Warning: spoilers ahead for Vol. 1 of Stranger Things Season 4 on Netflix.
The long-awaited fourth season of Stranger Things has finally arrived on Netflix, with a new set of challenges for the characters spread all over the world and a terrifying new villain. In true Stranger Things style, however, Vecna wasn’t the only element of the season that could send chills down the spine, thanks to none other than horror icon Robert Englund of the Nightmare on Elm Street series playing the cursed Victor Creel. Prosthetics makeup artist Barrie Gower spoke with CinemaBlend about his experience on Stranger Things Season 4, including why working with Englund was “incredible.”
The Netflix show often includes elements from iconic films from the 1980s, and Vecna’s ability to reach into the minds of his victims to torment and eventually kill them delivered a level of horror worthy of Freddy Krueger. Add in Robert Englund playing Victor Creel – the man who gouged out his own eyes after being psychically tormented and then wrongfully imprisoned for murdering his family – and horror fans had a lot to enjoy. According to prosthetics makeup artist Barrie Gower, working with Englund to perfect the look of the gouged-out eyes was a great experience for the makeup team… and a surprise. Gower shared:
What better surprise for a longtime Nightmare on Elm Street fan than to learn that working on Netflix’s biggest horror series would involve Robert Englund himself? Victor Creel may not have looked exactly like Freddy Krueger, but the actor definitely delivered some creepy moments combined with the prosthetics that completely sold what the character had done to himself. Creel didn’t require the full-body prosthetics that Vecna did (and you can read all about the big Vecna reveals here), and it’s safe to say that fans won’t be forgetting his face any time soon. Barrie Gower continued:
According to the artist, hours in the makeup chair are “incredible” when involving Robert Englund sharing stories about his career. Few actors can come into a project with as much horror background as Englund brings thanks to Nightmare on Elm Street, and it’s only fitting that he was able to deliver an unforgettable performance while wearing two hours-worth of prosthetics for a chilling finished product in Season 4. When I noted that Englund must be an expert at prosthetics application in the makeup chair by this point, Gower enthusiastically shared:
After playing Freddy Krueger no fewer than five times in the 1980s alone – and no shortage of times in the years since – there can be no doubt that Robert Englund had plenty of Nightmare on Elm Street stories to tell. Even though Victor Creel wasn’t the character with Freddy-esque methods of killing in Stranger Things, he was a perfect addition to the cast.
You can find Robert Englund’s performance as Victor Creel with the makeup prosthetics from Barrie Gower and his team in the record-breaking Volume 1 of Stranger Things (opens in new tab) Season 4, available streaming with a Netflix subscription now. For the Nightmare on Elm Street series, you can find several of the films both on Netflix and with an HBO Max subscription.
Resident of One Chicago, Bachelor Nation, and Cleveland. Has opinions about crossovers, Star Wars, and superheroes. Will not time travel.
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