A Nightmare On Elm Street Ending Explained: Sins Of The Mother

Earlier in the film, Marge had installed extra locks on the house door and had bars put over the windows. She had finally seen that her child was in danger, although it’s unclear if she believed that Freddy had returned. Marge was deeply afflicted by the death in her family, but also by the guilt of her vigilante justice. Add alcohol to that, and you have a character that’s never thinking clearly. Nancy, meanwhile, is so sleep-deprived, that she’s not thinking too clearly either. She builds booby traps using shotgun shells, but never thinks to arm a shotgun? The climax of “A Nightmare on Elm Street” is undergirded by a hazy form of off-balance mania. 

When Nancy locates Freddy and pulls him into the real world, reality seemingly turns sideways. Freddy, who previously operated by his own logic, now seems to be abiding by the rules of Nancy’s. The booby traps work, Nancy sets Freddy on fire and locks him in the basement. She manages to scream across the street and summon her father. He breaks into the house, and father and daughter find a set of flaming footprints leading upstairs to Marge’s bedroom. The flaming footprints are dreamy, odd, and clearly not part of the real world. Upstairs in Marge’s bedroom, Freddy — still ablaze — is attacking Marge in her bed. Nancy’s dad puts out the fire, and the desiccated skeleton of Marge slowly sinks into a dimensional portal in the bed. Freddy, it seems, claimed his final victim. 

But not quite. When Nancy’s dad leaves, Freddy re-emerged from the bed portal, now doused. Nancy declares that Freddy has no power over her any longer, as she is no longer afraid. Freddy attacks her but vanishes mid-stab. What?

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