Guest Author - Amber Grey
"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."
He's Freddy Krueger. He is the one we fear in our nightmares and we are never the same again once we see "A Nightmare on Elm Street" (1984). Wes Craven's inspiration for Freddy Krueger was inspired by a variety of things, but the main inspiration for the character came from actual mysterious deaths that the Los Angeles Times reported on where the victims had recurring nightmares about a man named Mr. K before they died in their sleep. To further the concept behind the character of Freddy, Craven was inspired by the song "Dream Weaver" by Gary Wright and by the fear he felt when he was faced with a creepy homeless man when he was a child. As for the claw, Craven believed that in order to make a character memorable in a horror film, they must have a weapon that injects fear and he gave Freddy the claw after he watched his cat one night.
The talented actor that was immortalized as Freddy Krueger, is American-born actor Robert Englund. To Englund, Freddy represents a certain kind of neglect that only children are receptable to. He also believes that Freddy could represent, in his relationship to the main heroine "Nancy", her innocence that is lost and in a more broader aspect represents our subconsious fears. For the complicated make-up, Englund endured anywhere from 3 to 4 hours in the make-up chair and although he was enthusiastic about the remake, once it was released, Englund expressed his disappointment when he saw that most of Freddy's visage was digitally added, which he felt looked unrealistic. As for the characterization of "Freddy" - Englund approved of Haley's portrayal.
Krueger reprised his role numerous times over the his career. Most recently, he brought "Freddy" back to life in the 2003 film, "Freddy vs. Jason." In the film, Freddy Krueger and Jason from the "Friday the 13th" franchise in an epic face-off, where a group of teenagers are caught in the middle. In 2009, Englund released his memoir, "Hollywood Monster: A Walk Down Elm Street with the Man of Your Dreams." He has also found success outside of the "Nightmare on Elm Street" franchise, appearing as himself and other diversely creepy characters in the horror genre. In his busy schedule, Englund always finds the time to appear at fan conventions to meet his adoring fans.
It is interesting to note that when "A Nightmare in Elm Street" (1984) was released, although it was not a blockbuster, it did was successful enough to save New Line Cinema from being on the verge of bankruptcy. In years to come, the studio referred to themselves as "The house that Freddy built." Now, the "Nightmare on Elm Street" franchise has become one of the most revered franchises in the horror genre with "Freddy Krueger" was one of the most recognizable villains of all-time.