13 Horror Movie Heroines That Kick Butt

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Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp) in A Nightmare on Elm Street (Image via New Line Cinema)

8.) Nancy Thompson (Nightmare on Elm Street)

If it weren’t for Nancy Thompson, we’d all be dealing with Freddy Kreuger now.

This isn’t quite the exaggeration you think it is. Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp) is the for-real heroine of the first A Nightmare on Elm Street film. When people across her town are dying mysterious and violent deaths, Nancy soon connects the murderous dream stalker with the deceased Freddy Kreuger.

In real life, Kreuger was a serial killer known as the “Springwood Slasher”. After he’s released on a technicality, the parents of his victims corner Kreuger, force him into a shack and burn him alive. Despite the obvious handicap of being dead, Kreuger discovers a way to come back and continue his killing spree. Great for him, but perhaps a drawback for those of us still living.

Defeating a dream murderer doesn’t call for brawn, obviously. What’s more necessary are wits, and Nancy Thompson has those in plenty. She quickly accepts the situation, despite the utter strangeness of it all, and starts her plot to defeat the monster. Thanks to some quick thinking and a series of booby traps, Nancy is able to defeat the infamous Freddy Kreuger – for one movie, at least. That’s honestly the best you can do when you’re a horror movie protagonist.