Freddy Krueger actor Robert Englund knows why the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise is such a big hit and it has nothing to do with Freddy’s glove or his sweater. It’s hard to imagine the horror landscape without Freddy Krueger and Englund’s portrayal of the character. Generations of kids have been introduced to Freddy over the last 34 years and Englund reveals that the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise has even brought families together over time, which is one of the reasons that the franchise is so successful.
The main reason that the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise is so successful after all of these years is because dreams are universal, according to Freddy Krueger actor Robert Englund. The actor answered questions during a Q&A session at Fandemic Tour Sacramento last weekend and talked about the wild success of Freddy. While there are plenty of reasons that Freddy still scares kids today, Englund says that the main reason is because we all have the same dreams. He explains.
“As much as I’d like to claim responsibility for the success of the movies, the true reason the movies are universal hits is the nightmare is universal. The dream is universal. And I don’t know if you guys know this, but whether you’re in an igloo in Alaska, or whether you’re surfing in Hawaii, or whether you’re in a small village in Africa, tending your livestock, we have the same dreams, the same nightmares. We have the falling the dream, we have the drowning dream, the claustrophobic dream – these are all common dreams. And Nightmare on Elm Street became instantly universal because of that.”
While the dreams that influenced the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise were, and are still universal, the movies have become universal as well, which Robert Englund pointed out. Additionally, Englund spoke about how lucky he is that the franchise is as big as it is, pointing out that he gets more families explaining how much Freddy means to them than he does horror groupies. The horror icon also touched on the generations of fans that he has seen over the years. Englund had this to say.
“The most common response I get from fans, going back – and you have to understand, I am blessed – because of video, because of cable, and then DVD, and then the box set video, and then the Blu-ray, digitally remastered DVD, and the flat screen television, I have lucked out. I’m onto three generations of fans now. And I have a generation of fans that tell me, from the video generation, that I was actually what they watched and were intimate and shared with their late father, or their late mother, or an older brother, or a step-father, or a single mom, or a single dad. Single dad would be really cool and let their kids watch Nightmare on Elm Street. Cool, single step-dad would be cool because he wants to look good in their eyes.”
Adding to the family aspect of the Nightmare on Elm Street legacy, Robert Englund also spoke about the concept of the shared experience. The nostalgia of discovering the movies for the first time and the events surrounding that introduction are just as universal today as they were when the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise started. While the delivery system has changed, the concept is still there. Englund went on to say.
“So I get this response, this huge response, that of all things, is very family-oriented and very full of love and a shared experience. And an afghan, and a futon, and a pizza, and watching the next Nightmare movie when it came out fresh at the video store or at the DVD rental, like Blockbuster. I get a lot of that.”
Robert Englund’s success as Freddy Krueger in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise has grossed over $450 million at the box office and spawned many copycats over the years. While all of the films generally get mixed reviews by critics, horror fans have nothing but praise for the slasher series, which keeps Freddy relevant throughout generations. You can read more what Robert Englund had to say about the success of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise at Comic Book.