When the topic of scariest horror slashers is brought up, Freddy Krueger is sure to be mentioned. The Springwood Slasher has haunted fans’ dreams since his debut in A Nightmare on Elm Street in 1984. An undead killer who targets his victims in their dreams was a terrifying concept in 1984 and still is today. Freddy Krueger’s kills are among the most creative and spine-chilling ever to be put to screen. Most of them use their victim’s fear against them, ensuring their final thoughts are that of pure fear. From Elm Street to Crystal Lake, here are the 10 best kills in the Nightmare on Elm Street series.
10. Greta- A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child
After the third film, Dream Warriors, the series began a steady decline into silly territory. Freddy’s one-liners were much more frequent and ridiculous, as were his kills. As silly as they became, Freddy Krueger’s kills were still usually top-notch. Take Greta’s death in part 5, for instance. Greta’s mother was very high maintenance and projected this onto her daughter. Because of this, Greta has some serious self-image issues, issues which Freddy happily exploits. When she falls asleep during a dinner party, her nightmare fittingly also occurs at a dinner party. The thing is, Freddy is the chief. He feeds her and feeds her until she swells up like Violet in Willy Wonka. Eventually, she chokes to death in the real world.
9. Carlos- Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare
Every fan has their opinion on the supposed “final” film in the Nightmare on Elm Street series, Freddy’s Dead. However, one thing that is mainly agreed on is that there are some pretty creative deaths. Carlos is a character who has an abusive mother and a hearing aid. Freddy takes these traits and runs with them. In the dream world, Freddy takes the form of Carlos’ mother and takes his hearing aid while taunting him. When he finally gave it back, it latched on. Now every sound causes him immense pain. Freddy scratches his trademark glove on a chalkboard. This sound is so severe Carlos’ head explodes. Robert Englund claims this death makes Freddy an “equal opportunity killer.”
8. Shelia- A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master
When a character is introduced with asthma, fans know right away Freddy will take their breath away. This is literal for unlucky asthmatic Shelia. When she unwisely falls asleep in class, Freddy takes over as her teacher. After the “playful” banter that proceeded most Freddy Krueger kills, Freddy requests a kiss from Shelia. Freddy literally sucks the air from her lungs, causing her to have an asthma attack in the real world. This death is especially hard to watch for those of us that have actually experienced asthma attacks. It is moments like this that prove Freddy needs a new generation video game adaptation.
7. Joey- The Dream Master
Several characters managed to come out of Dream Warriors with their lives. Freddy quickly fixed his mistake by finishing all of them off in the first 20 minutes or so of the fourth installment. The most creative Freddy Krueger kill in this movie is Joey. In Dream Warriors, Freddy uses his weakness for pretty girls to trap him in the dream world as bait for the other characters. It seems Joey hasn’t learned his lesson, as here he falls for the same trick. A girl from a poster appears to be trapped in Joey’s water bed. While figuring out how to get her out, Freddy jumps out and pulls him in. He makes a humorous yet predictable joke and drowns Joey in the bed.
6. Freddy- Freddy Vs. Jason
Freddy has died more than once in the Nightmare on Elm Street series. Most notably, when an angry mob torched him and turned him into the monster, he is known as. However, one death is arguably more brutal than the others. Freddy vs. Jason sees several battles among the titans of horror, each with a different outcome. In the final bout, Freddy and Jason are blown into the water. Freddy returns to deliver one last blow to final girl Lori with his foe’s machete. Unbeknownst to Freddy, Jason is behind him and, using his last bit of strength, shoved Krueger’s own glove through his chest, arm still attached. Krueger falls to his knees, and Laurie finishes the job by decapitating him with the machete. This is not only a great Elm Street kill, but a great Friday the 13th kill, even if the ending is ambiguous.
5. Debbie- The Dream Master
Like Sheila before her, Debbie’s weakness is used against her in this Freddy Krueger kill. Debbie is addicted to working out and hates bugs, a recipe for a unique and entertaining kill. In her dream, Debbie is, of course, working out. She is spotted by Krueger. She tries to fight back, but her fear makes Freddy stronger. Her body starts to break apart until she turns into a cockroach. Freddy traps her in a roach trap and crushes her. What makes this kill so memorable are the incredible and grotesque effects as Debbie turns into a roach.
4. Phillip- A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
Anyone who has a tendency for sleepwalking knows it can be scary at times. Add Freddy into the mix, and it adds a new level of horror. Phillip sleepwalks frequently, and Freddy is behind it. In his last walk, Freddy cuts Phillip’s tendons out and uses them as strings. Freddy then controls Phillip as a marionette. To those watching, it just seems like he is sleepwalking. The effects in this scene are fantastic. The real horror is seeing Phillip’s face as he is desperate to stop walking but is helpless. Finally, Freddy cuts the strings and sends him falling to his demise. Kills like this make it clear this is not a family-friendly horror movie.
3. Jennifer- Dream Warriors
When mentioning great Freddy lines from the Nightmare on Elm Street series, “Welcome to prime time” is one of the most quoted. The line comes from Jennifer’s death in the fan-favorite Dream Warriors. Jennifer has dreams of being a television star. Freddy looks to make those dreams come true when he takes over the set she is watching. Arms pop out either side, and his wise-cracking head comes out of the top. After making some jokes at her expense, he shovers her head into the TV, electrocuting her.
2. Tina- A Nightmare On Elm Street
In the original film, Tina is shown to be stalked by Freddy from the first scene. One would even assume she could be the main character until she is made short work of early on. In the dream world, Freddy joins her in bed and slashes her while dragging her along the walls and ceiling. In the real world, all her petrified boyfriend Rod sees is her body flailing around and being dragged by an unseen force. When she is finally killed, Nancy and Glenn burst in to see her lifeless body and Rod covered in her blood. This is the first of Freddy Krueger’s kills seen on screen, and it set the stage for a fantastic career as an icon.
1. Glen- A Nightmare On Elm Street
It is telling when the first film in the Nightmare on Elm Street series has arguably the best kill. Johnny Depp, in his first roll, meets a gory and disturbing end. He is instructed by his girlfriend Nancy to stay awake so they can take Freddy on as he does. He is unable to fulfill that request. He has little time to regret his mistake, as no sooner than he falls asleep, he is attacked. Glenn is sucked into his bed along with a TV and blankets. Nothing happens for a few quiet seconds until a geyser of blood shoots to the ceiling. Nothing is left of Glen but gallons of his blood. This is one of the most disturbing deaths, and Freddy doesn’t even show himself.