Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Halloween SCAREblog- Day 18 (A Nightmare on Elm Street)

You can't have Jason without Freddy it seems...

Right before I started drawing this I had a quick read through the entry on Freddy Krueger on Wikipedia. In it you can read about how Wes Craven's original draft of 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' painted Freddy as a child molester before he was burned to death by the enraged parents of the victims. Wes Craven re-wrote the screenplay after a number of high-profile child molestation cases in California, since he didn't want to be seen as being exploitative. So, Freddy was changed to a child murderer instead. I haven't seen it, but apparently the remake of 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' goes with the child molester angle.

Man, I just don't know... Which one of those is worse? I remember that a while back I was talking to a friend of mine from university (hi, Gareth) and we got onto the subject of how people can feel affectionate towards characters in film and media that are completely reprehensible. I can't think of a better example of this than Freddy Krueger, the dude is either a paedophile or a child murderer, pick your poison. When you think about it, it's absurd that a character like this has become as well-known and well-loved as he is... The dude's a paedophile for Christ's sake! In the case of someone like Jason, you can see how you could feel sympathetic towards him, he wasn't always a crazy, super-powered, zombie, mass-murderer. Freddy, on the other hand, was always a sick bastard. If there was some doubt as to whether or not he'd actually done anything wrong, that would be one thing, but when it's as cut and dry as this... Man, I just don't know.

Obviously as the series wore on, he became a much more comical character, and as John Cleese once pointed out: it doesn't matter how much of a bastard a character is, if he makes the audience laugh, they'll think that somewhere deep down he's not such a bad guy. But Krueger IS a bad guy! He's maybe the worst guy ever! Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you shouldn't be allowed to make the villain of your horror film a vile, creepy, awful person; I just wonder what it says when a character like that becomes as well-loved as Freddy is.

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