The finger knives were the thing that hooked us,
if you’ll pardon that obvious pun. We were so into
Freddy – a horror ghoul with no heart and soul of
his own, but he’d rip open that garish red and green
jersey to show you the swirling souls he stole.
Quite how they made Elm Street so user-friendly,
so watcher-ready, all music video hues and camp
comedy-horror tones, remains a marvel when you
ponder the character’s backstory. Child molester,
his mother – a nun – pack-raped by maniacs.
The monkeys were hitting the typewriter hard with
their swollen trophy-dicks that day. But we, erm,
ate it up. We bought the absurdity and drank it
down. And Freddy became not just a cult-hero but
a talk-show guest; there were rap songs about him.
I think I’ve always known there’s a white male
privilege to watching – and enjoying – horror movies.
Even when I believed in the jump-scares I knew it
wasn’t going to be me being chased to my car at night.
Is Freddy Krueger the ultimate example of white privilege?
He raped and murdered children, that was the line to
sell us the fear. Burned alive – but they still couldn’t
kill him. He comes back to stalk people in their most
psychologically vulnerable state. And becomes a hero
in the mainstream as a result. That’s some privilege, yo!
He runs those finger knives down the corridors of too
many sequels and cannot get cancelled and has no shits
to give. He wise-cracks and oner-liners his way through
bad franchise management. He’s a boomer clipping tickets.
He’s McDonald’s using victim-complex to great advantage.
And I say all of this and could only write any of this
as a fan of it all. But I watch it like pro-wrestling, like
other horror films – like the 3D modelling of the world
finally burning. Like the privileged white male that
can shrug it all off. Add a chuckle. And sleep tight.