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Wes Craven’s Inspiration for Freddy Krueger Was a Homeless Man and Real Events!

2 min read

freddy krueger inspiration wes craven

Movies focusing in part on real events often make up a large part of the movie industry. In fact, it’s often the case that movies based on real events are the best stories. Some great examples are Schindler’s List, Braveheart and Titanic. While some aspects of these stories were altered for entertainment purposes, the movie pretty well stuck to the script of how things really played out. While horror movies aren’t exempt from being based on actual events, you would hardly think that “A Nightmare On Elm Street” would fit such a criteria, but it does. You see, Wes Craven’s inspiration for Freddy Krueger was a disfigured homeless man, his childhood bully, a pop song, Dream Weaver, and a DC superhero. As for the plot of the horror movie, it was based on real events that were reported in the Los Angeles Times.

A Nightmare on Elm Street is one of the classic horror movie series. First appearing in the 1980’s, the franchise has not only managed to scare the crap out of people for about three decades, but it also launched the career of one Johnny Depp. That’s right, without this B-grade horror movie franchise, one of the largest names in entertainment may have never got a break.

So back onto topic. Let’s take a look the villain first shall we? A monstrous man called Freddy Kreuger.

Mention any bad guy from a horror movie and Freddy Kreuger will have to rank among the first to come to mind. Disfigured beyond belief and wielding a glove filled with razor sharp blades, there’s hardly a more terrifying figure that you could come across. Even Jason doesn’t look as scary. But why make him so scary? Surely he had to be based, at least in part, on a real person? Well, Wes Craven’s inspiration for Freddy Kreuger was a real person, an unnamed person at that.

According to Wes Craven, the horrific look of Freddy Kreuger was inspired by a disfigured homeless man that scared the crap out of Craven as a kid. Craven described this poor fellow as being just as terrifying as the monster he brought to life on the big screen. Let’s face it. This one dude was so scary that he stayed with Craven right throughout his adolescence and into adulthood. But this is only part of the persona. A completely disfigured man can certainly be scary, but it’s what’s on the inside that matters the most, or at least that’s what we are told. Craven needed a personality to match the disfigured man. So say hello to his childhood bully, a one Fred Kreuger.

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