Prelude: Who or what is Freddy Krueger?
Freddy, the “Bastard Son of 100 Maniacs” born circa 1941-1942 is the illegitimate love child of Amanda Krueger and a Maury sized audience of potential “donors." He spent his days a kid-killin while being a creepy janitor type working in a nefarious boiler room. The townspeople got wise to his shenanigans and after botching some evidence in his trial, decided to take it upon themselves to hunt him down and burn him alive. (it should be noted that A Nightmare on Elm Street takes place in 1984. Nancy is 17. And “Freddy’s Dead” puts the arson mob at around 1966. While it stands to reason that Nancy’s parents were around the age of 30-35 at the time of the Freddy burning, this make’s Kristen’s parents anywhere from 14-22…yikes) once he started roasting, Freddy cursed the townspeople that he would come back and get their children… IN THEIR DREAMS! – except he didn’t, but we’ll get to that
Timeline and key years: Amanda Krueger is born in 1907 (Dream Warriors). She dies in 1967 (the same year Nancy was born (Dream Warriors) ). Freddy is born circa 1941 (Dream Child/Freddy’s Dead). Freddy is burnt alive after his trial in 1966-1967. Nancy Thompson is born in 1967. Kristen Parker is born in 1974.
I’ve written at length on this, but NEVER seen it discussed, even though we are repeatedly told right there in the movie. So, I’m just gonna lay it all out there. Running with the idea that this is the ONLY movie ever made and there is no timeline, no franchise, no nothing, there is also no “Freddy” and might not even be a real “Glen." I could go on for PAGES with examples, so I’ll highlight the big ones.
A. The flick opens Inception style, where we are following Tina through her first nightmare about Freddy. As Tina wakes up, we see the “dream girls/jump-rope girls” in the daylight, and this is the first time we/Nancy hear the song. Tina remarks on it saying “the dream I had reminded me of the old jump-rope song." Sure, nursery rhymes were always pretty fucking brutal, but THAT brutal and specific? Not to mention the song was around as early as 1966, if it even existed at all. Nancy never has another moment she sees or hears this song prior to Tina’s death. This is akin to the scene in Inception at the dream café, where Cob questions Ariadne on “how” they arrived to the café, explaining that dreams often begin already in progress. This is also the first instance of Nancy talking like a crazy person, as Tina asks what she dreamt about and Nancy replies “Forget it, everyone has nightmares!” – this response makes no sense unless we look at it in the context of “Nancy isn’t allowed to answer the question, for as the dreamer, the response could wake her up” (a “kick” if you will). Nancy’s subconscious fools itself perfectly and we move on to:
B. Glen’s round robin- Glen’s round robin phone call audio tape to his mom is meant for comedy, but doesn’t make ANY sense outside of serving to again distract Nancy from her conversation/her dream as this is the second time Tina presses her about HER nightmare from the previous night. This time, Nancy answers, until the scene feels the need to call in Rod.
C. Nancy is sleeping in Tina’s bed while Tina and Rod have sex in her mom’s bed. The crucifix falls off the wall which is meant to say “lol Jesus repelled Freddy!” but… this actually happened, in the real world. In the next scene, before Freddy kills Tina in her dream, he again attempts to come through the wall to get Nancy, this happens while/as she’s “waking up”, a huge NO-NO in the rules of Freddy.
