"One, two; Freddy's coming for you
Three, four; better lock the door
Five, six; grab your crucifix
Seven, eight; better stay up late
Nine, ten; never sleep again."
Freddy Krueger was the villian in Wes Craven's 1984 horror flick A Nightmare on Elm Street. He became a cultural icon, a bogeyman to scare a generation of children growing up in the 1980s and 90s. You couldn't escape from Freddy. He could stalk you in your dreams, and if he killed you in your nightmare, then you really died. Fortunately for us Freddy was a fictional character.
You watch any Elm Street movie even the lamer sequels, it is all about Freddy. He has more charimsa then any of his victims, and he is sympathetic. His backstory, slowly built upon gets more horrific. He was born as a result of a sexual assualt on a nun by a pack of inmates at a psychiatric hospital. The young Freddy is put up for adoption, and is stigmatised as a child because of supposed sociopathic characteristics, illustrated by killing a hamster and fighting with a classmate. Freddy gets a job as a janitor at a school, and is soon suspected of being responsible for murdering students in a boiler room of a local factory. He is arrested and brought to trial and although guilty is released due to a breach of police procedures. A mob of local parents form, and torch the empty factory, condemning Freddy to a fiery grave.
But Freddy came back. Armed with a razor blade glove, a scarred face and the power to invade the dreams of the teenage children of his murderers, Freddy seeks his revenge. The dream stalking and slaying has left us with 7 films, and the fact that the killings take place in dreams gives Freddy the ability to use his imagination and think of more and more gruesome ends for his victims to pay for their parents' sins. Alhough Freddy is sent back to where he came at the end of each one, we know he has really won. After all who remembers Heather Langenkamp?
Of course if Robert Englund hadn't made such a fine job of portraying Freddy, then he might not have been the icon that he became. So thanks Robert, and next time go to sleep, better try not to think about Freddy, because although he is a fictional character, in your dreams he is about a distinct an image that you can get.