Freddy Krueger might seem like a joke by today’s standards after numerous parodies but he was the creepiest epitomization of violent sexual predators. Lurking in dreams is just one of his trademarks, along with being merciless. Thankfully, that’s something other horror films have actually share with Freddy so if fans are looking for something alike then these 10 movies would haunt their dreams and waking moments.
10 Happy Death Day
Women being chased by serial killer figures are a common trope in films like A Nightmare On Elm Street. Happy Death Day does something similar but with an added twist as the protagonist and victim keeps resetting back to a time when she was alive like in a video game.
It boils down to whether she can find her supposed killer before her chances run out. This sort of novelty adds more flavor to the usual helpless damsel trend and turns that around by making the victim more proactive in facing her killer and villain, thanks to her weird ability to rewind back every time she dies.
A clown chasing vulnerable children should be close enough to a madman killing teenage girls in their dreams. Both Pennywise from It and Freddy Krueger have a lot in common– they like their victims clueless and innocent. That’s why It should feel like a close horror experience to A Nightmare On Elm Street.
For those who haven’t heard of it yet, It follows the struggle of a group of children who have formed unlikely friendships in the face of a vicious otherworldly creature who eats kids and is commonly disguised as a clown. What makes Pennywise comparable to Freddy Krueger is his ability to toy with reality and manifest his victims’ fears before finally drowning them in his stomach acid.
8 The Cell
The Cell’s filmmakers call it a movie but it’s really more like a sequence of nightmares happening to slumbering comatose patients. It’s like Silence of the Lambs where a psychologist tried to dissect a serial killer’s thoughts to save their next supposed victim. Except the dissection part here involves delving into the comatose serial killer’s mind.
That doesn’t fare well for the said psychotherapist because a serial killer’s mind is anything but tranquil. The film portrays this deep made-up setting environment that’s the stuff of high-fever nightmares including demons that torture their victims by pulling out their intestines slowly and many other grotesque imageries.
7 Hollow Man
Hollow Man takes the predator antagonist trope that A Nightmare On Elm Street is so famous for and puts a new coat of paint on it. It’s a modern retelling of H.G. Wells’ The Invisible Man and portrays how a story of a narcissistic scientist quickly descends into madness after he realizes he can do anything through invisibility.
Being an instinctive creature, the said scientist acts upon his perversions, often abusing his invisibility to violate women. Pretty soon he starts leveling up his crimes to see what he can get away with. It’s a classic tale about playing god and doing something just because you can.
What used to be such an innocent job that makes kids happy now has a different context thanks to the 1992 horror flick, Candyman. There’s a remake coming next year but it keeps the spirit of the 1992 original where the victims need only say “candyman” in front of a mirror three times and the titular horror villain will appear and kill them.
It’s that simple, really, and most of the characters or victims are usually just very curious adventurists. Still, Candyman symbolizes the dangers of adventurism and has come to represent the consequences of recklessness, particularly among teenagers. That’s not too far off from what Freddy Krueger does.
5 Bad Dreams
For those who love underrated horror movies overshadowed by other 1980s slasher flicks like the obvious Friday the 13th, Bad Dreams will be a delight for horror fans. It’s also a slasher movie but cleverly uses the victim’s state of sanity to paint the antagonist.
In this case, the victim is Cynthia, a member of a cult that committed mass suicide by burning. The event rendered Cynthia in a coma and she woke up decades later only to find out that the insane cult leader is still haunting her dreams and memories, doing everything he can to drag her with them because she’s the only survivor.
4 Child’s Play
Much like Freddy Krueger, Child’s Play‘s Chuckie is a vulgar and murderous entity except the latter had the misfortune of being trapped in a doll’s body. That didn’t diminish his strength much and he’s still able to kill and deceive his victims– even surviving many times to the point of having several exhaustive sequels.
For those who aren’t familiar with the killer doll, Chuckie is actually a serial killer whose soul somehow got transferred to a high-tech doll. Hence, he has come to represent what most parents fear about their children’s toys– practically choking hazard made manifest, only stabbier.
Phantasm is a 1979 horror movie that was so shocking and inventive, it got its own digital remaster in 2016 which retained the eerieness of the original. It’s not exactly as gruesome or gory as what Freddy Krueger does but the way Phantasm‘s villain toys with the psychology of its victims is a familiar sight.
The antagonist himself is just called the Tall Man, a pale old and well, tall man who has plenty of supernatural tricks up his sleeve such as turning the dead into zombies. His main goal is to take over the world which is funny and cliched enough when one considers that the only thing standing in his way is a teenager.
2 My Bloody Valentine
For a slasher film that fans can watch either in February or October, My Bloody Valentine offers that flexibility. It’s a slasher film in the same vein as Friday the 13th and of course any movie with Freddy Krueger in it. Fans can expect rampant murder of noisy, obnoxious, and hormonal teenagers and the survival of the quiet ones.
The gimmick here is quite similar to Halloween where the main antagonist, a serial killer, only appears on a specific day, namely Valentine’s. The urban legend is that the serial killer will appear if people celebrate Valentine’s Day. Unsurprisingly, everyone defied the superstition, and a series of murders followed soon after.
1 Dream Demon
Tired of American horror? Why not try British? Enter Dream Demon, a UK horror movie starring an innocent young girl and her friend plagued by memories of the past and their present situation. It all began when the protagonist starts having anxieties before her marriage.
She starts having nightmares regarding what’s supposed to be a happy union for her. Instead of dreaming up a good life, demons infested her sleep and to her dread, she wakes up finding out that the very same demons followed her in the real world. Marriage can be stressful sometimes. though they usually don’t involve demons.
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