Franchise Flashback: A Nightmare on Elm Street

With the reboot coming out tomorrow we thought we’d go back and examine the classic horror series.  Starting in 1984, Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger killed his way through eight movies, even taking on his biggest horror rival, Jason Voorhees.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)- Nancy Thompson and her friends are terrorized in their dreams by a burned man with razor blades on his fingers.  After her friend Tina is viciously murdered, the police suspect her boyfriend Rod.  However, Nancy soon learns it was Freddy who did it and she seems to be next.  Rod is killed by Freddy in jail and Nancy refuses to sleep.  After her mother becomes concerned, Nancy agrees to go to a sleep research center but just barely escapes from Freddy, managing to pull out his hat into the real world.  With this knowledge, Nancy sets up an elaborate series of traps and asks her boyfriend Glen to guard her while she goes into the dream world to pull Freddy out.  Glen falls asleep however and is killed by being exploded in a fountain of blood.  Nancy manages to pull Freddy into the real world by herself and hits him with her traps.  Freddy, on fire, smothers Nancy’s mother and disappears.  Mrs. Thompson’s skeleton descends into a portal of light but Freddy reappears.  Nancy chooses to ignore him to attempt to negate his powers.  It seems to work and the next day everyone is alive and well, seemingly everything that happened was a nightmare.  However, when Nancy gets into a car with her friends the convertible top goes up and it has Freddy’s sweater design on it.  Nancy turns to see her mother getting pulled through their front door by Freddy.

Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985)- Five years after the first movie, a new family moves into the Thompson’s house on Elm Street.  The son, Jesse Walsh, starts having nightmares of Freddy demanding that Jesse allow Freddy to use him as a host so he can kill in the real world again.  Finding Nancy’s diary, Jesse grows worried but is ignored by his parents.  Jesse starts going out at night and killing people, first his gym teacher and then one of his classmates, Ron Grady, who Jesse asked to guard him.  Jesse’s girlfriend Lisa does some research and finds the old power plant that Freddy operated out of.  Freddy attack Lisa at a pool party, boiling all the kids except Lisa in the pool.  Lisa escapes to the old power plant and tells Jesse to fight Freddy from the inside.  Freddy starts to lose control and bursts into flames.  The entire building bursts into flames as well and Jesse manages to crawl out of Freddy’s ashes and he and Lisa escape.

Dream Warriors (1987)- A group of kids have been sent to the Westin Hills psychiatric hospital for various problems.  One, Kristen Parker, is there because she was attacked by Freddy and it was mistaken for a suicide attempt.  She refuses to be sedated and starts reciting the Freddy chant, which is finished by new hospital employee Nancy Thompson.  Nancy realizes that Freddy is back and tries to convince her co-worker Dr. Neil Gordon, to use an experimental drug called Hyponcil on the kids.  The drug causes the user to not dream and Nancy reveals she has been using it for years.  Neil is reluctant but another solution presents itself when Kristen is attacked by Freddy in the form of a giant snake.  Kristen pulls Nancy into her dream and Nancy helps Kristen escape.  Nancy realizes they could train all the kids to develop powers to fight Freddy in the dream world and they attempt a test deep hypnosis sesssion.  However, one of the kids, Joey, is kidnapped by Freddy and is left comatose in the real world.  Nancy and Neil are fired and the kids are left to fend for themselves.  Neil gets visited by a mysterious nun who tells him the only way to defeat Freddy is by giving his remains a proper burial.  Nancy’s father and Neil go attempt this while Nancy leads the kids into the dream world.  Freddy separates the kids and kills everyone but Nancy, Kristen, Joey and Kincaid, who has the power of super strength.  The dream warriors are reunited by Freddy overpowers Kincaid and is about to finish him when he realizes what is happeing in the real world.  His skeleton comes to life and kills Nancy’s father but Neil manages to throw holy water on it and bury it.  Freddy meanwhile is killed by Nancy with his own glove but not before she recieves fatal wounds trying to protect Kristen.  The surviving kids are released from the hospital with Freddy seemingly defeated.

The Dream Master (1988)- Kristen, Joey and Kincaid have seemingly returned to normal lives in high school.  However, Freddy returns from the dead and kills Joey and Kincaid.  Kristen tells her new friends about her nightmares.  They reveal that they know all about Freddy and Alice tells Kristen she has the power to control her dreams.  Kristen has a nightmare that night and is cornered by Freddy, she pulls Alice into her dream but Alice is unable to stop Kristen from being killed.  Kristen’s powers however transfer themselves to Alice.  Freddy starts targeting Alice’s friends and she realizes she can enter their dreams to try and save them.  She is too weak to fight Freddy but for every death, she grows stronger and gains new powers.  Eventually Alice feels she is strong enough to fight Freddy and enters into a final showdown with him.  Alice attempts to shatter his portal of trapped souls, the source of his power, and they battle.  Freddy gains the upper hand until Alice uses The Dream Master spell to cause Freddy to realize his evil and that shatters the portal, releasing the souls.

