I have wanted to do this for some time now. I have something things I want to say about Freddy Krueger. I will be talking a lot about A Nightmare on Elm Street and it’s remake.
Right well, I will start this by saying, Spoilers! Although there isn’t much to spoil and if you haven’t seen A Nightmare on Elm Street, the original go watch it now.
Don’t think this post will be me bashing on the remake and praising the original but there will be a fair amount of bashing and praising dealt out.
So A Nightmare on Elm Street was released in 1984 and was directed by the late great Wes Craven. The film is a master piece in horror film making let alone a pop culture mile stone.
In a time where we had such films as Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween and Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street was a film franchise that stood out from the crowd, I have 2 words for you, Freddy Krueger & Robert Englund. You see in every other horror franchise, the killer was a big man who didn’t talk, eg Leather Face, Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees but Freddy Krueger was another beast, he was on another level.
Freddy is a man of average height, probably even a little shorter yet the personality of Freddy for lack of a better word, over compensated for his height. You see Freddy is a man who will have fun with you because he knows all too well he will eventually get you, because the simple fact of the matter is you have to sleep at some point. He isn’t like the other antagonists of the horror films, people like Leather Face, Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees is all about business, they rarely if ever mess around, where as Freddy will have a joke, he will cause self harm to himself to disgust you, just to mess with you that little more. Just to show you that there isn’t anything you can do to him that he can’t come back. Case and point, in the first Nightmare on Elm Street, Freddy cuts his fingers off and stands and laughs at his victim.
Now I want to quickly talk about Robert Englund playing the role, he is the reason why Freddy works so well, THE reason. After the first Nightmare on Elm Street did good at the box office the studio quickly got to work on a sequel. Robert knowing that he had this character down, wanted more money to return, so the studio decided to go ahead and trying to make the film without him but it just didn’t work, anyone they got just didn’t have the flare, the humor down, like Robert did. I mean it is the reason he has appeared in every Nightmare on Elm Street except for the remake.
Believe me or not, but if you watch the original Nightmare film, Freddy isn’t much of a joker, in fact he is much more of a run of the mill serial killer, with a fantastic gimmick of killing you in your sleep, I’m not taking anything away from the original it is my favorite of the franchise and is one of the best and my favorite horror films ever made. He is much more serious and it’s only in the sequels we get all the catchphrases and funny kills, stuff like “Welcome to Prime time Bitch” or “I’ve always had a thing for whores that live in this house” and one I love “It’s not my fault this Bitch is dead on her feet.” Freddy became more of a joker than a horror character, we eventually started watching his films for him rather than anything else.
The piece above is the reason why I don’t get as pissed off about the remake as some people because of Freddy being more serious but my problem with Jackie Earl Hayley’s portrayal of the character is that he just didn’t have the charasmatic nature that Englund’s Krueger had.
Something I want to mention quickly is the birth of the character of Freddy Krueger and how Wes Craven came up with the idea for this pop culture icon. He was a child at home, maybe 6 years of age. Now being in a house alone is something what ever can relate to, I think we all at some point in our lives, turned the light off down stairs and then ran up stairs. Well a young Wes, looked outside of his window and saw a man stood there, this man was stood wearing a red and green sweater and a hat. He turned and looked up at the little Wes Craven and in a heart beat, he jumped down and hid from the man, waiting for what must have felt like a life time. Wes decided to get back up and see if the man was still there and much to Wes’s misfortune, there was stood the man still looking up at the boy, he then proceeded to laugh and walked off. This is something what stuck with Wes because when making the character of Freddy, he remembered this man wearing the red and green sweater and the hat. This man got a kick out of scaring the little Wes, so when making the character Wes must have remembered how much of a kick this man got from making him scared, so why not base Freddy on him, with that sense of humor.
Freddy is a character who is flawed, he started out by simply getting revenge on the teenagers who’s parents killed him but he has a blood thirst what can not be contained. There is always more teenagers for him to kill. Other horror movie villains are not as interesting as Freddy, like Leather Face, he was just born into a family of cannibals so whats else could he have grown up to be and Michael Myers, there is no story behind Michael, he is just a killer, a child who has no soul. Believe me I will have a post about Halloween and it’s remake, because I have very, very, VERY strong opinions on the subject matter.
The Nightmare on Elm Street franchise went on to become very successful spawning a whole load of sequels and propelling Freddy into Stardom. He is a character, like the others but him more so, that I knew before I had even seen the films. I knew what Freddy looked like and how he was, that just shows you the power of Freddy Krueger. I feel like Freddy is the best, funniest and most interesting slasher horror movie villain there is and no one will topple him of his throne any time soon. I hope you have enjoyed this post, I enjoy these Why?! Post because they allow me to go deep, go check out the other Why?! Post. Tell me what you all think of Freddy, Tweet me, go to my Facebook or simply comment below, thanks.