Characters: A Nightmare on Elm Street
This page is a listing of characters from the A Nightmare on Elm Street
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Fred "Freddy" Krueger
Freddy as a nightmare monster, and when he was human (but still a monster).Played by:
Main actor: Robert Englund
Minor actors: Leslie Hoffman, Stacey Alden, John Saxon, Michael Bailey Smith, Danny Hassel, Chason Schirmer, Tobe Sexton, Paula Shaw
"When I was alive, I might have been a little naughty, but after they killed me, I became something much, much worse. The stuff nightmares are made of."
The primary villain of the series, and the most often recurring character. Born of a nun who was raped by a group of mental asylum patients, he became a child murderer as an adult, claiming many lives until the parents of Springwood got their revenge on him by burning him alive. He makes a deal with three demons to become a powerful ghost with the ability to manipulate dreams. In death, Freddy turns out to be an even worse nightmare than he ever was in life as he continues to hunt the now-teenage children of the lynch mob that killed him.
- Looks Like Orlok: Freddy Krueger's appearance is somewhat based off of this. In fact, Robert Englund even once stated that he based some of Freddy's movements on Orlok's.
- Manipulative Bastard: He sets off the event's of Freddy vs. Jason by posing as the mother of Friday the 13th villain Jason Voorhees in order to trick Jason into resurrecting from the dead once again and heading for Freddy's hometown of Springwood, Ohio. Freddy banks on Jason's inevitable killing spree being blamed on Freddy by the town residents (if no one remembers Freddy, he can't harm anyone), and he is proven correct.
- Man on Fire: This is how Freddy Krueger died at the hands of the parents of Springwood. In the original film, Nancy sets Freddy on fire when she pulls him out of her dream and lures him to the basement.
- Mind over Matter: Freddy can easily move objects with his mind in the dream world. He even plays an ad-hoc game of pinball with Jason's body in Freddy Vs. Jason.
- My Death Is Just the Beginning: Is it ever. He was simply a human serial killer when he was alive. After his death he became an undead abomination with near-godlike powers and a bodycount eventually numbering in the hundreds.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: K Names.
- Never Sleep Again: It's in the rhyme about him. As in never sleep to never dream of him and die.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: A running joke in the series is that Freddy's powers are pretty much limitless, as far as changing from film to film. It does make sense however. Since Freddy has effectively become the king of nightmares, his powers in the dreamscape would be virtually unlimited. On the rare occasions he manifests in the "real" world, he generally gets his ass kicked (most notably, at the end of the first film).
- Nice Hat: Freddy's fedora, of course.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: Justified, because he's dead (no body to feel pain with). Even when he's pulled into the real world, he laughs off getting impaled through the stomach and getting the crap beaten out of him by Jason Voorhees.
- Nightmare Dreams: Freddy's modus operandi.
- Obligatory Joke: In the later movies, he always makes some kind of (usually groan inducing) ironic joke about someone's situation either just before or after he murders them.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Freddy became increasingly worse over time. He was always a sadist, but at first he pretended that he wanted revenge for his death at the hands of a lynch mob until he just dropped all pretense and continued killing when this goal was already completed. With nothing to stop him, he eventually murders every child in Springwood and drives their distraught parents to utter madness. With the entire town destroyed, he just creates another "Elm Street" in a neighbouring city and reveals that he'll never stop killing until everyone's dead.
- Our Liches Are Different: Freddy is technically a sort of "astral lich". He would definitely qualify as a powerful sorcerer, and his appearance just screams "undead". Also, killing him tends to involve some rather unusual methods, most often dragging him onto our plane, and, even then, nobody has ever managed to kill him permanently. An easier parallel is that Freddy is some sort of ghost or a demon (he is in service to nightmare demons after all).
- Pædo Hunt: In the original film and Freddy vs. Jason, it's strongly implied but not stated outright that Freddy is a pedophile in addition to being a child killer. Wes Craven originally wanted to make him one, but in the end decided not to in order not to be accused of exploiting then recent news headlines about pedophiles at day cares, et al.
- Playing with Fire: Despite being killed by fire and being deeply afraid of fire, Freddy has been shown to conjure up fire at will.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Not only does he kill, he's also a huge misogynist and is strongly implied to be a pedophile as stated above (though only in the remake).
- Pungeon Master: This is basically Freddy's trademark.
- Psycho for Hire: Freddy is implied to be this to the Dream Demons who gave him his power.
