Following Scream, Why Wes Craven's Nightmare On Elm Street Also Needs A Revival

Ghostface in Scream 2022 and Freddy Krueger in Nightmare on Elm Street
(Image credit: Paramount/New Line Cinema)

When Wes Craven passed away back in 2015, we lost a master of horror. The filmmaker contributed a lot to the genre, particularly the slasher from the ‘70s up until just a few years before his death. While it feels as though Hollywood has been letting his work rest in peace since then, the release and box office success of the recent Scream movie removed the mask of mystery regarding the audience intrigued to see revisits of the legend’s ideas in a modern context through the lens of other creatives. Following Scream, the potential for A Nightmare on Elm Street revival is high on my mind, because I believe it’s time to be visited by good ol' Freddy Krueger once again. 

I’m far from the only one who had this idea come to mind after walking out of 2022's Scream, so let’s talk about it. There are a ton of good and logical reasons why it’s a great time for Hollywood to revive A Nightmare on Elm Street after over a decade without a new entry. 

Ghostface in Scream (2022)

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

I Mean… Every Other Horror Franchise Is Doing It

I’ll start with the obvious reason. For one, a ton of famous horror franchises of A Nightmare on Elm Street’s caliber have recently returned, and in a way that has had horror fans at the edge of our seats. Aside from the Ready or Not directors bringing back Scream, which is already getting another sequel, Universal and Blumhouse brought back Halloween in a big way with Jamie Lee Curtis’ current trilogy. We saw new Candyman and Saw movies recently, and new installments for Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Exorcist and Final Destination are on the way. 

This isn’t to say, ‘Everyone’s doing it!’, but when an audience is keyed up on a certain type of movie, interest for others like being explored follows. Going back to the Scream movies makes me want to see the Nightmare movies come back, just like seeing the live-action Beauty and the Beast has an audience hyped for what they’ll do with The Little Mermaid

But in contrast to that, what’s particularly great about the horror revival we’re seeing right now is every franchise is getting a totally different kind of story pertaining to how it comes back to screen. Yes, there’s often a ‘new generation’ element to it, but these reboots are giving way to a range of new and exciting filmmakers to place their own mark on these franchises in between originals from the genre also flourishing, such as A Quiet Place, Get Out, Hereditary, etc. Each have their own unique avenues filmmakers have decided to enter from after years on the shelf, and Nightmare on Elm Street should be the next in line.

Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy Krueger in Nightmare on Elm Street 2010

(Image credit: Warner Bros)

Freddy Krueger Deserves Better Than His 2010 Remake 

There are nine Nightmare films in total, starting with the 1984 original. Wes Craven was only actively part of three of them, with a number of other filmmakers providing their take on the horror franchise, but let’s get to where we last left Freddy Kreuger. The eighth installment of the franchise marked the first time Robert Englund passed the torch to another actor to play Freddy in a loose remake of the original movie. 2010's A Nightmare on Elm Street is widely hated by fans of the franchise and movie fans as a whole for being plain awful filmmaking. 

Since then, Freddy Krueger has been untouchable. It feels as though no one wants to make another one of these movies despite Wes Craven’s initial concept being so interesting and timeless. 

The main reason why it seems as though a new Nightmare On Elm Street has not happened since the 2010 movie is it showed how vital Robert Englund was as Freddy. The actor, who is now 74 years old, has shared that he will not play the character again because he’s “too old.” As Englund said in 2017, he cannot do the physical work needed when playing the horror role. Just because the first replacement for Englund was bad, that doesn’t mean Hollywood can’t find a better actor to take on the role and really revitalize the character in a modern context. It needs to happen, if only to get the 2010 version out of our brains as the last limp attempt in the franchise. 

Heather Langenkamp in Nightmare on Elm Street

(Image credit: New Line Cinema)

How Nightmare On Elm Street Could Be Explored Further

With a passionate filmmaker somewhere out there who is ready to revitalize A Nightmare on Elm Street and a new Freddy, and can take the horror icon to new heights, what’s left is how the story can be explored with so many other remakes from the genre taking flight. The straightforward idea that would take a page out of Halloween’s playbook is the generational one. 

The 1984 original is, of course, the favorite of the franchise, and at the end of the classic, Heather Langenkamp’s Nancy, who was the final girl in the first movie and returned in the 1987 sequel A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, where she eventually died. A new movie could play off the original events, especially since Freddy’s conception was via Nancy’s mom, who helped burn him in a fire. One concept that would be particularly cool is someone who wants to follow in the footsteps of Freddy and be able to haunt people’s dreams, so they attempt to cross into the dream realm to copycat him. This type of storyline would allow for a new actor to make Freddy his without having to be the same Freddy.

Wouldn’t it be cool to see Nightmare on Elm Street with all the effects of modern day that could really amplify the storyline? Many of the Nightmare movies feel outdated, not only in a filmmaking sense, but a social context. So there’s a lot of room for further exploration of this franchise in a time where the genre is being revived. 

Maybe someday! While a new Nightmare on Elm Street is not in active development, there was a big callback in the latest Scream movie. We’ll keep you updated on all the upcoming horror movies coming our way here on CinemaBlend. 

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.