D. I’ll spare you all the little heres and theres and we can move on to the big ones. Throughout the movie, Nancy becomes more and more sleep-deprived, staying awake a record seven days. Freddy has AMPLE (nine by my count, including the first unseen nightmare, and the crucifix attempt) chances to kill Nancy, but fails horribly every time. The film itself begins to get disjointed, having odd feeling out of context scenes like Nancy and Glen randomly meeting on a bridge somewhere and leaving separately after he gives her the cryptic advice of “turning away from the monster in the dream." All advice she gets to “beat” Freddy, comes while she’s awake…if she is…
E. and finally, our ending scene. This is by far the most telling evidence to back up the insane theory and it’s very easy to miss it the first time around. Nancy has defeated Freddy by setting him ablaze in the real world/her basement. Her father runs in the house and they trace Freddy’s flaming footprints up the stairs to walk in on the bizarre sight of him engulfing her mother in flames/her burnt body sinking into some strange netherworld. It’s everything that happens here/happened in the previous scene, and what happens next that’s most important. Upon first viewing, we might be so wrapped up in Nancy’s badass cop father finally bursting in to take a stand against Freddy that we might have overlooked flaming footprints that somehow aren’t setting the house/wall to wall carpeting on fire. Or the fact that after watching her mother/his ex wife disappear into a mattress, Nancy openly declares that everything that has happened to her is in fact a “dream." Nancy’s dad doesn’t have ANOTHER line for this entire scene as she begins ordering him to go downstairs as she has business to attend to. He doesn’t speak again til he walks off frame responding “I don’t know” to a “what happened in there?” from one of his cop buddies in the hallway. It’s an unheard line, but it does show up in the subtitles. Nancy doesn’t hear or experience it, as Freddy suddenly rises back up out of the sheets and Nancy blinks him out of existence… only to end up in yet another dream, one she doesn’t escape from.
Timeline: A Nightmare on Elm Street takes place in the fall of 1984.
2. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge - Freddy is Jesse’s repressed homosexuality and the entire movie is an allegory for “coming out of the closet”. And that’s ALL we’ll say about that one.
…crap, you’ve heard that theory before? Ok well how about this one then...
Freddy isn’t “actually” in the movie, except for the opening nightmare and the closing scene nightmare. See, if you’ve ever seen his movies, you’d realize that Freddy kills people in their dreams. Throughout this movie however, “Freddy” only ever kills people in the real world/seemingly while possessing a sleep-walking Jesse, and later, possessing a wide-awake Jesse. He’s also got telekinetic Carrie powers and other ridiculous shit. The answer is simple; fuled by his telekinetic abilities and repressed urges, Jesse goes on a killing spree, tricking himself into thinking that he’s being controlled by the man from his nightmares, the same one the girl who used to live in his new house writes about. Jesse confirms this when he tells Lisa, “I killed Grady, I killed Schneider”.
Timeline: Nancy’s diary confirms that Freddy’s Revenge takes place in May-June of 1989.
3. A Nightmare on Elm Street Part III - Kristen Parker brought Freddy back and indirectly gave him super powers… oh, and she controls the subconscious of the entire population of Springwood.
No, this isn’t a “Kristen is secretly evil” thing, but she is pretty much an unwitting “Jean Grey." Kristen and co. are the LAST of the “Elm Street” children, and Kristen herself has a very special dream power – no, I’m not talking about the Patricia Arquette wannabe Power Ranger moves. She has the ability to pull people into the dream world with her. This ability manifested when she was a child (around three or four), as she would pull her dad into her nightmares and the dreams would get better. Being as Kristen is fifteen in this movie and Nancy was seventeen in the first movie (six years ago), this means Nancy was born in 1967 and Kristen was born in 1974. Kristen’s abilities manifest around 1977 or 1978 and Freddy tries his first dream-strike in 1984, right around the time Kristen’s parents divorce. But wait, there’s more...
Following the events of the original movie (as it relates to a franchise timeline), Nancy has gone off the “dream grid” and become a rising star grad student at Stanford. Kristen begins dreaming of Freddy/the 1428 Elm Street house and news reports confirm “two more teenage deaths” at the time Kristen is admitted. Freddy is leeching off of her powers to provide him souls to kill, and manages to use her via a framed suicide attempt to rangle all the remaining Elm Street kids into the same place where he can get them. Nancy, is an added bonus, as Freddy is genuinely shocked to see her in Kristen’s dream. Nancy confirms that Freddy killed her mother and all her friends, but never says HOW she was able to defeat him/get him to go away the first time. She’s also shocked to see how strong he has grown. And since we’re covering this movie here and now, I’ll say that the “Beautiful Dream” theory in which Kristen dreams Nancy/Heather Langenkamp into a paradise dream (which is New Nightmare) is complete wishful thinking and bullshit. Kristen herself dies, which would end the dream, and Heather/Nancy’s dream is ANYTHING but “happy."
