The original was a spark of creative fire in an era soaked in simplified slasher excess. It represented the best of its iconic director’s demented vision, and spawned a series of diminishing return sequels - each one forgetting the frights of the first to play up the comic angle of the main character. By the time its legendary status was cemented with a bad ass battle royale with a certain slaughter stalker from Camp Crystal Lake, audience interest had waned. They were no longer interest in the bastard son of a thousand maniacs, his deadly finger razors, the tattered striped sweater and a crumple fedora. What had begun in 1984 with an idea about “dreams that could kill” became the monster mythos of A Nightmare on Elm Street, and with it, the induction of molester turned mass murderer Freddy Krueger into the Horror Hall of Fame.
Writer/director Wes Craven could have never imagined the extended franchise life his creepy character would soon have when he stumbled across a newspaper article about young people dying in their sleep. The teens - refugees from Cambodia fleeing Pol Pot’s genocidal regime - where having such disturbed nightmares that they refused to rest. Some who did never woke up again. Taking that material and fusing it to his own interest in Eastern philosophy and a handful of childhood memories, Craven created the accused child killer who ends up the charred vengeance of some grieving parents. As Nightmare begins, Freddy Krueger has vowed payback of a perverse, paranormal design. Haunting the offspring of those who wronged him, he systematically enters their sleep, and with his deadly hand of knives, continues his accused crimes.