When I was a little kid, Freddy Krueger was the boogeyman who horrified children from my era the most. Has Krueger since passed the torch to the evil animatronic, Freddy Fazbear?
From one Freddy to another, an entirely new generation of children has been terrified.
I don’t know how I got ahold of a VHS copy of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge when I was little. But somehow, I did, and while Freddy Krueger instantly became the figure who would haunt my dreams the most, I loved him. Like many other kids, maybe I just loved the thrill of being so terrified by a fictional boogeyman.
I wasn’t the only child sneaking viewings of Elm Street movies, either. Everyone at school was talking about Freddy Krueger. Kids weren’t technically supposed to watch his movies, but he was still so popular with the younger crowd that they even released several Freddy Krueger toys with his likeness.
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Unfortunately, Freddy Krueger isn’t quite as feared in 2016 as he was in, say, 1989. Kids just aren’t digging up old horror movies from the 80s and 90s to scare themselves silly anymore. And even if they’re watching today’s horror movies, none of them really feature any iconic boogeyman type characters, ever since the demise of slasher films in the mainstream.
But I’ve noticed that every time I go somewhere wearing a Freddy Fazbear t-shirt, I see kids everywhere noticing it. Some stare, or point it out to a friend or sibling. “It’s Freddy!” some kids would blurt out, some with excitement, others with a hint of terror. Almost every kid seems to know him. And I’d bet not even a quarter of them would know about Freddy Krueger.
My own little girl is completely obsessed with Five Nights at Freddy’s. She thought the game was horrifying at first, and I questioned my parental judgment over letting her try it out. Now, she loves all of the animatronics as if they were characters on a Saturday morning cartoon show, and has already started collecting all of the new FNAF toys.
Foxy is her favorite. But still, the most well known, and perhaps the scariest one of them all, is the titular character from the series— Freddy Fazbear.
So now, in 2016, Freddy Fazbear has frightened his way into pop culture as the most notorious boogeyman for today’s children. He has horrified children only to keep them coming back for more— just like Freddy Krueger had done for me.