With Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, they've saved the best for last. Evil dreamstalker Freddy Krueger is dispatched forever in this thrilling, final installment of the phenomenally successful Nightmare series. The trademark striped sweater, fedora, and metal rapier hand are gone for good, and Freddy's fire-scarred countenance along with them.
Time and time again, the recurrent and inexplicable terror of Freddy Krueger has gone to battle in the unconscious dream world of Springwood's youth. With each apparent defeat, and with each renewed sense of security, there lies the uneasy threat of Freddy's nocturnal return to Springwood.
Now, with all the children gone, and the entire community of Springwood completely repressed by the controlling influence of Freddy's evil spirit, it's time to end his reign of terror. It's time for a real battle with Freddy Krueger. Not to drive him back or to control his strength. Not to become more powerful than he is, but to put an end to him. Once and for all, it's time for The Final Nightmare.
On Freddy's timely death, the embodiment of this American pop icon, Robert Englund commented, "It's finally time for me to hang up Freddy's glove. While I've enjoyed developing Freddy's character to icon status, I think it's time for me to move on, I am extremely pleased that so much effort has gone into The Final Nightmare, making it, I believe, the most outstanding installment yet."
Dream Master Freddy Krueger, as portrayed by Englund, has become a horror film phenomenon. Audiences flocked in ever-increasing numbers to each of these horror-fests and identified with the teenagers who fought to the death to vanquish Freddy.
As Rolling Stone noted: "The A Nightmare on Elm Street films are helping define a new timely vision of horror: the horror that is buried inside, that dense, dark web of troubled history and garbled fears and desires that help us make up our internal lives. This horror is so internalized that it can only visit the characters in those moments when they are most susceptible to their own private
complexities - in their dreams."
New York Times critic Caryn James noted: "You never know when the teenagers will wake up from a nightmare, terrorized but alive. That eerie slide between dreams and reality--and the teenagers' power to pull their friends into their nightmares--is just the kind of twist that allows filmmakers to redefine a genre."
Critics have suggested that Freddy's "blatant contempt for authority and his penchant for sarcastic wit" hold great appeal for moviegoers. "It feels good to hate Freddy because he's done so many thoroughly despicable things without the teeniest bit of remorse, cracking sarcastic jokes all the while," said one writer.
If Freddy's sarcastic, murderous style earned him notice as a classic horror
villain, it also prompted psychologists nationwide to express concern about Freddy's evergrowing popularity.
One clinical psychologist in Southern California noted, however, that for all of Freddy's terrifying
qualities, he provided teenagers with a valuable service...of sorts. "Freddy Krueger is the king of scary movies. Kids often get obsessively involved with horror-related subjects because...going to a horror film is one of the new highs they have in life to jack up their metabolism."
With this last, and best, Nightmare, those pulses will surely quicken again...for the last time.