Timeline: Here is where it gets tricky. Nightmare part 5 has a “congrats class of 1989!” banner. If the first movie took place in the Fall, it COULD have been 1983, making this “six years later”. It could however been been Fall of 1984 and is now January of 1989 (putting movies 3, 4, and 5 all in the 1989 January-June SAME school year, as Alice graduates in part 5).
4. A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master – Alice has narcolepsy. She also invents the “Dream Master poem” and uses it to kill Freddy.
Takes one to know one, and suffering from narcolepsy, I’ve often wondered how I’d fare against Freddy. Being “half-awake” at all times kinda paints a target on your back…except, it also gives you complete and utter mastery over your dreams/the dream world, and by the age of 15, we can lucid dream an entire set piece like the ridiculous clock gears thing Dr. Manhattan builds on Mars in Watchmen. They do mention a kid having narcolepsy among other sleep disorders in Dream Warriors, but we never see THAT kid, and no one in this movie calls Alice’s “condition” anything other than “Day-dreaming.”
My “Kristen” theory is all but confirmed by this movie and the next one when Kristen unwittingly brings Freddy back, dreaming up the house and then the junkyard, pulling in her friends. After taking out Joey and… [leave a rose] Kincaid, Freddy turns his attentions to Kristen, the last of the Elm Street children. Freddy prompts her into pulling Alice into her dream, who then inherits her “dream pull” powers. Freddy then uses Alice’s dreams to systematically hunt down her remaining friends and brother. Alice slowly recalls a bullshit prophecy/poem and uses it to eventually defeat Freddy in a grand showdown…where she beats him with a mirror. Freddy has used mirrors to kill or taunt his victims in EVERY movie until this point, but somehow this works 'cause reasons – or maybe it’s just Alice’s ultimate power/force of sheer will.
Timeline: Like I said with part III, this one sees Kristen, Kincaid, and Joey attending school and having a full roster of friends. The events of Dream Warriors take place over a period of 48 hours, so it’s possible this was the next week?
5. A Nightmare on Elm Street part five: The dream Child- Freddy is the father of Alice’s baby/ Freddy IS Alice’s baby
Krueger is nothing if not resourceful and always seems to have a contingency plan or a way to cheat death. The movie opens with a gratuitous credits scene of Alice and Dan having Terminator meets Top Gun style sex over a credits screen. This is meant to be the conception of Jacob, but immediately goes to the scene of Alice in the shower that fills with water, our first indication “this is a dream." If you really think about it though, there’s only TWO possible notions that could have this scene make any sense. Either Alice’s narcolepsy is acting up again and she’s rusty on her Dream Master powers, or… the baby that was LITERALLY just conceived seconds earlier is already…dreaming? Alice’s nightmare then shifts to the asylum where she finds herself in the Amanda garb as the 100 Maniacs descend upon her…then she wakes up in bed, has another nightmare and decides to take a shower for real. Alice has no idea she’s pregnant until after Dan dies (another one that the baby dreams into a nightmare).
It would stand to reason and make sense given the bullshit explanation at the end of the movie (Freddy has been inside Alice since their confrontation) that he is the growing fetus (which was technically his plan with Jacob all along anyway). Freddy appears to be living in Alice’s uterine wall and feeding Jacob souls via the umbilical cord where he even remarks about “his boy” and how the resemblance is uncanny. Jacob himself has full dream powers/can play into Alice’s narcolepsy (and while it is a fact she has it, even if he inherits it, it doesn’t manifest in the womb… not til about puberty usually) and there’s that whole bit at the end where Freddy was a “part of Alice," or when the Freddy/Dan ghost shows up and Alice bluntly states “that’s not your father!”
Timeline: June 1989 as confirmed by the “Class of 1989” graduation banner.
