I’m sure I do not have to bend over backwards to convince any of you of Freddy Krueger’s rightful place within the ranks of Kindertrauma’s official TRAUMATIZERS. As portrayed by ROBERT ENGLUND, Freddy is one of the world’s most recognizable horror icons and over the last couple decades, has slashed himself a permanent position in to the public’s consciousness. His persona, a trickster ghoul who haunts dreams, perfectly captures the fears of every child who ever suffered a sleepless night. It almost seems as if he always existed in some form or another and was just waiting for NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET creator WES CRAVEN to give him a name. (CRAVEN admits his own childhood fears were the seeds that developed into KRUEGER).
Out of all the genre’s recognizable monsters, killers and demons, Freddy meshes seamlessly with childhood fears in a way that cannot be ignored. In fact, his origin story includes a history of terrorizing and murdering children specifically. Over exposure and his penchant for campy zingers in the franchise’s sequels may have weakened his sting, but lest we forget at the heart of Krueger is the spirit of true Kindertrauma.
This is the type of guy that as a kid you whisper about in hushed tones before bedtime and imagine is lurking within the shadows of your closet. As much as the series showcased the slasher deaths of teenagers by Freddy’s signature bladed glove, lost children, his original victims, would often appear singing jump rope warnings of his impending arrival. Regardless of his victims various ages throughout the series he invariably stood as a blunt dividing line between parent and child who sadistically relished pointing out the lie of presumed safety in the suburban American dream. Although his identity as child killer softened through the course of the series, his every cinematic incarnation included at least one visual reference to lost or snuffed out innocence and childhood vulnerability.
Because he is such an obvious choice we seem to have neglected to tip our fedoras properly to Freddy thus far, but Mr. Krueger’s status as an official TRAUMATIZER cannot be avoided any longer.
Below are some Kindertrauma spirited screenshots from all eight films in which FREDDY KRUEGER appeared. Can you identify from which film each has been taken?