Fred "Freddy" Krueger is a character from the A Nightmare on Elm Street film series. Freddy is a dream-demon who attacks his victims from within their dreams. He is commonly identified by his burned, disfigured face, red-and-green striped sweater, brown fedora, and trademark metal-clawed brown leather glove only on his right hand. This glove was the product of Krueger's own imagination, the blades welded by himself.
Freddy first appeared in Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) as a burnt serial killer who uses a gloved hand with razors to kill his victims in their dreams, causing their deaths in the real world as well. Krueger was created by Wes Craven and had been consistently portrayed by Robert Englund since his first appearance.
Freddy is introduced in A Nightmare on Elm Street as a child killer who is eventually captured, but is let off due to a technicality (the search warrant wasn't signed in the right place). He is hunted down by a mob of angry parents and cornered in a boiler room where he used to take his victims. The mob douses the building with gasoline and sets it on fire, burning Krueger alive. While his body dies, his spirit lives on in the dreams of a group of teenagers living in his old neighborhood, whom he preys on by entering their dreams and killing them. He is apparently destroyed at the end of the film by protagonist Nancy Thompson, but the last scene reveals that he has survived. He goes on to antagonize the teenage protagonists of the next five films in the series. After a hiatus, Krueger was brought back in Wes Craven's New Nightmare by Wes Craven, who had not worked on the film series since the third film, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.
Over the course of the series, Freddy has battled numerous survivors including Nancy Thompson. Robert Englund, who portrayed Krueger throughout the film series and its television spin-off, also took the role as a fictional version of himself in New Nightmare; it is implied that Englund was stalked by his character, who is an ancient demonic entity that took on the form of Wes Craven's creation, and has come to life from the film franchise's fictitious world. Englund struggles to keep his sanity intact from Krueger's torments, and goes into hiding with his family. This embodiment of Freddy Krueger also sees Heather Langenkamp as his primary foe as the result of her character Nancy Thompson who was the first to defeat him.
In the dream world, Freddy is a powerful force and almost completely invulnerable. However, whenever Freddy is pulled into the real world, he has normal human vulnerabilities. Robert Englund has said many times that he feels the character represents neglect, particularly that suffered by children. The character also more broadly represents subconscious fears.