Played By: Robert Englund
Movie: A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Over the years, Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) has garnered acclaim more for his comic qualities than his ability to inspire terror. 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. —MB