Freddy Krueger loves to kill. For more than 25 years, Krueger (aka Robert Englund) has invaded dreams to maim, stab, choke and torture more people than we can count. For the 28th installment in our 31 Days of Halloween series we've tracked down 20 of his most horrific and iconic kills that left us too scared to sleep.
Ghost Rider Gone Bad—A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child
Everyone can't be Johnny Blaze. The burning, skeletal look doesn't work for the Average Joe. In A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child, Freddy Krueger put Dan Jordan's (Danny Hassel) pedal to the metal. He tore into his body and ripped off his skin, while going way over the speed limit. This is why it's never wise to dream and drive.
TV Kills Brain Cells—A Nightmare on Elm Street: Dream Warriors
TV is Freddy Krueger's biggest accomplice. It catches you slipping and gives him the perfect diversion. In Dream Warriors, Jennifer (Penelope Sudrow) dozes off while watching a talk show (featuring Dick Cavett and Zsa Zsa Gabor) and gets her big break in TV—literally.
Death by Videogame—Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare
Freddy's Dead proves that violent video games can be the death of you. At this point in the Elm Street franchise, Krueger's kills had gone from horrifying to downright hilarious. In this scene, poor Spencer (Breckin Meyer) gets pulled into a virtual nightmare where he's controlled by a joystick and a Nintendo Power Glove. Do you remember that? This death made the list based on nostalgia alone.
Water Overload (NSFW)—A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Master
Speaking of nostalgia, The Dream Master features a death rooted in '80s excess. After spending the night watching MTV (back when it was music television), Joey (Rodney Eastman) falls asleep on his waterbed, which Krueger turns into a liquid deathtrap. How's that for a wet dream?
The Heroine Dies in This One—A Nightmare on Elm Street: Dream Warriors (scene starts at 8:20)
If you ignore the meta tone of 1994's New Nightmare, Dream Warriors was supposed to mark the death of the series' heroine. Wes Craven brought back Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) to bring the (then) trilogy to a close. She was there at Freddy's beginning, and returned for his supernatural ending.
Internal Food Fight—A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child
As a kid, you're taught that overeating is bad. It can cause you to get sick or, in Greta's (Erika Anderson) case, choke to death. The diet-conscious teen was stuffed to oblivion when Freddy tapped into her biggest nightmare—food. Watching Freddy force-feed a 12-course meal is enough to make anyone put their fork down.
Death of a Wizard—A Nightmare on Elm Street: Dream Warriors (scene starts at 14:47)
Will (Ira Heiden) had a vivid imagination. He honestly believed that as a wizard he could outmaneuver Freddy Krueger. That confidence kept him alive for about 30 seconds, before he realized that his magic was no match for Krueger's blades of fury.
Soul Food—A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Master
Freddy went ultra-camp when he baked kung fu master Rick (Andras Jones) into a meatball pizza. At this point in the film, he'd already gutted him like a fish, but that wasn't enough. He had to taunt Alice (Lisa Wilcox) by eating his screaming head right in front of her. Disgusting!
Freddy Does Comedy—Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (scene starts at 3:15)
Freddy Krueger channeled Looney Tunes when he went after John (Shon Greenblatt) in Freddy's Dead. This death sequence is filled with bad acting and horrible dialogue, but the sight of Krueger pushing a bed of spikes into the middle of a road is too funny to forget.
The Killer Within—A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge
One of the grossest scenes in Freddy's Revenge is the death of Ron Grady (Robert Rusler). In the film, Krueger takes possession of fellow teen Jesse (Mark Patton) and uses him as a vessel to kill. Ron has no idea that Jesse's become the messenger of death when he allows him into his home. Krueger takes a page from Alien and bursts through Jesse's chest before stabbing Ron into a door.
The Hero Complex—A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child
The Dream Child is another Elm Street film heavily influenced by pop culture. In the case of Mark (Joe Seely), his love for action movies and comic books caused his death. Like Spencer, he's pulled into a world he loves only to have it turn against him. He becomes part of a comic, which Freddy proceeds to shred into a million confetti pieces.
Don't Do Drugs—A Nightmare on Elm Street: Dream Warriors (scene starts at 12:38)
In Dream Warriors, Taryn White (Jennifer Rubin) tried to turn over a new leaf. She was a former drug addict who wanted to leave the "bad stuff" behind. Too bad Freddy knew about her weakness and gave her eight doses of her biggest vice. What a horrific drug-induced rush.
The Boiler Room—A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
The moment Jesse Braun (Thomas Dekker) entered Freddy's infamous boiler room he should have known it was over. After falling asleep in his jail cell, he found himself on Krueger's home turf—the boiler room. Once he was corned, Jesse was given a fist full of blades. Where's a good terminator when you need one?
Physics Leaves Us Breathless—A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Master (scene starts at 3:13)
Sheila (Toy Newkirk) is an asthmatic bookworm who spent all night studying for an exam. With her lack of rest, she ends up sleeping in class and falling prey to Krueger. On the outside it looks like she's having an asthma attack, while in the dream world, Freddy's sucking the life out of her.
The Bloody Geyser—A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Before Johnny Depp sailed the seas as Jack Sparrow, he was Nancy's boyfriend Glen in A Nightmare on Elm Street. Prior to drowning Joey in his waterbed, Freddy turned Glen's mattress into a bloody blender. He pulled him in, chopped him up and spit him out. It's one of the most iconic deaths in the entire series.
Freddy's Vertical Adventure—Wes Craven's New Nightmare (scene starts at the beginning)
Wes Craven decided to come full circle with New Nightmare. The sequel was filled with callbacks to the '84 original, including the death of Julie (Tracy Middendorf). While babysitting Heather Langencamp's son Dylan (Miko Hughes), Julie gets sliced, diced and dragged up a wall—all in front of an innocent child.
The Roach Motel—A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Master (scene starts at 8:28)
Have you ever lifted weights and felt like your arms were going to fall off? Debbie (Brooke Theiss) has, and in her case they did. Not only that, but she's transformed into what she hates the most—a cockroach. Freddy finally puts her out of her misery when he crushes her, while she's trapped inside a roach motel.
Shattered Glass—A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
When it comes to the Nightmare on Elm Street series, adults are the least of Freddy's concern. But in the case of Gwen Holbrook (Connie Britton), much like Dream Warriors' Donald Thompson, he makes an exception. In 1984 and 2010's A Nightmare on Elm Street, Nancy's mom is on the receiving end of Freddy's wrath. Both deaths are great jump scares, but the latter is much more brutal.
The Puppet Master—A Nightmare on Elm Street: Dream Warriors (scene starts at 9:04)
Phillip (Bradley Gregg) loves sculpting puppets, and Freddy loves turning dreams into nightmares. While he's sleeping, Krueger yanks him by his tendons (in his arms and feet) and walks him out of a window, giving the illusion that he jumped. As the audience, we know it's murder, but to everyone else it's suicide. Very clever, Mr. Krueger.
Death Has No Limits—A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Tina Gray (Amanda Wyss) started it all. Her death set the tone for what would separate Freddy Krueger from other Hollywood slashers. The woods, the countryside or a specific holiday wouldn't restrict him. Case in point: Tina's vertical death. The shot of her screaming, bleeding profusely, while floating in midair was unprecedented. This was just the tip of the bloody iceberg.
What's your favorite death scene from the Nightmare on Elm Street series?