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Why a Freddy Krueger Prequel Wouldn’t Work | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey


Summary

  • A Nightmare on Elm Street could have had a prequel, but it wouldn’t have worked.
  • The comedic aspect of Freddy Krueger’s character works well because it comes from his powers, which would be difficult to incorporate with a human version of the character.
  • Fans did not respond well to the darker side of Freddy Krueger, as it made the remake less entertaining and humorless, so a prequel exploring that angle would likely receive similar feedback.


With the Crystal Lake prequel fast approaching, it’s hard not to think of what A Nightmare on Elm Street could do with a similar concept. Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) has a well-thought-out origin story that has haunted fans since his early days. When he was alive, Freddy was a child murderer. The parents of the children he killed banded together and burned him alive. Freddy then looked to get revenge on the parents by attacking the teens when they were dreaming.

At one point, a TV series was planned as A Nightmare on Elm Street prequel. It would have expanded on the first episode of the show Freddy’s Nightmares, “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” and would have been called Krueger: The First Kills. In “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” Freddy was on trial for the crimes he had committed. Ultimately, he was released on a technicality, which is why the parents sought revenge. The series was never picked, but considering it was pitched before the remake hit theaters, the powers that be were most likely banking on the remake’s success, which unfortunately didn’t happen. That’s actually a good thing, as Krueger: The First Kills would not have worked in the long run.

RELATED: Robert Englund’s First Big Role Was the Perfect Opposite of Freddy Krueger


Freddy Krueger Became a Comedic Horror Figure After the First Film

A Nightmare On Elm Street

When it comes to choosing the best horror movie, it’s pretty tough to ignore the classics. A Nightmare on Elm Street was released in 1984, nearly forty years ago, and directed by Wes Craven. The film was enjoyed incredible success with several sequels including A Nightmare on Elm Street: Freddy’s Revenge and New Nightmare, and even spawned a franchise featuring a television series novels and even cross over films like Freddy vs. Jason. If you ask most adults today, and even many kids, they’ve definitely heard of Freddy Kruger. Though, this may only be due to his popularity as a Halloween costume.

The original story is based on a monster, Freddy Kruger, who after being burned alive for murdering a child, becomes some mix of a vengeful spirit and demonic entity. Determined to continue killing, Freddy targets a group of teenagers. Perhaps the scariest thing about Freddy Kruger is his tendency to strike in dreams. For most people, dreaming tends to be a mysterious experience at best, regardless of whether or not they involve the potential for murder, which makes Freddy’s ability to kill in the dreamscape pretty terrifying. Perhaps it was this fact that gained Freddy notoriety as a classical horror figure.

Rating
R

Studio
Warner Bros.

Initially, Freddy Krueger was a dark and sadistic killer, and, for the most part, he still is. But after the first A Nightmare of Elm Street film, the character leaned into more comedic territory. It’s widely known that Freddy is a jokester, preying on his young victims for the fun of it. And this works because he’s a mythical figure that defies rules.

It would be hard to picture a human version of Freddy cracking the same kinds of jokes, mainly because much of his humor comes from his powers as he warps the minds of his victims. Considering that the idea of murdering children would also be covered, it would be more difficult to bring comedic elements into the script.

RELATED: Freddy Krueger’s Biggest Weakness Proves He Is Horror’s Most Powerful Slasher

2009’s A Nightmare on Elm Street Remake Already Provided a Look Into Freddy’s Past

Although the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street touched on nearly every beat from the original first film, there were still some differences between the movies. The remake showed what Freddy Krueger (Jackie Earle Haley) looked like before his death and how he made contact with the children. Instead of being a child murderer, he was now a child predator. His interactions with the children were very creepy to witness but gave more background to viewers. The main characters, Nancy (Rooney Mara) and Quentin (Kyle Gallner), only remembered glimpses of their past, where they interacted with Freddy in his hidden room. And when the kids returned home, visible bruises and scratches on their bodies made Freddy’s eventual death more satisfying.

The film even showed how the parents could group together and take Freddy out. Alluding to the abuse was enough to grasp viewers’ attention. That means a fleshed-out prequel series would be treading on familiar ground, considering the remake touched on all the most important aspects of his origin story.

RELATED: Friday the 13th: Why Can’t Jason Voorhees Be Killed?

Fans Don’t Want to See the Darker Side of Freddy Krueger

Originally, Wes Craven was going to make Freddy Krueger a child molester. He changed the script to a child murderer because he didn’t want to be accused of exploiting a recent string of cases in California. However, the idea still made its way into the franchise. But when it was revealed, fans of the horror icon were not enthused by this new angle.

It created a darker approach to the character, as there was no way to sneak in humor when the killer was sexually abusing children. And when he became a molester with little to no humor in the remake, it wasn’t as entertaining. The expectation of watching a Freddy Krueger film is to be scared and have a good laugh here and there. Freddy is notorious for one-liners, but the remake had no memorable lines because its version of Freddy was not funny. And because the topics were extremely sensitive, the film was more serious in tone.

By focusing solely on what happened before Freddy’s death, the prequel would not be able to work, as the tone would need to be nearly identical to the remake. Sure, aspects could be changed to make it more light-hearted, but at its core, it would be about harm coming to children. And revisiting that angle in a prequel would lead to the same type of feedback the remake got.



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