, whose family moved into Krueger’s old home, was the first of the Elm Street children to learn about his past and the first to vanquish him. Nancy returned in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, only to be killed by Freddy, who had taken the physical form of her father as a disguise.
  • Kristen Parker (Patricia Arquette)/Tuesday Knight): Kristen was a girl with the ability to bring people into her dreams. In A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, she, along with the last surviving “Elm Street children” battled Freddy in the dream world using self imaginative dream powers; her dream power being the prowess of a skilled gymnast. Kristen used her natural gift of pulling others into her dream as a way to transport and unite the group to battle Freddy together. She was killed by Freddy in A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master by being tossed into his boiler and burnt to death.
  • Alice Johnson (Lisa Wilcox): Alice gained Kristen's power and the dream powers of her friends to become the Dream Master. In A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, Alice released the souls Krueger gained over the years, leaving him powerless. A year later, Alice became pregnant and Krueger started using the dreams of her unborn child to kill again in A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child. Alice vanquished Freddy a second time with the help of Krueger's mother, Amanda. After Krueger was contained, Alice moved away from Springwood before he escaped and caused the events in Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare. Alice Johnson and her son Jacob appeared in the comic book series Nightmares on Elm Street, published by now defunct comic book company Innovation Comics. The six issue mini-series, which was released in 1992, was meant to bridge the story gap between A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child and Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare. The story focuses on Freddy trying to convince six-year-old Jacob Johnson into using his psychic abilities to help him escape Springwood. Innovation worked closely with New Line Cinema when crafting the story, which leads it to be considered canon.

The only male to ever be a main victim of Krueger and main protagonist of the movie, who at the end defeats Krueger was Jesse Walsh in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge. In this film, Freddy attempts to pursue his murderous goals by re-animating his body through Jesse's, whose family moves into Freddy's old house after Nancy's family moves out. With the help of his girlfriend, Jesse regains control over himself and his actions, thus banishing Freddy back to the dreamworld, only to be killed at the end by Freddy.

Battle with Jason Voorhees

In the hybrid sequel, Freddy vs. Jason, Freddy is trapped in Hell. After Maggie defeated Freddy in Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, the people of Springwood sought to revitalize their town. Figuring out how Freddy operated, the authorities and town officials covered up any and all traces of his prior existence, which included blacking out obituaries and quarantining anyone who had ever dreamt about or had any knowledge of Freddy. Other countermeasures included giving Hypnocil, a drug that prevents people from dreaming, to the children moved to Westin Hills. As a result, Springwood returned to obscurity and subsequently repopulated with no ill effects, hence the children endured.

Being unable to escape the boundaries of Hell, Freddy hatched a plan to resurrect the undead, immortal killing machine Jason Voorhees in order to re-instill the fear that would be needed to power him. At the conclusion of Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, Freddy pulled Jason's abandoned mask into the ground. Then, in the disguise of Voorhees' mother, Pamela, Freddy manipulated Jason into rising from the dead once more and going to Elm Street to kill more teenagers. Jason committed a few murders, which were then blamed on Freddy, providing the fear Freddy needs to revitalize himself. In a short time, Freddy was strong enough to haunt the town again. The problem, which Freddy had not counted on, was that Jason would not stop killing teenagers, effectively impeding upon both Freddy's power supply and territory. A revitalized Freddy begins to terrorize Jason just as he does his other victims, but once Jason realizes Freddy had manipulated him via his love for his mother, a bloody fight ensues between the two murderous icons that rages from the dream world (where Freddy holds the overwhelming advantage) to the waking world, at Jason's old haunt: Camp Crystal Lake. Freddy gains enough power to advance into a demonic form, but the immortal Jason holds out long enough for help to arrive from others who desire Freddy's end, which (at least apparently) just tips the scales in Jason's favor. The film ends with Jason walking out of Crystal Lake holding Freddy's decapitated head, which winks to the audience, followed by Freddy's laughter, indicating that neither killer's reign of terror was over.Freddy vs. Jason scriptwriter Mark Swift indicated that various endings were written for the film, with the final ending being thought of by Robert Shaye, New Line's CEO. It's Swift's opinion that Jason indeed won the battle, though he mentions, "We certainly didn't want a draw, but we wanted it to end up that both sides could claim some sort of victory."

Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash

Freddy returns in the comic Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash.

