Freddy Krueger

Heather Langenkamp in A Nightmare On Elm Street

I remember reading an article in the 1980s about writer/director Wes Craven’s inspiration for Freddy Krueger, who visits his victims dreams and kills them while they’re asleep. Craven has since talked about this inspiration often, and it involves a news story he stumbled across about a Cambodian refugee boy from the Killing Fields who was plagued with nightmares. One night, his parents heard him screaming. He had died in his sleep. This isn’t the only time that Craven has made films inspired by real-life events. His 1988 Haitian zombie flick The Serpent and the Rainbow was a fictionalized story of antrhopologist Wade Davis who studied drugs allegedly used to induce zombification for slavery. Because Craven had two well-known films in the 80s based on real-life accounts, this led to a minor urban legend that there’s real truth to someone dying in real life if they die in their dreams. As anyone who occasionally suffers from nightmares might tell you, this is a terrifying concept, so it got me thinking: if you die in a dream, would you really die in real life?

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Wes Craven

“Every kid knows who Freddy is. He’s like Santa Claus or King Kong.” – Heather Langenkamp in Wes Craven’s New Nightmare. In a film full of truthful observations, that line always struck me as the truest, or at least the most relevant to my own relationship with Freddy Krueger and the Nightmare on Elm Street film series. I was four when the original came out in 1984, so I was too young to experience that film or most of the first few sequels on their first release. As I grew up, my awareness of Freddy came from what seeped into popular culture. As best as I can remember, my introduction was either a kid in my 4th grade class wearing a Freddy mask for Halloween, or possibly an ad for the costume in a comic book. So “my” Freddy was less the disturbing child murderer whom Wes Craven created for what probably felt like a standalone film, and more the watered-down pop icon. Less a psychological threat, and more of a catchphrase-spewing gimmick killer. It’s the difference between how the shark from Jaws plays on screen, and experiencing him on the Universal Studios tram tour. As a result, Freddy never scared me as a kid, nor did I have any desire to see the movies. I knew that they came out every year or two and I assumed all of the movies were stupid slasher films, in which, I saw no appeal. I remember seeing a trailer for Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare in 1991 and thinking it looked incredibly awful. Good riddance. Then came 1994 and […]

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31 Days of Horror - October 2011

They said it couldn’t be done. A fifth year of 31 Days of Horror? 31 more terror, gore and shower scene-filled movies worth highlighting? But Rejects always say die and never back away from a challenge (unless you count that time Robert Fure was challenged to a game of F*ck/Marry/Kill), so we’ve rounded up the horror fans among us and put together another month’s worth of genre fun. Enjoy! Synopsis: Director Ronny Yu got saddled with something fans both dreamed of and feared – a merging, a meeting, a battle between classic 80’s villains Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees. At a time when both franchises were deader in the water than their stars, the two icons clashed when a forgotten Freddy Krueger uses his mojo to trick Jason Voorhees into slaughtering the residents on the sleepy Elm Street, resurrecting their fears of an unknown killer and bringing Krueger back to power. What follows is an enjoyable battle of blades, a couple of boobs, and a damn fine time.

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When I was talking with some friends a while back about how much my wife and I enjoyed Insidious (probably one of the first genuinely well-made horror films in ages), I started thinking about how they’re almost sure to greenlight a sequel any day now (still waiting on that) for some studio to run into the ground like James Wan and Leigh Whannel’s previous collaboration, the Saw series. Saw got dumber and shittier as it went on, probably due to the fact that by fourth film or so the plot was incomprehensibly stupid. What’s the point of all this again? And Jigsaw had how many apprentices now? By the end of the series, I was expecting him to have solved the financial crisis by employing the majority of Americans to set moronic traps for each other. But the thing that’s easy to forget is that the first Saw movie was actually a pretty damn good movie. It wasn’t unique by any means. It owes a lot to Dario Argento and his fellow Italian Giallo filmmakers, but that’s not the point. The point is, Wan and Whannel paid attention. They actually put forth an effort to make a film that wasn’t a remake or a sequel or a cheap knockoff. They showed their hand as far as influences go, but fuck, so does Quentin Tarantino. Hell, even Saw II and Saw III weren’t bad. So maybe that’s the secret to making a horror film that’s not ball-crushingly idiotic. Maybe it just […]

