I love horror movies.
There is something very cathartic to me in the act of being scared in a safe place.
One of my favorite franchises is the Nightmare on Elm street series.
[Yes, I know that the monster is really a child molester (ugh), but thankfully they never really focus on that part of the story in the films.]
For those of you unfamiliar with Freddy Kruger (and where have you been these last 20 years?), the story goes something like this. Freddy was a child molester who was caught and tried. Due to technicalities, he was let go. The parents in the local community were so incensed over this injustice that they got together and burned him alive. But before he died, Freddy made a pact with the devil who gave him dream demons which gave him power over people’s dreams. In the dream world, Freddy was an unstoppable nightmare. He could make himself be anything, do anything. And if he killed you in your dreams, then you would never wake up.
Quite a story!
There were 7 movies in the franchise (8 if you count Freddy vs. Jason). But it is the second one that I want to discuss today.
The second entry – Freddy’s Revenge – has been a source of intense hatred by fans of the franchise.
This has been for 2 reasons.
1) it has extreme homoerotic overtones, which did not sit well with the fan base. That is a topic for another time.
2) Freddy wishes to come into the real world to kill us while we are awake. This is worth discussing.
There is one specific scene that really angered the fans, yet it is that scene that I thought was perhaps the most profound of the entire series.
There is a scene in the movie where Freddy ‘breaks through’ the dream world into our world. He becomes real flesh and blood, and comes up from a pool at a party some teenagers were having.
Here is the boogeyman out in OUR world! while we are AWAKE!
It wasn’t scary.
You see, Freddy – in the real world – is just a guy wearing a glove with some razors on it.
He is not even particular muscular or tall man. Kind of wimpy looking, actually.
If this scene were to REALLY happen, the kids would just gang together and beat the crap out of Freddy.
In the film, the kids acted scared and ran away.
I understand why fans didn’t like this scene, but to me it sent home a powerful message.
Our fears in our minds and dreams are far worse than reality.
When we are faced with our fears in real life, they are not very scary. They are just wimpy thoughts and we should be ashamed that we were ever afraid of them.
While they seem larger and unstoppable in our minds, in reality they are small and can be overcome.
What are the nightmares and fears that are holding you back in life?
Imagine if they really manifested in reality.
What would they look like?
I imagine they would be like Freddy coming out of the pool.
Smaller than what we imagined.
And not very scary after all.