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Freddy Krueger Actor Reveals The Show He Can't Get Enough Of - Exclusive

Actor Robert Englund knows a thing or two about horror. And there's a good reason for that: he's played the razor-blade-fingered, disfigured child murderer Freddy Krueger in eight of the nine films in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, beginning with director Wes Craven's 1984 original.

So what does it take to scare a man who has portrayed one of cinema's most terrifying characters? Ironically, another tale of a disfigured child murderer in the form of Stephen King's HBO miniseries The Outsider. 

"I wouldn't say it keeps me up at night, but it's really good," Englund exclusively tells Looper after recently watching the series. "It's really nasty and dark." (Warning: Spoilers to follow.)

In The Outsider, the murder of a young boy in a small Southern town leads to an investigation that unearths a string of child murders that involve supernatural elements. A grotesque figure is often seen wherever these killings take place, and the suspected perpetrator in each case often has strange marks on their neck. The theory is that a shape-shifting entity is taking over human beings' bodies to commit these horrendous crimes. The series stars Ben Mendelsohn as Detective Ralph Anderson, Cynthia Erivo as investigator Holly Gibney, and Jason Bateman as Terry Maitland, an English teacher well-liked in the small town who's accused of murder and cannibalism.

What makes The Outsider so darkly captivating

The Outsider is the latest in a string of TV procedurals that double as horror. But what Englund feels the series, developed for television by Richard Price, does perfectly is keep the horror focused, only doling it out in a specific place so it has the greatest impact.

"Shows like Law and Order, CSI, and Special Victims Unit have a new way of dealing with the genre," Englund says of the real-life criminal horrors these shows often touch on. "But in The Outsider, the only true horror element throughout is that you see blisters on the back of the necks of the people that are being replicated. Just that simplicity of the blisters on the back of their necks, it freaked me out."

Another thing about The Outsider that creeped Englund out? The concept of the doppelgänger — the exact duplication of another person, often seen as evil.

"A doppelgänger is not necessarily a monster, but a virus. And it has to survive, and feed," he explains. "The Outsider is done like a procedural, so all the questions you have and all the doubts you have are slowly erased. It's a flip on The X-Files. The male detective [Mendelsohn] is the cynic and the pragmatist, and the female investigator [Erivo] has got a little bit of that 'hoodoo voodoo like you do' in her. She's the believer. And by the end of the series, there's nowhere else to go but believe it too — that doppelgängers are here. Like Invasion of the Body Snatchers. It's kind of creepy. And I really, really liked it."

The Outsider is available to stream on Hulu, HBO Now, and Amazon Prime Video (with an HBO subscription add-on).