Robert Englund details parallels between ‘Stranger Things’ and ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’

Stranger Things
Robert Englund plays Victor Creel in the new season of ‘Stranger Things’.
Tina Rowden/Netflix

By Felix Caraballo Martinez, MWN

One of the big surprises of the recently released season of ‘Stranger Things’ is an unrecognizable Robert Englund in the role of Victor Creel, a patient confined in a psychiatric hospital who is visited by two important characters of the series during the fourth episode and whose revelations drive the plot.

The actor – known for bringing to life one of cinema’s most iconic villains, Freddie Krueger in “A Nightmare On Elm Street” film series – spoke exclusively with Metro about his role in this season.

“I was actually up for a role in the third season that I didn’t get, and I was disappointed. But then they called me for the fourth season, and I finally got to be part of this incredible franchise, which I’m a big fan of, especially the Duffer brothers, who have done something incredible,” he commented about the filmmakers.

Englund joins a select group of actors who had their peak of fame during the ‘80s such as Winona Ryder, Matthew Modine, Paul Reiser, Cary Elwes and Sean Astin, who have had outstanding appearances in the series, effectively appealing to nostalgia. This season’s narrative includes Englund, this time terrorized by nightmares, as his iconic Freddie Krueger did for years. The actor confesses his admiration for the style and tone of the series that has millions of fans watching. 

“It’s kind of hard to weave together all these nostalgic aspects of the ‘80s combined with horrors, science fiction and teenagers enjoying movies, music and all these references to important cultural moments of the decade. And they’re doing it with so much love and also entertaining us with all these complicated plots happening at the same time, where there’s also a kind of loss of innocence, which is also a common denominator with “A Nightmare On Elm Street,”” Englund said. 

“Stranger Things” has been known for paying tribute to iconic horror and fantasy filmography, and this season has taken a scarier and darker turn in tune with the growth of the young protagonists, who have stopped being and looking like children.   

The actor largely credits his character building to the makeup work.

“I owe a lot to my makeup effects guys, who have worked among other things on ‘Game of Thrones.’ They created the Night King and many other things in other movies… they are amazing. Because of the makeup design, I couldn’t see at all, so I had to act blind. I was really in the dark and because of this, I was able to devote my energy to telling the story to the girls. I knew the beginning of the scene was like a little nod to ‘Silence of the Lambs.’ When the guard goes through the cells in the asylum and comes to my cell, the last cell, as Hannibal Lecter,” the actor revealed, making a direct reference to the 1991 classic. “You know, Victor Creel is more sympathetic, probably not as intelligent, and certainly more damaged than Hannibal Lecter.” 

Stranger Things‘ is now streaming on Netflix.