Set five years after the events of Freddy vs. Jason, Freddy still exists in Jason Voorhees' mind, and manipulates him into finding the Necronomicon when Freddy discovers a memory of the book in Jason's mind, He plans to use the Necronomicon to escape from Jason's mind, resurrect himself and become stronger than ever. He poses as Pamela Voorhees's lover and tricks Jason in to thinking that he (Freddy) is "his new daddy" and that the only way to get him out is with the Necronomicon (since Jason does not have knowledge of the book,he only knows of it.), which he also purports will be able to turn Jason in to "a real boy". Freddy warps Jason's perception of the world causing him to see and hear what Jason detests the most in ordinary people, making him more aggressive towards people he would usually ignore.

Jason fails to retrieve the Necronomicon the first time, and Freddy digs into his mind and discovers a new threat in Ashley Williams. Jason manages to retrieve the book and resurrects Freddy who can now willingly shift between his dreamscape and the real world. Ash discovers Freddy after a dream mirroring the events of Evil Dead 2, except with his "bad hand" sprouting metal claws from the fingertips. Freddy introduces himself to Ash and Ash wakes himself by burning his arm on a shotgun barrel and learns of Freddy's ability to kill and injure people in their dreams. Ash plans to stop Freddy and Jason by using the Necronomicon and sending them both back to Hell.

Ash confronts Freddy but discovers that Freddy has already read from the Necronomicon and has become omnipotent. Jason's newly acquired intelligence (when promised to become a "real boy") causes him to interrupt the battle, Freddy then fights Jason as Ash flees with the Necronomicon, Freddy soon realizes and takes after Ash. Ash passes the book on to an S-Mart employee, Caroline, to run and hide with it. Freddy soon discovers her with his powers, but Ash manages to hit him with his car, and as Freddy, Jason, and Ash fight in a three-way battle on top of the frozen Crystal Lake, Caroline retrieves the book and reads the passage from the book to send Freddy in to a portal to the deadite dimension. Jason is too strong to enter the vortex but is pinned underneath the lake when Ash's car crashes into him from being sucked in to the vortex.

The pages of the Necronomicon after the fight show Freddy, Jason, and Ash doing battle, Freddy is presumably trapped in the Deadite dimension.

Alternate plot line

The summary above corresponds to what New Line Cinema considers the canonical account, based on the films. Other elements of the franchise, however, such as comics, novels, and other licensed materials, present variant accounts, and the films themselves are sometimes inconsistent in what they present or imply about Freddy's past. A Nightmare prequel is rumored which might offer a new view of the storyline.

Wes Craven's New Nightmare

Elm Street creator Wes Craven returned to the franchise in 1994 with Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, giving audiences a new version of Freddy Krueger. New Nightmare, which celebrated the first film’s tenth anniversary, showed a darker and more sinister Freddy than presented in previous films. The story, which takes place outside the film continuity in a fictional “real world”, has Freddy haunting and killing the cast/crew members of the original film. Craven described this “new” Freddy as an abstract, ancient evil that had been captured in the story. Now that the films had ended with Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, the evil, in the guise of Freddy, escaped to begin its reign of terror in the real world.

As the film plays out, Freddy targets Heather Langenkamp and her fictional son Dylan; killing Langenkamp is his only means of becoming fully released from fiction. While Freddy is preoccupied with killing Langenkamp and her son, Craven writes a new script titled “New Nightmare” in order to trap the evil again. By film’s end, Langenkamp manages to defeat the Krueger entity, and saves her son in the process. Craven, in closing, completed his script (which paralleled the film’s events) stating, “Freddy is back where he belongs.”

The “look” of Freddy in this film is more in line with what Craven had imagined for the character, allowing the clowning Freddy portrayed in the earlier films to be cast away. In the film's credits, Krueger is credited as "Himself".

Freddy's Nightmares

The 1988 Freddy's Nightmares episode "No More Mr. Nice Guy" presented a less gruesome interpretation of Krueger’s death. Due to budget constraints, many of the series' original actors did not appear. Most episodes of Freddy's Nightmares do not interfere with the established timeline, though a few episodes do present dates that conflict with the film series' timeline of events. It spawned 44 episodes in 2 seasons before the series was cancelled.

External links

Part of this article consists of modified text from Wikipedia, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.