I recently saw a Twitter exchange that went a little like this:

Girl: "Hey, who's your favorite slasher villain?"

Boy 1: "Jason!"
Boy 2: "Michael!"
Boy 3: "Freddy!"
Boy 1: "Oh please. Freddy is horror's Carrot Top."

And I chuckled. I'm afraid I have to side with Boy 1. Aside from Mr. Krueger's antics in Wes Craven's original A Nightmare on Elm Street, which were darkly clever and insidiously menacing -- there's nothing all that scary about Freddy Krueger. The sequels took a sick and twisted undead pedophile and turned him into a catch-phrase-spouting comedian of carnage. Watching the Elm St. films in order is sort of like watching the horror genre do battle with Spencer's Gifts. (And the merchandisers ended up winning.) Hopefully the upcoming remake is bereft of groan-worthy one-liners.

So while I'll absolutely join you in a discussion about the classic status of Elm Street 1 and/or the relative quality of Part 3 (and, fine, some of Part 7), the schtick you're about to read is the main reason I don't like Freddy Krueger all that much. Or maybe I'm just disappointed that one of Hollywood's most potentially interesting maniacs got turned into a vaudeville huckster -- because cornball humor is a lot easier to write than is actual horror.
categories Features, Movies, Horror