What to Watch Next if You Like Freddy Krueger

Freddy Krueger is the main villain in the Nightmare on Elm Street film series. A demon with bladed, leathery gloves for hands, he preys on teenagers while they sleep. Such a terror-inducing fiend has won over so many fans that he’s been part of nine horror films.

Of course, you’ve probably already watched and re-watched every Freddy Krueger film. Therefore, you might need something to fill the void left behind by your favorite slasher. If you find yourself needing something new to watch, we’re breaking down our recommendations right here. Each section includes careful attention to the similarities and differences between these pieces of media and the Nightmare on Elm Street and Freddy Krueger franchise.

Read our list below, and see if you happen upon your next favorite horror flick.


Similarities: Directed by Wes Craven, small-town serial killer

Differences: Satirical, the hero wins

Scream has everything going for it. It’s funny, it’s meta, it’s got a great final girl. And it also pokes fun at all of the horror movie tropes that have frustrated audiences for decades. Following Sydney Prescott, Scream shows us the villain Ghost Face®, a masked killer with a little too much fondness for scary movies.

But how do the teens survive? By following, breaking, or bending the rules of the genre. Gracefully walking the fine line between horror and comedy, and seamlessly merging the two, Scream — as well as its subsequent sequels and reboots — are a must-watch for Freddy enthusiasts.

The Cabin in the Woods

Similarities: Comedy, commentary on the horror genre

Differences: Sci-fi, end-of-the-world stakes, unique antagonists

The Cabin in the Woods‘ heroes are a little older — college-aged, to be exact. But they still behave like teenagers, especially as they all shirk off their adult responsibilities to vacation in a remote, creepy old cabin in the woods. The longer they stay, the weirder it gets. Monsters of all sorts attack, and the house itself even has some surprises in its infrastructure — hello, two-way mirror!

We don’t want to spoil the true nature of the antagonists because it’s a really awesome twist. All we can say is, buckle in for a laugh-and-scream-out-loud adventure when you hit play.

Wes Craven’s New Nightmare

Similarities: Cast and characters

Differences: Standalone, changes to Freddy

Partially horror and partially a scathing take-down of the film industry, New Nightmare introduces Freddy Krueger as a fictional film villain who invades the real world. Then he terrorizes the cast and crew who are making movies about him.

According to Wes Craven, Freddy’s overall more menacing attire and behavior are much closer to how the creator initially envisioned him. New Nightmare clearly critiques how Nightmare was turned into a continuity cluster-fest of a franchise while still paying homage to the people who brought these beloved films to life.

Child’s Play

Similarities: Funny serial killer

Differences: Crass humor, creepy dolls

Possessed dolls, potty mouths, and plenty of gore. That is the signature motif of Child’s Play, in which a fugitive serial killer uses magic to put his soul into a kid’s toy ironically called the Good Guy Doll. What ensues is a slasher film with quite the unusual killer. There are also elements of a haunting and possession story if you include the mother and son who end up with Chucky in their home.

Like Freddy’s story, Child’s Play was so popular that it spawned many additional movies and shows. After you watch the original films, if you can’t get enough of Chucky, check out the 2019 remake and his modern television series.

Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon

Similarities: Dark comedy, slasher antagonist

Differences: Mockumentary style

What if all your favorite slashers were actual historical figures? Behind the Mask imagines Freddy, Jason Voorhees, Leatherface, and more as real-life inspiration for a young psychopath named Leslie. Bizarre and brazen, Leslie brings a journalist and camera crew along to document his rise to serial killer fame. Along the way, he mocks the choices people make in life-or-death situations while he orchestrates his own murder spree.

Behind the Mask is a fun and fresh take on the slasher narrative. Most notably, while it mocks the genre, it also still manages to be scary. Don’t believe us? Pop it on and find out for yourself.

IT Chapters 1 & 2

Similarities: Psychological horror, monster fed by fear

Differences: Child protagonists, otherworldly villain

The pinnacle of creepy clown media, IT Chapters I and II are based on a Stephen King novel. In all iterations, Pennywise the Dancing Clown prowls around Derry, Maine, looking for little kids to snack on. This villain is friendly and funny until he’s not. Then he’s all teeth and blood-red balloons that would make even adults cry — which he does, in Chapter II.

At its core, IT centers around childhood trauma, grief, and loss. Because Pennywise can appear as more than just a clown, and he can exacerbate your deepest insecurities and greatest fears until you’ve given up. So you better be ready to face your own demons when you start this double feature.

Which of these will you be adding to your to-watch list? Get even more recommendations from other TV and film fans at side.show/geekgroup, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!