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Faces of Fear: Robert Englund

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Freddy Krueger

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In the beginning there was single face behind the horror. This name is Robert Englund.

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It is fitting that Wes Craven was one of the people invited to write the forward of his book. It is through the Craven written vehicle, “The Nightmare on Elm Street,” that Englund’s career and legendary talent was cemented in pop culture history for a life time.

Children of the 80s and 90s were both horrified and amazed at the idea of a razor handed murderer finding a way to cheat death by entering their dreams and killing them while they slept. So many people got their start from at the very least, the idea that Freddy Krueger embodied. As the idea of a serial killer cheating death also seemed to inspire the creator of the Child’s Play franchise. Charles Lee Ray uses voodoo to escape death and the police by possessing the Good Guy Doll Chucky.

Thanks to the original Nightmare on Elm Street Johnny Depp is now a major star as he made his debut as Nancy’s boyfriend Glen. His death is one of the most morbidly creative scenes in movie history.

For the most part the remake of Nightmare attempted to stay true to the idea of the original. The kids in Springfield have suppressed the memory of a child murderer roaming the streets. The parents for whatever reason decided to ignore the courts and burn him in his workshop (in the original) and it is those kids that he choose to start his renewed killing spree. By the time the kids are teenagers, the parents have become complacent, Nancy’s parents are divorced, her father is a workaholic, and her mother is an alcoholic. They have drifted into their sleepy suburban lives when he strikes.

Rather than tell the kids the truth about their fears from their dreams they try to ignore it even when Nancy pulls his dirty brown fedora from one of her dreams. Nancy is the first to realize that he can be controlled because who can really control the unknown powers of Freddy Krueger?

Freddy also finds a way to ultimately becomes the one to massacre the fourth wall as he crosses over in a fictional facsimile of the real lives of his creator Wes Craven and the stars who either brought him to life or defeated him. Robert plays a dual role of himself and as Freddy. Even his fellow legendary horror slasher, Jason Voorhees cannot entirely contain Freddy.

The debut of the reviews of each movie in which Englund brought Freddy to life will begin this Thursday on “Throwback Thursday.”

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