Photo: A Nightmare on Elm Street / New Line Cinema

13 Freddy Krueger Fan Theories That Are More Than Just A Dream

Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street hit with explosive force when it was released in 1984. The film became a phenomenon, grossing an impressive $25 million domestically, despite spending most of its run in limited release. Five official sequels followed, along with a spinoff, Freddy vs. Jason, that pitted bad guy Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) against Friday the 13th's Jason Voorhees. There was also a 2010 remake that cast Jackie Earle Haley in the role. 

Audiences have always loved a good villain, and they got one here. Perhaps that's why a number of Freddy Krueger fan theories have popped up over the years. Admirers of the franchise have spent time digging deeper into its hypnotic dream worlds, looking for hidden clues or interesting connections related to the disfigured psycho. Most of the following examples come from the users of Reddit, a place where film buffs gather to discuss their favorite movies in obsessive detail.

Are these Freddy Krueger fan theories good or silly? That's for you to decide. Vote up the ones that you think are the coolest. 

Photo: A Nightmare on Elm Street / New Line Cinema

  • 1
    387 VOTES

    Freddy Is Defeated The Same Way In Every Entry

    In each Nightmare installment, Freddy is foiled a different way at the end. Or is he? User u/C_Me thinks he actually loses the same way every time. More specifically, Freddy is vanquished "by someone believing a reality in their dream powerfully enough" to slay him with it. Put another way, the protagonists develop the skill of lucid dreaming - simultaneously being asleep but also awake enough to control one's own dream.

    387 votes
  • 2
    367 VOTES

    'Freddy's Dead' Takes Place After 'Freddy vs Jason' Despite Being Released First

    The sixth Nightmare on Elm Street movie, officially titled Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, was released in 1991. Freddy vs. Jason came out twelve years later. Nevertheless, user u/DeluxeTraffic theorizes that it takes place after Freddy squared off against the Friday the 13th villain.

    The "10 years from now" title card at the beginning of the film is nondescript and could refer to any time period. Also, Freddy's Dead makes it clear that he has dispatched all the children in Springwood, yet FvJ suggests he was targeting young people within the last four years. These facts would suggest the later film might actually occur before the earlier one. 

    367 votes
  • 3
    342 VOTES

    Freddy Expired Because He Had No Way To Return

    Reddit user u/IUsedToBeRasAlGhul has a long, complex theory about Freddy expiring at the end of Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare. The gist of it suggests that he survived from sequel to sequel because of various loopholes that allowed him to return after seemingly being dispatched by the hero/heroine of each chapter. 

    The Final Nightmare, though, finds all his original victims gone. Then Maggie brings him into the real world. With nowhere left for him to go, Maggie is able to slay him permanently. 

    342 votes
  • 4
    550 VOTES

    Freddy Got Some Of His Powers From His Victims

    Fans of the Nightmare on Elm Street series know that Freddy derives his powers from the "dream demons." However, u/softhandsam points out that they technically only gave him the power to travel through dreams and be eternal.

    So where does he get the other powers he exhibits in the franchise - walking, shapeshifting, etc? It's possible he got them from his victims. Using those same two examples, consider that one of the films had a kid who flew in his dreams, another had a kid who could transform himself into various objects. It's therefore possible that Freddy absorbed the dream powers of the teens he attacked.

    550 votes
  • 5
    248 VOTES

    Freddy Enjoyed Watching Nancy Try To Avoid Sleep

    One thing is for sure about Freddy Krueger: if he wants someone gone, that person is gone. So why did he not get rid of Nancy as quickly as he did her friends?

    Redditor u/TheFuryStar speculates that maybe he "enjoyed watching her try to avoid sleep." Furthermore, the user suggests that Freddy trapped her in an Inception-like dream-within-a-dream to accomplish this. 

    248 votes
  • 6
    277 VOTES

    Women Are Freddy's Weakness

    User u/softhandsam thinks that Freddy has a vulnerability toward women in the series, pointing out that it's a female who dispatches him in each entry. Even the second installment, Freddy's Revenge, which has a male protagonist, finds him being felled by a kiss from the guy's girlfriend. 

    As part of this theory, it's pointed out that Freddy twice inhabits the body of a male - Jesse in Freddy's Revenge and Jacob in The Dream Child - but doesn't try it with a woman. Why? Maybe he knows they're potentially his downfall. 

    277 votes