- Reality Warper: He was able to partly manipulate the outside world, like re-animating his bones. However, by Freddy's Dead, his power had gotten so powerful, he was able to erase Springwood parents memories and make other adults into mindless people who go about their daily lives if there were kids there. In Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash, he came across the Necronomicon ex Mortis and used its spells to become even more powerful in the real world.
- Resurrective Immortality: Freddy Krueger is killed several times by the heroes, but he returns each time. As Freddy himself put it in the fourth film — "I. AM. ETERNAL!" In the sixth film he says "In dreams. I. Am. FOREVER!" The dream demons who are the source of his powers promised him that he would indefinately resurrect no matter what anyone does to him.
- Rubber Man: Stretching limbs are one of many of Freddy's powers.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: His powers are greatly heightened by the fear of his victims. Their fear that he is an unstoppable nightmare monster causes him to be an unstoppable nightmare monster.
- Self-Made Orphan: He killed his foster father when he was young. Fate of his foster mother is unknown. His murders also caused his own mom to kill herself, if this was Freddy's plan however, is unknown.
- Serial Killer: He was one both in life (as the Springwood Slasher) and the afterlife.
- Shapeshifter Default Form: He's an accomplished shapeshifter in the dream world, regularly appearing as other people, mechanical devices, and a host of other forms. While he can look however he wants, as a nightmare ghost he prefers to appear as his post-death burnt self, probably to scare his victims. His true form in the real world are his skeletal remains, but it remains to be seen if he even has a true specteral form.
- Shapeshifting Seducer: Eerily Freddy uses this tactic on Joey in Dream Warriors by disguising himself as a hot nurse, showing that he's an equal opportunity deviant.
- Sinister Scraping Sound: Freddy with his claw on most anything.
- The Sociopath: For sure, to Freddy, humans are just his playthings.
- Super Mode: "Super Freddy" from The Dream Child, which he conjures up to mock the comic book fan Mark.
- Villainous Valour: During Freddy vs. Jason, Freddy puts up a good fight against the superstrong Jason Voorhees even when he's technically just a weak, disfigured, physical ghost thing when not in the Dream World.
- Voice Changeling: One of Freddy's many powers, as he demonstrates at one point in Freddy's Dead.
- Voluntary Shapeshifter: Via his dream powers. One of the things he enjoys doing most to torment his victims is pretending to be someone close to them so he can scar them emotionally before going in for the kill.
- Was Once a Man: Once a human serial killer, he turned into something resembling a nightmare ghost/demon after his death.
- Wrestler in All of Us: During his fight against Jason, he manages to hits a leaping elbow drop. Notably he does this by jumping on his back while Jason is standing, rather than while Jason is lying on the ground, making it more like a Muay Thai strike than a wrestling move.
- Would Hurt a Child: Though all the people we see him kill are teenagers or adults. He's explicitly had victims that were much younger, however.
- Wolverine Claws: Freddy's primary weapon is a glove with blades attached to each finger.
- Your Soul Is Mine: His victims have their souls absorbed into his body, to remain there permanently. Freddy then siphons off their souls' power to become even more powerful himself. A few films end with them being freed. One notable example had this happen followed by them tearing him apart from the inside out.
- Your Worst Nightmare: Boy howdy.
"I'm into survival."Played by: Heather Langenkamp
The heroine of the original film, who returns for the third film as well. Daughter of Marge and Donald Thompson (divorced), she's best friends with Tina, Glen (her boyfriend), and Rod.
- Action Girl: By the end of the first film, she's ready to kick Freddy's ass in the real world. And she hadn't lost that step in Dream Warriors.
- Badass Normal: In the first movie, Nancy manages to hold onto Freddy and drag him into the real world, from then which she leads him through her booby trapped laden house and has him set on fire (Freddy hates fire since he was burned to death). She manages to somehow survive the first movie's Cruel Twist Gainax Ending. When she appeared in third movie (Dream Warriors), she led some of Freddy's other victims into facing him head on but she sadly died in that one.
- Final Girl: The first in the series.
- Skunk Stripe: She gets one in the first movie, after pulling Freddy's hat out of the dream and it stays with her.
"[to Nancy] There's something wrong with you — you're imagining things."
Nancy's well-meaning, but struggling and occasionally neglectful mother.
- The Alcoholic: Starts off slow when Krueger's murders starts to happen in the first film, but gets progressively drunk as the film goes on.
Former Lt. Donald Thompson
"[To Glen] There's an unsolved murder and I hate unsolved murders, especially ones that my daughter is mixed up in, what are *you* doing here?"