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You’ve stumbled upon Circle of Jerks, our sporadically published, weekly feature in which we ask the questions that really matter to our writers and readers. It’s a time to take a break from our busy lives and revel in the one thing that we all share: a deep, passionate love of movies. If you have a question you’d like answered by the FSR readers and staff, send us an email at editors@filmschoolrejects.com. What villains have you liked more than their hero counterparts? – Nathan S.

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For those not keeping up with the times, it’s October. Which means that everyone has horror fever. Scary movies are being played in dark rooms, nubile coeds are being given manly arms upon which they can grasp when the brown note kicks in, and people like Brian Salisbury are busting out VHS copies of Demons 2 in a ritual that is as old as evil itself. For some — many of you, I would venture — it’s the most wonderful time of the year. And while I’m slightly more inclined to celebrate the beginning of bikini season, who am I to rob you of your fun? With that in mind, I browsed on over to Yahoo Movies today to find this fancy new infographic. I’m told these are all the rage in Europe. This one pits three of cinema’s most prolific slashers together in a good ole fashioned kill-off. Who killed more in their cinematic careers, asks the graphic, Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees or Freddy? According to this, it’s Jason by a landslide victory. More impressive is his victory when you consider the fact that he took his first movie off, letting Mama Voorhees do all the slicing. So here’s my question, horror lovers: are there any more prolific killers out there? Also, which of these fine hellions had the most interesting series of kills? Check out the full infographic after the jump if you need a reminder as to which movies these kills came from.

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Drinking Games

It’s October! Woo hoo! That means horror movies for everyone, not just in the theaters but also on DVD and Blu-ray. So scare yourself silly by watching some of these horror movies that are being released. First up is the remake of Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street. Whether you think it lives up to the original or not, it won’t matter when you’re done with this movie.

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With a heavy hit at the box office, we might be seeing a glove full of knives coming at us in 3D soon.

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Critical consensus be damned, our horror guru dug the hell out of A Nightmare on Elm Street and wants to share his thoughts with you.

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It’s a taboo topic, but we brave the films that brave the unclear world of this sexual pathology and emerge unscathed with the best portrayals of pedophiles in film.

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For no good reason, Freddy Krueger has come back to life. But that won’t stop his return from being a terrifying ride into the world of dreams now, will it? Certainly not.

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kevin-reportcard-header

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr has A Nightmare on Elm Street and suffers some Furry Vengeance

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Fat Guys at the Movies

Neil wets his pants in terror after watching A Nightmare on Elm Street and Kevin acts like a grumpy, old man, bemoaning how it doesn’t live up to the glorious 80s. They also dish out some war stories about how they were traumatized by Furry Vengeance.

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We dig into the horror icon’s seedy past to find some of the best moments from even some of the worst movies.

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The kid (and knife) gloves come off as we take a look back at the less than shining examples of Freddy Krueger in film and TV.

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nightmare-on-elm-street-hires1

Warner Bros. has released another high resolution photo of Jackie Earle Haley as the iconic dream-invading baddie Freddy Krueger in the upcoming remake of Nightmare on Elm Street.

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nightmare-on-elm-st-poster1-header.jpg

The friendly folks at IGN have passed along the first official artwork from the upcoming horror remake A Nightmare on Elm Street, which stars Jackie Earle Haley as notorious dreamweaver Freddy Krueger.

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jackiehaley

Could it be possible that a rumor we read on the internet isn’t true? My world is crumbling.

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freddy_krueger

The Nightmare on Elm Street reboot from Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes pulls a director through his bed and fires out a hundred gallons of blood! Or just signs him to a contract.

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Return to the original nightmare to remind yourself of a time when Freddy was actually frightening.

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published: 11.26.2014
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