The following story contains very light spoilers for stranger things Season 4, episode 4.
The people behind stranger things have never been shy about how much they love to pay homage to two things: the horror genre and the 1980s. The entire show is, essentially, done in the style of a Stephen King story like THIS. And each season has featured at least one notable ’80s icon: Season 1 had Matthew Modine (Full Metal Jacket) as Dr. Brenner, Season 2 had Sean Astin (The Goonies) like our dear Bob, and Season 3 had Cary Elwes (The princess to be married) as the slimy mayor of Hawkins. Season 4 brings two of these things together when introducing a character named Victor Creel, a creepy old man played by the one and only Robert Englund.
Englund, of course, accurately captures both the 80s and horror at its very essence, as he is best known for playing dream-infiltrating villain Freddy Kreuger from the Nightmare on Elm Street series.
So it’s only fitting that Englund comes across as someone who may be sinister himself – or may be one of the first victims of Season 4’s Freddy-esque, Pennywise-esque monster villain, Vecna.
Who is Victor Creel?
Ahhh! Yeah, that was us when we saw what old Victor looked like in the picture above when he was introduced in episode 4 of stranger things Season 4. It turns out that Victor was a man who had just made a nice amount of money through an inheritance and moved his family – wife and children – to a new home just after returning from World War II. .
But Vecna wasn’t going to let him have that; Victor’s wife and children were slaughtered in the house, leaving Victor behind looking incredibly guilty. He ended up in jail for a very long time, where he finally stabbed his eyes. And around him, the legend and myth of Victor Creel – the man who slaughtered his family – only grew. And that’s where he left off, until the Vecna was revealed again, and Nancy and Robin found him in the mental hospital with gnarled scars where his eyes were.
Victor Creel is played by horror icon Robert Englund.
Englund only appears in one episode of stranger things Season 4, but it’s a vital role that’s referenced both before and after his actual appearance. And in an interview with IGN, The Duffer brothers revealed how huge it was that it was Englund himself who approached them, with the idea of him appearing on the show.
“The fact that he came to us in a season so deeply inspired by the Nightmare series and by his performance especially in those movies, it felt like fate,” Matt Duffer said. “It was like, ‘Okay, it’s meant to be.’ “
Englund is best known for playing Freddy Kruger in eight films and a short-lived television series across the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise.
Featuring Wes Craven’s 1984 horror classic Freddie, Englund got his start playing one of the horror genre’s most iconic villains: Freddy Kreuger. Freddy’s is one of the most popular Halloween costumes year after year for a reason, and that reason is that he’s absolutely terrifying. A burnt-faced child-killer/predator who lives in your dreams, where he is omnipotent and can kill you not only in your dream but also in real life? Yeah, it will.
Englund played the character – who started out very serious and eventually became more and more comical (while remaining quite deadly) – in six films in the main Nightmare on Elm Street series, as well as the meta-spinoff Wes Craven’s New Nightmare and crossover film Freddy vs. Jason. Are they all masterpieces? Surely not! Are they all fun? Damn yes!
Freddy – still played by Englund – also appeared in a short-lived television series titled Freddy’s Nightmares which just started streaming for the first time on a platform called Screambox.
And he’s starred in roles that have played on his legendary status before.
Englund’s appearance in stranger things is an obvious and delicious piece of stunts, similar to the appearance of Modine, Astin and Elwes; he’s just someone who really belongs in the 80s. And his appearance as the person at the center of a horrible horror plot feels right.
This isn’t the first time Englund has taken on this kind of role which plays on his status as a horror legend. In 2006 Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon– a dark horror-comedy mockumentary – he played a hero doctor who protects the protagonists. In this case, we could see Englund rather like a Dr Loomis (from Halloween movies) than Freddy himself.
strange things, casting Victor as a seemingly victim of unfortunate circumstances, seems to be doing something similar. If only he could bring those eyes back.
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