The following is going to touch on spoilers for Stranger Things, so please stop reading now if you haven’t watched the episodes in Part One.
Without actually stating it, season 4 of Netflix’s Stranger Things has been borrowing inspiration from the classic horror franchise A Nightmare on Elm Street. The main villain, Vecna, “hypnotizes” his victims and makes them feel as if they are trapped in a nightmare before finally mauling them, physically, in sequences that traumatize with disturbing audio effects. And while the Stranger Things team admits that Vecna’s appearance was influenced by a vintage Game of Thrones character, they also very much tipped their hand at the Nightmare on Elm Street love when they cast Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund, for a crucial role… and he thinks there’s a good chance that he will be back once part two of season 4 arrives.
Robert Englund appeared in one episode of Stranger Things season 4 so far, playing Victor Creel in a set up that was also a blatant homage to Anthony Hopkins’ imprisonment in The Silence of the Lambs. But by the end of the first part of this season, when we learned that Vecna is really Victor’s troubled son Henry Creel, we assumed that Victor could return. So when Englund stopped by CinemaBlend’s official ReelBlend podcast, we asked him if he planned to return to Stranger Things, and he told us:
Just speculating here, but Robert Englund appears correct when he says that Vecna has unfinished business with his father, Victor, and the return of Englund for a few more scenes makes sense, narratively. Also, why cast a horror legend like Robert Englund if you don’t plan to use him for more than one scene inside of a prison cell? Yes, the prosthetics team has praised Englund’s contributions to the season. But Englund thinks there’s even a literary reason why Victor needs to resurface… giving us real hope. As he tells ReelBlend:
We won’t have to wait very long to find out, as part two of Stranger Things season 4 lands on Netflix on July 1. We singled out a number of things that we want to see in the season’s conclusion, and even laid out the questions we still had after part one played out. Some of them had to do with Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), and the “war” that is coming between Vecna and the Hawkins kids. Let’s hope Victor gets his day in the sun.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.