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Are You Ready For Freddy? Freddy's Nightmares Comes To Horror
By James Whittington, Tuesday 2nd June 2009

freddys_nightmaresIf there is one horror movie character that stands above all others from the last thirty years or so it has to be Freddy Krueger. This monster from the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise became a global horror phenomenon during the ‘80’s and ‘90’s mainly thanks to an amazing central performance from character actor Robert Englund. Now the critically acclaimed spin-off series Freddy’s Nightmares is coming to Horror each day at 20:00 from May 18th so we thought we’d trace his history and how he became such a box-office hit.

The original run of Elm Street movies; A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985), A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987), A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988), A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989), Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991) built upon the premise that dreams (or what was within them) could kill and tapped into a new and very rich vein of horror.

The original, penned and directed by Wes Craven was a smart and focused piece of horror and gave the world a new anti-hero in the form of fedora wearing, razor-gloved wielding, red and green jumper wearing Freddy Krueger. Played by Robert Englund, Krueger would grow into a smart talking and downright nasty creature, manipulating the minds of young, impressionable teenagers, all in the name of revenge. As the story goes Krueger was a child killer in a town called Springwood who was hunted down by the locals and burned alive. Krueger then began to turn up in the dreams of the town’s youngsters and if he caught them he could kill them. Though he did die in spectacular fashion in Part 6 (the last 20 minutes or so were originally in 3D) he would return (as good monsters do) in several movies.

Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994) was an excellent excursion into post-ironic horror that would become so popular in Craven’s other successful franchise, Scream. Here the actors from the movies play themselves, discovering Freddy was actually a real force. This clever spin coupled with a cameo appearance of Freddy’s gloved hand at the end of Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday (1993) had fans clambering for more but the often promoted Freddy Vs Jason didn’t come to light until 2003.   But it was the TV show, Freddy’s Nightmares - A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Series that really brought the character to the public eye. Created in 1988, this anthology series became an instant hit with Elm Street fans with Krueger acting as host to a plethora of thrilling and downright scary stories. Over 44 episodes the team created some incredible memorable pieces of television, pushing the envelope of what the TV censor would allow and even added to the history of the character. In fact the first episode, No More Mr Nice Guy, actually sees Krueger himself on trial for the original string of murders was torched for. What could have been a cheesy portion of cash-in television is actually a gripping an intelligent piece of drama that stands up to any of the Nightmare movies. The series quickly built on this strong start and gave us some stunning and original portions of horror.   With a new version of the original movie due in cinemas on May 7th, its time to remind ourselves of the original Freddy, Robert Englund. Are you ready for Freddy?   Freddy’s Nightmares - A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Series starts May 18th at 20:00 only on Horror.

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