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Demonic possessions, alien takeovers, slow-sung nursery rhymes ... the horror genre has its cliches, but for a reason. When horror films are great, they're iconic, and they inspire new stories with similar themes. But if the peaks are high, the valleys are deep, and there have been countless irredeemably awful horror movies to date. (Unfortunately, this latter list grows at a much faster pace!)
With the overabundance of bad horror movies in mind, fans of the genre took to Reddit earlier this year to discuss the potential of a new film being added to the "Nightmare on Elm Street" franchise, and for the most part, they weren't into it. After all, why would fans want to risk seeing their beloved Freddy Krueger turned into one of Hollywood's most ridiculous horror movie bad guys? The topic of the thread then broadened into a conversation about horror franchises in general, and where to draw the line on making new movies. With a whopping 679 comments, it's safe to say that these horror fans are passionate about the production decisions that drive their favorite genre. Keep scrolling for the highlights.
It's better to leave things on a high note
Most fans agreed that at some point in a franchise's run, the time comes to stop making films. u/Fishb20 summed up this position, writing, "Not everything needs to have a million installments across 40 years. The first few movies [of the "Nightmare on Elm Street" franchise] were good and they'll always be there if you want to rewatch them." With 215 upvotes, lots of fans concurred.
In a reply, u/chicagoredditer1 briefly took the conversation away from the horror genre to illustrate the rarity of a successful long-running franchise. "Aside from James Bond (and they certainly don't have a flawless track record), nothing survives running as long as these horror franchises try to," they wrote. Elsewhere, u/Dark_Side_of_Synth hilariously compared the regular installments of horror film franchises to the woes of homeownership, writing, "THIS!!! Films have become like mortgages these days."
Still in agreement with the overall sentiment, u/atfricks approached the conversation from a different angle by going back to the core of what makes a good horror flick. They wrote, "The biggest problem with horror franchises is that the scariest thing is always the unknown. The longer a horror franchise goes on, the more familiar viewers become with your big bad, and the less scary it is." Ruining the unknown with new films also works against the profit motive that drives the continuation of these franchises, for as fans grow less excited about the new installments, they'll be less likely to go see them over and over again in theaters, drag their friends along with them, or buy the accompanying merchandise.
Some fans wholeheartedly disagree
The only guarantee when fans come together to discuss their hopes for the futures of their favorites is that they'll be far from unanimous, and that was most certainly the case in this Reddit thread. Although the majority of commenters were in agreement that today's producers shouldn't remake all the old classics, a second camp of fans that was less protective of successful franchises from the past did emerge.
One commenter, u/Zutrax, found comfort in the neverending rehashing of familiar horror stories: "For me there's something just comforting about these franchises not dying. Even if they continue making terrible garbage, I just find a little bit of happiness knowing they're there as a constant in my lifetime ... It's fun seeing what they try and do with them, [and] being overly cynical about people having a good time with the things they love feels weirdly controlling to me."
Other commenters didn't get what all the fuss about remakes was about. u/OhTheyFloat wrote, "Alternatively ... [producers] could keep making more for the fans and if you don't wanna watch them you don't have to. The originals are there if you want to rewatch those instead." In a way, they have a point — do people really judge the classics based on the performance of the sequels they inspired? Throughout the thread, fans of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" compared the movies within the franchise based on which actor played Freddy, how well written the script was, the skill behind prosthetics and special effects makeup — there have already been successes and failures, but the successes have stood the test of time regardless.
Minoritarian points aside, the overall tone of the conversation can probably be summed up by u/oaksgirth, who succinctly wrote, "Sometimes dead is better."