Freddy Krueger has been slaying Elm Street teens for almost 40 years, but he also had a history before becoming the Springwood Slasher? Prior to his profession as a dream demon, Freddy was a father, husband, and son. The filmmakers pulled from many influences to create his A Nightmare on Elm Street, including dark figures from director Wes Craven's past and legendary actors from the horror industry.
Here is a look at a few dark details and obscure lore that surround the Elm Street monster.
Freddy Krueger Was Based On A Real Story About A Young Boy Who Perished In His Sleep
In an interview with Vulture, writer-director Wes Craven shared how he came up with some of the ideas for the film:
I’d read an article in the L.A. Times about a family who had escaped the Killing Fields in Cambodia and managed to get to the US. Things were fine, and then suddenly the young son was having very disturbing nightmares. He told his parents he was afraid that if he slept, the thing chasing him would get him, so he tried to stay awake for days at a time. When he finally fell asleep, his parents thought this crisis was over. Then they heard screams in the middle of the night. By the time they got to him, he was dead. He died in the middle of a nightmare. Here was a youngster having a vision of a horror that everyone older was denying. That became the central line of Nightmare on Elm Street.Sharp detail?
Freddy's Costume Was Inspired By A Vagrant That Terrified Wes CravenPhoto: Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child / New Line Cinema
In a story for the New York Post, writer-director Wes Craven recalled a real-life scary childhood memory that inspired part of Freddy Krueger's costume. Craven, while lying in bed at night, heard someone on the sidewalk outside his apartment and looked out the window:
It was a man in an overcoat and a sort of fedora hat. Somehow he sensed that someone was watching, and he looked right up and into my eyes.
When the creepy guy tried to come inside the apartment building, Craven's brother went outside with a baseball bat, but by then the stranger had left. The man inspired Craven's choice of hatwear for Freddy as well as the character's personality:
The thing that struck me most about that man... was that he had a lot of malice in his face. He also had this sort of sick sense of humor about how delightful it was to terrify a child.Sharp detail?
He Can Only Go After The Descendants Of His KillersPhoto: A Nightmare on Elm Street / New Line Cinema
From Redditor u/lady_baphomet:
[Freddy] only switched to teens after dying, as the dream demons who gave him his powers originally only allowed him to go after the [descendants] of the people who murdered him.
He could not target people who were not connected to his original death, and it was a huge plot point in the third and fourth films. By the... sixth film he had managed to kill off every child and teen in Springwood, but hardly touched the adults, and instead just messed with their minds.Sharp detail?
Freddy Didn't Go To Jail Due To A TechnicalityPhoto: Freddy's Nightmares / Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution
From Redditor u/lady_baphomet:
Freddy was caught for the murders of the children in Springwood; he was only let go because one of the officers (maybe even Nancy's father) failed to correctly fill out the forms for a police search. So all evidence in the case was dropped, and Freddy was allowed to walk free due to a technicality, even though he was 100% guilty.
In other versions of the mythos, a drunk judge signed the warrant in the wrong place.Sharp detail?