Nancy's father, who divorced her mother some time before. He's a cop in the Springwood sheriff's department.
- The Alcoholic: Only after Marge's death, however. He does get sober enough to fight against Freddy's Dem Bones form.
- Not Now, Kiddo: Pretty much doesn't believe Nancy before it was too late.
"Oh, man. Midnight. Baseball bats and boogeymen. Beautiful."Played by: Johnny Depp
Nancy's boyfriend in the first film, who lives across the street.
- Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: When Glen is sucked into his bed by Freddy and killed, gallons of blood (far more than what the human body contains) suddenly spew out from it like a blood fountain.
"The man in my dreams... he's real, isn't he?"Played by: Patricia Arquette (Dream Warriors), Tuesday Knight (Dream Master)
Succeeding Nancy as the main heroine, Alice is one of the teenagers at institutionalized as Westin Hills Asylum for apparent suicide, but is actually one of Freddy's targets.
- Cursed with Awesome: A subversion. Kristen has the power to pull people into her dreams, but she subconsciously blocked the power for years after her parents got divorced. Years later, she isn't sure if she still has it until she accidentally pulls Nancy into her dreams in Dream Warriors. Unfortunately, Freddy turns her ability into Blessed with Suck when he uses her to pull Alice into her dream. After he kills Kristen, the power gets sent to Alice, so Freddy uses her as his new conduit so he can go after the other teenagers of Springwood.
- Decoy Protagonist: Dream Master opens where Dream Warriors left off, making it look like Kristen, Joey, and Kincaid will have to go up against Freddy again. He kills Joey and Kincaid in the same night, and once he has Kristen cornered, forces her to drag Alice into her dream. In doing so, Kristen transfers her dream power to Alice, but not before passing through Freddy, ensuring that she's his new power source.
- Man on Fire: A subversion. Krueger threw Kristen into a boiler and she became engulfed in flames. In the real world it looked as if Kristen fell asleep with a lit cigarette and accidentally set her bed on fire.
- Passing the Torch: To Alice.
"Rest in hell."Played by: Lisa Wilcox
- Abusive Parents: Alice and her brother Rick had to deal with emotional abuse from their alcoholic father for years. Following Rick's death their dad started going to Alcoholics Anonymous and by Dream Child has become a more loving and attentive father.
- Action Girl: Gradually became this by the end of Dream Master.
- Action Survivor: Alice is the only protagonist to survive two films straight.
- Blessed with Suck: With Kristen's dream power, Krueger used Alice to pull people into her dreams so he could murder them.
- Combat Pragmatist: Alice is compared to MacGyver with how handy she can be, same as Nancy.
- Fiery Redhead: Was this by the end of Dream Master. In Dream Child Alice became blonde, but her personality stayed the same.
- Final Girl: And the only one to survive two movies in a row.
- Mama Bear: The whole point of Dream Child was that she wouldn't let Krueger get away with warping her unborn child.
- Personality Powers: An inversion. As Krueger killed off her friends, Alice began inheriting their dream powers and pieces of their personalities.
- Shrinking Violet: Originally.
- Take Up My Sword: From Kristen.
- Teen Pregnancy: She's pregnant in Dream Child.
"Welcome to my world, bitch!"Played by: Monica Keena
- Action Girl: Becomes one in the third act.
- Attempted Rape: Freddy tries to rape her in a nightmare right before he's dragged into the real world.
- Badass Normal: Who else can say they cut Freddy Krueger's head off?
- Dude Magnet: Aside from her boyfriend, there's Blake, who she considers an idiot, Linderman, who she doesn't hate but doesn't reciprocate, and Freddy, who wants to rape her.
- Final Girl: Well, the only girl to not die, as her boyfriend survives with her. Also, the final Final Girl of the original continuity.
- You Killed My Father: Well, her mother to be exact. This is why she's so eager to get payback against Freddy.
New Nightmare continuity
The Entity / "Freddy Krueger"
"Miss me?"Played by: Robert Englund
The Entity is an ancient shape-shifting demon who has taken the form of Freddy Krueger for the past decade until the end of the series initiates his release into the real world.
- Badass Longcoat: Freddy is wearing one.
- Big Bad: The Freddy Krueger in this film is one even moreso than the Freddy Krueger in the mainstream continuity. It is an ancient entity of evil, which according to Wes Craven has existed in various forms throughout history. It is therefore behind many other monsters, and has spread more misery and destruction than Freddy ever did, who's mostly confined to Elm Street.
- Child Eater: Freddy tries to eat Heather's son Dylan alive before she stops him.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: "Freddy" wears a pair of leather pants.
