Lisa - Freddy’s Nightmare’s 1.7: Sister’s Keeper
I want to kick things off with an episode from the Freddy’s Nightmares TV series. In the pilot, we were introduced to twin girls who would have been Freddy’s victims but survived due to their father finding him (and them) in time. The origin of Freddy Kruger has a happy ending. Cut to episode 7, when we revisit the girls as they are now haunted by Freddy in their dreams.
Julie – Wes Craven’s New Nightmare
Julie babysits Heather Langenkamp’s son Dylan. She is inadvertently drawn into the situation and pays the price. Guilt by association. This death bothered me two-fold because Julie is in a way, collateral damage. This is not her fight. Hell, she isn’t even dreaming. The other thing is that she is killed just like Tina was in the original movie, right in front of Dylan, in a doctor’s office. Talk about a triple whammy of trauma! I felt that this demonstrated what little regard Freddy has for a child’s psyche. He did it to be cruel. He did it because he could.
Jenny - A Nightmare on Elm Street pt. 3: The Dream Warriors
Jenny is a cutter who is admitted into Westin Hills Hospital after it is learned that her reason for self-mutilation is to stay awake. She aspires to be an actress and spends her time watching TV in the rec-room. Freddy catches her there as she falls asleep and assists her in getting into TV…literally. Freddy manifests himself as the TV and grabs her with mechanical arms. He then proceeds to ram her face into it.
The scene can almost be seen as a metaphor for the quest for stardom leading to death. Jenny reminds me of one of those American Idol hopefuls during the audition phase that makes you wonder what she is even doing there.
Freddy takes her waking dream and turns it into a nightmare within her night time dream world. A little bit meta and whole lot of mean.
Sheila - A Nightmare on Elm Street pt. 4: The Dream Master
Sheila has things stacked against her. She has bad vision and asthma which requires an inhaler. Once Freddy starts to go after Alice’s friends, Sheila becomes a target. She is picked on by boys and gets very little attention (in a good way). Freddy visits her after she falls asleep in class, taunting her. He grabs her by the face and kisses her. Sucking her life force from her until she resembles a rotted corpse. In the real world, she suffers an asthma attack and dies in front of everybody. In her dreams she died with a kiss of sorts (sucking face, if you will). Something she probably dreamt about from time to time being unpopular. That is the cruel irony of Sheila’s death.
Will - A Nightmare on Elm Street pt. 3: The Dream Warriors
Will is a tragic character all the way around. He is a gaming nerd who couldn’t have had it all that great in the first place. He was bullied in school and bullied in his dreams. Tired of the horrors within his dream world, Will tries to commit suicide, only to leave himself paralyzed. He is admitted into the hospital to get help. After taking control of his dreams, in which he can walk, he confronts Freddy as a wizard. That doesn’t go very well. Freddy kills him without much of a fight, taking his life in his dream world where he is a mighty wizard who is in control of his own destiny.
Tina – A Nightmare on Elm Street
Tina has the misfortune of being the first Elm Street death. She had been experiencing nightmares where she was stalked. Too afraid to be alone, her boyfriend Rod, along with her best friends Nancy and Glen, stay with her.She is killed in a brutal fashion, drug by an unseen force, up the walls and ceiling, as she is being sliced. Finally, she is gutted and falls to the bed in a pool of blood. All this in front of Rod. To add to the pain of her death. She appears to Nancy as a corpse in a body bag. Even in death, she’ll know no peace.
Carlos – Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare
Carlos suffered at the hands of his parents. Being physically abused as a child, he has a hearing disability. In counseling, he overhears his consoler, Maggie, is heading to Springwood and stows away aboard the bus. Falling asleep, he provides Freddy with fresh meat. Freddy turns his disability into a weapon against him. He turns Carlos’s hearing aid into an organic machine not unlike something Cronenberg would come up with. It grows and takes over the left side of his head. Every sound is amplified beyond tolerance. Freddy scratches his claws on a chalkboard, the sound makes Carlos’s head explode. In a way, his parents finished the job they started. Killing their child a little at a time with Freddy coming in with the coup de grace.
Taryn – A Nightmare on Elm Street pt. 3: The Dream Warriors
Taryn not only as trouble sleeping, but an addiction to heroin. Add to her problems that she is pretty so she is constantly sexually harassed by the orderlies. All she wants is respect, from herself and others. When she faces off against Freddy, she proves a formidable opponent, cornering him. As she goes in for the kill, Freddy pulls an unthinkable card, he raises his hands which now contain loaded needles. He offers her drugs which is still a weakness. Unable to fend him off, she succumbs to him. Dying of a drug overdose. Even in her dreams, she can’t escape her past.
Ron Grady - A Nightmare on Elm Street pt. 2: Freddy’s Revenge
Ron is a smart ass at school who though he has an attitude, is a pretty cool guy. He picks on Jesse, a shy fellow student, but eventually befriends him. That never pays off. If you’re mean, stay that way. After befriending Jesse, Ron is visited by him because he is scared. Ron is killed when Freddy rips out of Jesse’s body and slices him while he is awake. As he screams for help, his father comes to his aid, only to be unable to get through the door. Ron’s father bangs in urgent frustration as his son is murdered inches from him without being able to do anything.
Nancy – A Nightmare on Elm Street pt. 1 and 3
Nancy was a nice girl with a nice family and a good boyfriend. Life was good until Freddy came into her life. She lost her mother, father, and boyfriend Glen to this mad man from her dreams, but know she helps others. Eventually, she returns home and helps the new kids battle Freddy.
Having become a stronger woman, she has at least had a little bit of a life. Freddy kills her father and then pretends to be him, tricking Nancy into a false sense of security. Freddy kills her, ending the original cycle.
It was exciting to have her back, which made it all the more tragic to lose her for good. Her death, in a way, signaled the end of the horror in the series as we knew it. From that point forward, it became an MTV fantasy. Nancy’s death was the death of Elm Street and that is the most tragic thing of all.