One, two, Freddy's coming for you. Three, four, better lock your door. Five, six, grab your crucifix. Seven, eight, gonna stay up late. Nine, ten, never sleep again.
In March 1981, at Springwood, Ohio, Tina Gray awakens from a nightmare wherein she is attacked by a disfigured man in decayed clothes wearing a blade-fixed work glove. Her mother points out four mysterious slashes on her nightgown. The following morning she is consoled by her best friend, Nancy Thompson (A Nightmare on Elm Street), and Nancy's boyfriend, Glen Lantz. The two stay at Tina's house when Tina's mother goes out of town, but their sleepover is interrupted by Tina's boyfriend, Rod Lane. When Tina falls asleep, she dreams of being chased by the disfigured man. Rod is awoken by Tina's thrashing and sees her dragged and fatally slashed by an unseen force; he flees as Nancy and Glen awaken to find Tina bloodied and dead.
Five years after Freddy Krueger's A Nightmare on Elm Street, the Walshes have moved into the Thompsons' former home. Their teenage son, Jesse, has a nightmare about being stalked by a killer driving a school bus. He wakes up and attributes the dream to the unusual heat in the room. Jesse goes to school with his friend Lisa, whom he is interested in romantically, but is too shy to flirt with her. After getting into a fight with a boy named Grady during gym class, Coach Schneider has them stay after class and they become friends. Lisa comes to visit Jesse after school and they discover a diary from Nancy Thompson (A Nightmare on Elm Street) detailing her nightmares, which are strikingly similar to Jesse's. Small fires happen around the house, which culminates in the spontaneous combustion of their pet birds. Jesse's father accuses him of sabotage.
In 1987, a year after the events of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge, Kristen Parker dreams herself into an abandoned house on Elm Street, where she is chased by serial killer Freddy Krueger. She wakes up, goes to the bathroom, and is attacked by Freddy again, who slices her wrist with a straight razor. Her mother believes that she is suicidal and sends her to Westin Hospital, which is run by Dr. Neil Gordon. At the hospital Kristen fights against the orderlies who try to sedate her because she is afraid of falling asleep. The intern therapist, Nancy Thompson (A Nightmare on Elm Street), calms her down and earns her trust by reciting part of Freddy's nursery rhyme.
In 1988, a year after the events of A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, Kristen, Kincaid, and Joey have been released from Westin Hills and are back to their lives as normal teenagers with their families. However, Kristen believes Freddy Krueger will come back and when she dreams that she is in Freddy's old boiler room, she summons Joey and Kincaid into the dream. Kincaid and Joey are upset that she has reverted to her old ways back when they were at Westin Hills. To keep her calm, they take her to the boiler room and show her that it is ice cold. Kristen had also summoned Kincaid's dog Jason into the dream. The dog jumps out of the boiler, bites Kristen, and they all awaken in their rooms. The next day, Kristen meets up with her boyfriend, martial arts enthusiast Rick Johnson (Andras Jones), and their friends—Rick's sister Alice (Lisa Wilcox), Sheila (Toy Newkirk), an asthmatic genius, and Debbie (Brooke Theiss), a tough girl who doesn't like bugs. Kincaid and Joey confront Kristen at school about the dream. They tell her to let it go, that their days of fighting in dreams are over. Because Kristen is seen as popular, and Kincaid and Joey are seen as outcasts, a rift develops between them. Rick does not care for Kincaid or Joey and calls them freaks, but Kristen tells him that she is a freak too.
In June 1989, a year after A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, Alice and Dan have started dating and there is no sign of Freddy Krueger. One day, in the shower, she has a vision of herself dressed in a nun's habit with a name-tag saying Amanda Krueger at a strange asylum. She is attacked by patients at the hospital but wakes up. The next day, Alice is graduating from high school alongside her new friends Greta, an aspiring but reluctant, supermodel; Mark, a comic book fan; and Yvonne, a hospital volunteer and swimmer. Alice confides her nightmare to Dan, who tells her she is in control of her dreams.
In June 1999, ten years after A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, Freddy Krueger has returned and killed nearly every child and teenager in the town of Springwood, Ohio. The only surviving teenager, John Doe, is confronted by Freddy in a dream. John wakes up just outside the Springwood city limits but, due to a head injury, does not remember who he is or why he is there.
Heather Langenkamp lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband Chase and their young son Dylan. She has become popular thanks to her role as Nancy Thompson (A Nightmare on Elm Street) from the A Nightmare on Elm Street (franchise). One night she has a nightmare that her family is attacked by a set of animated Freddy Krueger claws from an upcoming ''Nightmare'' film, where two workers are brutally killed on set. Waking up to an earthquake, she spies a cut on Chase's finger exactly like the one he had received in her dream, but she quickly dismisses the notion that it was caused by the claws.
Horror icons Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees meet in Freddy's nightmare world and turn their sights on each other while inflicting pain on their enemies.