6. A Nightmare on Elm Street Part VI: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare - John Doe IS Freddy’s son… Jacob
The map/blurb in the beginning of the movie reveals that “ten years from now,” (putting the flick in 2001) every last child has been killed in Springwood and all adults experience a mass psychosis about the “delusion” of Freddy. John Doe, is the last surviving teenager, and the film opens with him having been awake for about a week trying to escape Springwood. How did he elude Freddy for so long? How was Freddy able to kill all the teens if he needed Alice and Jacob using the Kristen power to do it previously? What became of Jacob? Bingo. Freddy then hits the jackpot in sending “John” TWO fucking miles outside of Springwood, where he naturally finds Catherine and the others.
Timeline: 2001 – other key dates throughout Freddy’s life. It should be noted that using the info in the beginning, the Springwood population sign of “12,265” and the updated total after Freddy kills “John," according to his tally Freddy has killed 7,500+ people… damn.
7. Freddy vs Jason - Freddy tries to make ANOTHER Jacob
Even I will admit this one is reaching, trying to fit a shitty movie into a neat timeline/explain the change in Springwood from movie 6 to this one. In the Friday timeline we said that FVJ takes place circa 2003. Kia remarks that Will was sent away “four years ago” putting it at 2005 IF Freddy’s Dead does in fact take place in 2001. In any event, it would make sense that Catherine/Maggie fixed up Springwood, and got everyone on hypnocil. A “dead” Freddy, would go right back to the dream world and tried to come back permanently through trying to sleep with the townsfolk. Lori’ s father sees him going after his wife and tries to save her. He’s caught by Will, and the rest is history. Freddy gets a little bit rough with Lori when he has her all to himself, and in the alternate ending, he attempts the same thing with her. (We know it comes after Freddy’s Dead, because he can freely leave Springwood.)
Timeline: 2003 according to Friday timeline, 2005 according to Kia's comments in relation to Freddy's Dead taking place in 2001.
8. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2010 Remake - is actually Freddy’s nightmare
This is the only way I can justify this God awful piece of shit movie (spoiler alert - it’s the BOTTOM of my rankings list and I can’t wait to skewer it in the reviews). If fans can justify New Nightmare as a “Beautiful Dream," I can sure as shit justify this as the horrible dream Freddy wakes up from in the Dokken “Dream Warriors” music video. When he says “who were those guys? What a nightmare!” he wasn’t talking about Dokken and the Dream Warrior kids, he was talking about Jackie Earle Hayley and co. and this dystopian Springwood shit fest. This also explains why THIS version of Freddy, (A fucking Gardener) has a nightmare “boiler room” or “jump-rope girls." While it is true of the original concept that Freddy wasn’t just killing the kids, the REAL Freddy actually seems to like and in his own sick way, care for “his” children. He would never touch them. De’d just slaughter them as teenagers.
If you haven’t seen this movie, DON’T!
Timeline: If my theory is correct, and I don’t see ANY reason why it wouldn’t be, “Freddy’s Nightmare” takes place right before Dream Warriors in 1988.
9. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare - The demon doesn’t want to be Freddy anymore
I actually don’t consider this one a real Elm Street movie. The “rules” state that as long as they keep making Elm Street movies, the demon won’t be able to enter our world. The demon does everything possible to sabotage the movie, possessing Wes Craven and haunting Robert Englund. It then leaves a trail of breadcrumbs for Heather/Nancy and loses in a parody of Hansel of Gretel. The script itself is SO bad for the fictional New Nightmare in the film (whoa…so much…meta) that it inexplicably brings back Nancy Thompson and her father. The movie was guaranteed to tank had it ever actually been released and it would have kept the demon trapped in the Elm Street franchise for years to come.
Timeline: different universe altogether, takes place in the year the film came out.
Did I make all your dreams come true? Or was this list the stuff of nightmares? Be sure to check back as Jim and I give our ranked list of the Nightmare on Elm Street films… 1, 2…you know the rest.