A Theory on the evolution of the character of Freddy Krueger

From almost silent stalker to clownish prankster

One complaint people have had with the Nightmare on Elm Street series is what they view as an inconsistency in the personality of Freddy.

In the first film, Freddy is a near silent, almost completely serious monster, killing almost exclusively with his claws. This progresses all the way to Freddy’s Dead, where Freddy doesn’t have a serious kill, ending lives by such means as chalkboards and video games. How do you rationalize these two personalities into one person? I’ll tell you.

Freddy Krueger was a serial killer who died and made a deal with dream demons for power. His power, however, is limited to people being scared of him. Upon being freshly resurrected in the dream world after his death, he was all potential but little strength. When some people finally caught wind of him, they opened themselves up to him. This allowed him to kill them. But he was still not widely known. He had the power to enter dreams, to kill with his claws, but not so much to manipulate the reality of the dreams yet.And then the second film happened.

When Freddy possessed Jesse and used his body as a portal to enter the real world, he confronted an entire party of kids and scared the hell out of them. He even, very accurately and prophetically, stated “You are all my children now”. Because they were at that point. They knew about him, they were scared of him. He could come and get them whenever he wanted. But he didn’t. He let them spread the fear, tell their friends, increase his power even more.

By the time Dream Warriors happened, Freddy’s power had grown significantly. And as a result, he was growing more confident in himself and his abilities. He was beginning to enjoy himself more, experiment, have fun with killing in strange and sometime humorous ways.

This chain of events continues through 4 and 5. At the beginning of Freddy’s Dead, it is stated that he has killed all of the children of Springwood save for one. That is hundreds if not thousands of children. His power is immense and he is literally high on it. He almost completely abandons the use of his claws and takes to seeing if he can just top himself with more and more outlandish kills.

The more he killed, the more powerful he became. The more powerful he became, the more clownish he became. Why? Because he had the luxury.

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  • Henri
    19 November 2016 at 1:56 pm - Reply

    Great theory! I’m convinced 🙂