Top 10 Scariest Nightmare on Elm Street Scenes Ever
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Top 10 Scariest Nightmare on Elm Street Scenes Ever

VOICE OVER: Ryan Wild WRITTEN BY: Mark Sammut
One, two, some great Freddy Krueger scenes are coming for you. For this list, we'll be looking at scenes throughout the horror franchise that helped put Freddy on the map as a nightmare-inducing villain. Our countdown includes “A Nightmare on Elm Street”, “Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare”, “A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge”, and more!
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Top 10 Scariest Scenes in Nightmare on Elm Street


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 scariest scenes in “Nightmare on Elm Street”.

For this list, we’ll be looking at scenes throughout the horror franchise that helped put Freddy on the map as a nightmare-inducing villain.

Which is the scariest scene in the entire “A Nightmare on Elm Street” series? Let us know in the comments!

#10: Glen Is Pulled Into the Bed

“A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984)
Freddy's claws are enough to make a scene terrifying and iconic. Before becoming a one-liner machine, Freddy Krueger was a pretty efficient but still somewhat theatrical maniac. He demonstrates his style expertly with Glen. After the teenager falls asleep, Glen is dragged down kicking and screaming into the abyss by Freddy's hand. Accompanied by Charles Bernstein's pulsating soundtrack, this scene proves that sometimes it’s far more haunting to leave certain things to the imagination. And, of course, add torrents of blood in the aftermath.


#9: Tracy Returns Home

“Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare” (1991)
The “Nightmare on Elm Street" franchise touches on quite a few mature and sensitive topics throughout its run. This is even true in later films that seem more concerned with being funny than scary. While "Freddy’s Dead" is very much a mixed bag overall, Tracy's return to her childhood home is a horror highlight. Along with staging some pretty creative demises, Freddy also loves to indulge in psychological warfare. Tracy ends up in the presence of her horrible father and relives an awful moment from her childhood that presumably really happened. This scene is so chilling that it actually becomes less intense once Freddy reverts to his normal form.

#8: What Happens to Taryn

“A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors” (1987)
"Dream Warriors" sees Freddy seeking revenge against the children of the parents responsible for setting him on fire. When the Dream Warriors decide to take on Freddy, they end up separated. A recovering addict named Taryn finds herself in a familiar alley that holds nothing but bad memories. For a scene that initially feels like an '80s punk music video, things ramp up quickly and to horrifying effect when Freddy uses Taryn's history with addiction as a weapon. This terrifying scene shows that body horror can be deeply unsettling without relying on gore.


#7: Nancy Takes a Bath

“A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984)
Falling asleep in a bath is just a recipe for disaster. As Nancy realizes that the man who appeared in her dreams is responsible for killing her best friend Tina, the stressed-out teenager settles down for a bubble bath to unwind. Naturally, Freddy has other plans. In an iconic scene, Freddy's glove raises from the water like a shark with a penchant for showmanship and fear. Despite Freddy mostly remaining unseen, this sequence does a superb job of demonstrating the villain's brand of horror. Regardless of where someone falls asleep, Freddy can always get to them.

#6: Dan Becomes a Motorcycle

“A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child” (1989)
By the time "The Dream Child" rolled around, "A Nightmare on Elm Street" had gone full camp and Freddy was starting to be seen as a stand-up comedian. Among a slew of forgettable characters and cheesy scenes, "The Dream Child" manages to land a few genuinely memorable eliminations. In a prime example of the franchise's expertise with body horror, Dan becomes a bit too close with his motorcycle. As Freddy throws out all the zingers, Dan transforms into an amalgamation of skin, wires, and pipes in a scene that is truly horrifying. It’s also pretty impressive from an effects standpoint.

#5: Freddy Takes His Wife’s Life

“Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare” (1991)
Originally billed as the final entry in the franchise, "Freddy's Dead" dives into its titular bad guy’s backstory through a series of memories. These scenes are among the film's best, helping to ground a villain who had become almost a cartoon. The highlight of these flashbacks involves a human but still intimidating Freddy disposing of his wife in a manner that has none of the over-the-top theatrics the franchise is known for. Even without make-up and claws, Robert Englund effortlessly delivers a bone-chilling performance as Freddy. He was truly a monster before the nightmare began.


#4: Greta Eats Too Much

“A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child” (1989)
This scene was so gruesome, that the theatrical release of this “Dream Child" sequence had to be trimmed down to make an R rating. After falling asleep at a dinner party with her overbearing mother, Greta finds herself at the mercy of Freddy's cooking. Strapped to a chair in front of an audience of people, Greta is force-fed the insides of a doll that resembles her. Unapologetically disgusting, Greta's demise is genuinely difficult to watch, especially once you see her full from all of the … well we hesitate to call it “food”.

#3: Freddy Communicates Through Jesse

“A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge” (1985)
Although "Freddy's Revenge" might be seen as a strange follow-up to the original "Nightmare on Elm Street," the sequel features plenty of memorable scenes. The film relies on the unique dynamic between Krueger and Jesse, a teen the villain is trying to possess. In a desperate attempt to not fall asleep, Jesse asks his friend Grady to keep watch. Unfortunately, things don’t quite go to plan. Freddy literally goes through Jesse to get up close and personal with Grady. Throughout this unsettling scene, Freddy does not utter a word and just lets the situation speak for itself.

#2: Nancy’s Dream

“A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984)
You had one job, Glen. Desperate for answers on Freddy, Nancy enters the dream world and asks him to wake her up if things go awry. Naturally, Glen falls asleep and leaves Nancy to fend off Freddy alone. Split over multiple locations and including an appearance by Nancy's best friend who has certainly seen better days, this dream somehow makes climbing stairs and a pillow fight seem like the most hair-raising acts ever. Freddy comes across as a formidable and completely demented force, who delights in terrorizing his victims.

#1: Debbie Checks Into the Roach Motel

“A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master” (1988)
With practical effects that wouldn’t look out of place in "The Fly", "The Dream Master" was among the scariest "Nightmare on Elm Street" films. One of the movie’s victims was a girl named Debbie who wasn’t a fan of cockroaches. When she becomes Freddy’s target, Alice attempts to protect her. But while Debbie’s working out, she ends up saddled with an unwanted training partner. Although Krueger says all the right things, he proves to be a terrible trainer and pushes Debbie a touch too hard. Then she begins transforming into a cockroach. This horrifying scene is truly the stuff of nightmares.
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