“Let’s turn Freddy Krueger into the James Bond of horror.” Renny Harlin explains the big risks he took in ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street 4’

This August is the 33rd anniversary of the premiere of ‘Nightmare on Elm Street 4’, a beloved sequel to the series starring Robert Englund like Freddy Krueger. The film was also the first great opportunity to Renny Harlin, later author of titles such as ‘The Jungle 2: Red Alert’ O ‘Deep Blue Sea’, to demonstrate his talent in Hollywood and has now reviewed in Slash Film all the risks you assumed in it.

Harlin’s insistence

Harlin acknowledges that he got the job because of his insistence and because of “be in the right place at the right time“, Since the writers strike It made things difficult for New Line, which had to have the film ready by a certain date and ran the risk of not arriving on time. That was key for them to end up opting for the director of ‘Maximum risk’.

Harlin himself recalls that the producer Bob Shaye I was not at all convinced with his crazy ideas, based on things “that I had seen in my crazy nightmares“, but it seems that “there was no better option at the time and that’s how I got the job“From there it was all against the clock in which every day they wrote the part of the script that was going to be shot later.

The big question was how to orient the fourth installment of a saga that the public already knew perfectly, because “we can’t just make it scary and expect the public to just buy it. It’s already part of the culture so we have to twist itAnd this was the conclusion he reached:

Let’s turn Freddy into the James Bond of horror. He has to be larger than life, a bit like the hero even though he’s the bad guy. We have to introduce humor and wink at the audience, like “We know you know, so let’s have a good time.” That was what worried Bob Shaye the most. Now you watch the movie and you think, “Why didn’t everyone realize it was going to work?” It was not the case. I wasn’t entirely sure either.

Happy ending

In fact, Harlin remembers that Shaye nor did he speak to her during the entire shoot: “I was just on set looking angry and frustrated in the background“That put fear in the body of the director of ‘Lethal memory’, and his doubts did not disappear until it was time to show the film to the public for the first time:

On the test pass, when people started clapping, yelling and laughing, Bob Shaye looked at me and said “Oh my gosh, I think you were right.” We get a standing ovation. It was the greatest relief.

And the happy ending went beyond that, as ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street 4’ became the highest grossing installment of the series to date with a revenue of 49 million in the box office of the United States against a budget of 6.5 million.