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The History Of Nightmare On Elm Street

a nightmare on elm street movie poster

The History Of Nightmare On Elm Street

Horror franchises do not get bigger than Nightmare On Elm Street. The long running film series features one of our greatest villains, Freddy Krueger. Before picking up the Shoe Palace x Nightmare On Elm Street collection, learn more about the history of the Nightmare.

The Master of Horror

Wes Craven may be the most prolific horror director of all time. The idea of Nightmare On Elm Street came straight from the mind of Craven. Craven would go on to write and direct Nightmare, which released in theaters in 1984. The film would launch one of the most successful franchises in film history.

Before the release of the original Nightmare, Craven was a struggling filmmaker. He made the now cult classic horror films, The Last House on the Left and The Hills Have Eyes. Both films were far from hits, despite the esteem they now hold in the minds of many. Because of his lack of financial success in the past, Craven had a tough time getting a studio to make Nightmare on Elm Street.

Craven got the idea for Nightmare on Elm Street when he read an article in the paper. A young boy was experiencing terrifying nightmares. In his vivid visions, the boy was being chased. The boy was so afraid of his bad dreams that he refused to sleep for days at a time. Eventually, he would fall asleep, but tragically, he died while sleeping one night. His parents heard him screaming before his death. The boy had experienced one last horrific nightmare as he died.

That heartbreaking story became the basic premise of Nightmare on Elm Street. Eventually, Craven found a studio to make his film. The script was too good to be ignored forever. A small budget was secured, and Craven was able to bring his idea to the screen. Wes Craven would go on to make a lot of great films in his career, but Nightmare, and his creation of Freddy Krueger, is maybe his crowning achievement as a filmmaker.

wes craven in black and white

Making A Modern Horror Icon

The idea and script for Nightmare on Elm Street was tantalizing. Young people being terrorized in their dreams was an appealing idea for a film. But the villain of Nightmare on Elm Street is what made it a standout in the film world. Freddy Krueger was the perfect movie monster. Freddy is a monster that is now thought of the same way we think of Frankenstein and Dracula. Freddy’s scarred and burned appearance was topped off by his sadistic sense of humor. Kruger would taunt and threaten his young victims. Freddy was different than monsters like Frankenstein or Michael Myers because he would verbally harass his prey. Krueger had a demented and dark sense of humor. He had a personality...he was not just a silent killing machine.

Robert Englund was the perfect actor to play Freddy in the mind of Craven. Wes Craven did not feel like any other actor understood the darkness of the character, the way that Englund did. Robert Englund has appeared as Freddy Krueger numerous times over the years. Freddy’s hat, glove and striped sweatshirt are all iconic pieces of film history – largely due to Englund’s work. Englund was able to create a character that still appears on merchandise, like the Shoe Palace x Nightmare on Elm Street collection. In 2022, Freddy is still one of the most popular costumes every Halloween. The Nightmare on Elm Street franchise is impossible to envision without Englund’s work as Krueger.

freddy kruger yelling

The Never Ending Nightmare

Wes Craven would work on the Scream franchise later in his career. The Scream series would not exist without Nightmare on Elm Street. Freddy Krueger helped to establish the slasher genre as one of Hollywood’s most successful endeavors. Wes Craven passed away in 2015, but his legacy lives on in his many films and with the phenomenon, Nightmare on Elm Street.

Shoe Palace honors the legacy of Nightmare on Elm Street with an exclusive collection that releases 10.14 at Shoe Palace locations and on


- Adam C. Better

freddy kruger in claws

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