Favorite Slasher Series: Nightmare on Elm Street

I think I’m going to start each of these off with a little bit of mood music…

Freddy Krueger has been a constant in my life from a very young age. One of the first scary movie images I recall seeing as a child was Joey Crusel thrashing around in a waterbed. But I didn’t know why until much, much later…

(From The Scare)

That was the only scene I managed to see of the Nightmare series for a long time. It wasn’t until early middle school when I saw the original Nightmare on Elm Street for the very first time. It would have come after I saw Edward Scissorhands for the first time, because I recognized Johnny Depp’s name in the credits. Not even the credits of the movie; no, I purchased a novelization of the first three films and noticed his name there, then went to find the movie. Which, wasn’t too hard considering I lived within walking distance of two places that rented videos at the time.

At this stage in the game, I’ve seen each and every movie with Freddy Krueger’s name on it at least 1000 times. With exception to the 2010 remake, because well, Jackie Earle Haley just didn’t do it for me the way Robert Englund does.

Source Unknown
Source Unknown

This movie series has everything: revenge, love, lust, blood, and laughter. If anything, Freddy can make you laugh. He’s got great one-liners and whip-crack wit. Wouldn’t the Devil need to be charming? Considering he’s basically the embodiment of the concept that the sins of the fathers will be paid by the sons–and, in this case, the daughters. Every child on Elm Street is paying the price for the vigilante justice performed against one child killer extraordinaire, Mr. Krueger. They set him on fire (please, with the “spoiler alert” crap, it’s been 30 years! There’s an entire Wikipedia network established for NOES, for Pete’s sake!) and he becomes an even bigger problem: a dream demon. Still killing kids (there’s a lesson for adults, vigilante justice only exacerbates the problem!), now the parents just don’t believe it’s happening anymore. They’ve solved the problem, after all, right?

Wrong. And for seven total movies, plus face-off and remake films, Freddy gets to keep telling those adults they’re wrong, eventually moving out into the greater world, “Every town has an Elm Street!” So much so, even the potential of reconnecting to his own child only made the blood lust stronger. Coming out into the “real world” only made him loom that much larger above us. (Happy 20th Anniversary, New Nightmare, as of October 14th, by the way!!)

Source: BasementRejects.com
Source: BasementRejects.com

Freddy’s presence has become a mainstay and a constant, not only at Halloween. For all of his evil, disgusting ways, he’s charismatic, dynamic, and nigh unstoppable. I see images of Freddy’s mug with “RIP” next to it, and I always have to wonder. Could a personality like Freddy’s, seated so deep, made so tragic, and of the darkest bile found in the human condition, ever really be dead? Good thing there are Dream Warriors, just in case he isn’t.

(From John TTherror)


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