- Jack the Ripoff: The entity masquerading as Freddy.
- Knight of Cerebus: Even more so after the 6th part in which he was a monster with a sick sense of humour. Here, he is more vicious and isn't nearly as comedic.
- Murder by Cremation: How The Entity is beaten.
- Overly Long Tongue: "Freddy" attacks Heather with it.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Freddy Krueger himself, but he's not really "Freddy" so much as Evil Itself taking on the form of Freddy, and there needs to be a script made in order to contain it.
- This Was His True Form: When the entity is seemingly destroyed at the end, it goes from looking like Freddy to a stereotypical demon.
"That was Nancy, Wes. It's not me."Played by: Heather Langenkamp
Heather Langenkamp is the actress who played Nancy in the original A Nightmare On Elm Street
, and is still mainly remembered for the role as she has become a mother.
- Badass Normal: In the New Nightmare continuity (where she's actually Heather Lagenkamp, an actress who is famous for playing Nancy Thompson), she actually manages to flat out beat the entity that is taking on the form of Freddy Krueger after the movies stopped being produced.
- Mama Bear: In the New Nightmare continuity.
- Skunk Stripe: Heather gets one due to the overwhelming stress of Freddy crossing over into the real world, forcing her to become Nancy once more.
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Heather vomits when she sees that claw marks on Chase's body.
"Just because it's a love story doesn't mean it can't have a decapitation or two."Played by: Robert Englund
The affable, playful actor who has portrayed Freddy Krueger in the Nightmare
- Finishing Each Other's Sentences: When Heather calls him to lament that she is having Nightmares about Freddy. Robert at first assumed that she was afraid of him since he played Freddy, which seems like a concern since Heather and him are friends. However just when Heather assures Robert it's not him but a different kind of Freddy, he finishes her sentence, while at the same time giving a small but subtle Oh, Crap look on his face, before hanging up on her. It's revealed that he was painting a composite picture of the New Freddy.
Robert Englund: Heather? You doing okay?
Heather Langenkamp: Holding my own. You know that guy who was calling me all the time? He's started again. He's been putting stuff in my mail.
Robert Englund: Must've read about the funeral. Sick mother. That's the last thing you need right now, I'm sure.
Heather Langenkamp: Actually, it's been giving me Freddy nightmares.
Robert Englund: Wait a second. Now, let me get this straight. You're having nightmares about Freddy? As in me?
Heather Langenkamp: No. It isn't you. He's scarier. He's...
Robert Englund: Darker? More...evil?
Heather Langenkamp: Yeah...how'd you know?
Robert Englund: Call it a guess...
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: Robert Englund's fictional counterpart in this film is much like the real-life guy; talkative and jovial, and genuinely enjoys the villainous role he's playing.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Robert Englund and his wife's apparent course of action.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: The movie leaves it ambiguous what happens to Robert Englund. The last we see of him he seems to have become possessed by the Freddy Entity. It's unclear if Freddy ultimately took over his body to fight Nancy or not, and if he did, whether that means that Heather killed Robert.
"Are you ready to become Nancy once again?"Played by: Wes Craven
The creator of the Nightmare
franchise, he is plagued with nightmares sent by the Entity about its plans.
- Creator Cameo: As himself, no less.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: Wes Craven bases the new Elm Street script on prophetic dreams.
- Mr. Exposition: He serves to explain the entire plot to Heather Langenkamp (and by extension the audience). He tells her about the Entity that has taken on the form of Freddy Krueger, that it has been released due to the end of the movie series and is trying to cross over into reality, and that Heather is the only one who can stop him.
"Why are you screaming? I haven't even cut you yet."Played by: Jackie Earle Haley, Patrick Seitz
This version of Freddy was a gardener at Badham Pre-School, who was loved by all the kids there. He was also a child molester who used his position to have his way with the children. After the parents found out, they chased him into an industrial park where they trapped him inside a building and burned him alive. Years later he returns to kill all those who attended the pre-school except Nancy, as he has different plans for her
- Off with His Head!: It doesn't work, though.
- Pædo Hunt: The remake explicitly makes him out to be one, even after a lot of misdirection saying otherwise.
- Red Right Hand: The burned skin, what else?
- Stalker with a Crush: He comes across like this, wanting Nancy all by himself and killing anyone that gets in his way.
Kris FowlesPlayed by: Katie Cassidy
- Decoy Protagonist: Although anyone familiar with the original expected Nancy to take the spotlight sooner or later.