The Dream Child (1989)- A year after Dream Master, Alice is pregnant with her boyfriend Dan’s baby.  However, she starts having dreams about Freddy’s mother, Amanda Krueger and sees her deliver a baby that turns into adult Freddy.  Alice’s friends start dying and she realizes that Freddy is using her unborn son to attack her friends.  Chasing him down in the dream world, she realizes that Freddy has actually possessed her baby and, though it almost kills her, she manages to force him out.  Alice’s friend Yvonne manages to free Amanda Krueger’s spirit at the old Westin Hills hospital and she gives Alice advice on how to defeat Freddy.  Alice’s son, Jacob, who can appear in the dream world, manages to turn Freddy and himself into babies.  Alice absorbs Jacob and Amanda absorbs Freddy and Alice manages to escape.  Jacob is born a short time later and Alice hopes Freddy is gone for good.

Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)-  Freddy has returned and killed nearly every child in Springwood, OH except “John Doe”, whom Freddy throws outside the city limits during a dream and cannot cross after him.  John hits his head and forgets who he is or where he came from.  John is picked up and transferred to a home from troubled youth where he meets a group of  kids and their Doctor, Maggie Burroughs.  Maggie finds a newspaper clipping about Springwood and decides to take John there in an attempt to job his memory.  The other kids stow away in the van, hoping to run away, but John experiences a hallucination and almost crashes the van.  John and Maggie go to Springwood Orphanage while the kids take shelter in an abandoned house.  Maggie and John find out that Freddy had a child and John thinks he might be it because Freddy didn’t kill him.  However, Freddy kills John later in a dream and reveals his child is a girl.  Maggie and Tracy, one of the kids, return to the troubled youth house and find the only one that remembers anything about what happened recently is Doc, one of the workers at the house who has learned to control his dreams.  He reveals that Freddy can only be killed by being brought into the real world and Maggie decides to enter the dream world to do this.  Maggie does this and is able to enter Freddy’s mind and learns that she is Freddy’s daughter.  She also learns about Freddy’s past and learns that demons from hell gave Freddy his powers.  She manages to pull him into the real world and after a hand to hand battle, stabs him with his glove and then impales him on a steel support beam.  Doc throws her a pipe bomb and Maggie shoves it into Freddy’s chest.  Freddy explodes and the demons who made him fly off.

New Nightmare (1994)-  Wes Craven is making a new Nightmare movie and wants Heather Langenkamp, who played Nancy, to reprise her role.  Heather refuses because she has been having nightmares that are very much like those of her character in the Nightmare films.  Wes Craven reveals that he has been writing the script for the new movie based on dreams he has been having and that evil can be temporarily defeated if it is captured in a work of art that equals it, hence the new Nightmare movie.  Evil has taken on the form of Freddy in an attempt to stop it and begins attacking Heather and her son Dylan, who Freddy eventually kidnaps.  Heather realizes she will have to face Freddy for real and goes into a deep sleep to face him.  Heather brought a kitchen knife with her and uses it when Freddy attempts to wrap his tongue around her face.  Dylan and Heather manage to push Freddy into a furnace, burning and destroying him.

Freddy vs Jason (2003)- Freddy, trapped in hell, is unable to gain back his powers because the children of Springwood have forgotten him.  He concocts a plan to trick fellow killer, Jason Voorhees, into going to Springwood and killing the children for him.  Freddy will be blamed and he’ll gain back his powers.  Jason attacks Lori Campbell and her friends at Lori’s house, also the former home of Nancy Thompson, and kills her friend Trey.  After being questioned about it, the police conclude that Freddy is somehow back.  Lori starts having dreams about Freddy, causing him to regain his powers.  Lori reunites with her boyfriend Will, who along with his friend Mark, were at Westin Hills being treated.  They escaped after hearing about the murders. Lori’s friends decide to ignore the murders and go to a rave where Jason attacks and kills a number of teens.  Freddy is angry that Jason might steal his thunder and his kills.  Lori and Will, along with Lori’s other friends, decide to tranquilize Jason and bring him to Camp Crystal Lake.  Lori will then pull Freddy into the real world and the two will hopefully destroy each other.  The plan works, at the cost of everyone but Lori and Will getting killed by either Jason or Freddy and Jason almost getting killed in the dream world.  Jason and Freddy battle through a construction site, and eventually onto the dock of Camp Crystal Lake.  Lori and Will set the dock’s gas tanks on fire and blow up Freddy and Jason into the lake.  Freddy, despite getting his arm ripped off by Jason, staggers out to kill Lori but Jason stabs him through with his own clawed arm and then collapses into the lake, since he was stabbed by Freddy through the art with his machete.  Lori takes Jason’s machete and beheads Freddy, seemingly killing him and then kicks him into the lake.  Lori and Will head off but the next morning Jason emerges from the lake carrying Freddy’s head, which winks to the camera.

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