18. Freddy Krueger
Appears in: A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985), A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987), A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988), A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989), Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994), Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
Scariest moment: While teenage mental patient Jennifer (Penelope Sudrow) watches TV in the asylum, Freddy suddenly appears on the talk show she's checking out; when she walks closer to the screen, Freddy's exaggeratedly long arms extended out of the tube's sides and grab her as Krueger's head pushes out of the television's top. Before ramming her head into the screen, he says, "This is it, Jennifer: Your big break in TV. Welcome to prime time, bitch!"
Weakness: His inability to avoid becoming mortal once he's pulled out of dreams and brought into the real world.
Over the years, Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) has garnered acclaim more for his stand-up comedian qualities than his ability to inspire night terrors. It makes perfect sense, since Englund's brilliant portrayal of the child molester turned knife-glove-wearing dreamland serial killer fully embraces the character's morbid wit.
When writer-director Wes Craven first imagined Freddy, though, the ideas bouncing around in Craven's head were sickly clever. While sleeping, people are at their most vulnerable, making it nearly impossible to stop Krueger from offing whomever he pleases in gory, imaginative ways. Furthermore, nobody can stay awake forever, so, eventually, whether it's after a week or two months or longer, you're going to enter Freddy's domain. And the outcome won't be ideal.