Frederick Charles "Freddy" Krueger is the main antagonist of the A Nightmare on Elm Street film series. He first appeared in Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) as a burnt serial killer who uses a glove armed with razors to kill his victims in their dreams, causing their deaths in the real world as well. In the dream world, he is a powerful force and almost completely invulnerable. However, whenever Freddy is pulled into the real world, he has normal human vulnerabilities. Krueger was created by Wes Craven, and had been consistently portrayed by Robert Englund since his first appearance. In the 2010 franchise reboot, he was portrayed by Jackie Earle Haley. In 2011, Freddy appeared as a playable character in the video game Mortal Kombat. Over the course of the series, Freddy has battled numerous survivors including Nancy Thompson.
In the Nightmares on Elm Street comics, a popular alias is used, known as The Springwood Killer.
Freddy is a dream-demon who attacks his victims from within their dreams. He is commonly identified by his burned, disfigured face, red-and-green striped sweater, brown fedora, and trademark metal-clawed brown leather glove only on his right hand. This glove was the product of Krueger's own imagination, the blade having been welded by himself. Robert Englund has said many times that he feels the character represents neglect, particularly that suffered by children. The character also more broadly represents subconscious fears.
Wizard magazine rated Freddy the 14th greatest villain, the British television channel Sky2 listed him 8th, and the American Film Institute ranked him 40th on its "AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains" list. In 2010, Freddy won an award for Best Villain (formerly Most Vile Villain) at the Scream Awards.
Powers and abilities
A Nightmare on Elm Street
From here, Freddy invaded people's dreams, where he would kill them using his clawed glove, or else manipulating the dream world in a way to reflect the victim's fears and personality. Whatever he did to them in the dream world would affect them in the real world.
Freddy's first victim in the film was Tina Gray, whom he killed by slashing her across the chest with his clawed glove. He then stalked Nancy Thompson in her dreams and killed Rod Lane, Tina's boyfriend who was accused for killing her, by hanging him with his blanket. Nancy pulled his hat out of the dream so she devised a plan with her boyfriend Glen to catch him, but Glen fell asleep, and Freddy pulled him into his bed and shot him upward in a fountain of blood, killing him. Nancy eventually pulled Freddy out of the dream world and set him on fire. However, he killed her mother Marge by smothering her with his flaming body, vanishing her into the bed. Nancy's father, Donald, witnessed this. Afterwards, Nancy destroyed Freddy by turning her back on him and taking away his power, however he was still able to temporarily trap her in a dream world where she was trapped in a red and green car with Glen, Tina, and Rod to end the film.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge
Five years later, Freddy was unable to return so easily, until he invaded the dreams of Jesse Walsh, who moved into Nancy's house sometime after she left. He possessed Jesse on several occasions, at one point killing his coach, Schneider (whom Jesse disliked) by slashing his back in the shower.
Soon, Jesse went to a sleepover at his friend's house, Ron Grady. But when they fell asleep, Jesse awakened and started screaming and crying in a pain as Krueger gruesomely came out of him. Ron tries to escape but the door is jammed, leaving Ron to get strangled and then stabbed in the torso as Krueger laughed and waves at him. Freddy then took full possession of Jesse at Jesse's girlfriend, Lisa Webber's house during a party, killing several of the guests. In the end, Lisa was able to get through to Jesse, who fought Freddy from within and burned him to death using his power, releasing Jesse unharmed. However, the ending of the movie implies that Freddy returns; he is seen stabbing Kerry from behind (or from the inside) while she is on the bus with Jesse and Lisa. Whether this is a dream (and by who), or if he was possessing her, and whether or not Jesse or Lisa survived, is unclear.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
Freddy soon returned to his old ways of killing people in their dreams. Soon, all surviving teenagers of Springwood - Kristen Parker, Roland Kincaid, Phillip Anderson, Taryn White, Joey Crusel, Will Stanton, and Jennifer Caulfield - were committed to Westin Hills Asylum, as they were trying to avoid falling asleep. Nancy Thompson began working there, and Dr. Neil Gordon, another worker, was seeing the spirit of Freddy's mother, Amanda Krueger under her alias "Sister Mary Helena". Freddy soon began killing everyone one by one. First he used Phillip's veins to control him like a puppet to make him fall out of the window to his death, making it appears as a suicide inside a nighmare Phillip was having. Then he smashed Jennifer's head against the TV yelling one of his most famous lines: "This is it, Jennifer, your big break in TV!". When Kristen, Neil, and the others entered the dream world to use their powers and fight Freddy, Joey was attacked and trapped by Freddy, putting him into a coma.
The Dream Warriors (Kristen, Taryn, Will, and Kincaid) fought Freddy alongside Nancy while Neil and Donald went to the Penny Bros. Auto Savage junkyard to bury Freddy's bones on "hallowed" ground using holy water, a cross, and prayers to laid his unquiet spirit to rest.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child
Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare
Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday
Freddy vs. Jason
Wes Craven's New Nightmare
Freddy's first video game appearance was in the Nintendo Entertainment System's 1989 game A Nightmare on Elm Street. The game was published by LJN Toys and developed by Rare.
A second game for the Commodore 64 and DOS-based computers was also released in 1989 released by Monarch Software and developed by Westwood Associates.
Freddy Krueger appeared as a downloadable playable character for Mortal Kombat (2011), with Robert Englund reprising his role. He has become the second non-Mortal Kombat character to appear in the game with the other being Kratos from the God of War series (who was an exclusive character for the PlayStation 3 version, while Freddy was available across all versions of the game). The game depicts Krueger as a malevolent spirit inhibiting the Dream Realm who attacks Shao Kahn for "stealing" the souls of his potential victims. During the fight, he is pulled into the game's fictional depiction of the real world. The injured Krueger arms himself with two razor claws to continue to battle Kahn. Upon defeating him, Krueger is sent back to the Dream Realm by Nightwolf, where he continues to haunt the dreams of his human prey. In an interview with PlayStation.Blog, Mortal Kombat co-creator Ed Boon cited the character's violent nature and iconic status as reasoning for the inclusion in the game, "Over the years, we’ve certainly had a number of conversations about guest characters. At one point, we had a conversation about having a group — imagine Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers, Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre. We never got a grip on how we would do it, whether they’d be DLC characters or what. We also wanted to introduce a character who was unexpected. This DLC thing opens the doors to realizing these ideas." Krueger went on to become playable in the mobile edition of the game's sequel, Mortal Kombat X, alongside Jason from Friday the 13th.
In the cross-platform game "Dead by Daylight," Freddy Krueger is the tenth killer released into the game during the Don't Fall Asleep chapter.
Halloween Horror Nights
Freddy Krueger appeared alongside Jason Voorhees and Leatherface as minor icons during Halloween Horror Nights 17: "The Carnival of Carnage" and again with Jason during Halloween Horror Nights 25: The Carnival Returns at Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood in 2007, 2008, and as the main marketing icon in 2010. In 2016, Freddy Krueger is back at Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood in the maze, "Freddy vs. Jason".