A legitimate landmark and undisputed classic in the horror genre. Wes Craven’s Nightmare On Elm Street series is an institution, but to a young Wednesday 13 (opens in new tab), way before the hype, it was the stuff of nightmares.
“This is one hell of a memory that I have from this movie,” Wednesday says. “I saw it before Freddy Krueger was this iconic household name of a character, back when I saw it he was just a child molester and it was terrifying! We used to have this box back when I was a kid that meant we could illegally watch all of the TV channels, and I used to sneak into the front room of our trailer when my mom and dad were in bed and watch whatever I wanted. I was eight years old when Nightmare On Elm Street came on one night, I really shouldn’t have been watching it, I had no idea what it was. But I sat there in the darkness watching this movie and, I kid you not, it was the most frightening experience of my life!
“I still remember that scene where she’s stood in the alley and Freddy’s arms grow to grab her – it’s such a freaky thing to see! I went to bed that night and I’ve never been so frightened, just lying in my bed with the branches from the tree scratching against my window like Freddy’s glove!”
If the movie itself scared young Wednesday, it was about to get worse for him.
“Then there was this thunder storm, so the rain is pouring and the tree is smashing my window and lightning is lighting up my room,” he continues. “Then my brother, who was working a late shift at his job came home, swung my door open, and he was wearing this big orange sweater to protect against the cold. And well, of course I was convinced I was about to be murdered in my bed by Krueger!
“It’s a great movie and it stands up so well even today, because that fear of not being able to sleep is so real, I have real trouble sleeping and so it’s real to me!”
When asked where Freddy and the Nightmare series sits in the pantheon of horror, Wednesday is clear of its place in the upper echelons.
“Freddy is an iconic character,” he says. “You have the Dracula and the Wolfman and Frankenstein and all these legendary horror characters, and below that you have the next tier of Jason Voorhees and Leatherface and Michael Myers and Freddy Krueger. I couldn’t say which one is my favourite, because they all have their own unique thing, but Freddy would be close to getting my vote because he’s scary and he’s also funny! He was a really funny character!
“But for the kids that watch the new horror of today, it’s like music, you need to go back and see where the thing you love comes from. I always wanted to hear who inspired my favourite bands, and you should see the film that inspired a million nightmares. Because it’s still the best!”