It seems hard to believe that New Line Cinema released the original Nightmare On Elm Street over 30 years ago. The film that first told the story of Frederick Charles Krueger, who moved from 1428 Elm Street, Springwood, Ohio, to your worst nightmares. Since 1984, there have been nine Freddy films to date (including Freddy vs. Jason).
One of the major factors that sets Freddy apart from other horror movie icons is his inventive kills over the years. This is mainly due to the fact that he can attack you in your nightmares, and as such isn’t constrained by traditional boundaries – the only limit to his kills is his own capacity for inventiveness and malignance.
Today we will be looking at every kill from the Nightmare On Elm Street franchise (even kills that weren’t committed by Krueger himself). Though, one thing to keep in mind is that we will not be taking into account the many times that Freddy himself has been “killed” throughout the series. With the exception of perhaps two films, he was clearly never meant to stay dead. Also, kills that occurred offscreen will also not be taken into account (for instance, the opening of Freddy’s Dead claims that Freddy has claimed literally thousands of lives).
With that, this is the complete guide to every Nightmare On Elm Street death scene. Don’t forget to leave your favorite kill in the comment section below.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
When writer-director Wes Craven first imagined Freddy for the franchise’s jump-off point, the ideas bouncing around in Craven’s head were equally sick and clever. While sleeping, people are at their most vulnerable, making it nearly impossible to stop Krueger from offing whomever he pleases in gory, imaginative ways. Furthermore, nobody can stay awake forever, so, eventually, whether it’s after a week or two months or longer, you’re going to enter Freddy’s domain. And the outcome won’t be ideal.
The Victim: Tina Gray
Portrayed by: Amanda Wyss
One of the greatest Nightmare On Elm Street death scenes is ultimately the very first one. When young Tina Gray falls asleep she is attacked by Kruger; her struggles awaken her boyfriend Rod who watches Tina get slashed by Freddy’s glove and dragged up the wall and across the ceiling, screaming his name before she falls dead onto the bed in a huge bloody heap.
Taking a cue from Fred Astaire’s Famous Ceiling Dance in 1951’s Royal Wedding, the filmmakers created a full rotating room to pull off the shot. Everything in the room was nailed down while the cameraman was attached to the wall. So if you like the zero gravity fight scene in Inception, you should pay homage to one of the originators.
The Victim: Rod Lane
Portrayed by: Nick Corri
After Tina’s mysterious death, her boyfriend Rod is, of course, blamed for it. After he flees the scene he’s picked up by authorities not too long afterwards.
While asleep in his holding cell, Freddy slowly wraps Rod’s sheets around his neck like an anaconda who just found his prey. Before Rod can even realize what’s happening, Freddy drags him across the cell before he ultimately hangs him to death, snapping his neck. When he’s found it appears to be a simple case of an apparent suicide. Though, the audience knows the truth.
The Victim: Glen Lantz
Portrayed by: Johnny Depp
Surely the most crowd-pleasing of the Nightmare On Elm Street death scenes, this is a moment that’s noteworthy purely due to the ludicrous amount of blood involved.
Taking on the usual assumption that bed is a safe haven, Freddy robs slumbering Glen (and millions of audience members around the world) of that sanctity and swallows him up whole. After doing something unspeakably horrible offscreen we then see a raging torrent of blood gushing from where Glen was planning to watch Miss Nude America (with the sound off) just moments earlier.
The Victim: Marge Thompson
Portrayed by: Ronee Blakley
For anybody who has seen the original Nightmare On Elm Street then you’ll know that the film ends on a somewhat ambiguous note. After our main hero, Nancy, defeats Freddy we cut to the next day where everything seems to be peaceful. All of Nancy’s friends and family that Freddy had killed are shown to not be dead at all as they prepare to drive off to school. Suddenly, the roof of their car clamps shut – the material an exact match to the pattern of Freddy’s red and green sweater – and the car starts moving of its own accord.
We then see Nancy’s mother, Marge, pulled through her tiny front door window by Freddy. Though, just a few minutes earlier we already saw Marge bite the big one as Freddy attacked her in her bed (while he was on fire no less). Either way, she doesn’t make it to the sequels.