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A Guide to Nightmare on Elm Street for Newbies

Nightmare on Elm Street for Newbies

A Walk Down a Trail of Terror

The time period spanning from the late ’70s into the late ’80s was a season of nightmares. Some of the most iconic monsters of this time were fashioned and sent out to stalk the imaginations of eager viewers. The likes of Pumpkin Head, The Predator, The Thing, Cenobites (Hellraiser), The Fly, Michael Myers, Leather Face, Jason Vorhees, and finally, Freddy Kreuger.   

Unquestionably, these boogeymen were terrorizers in their own rights. Each had their individualistic supernatural strengths and weaknesses, but Kreuger had something the others didn’t have. He had a distinct terror signature and horrifying story arch told throughout six features in seven years. While fans of ’80’s horror are intimately familiar with Krueger and his escapades on Elm Street, newer generations might not be as knowledgeable. But it would be a disservice not to re-introduce a new class of horror fans to one of the biggest horror icons of the ’80s—Fred Kreuger, the terrifier of nightmares.   

A Nightmare on Elm Street: Meet 

In 1984, Wes Craven drew fans into his world, a world he created ruled by the ultimate boogeyman, Fred Kruger, portrayed by the legendary Robert Englund. Before the audience met Fred, they met his prey: the children of Elm Street. The initial film unfolded, as most stories would. An unknown entity launches an assault on unassuming victims. At the center of this ring of horror is Nancy, an aloof teenager but one who learns on the fly. As her friends bite the bullet one by one, she suspects a greater depth to the happenings, and a dirty secret she unearths. Her discovery reveals an unexpected link, a strong bloody cord connecting Elm Street teenagers, their parents, and Kreuger.   

Freddy Gets Revenge 

1985 marked a return to Elm Street. One key question lingered: did the final girl survive? In this segment, Krueger adjusts his tactics. While the plot remains gruesome, he realizes his weakness and his inability to implement it from his realm of influence. What does a specter from the other side do to exert control?   

The Dream Warriors: Freddy’s Kryptonite  

Kreuger didn’t stay away for long in 1987; he returned to the silver screen. And as many would guess, he was still up to his old tricks. But this time, Kreuger had opposition he didn’t reasonably expect. The third segment, appropriately titled Dream Warriors, was just as one might surmise. This time, Freddy had some real competition on his hand. And it was none other than Nancy who spearheaded the mission via young Kristen, a girl who seemed to wield the power to control her dreams and thus weaponize that skill to take down Kreuger once and for all.   

The Dream Master: Freddy’s Ultimate Opponent    

Bad guys don’t go down easy, and neither does Kreuger. The king of nightmares once again returned in 1988. This time, he had a lot he needed to get done and had every intention of doing it. The first on his list was extinguishing those who thought they could subdue and rid the world of his presence. With every prejudicial fiber of his supernatural form, he took it to the Dream Warriors. Before he could tie up all his ends, one hung loose. That loose end culminated in the rise of the Dream Master. The power of this one was both an Achilles heel and a point of possibility. By his design, Kreuger plotted to use that power to extend his reach. After all, an unholy consumptive nature is never satisfied.     

Nightmare on Elm Street for Newbies

The Dream Child: The Origin of a Monster  

The following segment, The Dream Child, gave fans a little extra to chew on. While the story was still very much about Freddy’s attempts to enter the real world, it also gave viewers a piece of his background narrative. The world is introduced to the mother of all monsters, Amanda Kreuger. And his conception only serves as a harbinger of the nightmare he is to become and the havoc he will unleash in both the material world and the afterlife.   

The Final Nightmare: The Ending to End All Endings  

Then, 1991 was the culmination of it all. Freddy was back, back again, and he had a whole new bag of tricks. His every intention was to rule reality as he had the dreamscape. To do so, he tried to create more Elm Streets to assert his control and never-ending reign. And as one would say, that officially (well, almost) closed the saga that was one of the most influential horror film series of the late ’80s.    

The Feature No One Expected    

In 1994, there was yet another sequel to Wes Craven’s New Nightmare. Several of the original characters were brought back to propel and reinvigorate interest. While the theme remained the same, the presentation was starkly different. It blended a farcical presentation with a dramatic reimagining of the sweeper franchise. As far as many were concerned, this was the final nail in the coffin.

Fanfare and Beyond  

And Freddy again appeared in an offshoot feature film pitting him against the ultimate ghost with a grudge—Jason Vorhees. While Freddy vs. Jason was fascinating from the perspective of the fandom, it was unfettered from the original series. In 2010, viewers got their first reboot. It dulled in comparison to the flagship feature.     

Freddy, the icon he is, still brandishes the title of one of the most impressive and monstrous creations of modern times. Few have been able to dethrone him. Wes Craven dug deep when he crafted this dark, loathsome creature, striking gold at the box office. Whether there will be more to add to that is yet to be decided. But as things go, Freddy may return to the big screen and again into our nightmares.  

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984): Official Trailer

Source: Dead Talk Live

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