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10 Most Memorable Moments from the Nightmare on Elm Street Series

Whether you have seen the films or not, you know the name. Fred Krueger, the razor glove wielding son of a hundred maniacs, that stalks and kills his victims in the place where they’re most vulnerable, their sleep.

We’ve seen his notoriety grow over two decades since the first A Nightmare on Elm Street struck complete terror into the hearts of viewers back in 1984. Wes Craven’s vision of terror went on to become one of the most successful horror franchises ever created, which includes a campy but enjoyable feature long face-off against Jason Vorhees. Some would even attribute New Line Cinema’s rise to the success of the franchise, but nothing eclipses the fact that as kids nothing was more terrifying than hearing someone yell “Freddy’s gonna get you!”.

As the franchise went on some would say that Freddy became more of a “killer comedian”, going for insanely creative kills and spitting out infamous one-liners as his victims bit the
 dust. Yes, he was no longer the man lurking in the shadows, but I’d like to think he became something more, because as ridiculous as things got there was still something terrifying about a guy that is essentially waiting to mentally abuse you in the worst way possible… before ending your life.

With Halloween coming this month you’re all probably looking for a bunch of great horror films to scare the crap out of you. There are so many good flicks to choose from but, I’m here to give you 10 reasons why the “A Nightmare on Elm Street” series needs to be a part of your monster marathon!

10. Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare – “Dat 3D Sequence Though!”

Freddy's Dead -The Final Nightmare

It’s 2014 and 3D films are being thrown at us every other release, but imagine it’s 1991 and Avatar is still only an idea in James Cameron’s head. New Line Cinema had just tanked on Dream Child, the series’ fifth installment, and they knew it was time to go big or go home.
This lead to the final sequence of Freddy’s Dead being shot in 3D, a treat those with the “A Nightmare on Elm Street” boxset can still enjoy using the classic (and included) red and blue 3D glasses.

9. Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare – “Hearing Kills”

Freddy's Dead- The Final Nightmare

We’ve all seen a hearing aid right? Okay, imagine if you will that the hearing aid is… a living organism, that latches itself to your ears. Weirder? Okay. The hearing aid increases the volume of incoming sound to a “mind blowing” point. Keep going? A Q-tip giving new meaning to “in one ear and out the other”. The visuals aren’t pretty but Krueger’s hearing aid massacre that ends with the line “Nice hearing from you, Carlos.” is one of his most creative kills in the series.

8. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare

Wes Craven's New Nightmare

It’s my list so I can do what I want to right? Why the entire film you ask? Aside from the fact that this film took home a nomination for Best Feature at the Spirit Awards, New Nightmare was Wes Craven’s first step into his meta style of filmmaking, which we later saw blossom in Scream. New Nightmare had the first film’s star Heather Langenkamp acting alongside Robert Englund and Wes Craven as themselves as they worked on a new Freddy movie that is plagued by, well, Freddy himself. It get’s cooler. They reinvent Freddy, giving him a black trench coat, less one liners, and a completely organic razor hand that makes the original glove look as threatening as a puppy. Now, while this film had some really good things going, it still ended up being a flop in the box office, mainly due to poor execution of a truly amazing concept.

7. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors – “Where’s the &$*%in’ Bourbon?!”


A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 - Dream Warriors

Dream Warriors. The film featured a cast of teens that were the remaining “Elm Street Kids”. Thanks to Nancy, who became a dream therapist (go figure) the kids realize that in the dream world they have some pretty awesome powers. It might not be the best film, but this Frank Darabont written Freddy outing has some of the best one liners and kills featured in the series. This line from one of Kristen’s dream sequences always made me laugh, but it’s Kristen’s mom’s typical “single mom” rant that truly takes the cake here.

6. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors – “Welcome to Primetime Bitch”

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 - Dream Warriors

Clearly, the one-liners, as hated as they were by critics, is part of the legend that is Freddy Krueger. This scene from Dream Warriors is a perfect example of why they were so great. Jennifer is one of the doomed Elm Street kids in the mental hospital and her dream, to make it big on television. Let’s just say that Freddy is the kind of guy that makes wishes come true.

5. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors – Kincaid

A Nightmare on Elm Street - Dream Warriors

There was only one other character aside from Freddy that was truly able to capture fans and that was Kincaid! The young African American teen’s quick wit and bad attitude quickly made him a fan favourite, and aside from Freddy’s, he had some of the best one liners in the entire series. Kincaid even managed to survive Dream Warriors, returning in the franchise’s fourth film, Dream Master. I always chuckle to myself when I think of Kincaid yelling “Freddy! Come and get me ya burnt face pussay!”.

Wes, I think it’s time you resurrected Kincaid.

4. A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: Dream Master – Roach Motel

A Nightmare on Elm Street - Dream Master

You’re shown some disgusting imagery in the Nightmare series, but nothing makes your skin crawl like the truly revolting Roach Motel sequence from Dream Master. Debbie, a friend of the protagonist Alice, is visited by Freddy as she works out. What ensues would give David Lynch the creeps. Not only does Freddy break poor Debbie’s arms, but he replaces them with the arms of a cockroach, and it’s clear from her reaction to the bug in her food earlier on in the film that this is easily Debbie’s worst nightmare. The transformation is quite disgusting but what really gets you is the squish at the end, where Debbie’s bug guts splatter out from Freddy’s hands as he crushes her in her final resting place, a Roach Motel.

3. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge – Jesse’s Scream 

A Nightmare on Elm Street - Freddy's Revenge

When you first watch Freddy’s Revenge the only feeling you’re left with is confusion. The film is honestly so bad that it hurts. One of the things that stood out to me all these years was the protagonist Jesse and his “in the closet” personality. In fact, it seemed to stand out to a number of people, as it was dubbed a cult classic in the gay and bisexual community. It was only later revealed in an interview with Robert Englund that this was completely on purpose and that Jesse was in fact dealing with his sexuality and that he was bisexual. Watching the film again with that in mind actually filled in a lot of gaps and brought an entirely new light to the film. It’s still terrible though…

2. “One, two, Freddy’s coming for you.”


No. Just, no.

No matter how many times you hear it (and you hear it a lot) the parodied nursery rhyme always managed to make scenes creepy for a moment. Maybe it’s the “Five, six, pick up crucifix.” line that gets you, or the soulless children dressed in white that chant the song as they skip. It’s just one of the few things in the series that managed to scare us more than make us laugh, even when it was overused.

1. A Nightmare on Elm Street

A Nightmare on Elm Street

It’s a horror classic for a reason. The film hit theaters in 1984 but has continued to terrorize audiences for years. Wes Craven’s original take on the burnt maniac was truly his most terrifying, as Freddy choose substance over style, sticking to the shadows and only choosing to drop a one liner when it would really terrorize his victims. Let’s not forget that some of the most memorable and visually stunning kills took place in this film. No one can forget Greg’s final moments in his waterbed where Freddy pulled him into a watery abyss only moments before blood and guts come exploding from the same hole from which he took him. There is also Tina’s unfortunate end along the walls and ceiling of her bedroom which now stands as one of the most memorable scenes in horror history. This was the original Nightmare people and while the others are a treat in the campy horror realm, the first film stands as an exercise in terror.

Honarable Mention – Dream Warriors Music Video

dokken_and_freddy

To truly top of this list I had to make sure that everyone knew about Dokken’s Dream Warriors video, the perfect mix of everything terrible in the 80s… and Freddy. Remaking scenes from the film into cheesy counterparts involving the members of Dokken being hunted by Freddy, the video features a lot of bad hair and makeup, and a solo that Freddy clearly wasn’t happy with. If you need a solid laugh, this one’s for you.

Andrew Hamilton

Andrew Hamilton is a Toronto based filmmaker and creative mad man. Legend has it that he spent most of his childhood locked away in a cell beta testing Netflix.