Freddy Kruegers lengthy absence from movie screens might make a potential Nightmare On Elm Street reboot seem impossible but 2022 has proven that a revival of the classic slasher series could still work. It has been over ten years since Freddy Krueger was last seen on the big screen in director Samuel Bayers disastrous 2010 remake of the original Nightmare On Elm Street. While that misfire made it look like a Nightmare On Elm Street franchise reboot could never work the series could still make a comeback despite its many setbacks.
The Nightmare On Elm Street franchise was phenomenally popular throughout the 1980s after the success of director Wes Cravens original 1984 movie. However while each Nightmare On Elm Street sequel raked in millions at the box office the critical reception of the series went from solid to dire within the first few entries. By the time the early 90s rolled around the Nightmare On Elm Street movies was despised by reviewers and even faithful fans were starting to give up on the series. Cravens own 1994 metahorror sequel New Nightmare briefly revived interest in Freddy as did 2003s Freddy Vs. Jason but the two decades since have not been kind to the Nightmare On Elm Street franchise.
Not only did the Friday the 13th franchises legal quagmire mean Freddy Vs. Jason 2 never happened but the Nightmare On Elm Street series was hit with another setback when its 2010 remake was a critical failure. Cravens untimely death in 2015 and the lack of news from the franchise added to the general presumption that the series was finished and there has been no reason for Nightmare On Elm Street fans to think otherwise in recent years. However although the long gap between movies makes the franchises chances of revival seem dire Freddys prospects arent that bad—yet. Not only is original Nightmare On Elm Street star Robert Englund still alive and working but the genre veteran will also soon appear in a major Stranger Things season 4 role introducing a whole new generation to the iconic series.
Why There Hasnt Been An Nightmare On Elm Street Reboot Yet
The success of Scream 2022 might make it seem surprising that the Nightmare On Elm Street franchise has not yet been rebooted for a new generation of horror fans. However Scream 2022 was tasked with the difficult but far from impossible job of bringing back a series with a semisuccessful 2015 television show and a wellliked 2011 sequel. In contrast Nightmare On Elm Street has not had a new franchise addition since 2010s remake and that outing flopped with critics and didnt spawn any sequels. This left Nightmare On Elm Street in an even worse position than the Friday the 13th franchise whose remake was at least comparatively wellreceived.
80s Nostalgia Is Still Going Strong
Between Top Gun Maverick and Ghostbusters Afterlife reviving existing 80s franchises and Netflixs Fear Street and Stranger Things proving that viewers are still interested in new horror stories set during the decade it is clear that 80s nostalgia is still a huge trend. While the phenomenon appeared to peak in the mid2010s the news that It will soon receive a prequel series and Stranger Things will receive spinoffs proves that it is not too late for the Nightmare On Elm Street franchises producers to cash in. If nostalgia for the 80s can sustain countless Stephen King remakes a string of new horror movies set during the decade and Englunds Stranger Things season 4 comeback then the trend can definitely bankroll the revival of one of the decades most memorable monsters.
Slasher Movies Are Making A Comeback
Between X Candyman 2021 and particularly Scream 2022 another revival of a successful Wes Craven slasher series theres plenty of evidence that slashers are exciting horror fans right now which means the subgenres most iconic franchise is still primed for a comeback. Nightmare On Elm Street is as iconic as Halloween which has already enjoyed a commercial revival thanks to its 2018 sequel. Not only that but Nightmare On Elm Street has something that its competitors never did in the form of the franchises inventive fusion of fantasy elements and pure slasher horror. An entire generation of viewers hasnt seen Freddys disturbing Nightmare On Elm Street dream sequences which were often more memorably ambitious and gory than an entire franchises worth of more grounded stabbings and slashings. The latest spate of slasher movies is largely confined to relatively realistic settings meaning Nightmare On Elm Street can once again fill a hole in the market by providing a trippier more supernatural spin on the subgenre.
The most comparable project in the recent slasher boom would be 2021s Candyman remake which like the original movie mixed urban legends paranormal elements and good oldfashioned gore in its slasher story. That remake also managed to retell the original Candymans story while giving the villain a more sympathetic edge something that a Nightmare On Elm Street reboot could also pull off by reinventing the originally sadistic Freddy for a new generation. The original Freddy was not a complicated morally ambiguous figure but that doesnt mean he couldnt be more nuanced in a reboot of the series.
Robert Englunds Comeback Bodes Well
Robert Englund is still working well into his 70s and as his Stranger Things season 4 role proves is not confined to lowbudget indie efforts. Like Tony Todds Candyman 2021 cameo an appearance from Englund in a new Nightmare On Elm Street isnt off the cards and could even see the actor hand down the role of Freddy Krueger to a new actor. Transitioning from the original cast to a new generation is never easy but Cravens other classic slasher franchise managed this admirably with Scream 2022. Sidney Prescott didnt even appear for almost an hour of that sequel proving that the Scream franchise could still feel funny fresh and scary without her presence. Similarly the fact that Englund is still active and taking on new roles with the actor also recently appearing in the Netflix horror movie Choose Or Die is evidence that he would be perfectly primed to appear in a Nightmare On Elm Street series reboot in 2022. The recent slasher boom and the popularity of 80s nostalgia make a Nightmare On Elm Street reboots success almost an inevitability.