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The Unique Way Horror Fans Are Rewatching A Nightmare On Elm Street

A Nightmare on Elm Street is among the relatively few films that have completely redefined the horror genre. Prior to Freddy Krueger's debut, slasher villains were typically living, breathing humans — at least on the surface. Freddy, meanwhile, is a supernatural entity, who can enter dreams and harm his victims as they sleep. His reality-defying kills ended up setting a new precedent for horror movie storytelling once defined by more traditional baddies.

Following its genre-defining success, A Nightmare on Elm Street became a franchise. Freddy's lore now spans a lengthy story told across a number of direct sequels, spin-offs, and quasi-remakes. Despite the longevity of the Nightmare on Elm Street film series, however, the most recent entry was released more than ten years ago.

In the absence of news of a new movie, fans of the horror classic and its sequels have rallied around another, unofficial source for more Nightmare on Elm Street. Thanks to a video titled "In the Margins of A Nightmare on Elm Street," shared to YouTube by Hungry Creature Productions, fans can now watch a version of the first Nightmare on Elm Street film condensed into just under three minutes.

Nightmare on Elm Street, starring Elm Street

"In the Margins of A Nightmare on Elm Street" is a compilation of shots from the first film that don't have any characters in them. Its creators describe the project as "a tribute to the spaces between the story" in a post to the horror subreddit that includes the video. That post has been upvoted more than 2,000 times.

Its creators overlaid onto the video a track from A Nightmare on Elm Street's score, thereby retaining the film's signature, unsettling sound design in spite of the innocuous nature of much of the included footage. All other sounds have been removed.

Visually, the montage includes harmless images from the film, such as a timer, intercut with portions of the classic shot of Glen's (Johnny Depp) bed erupting into a geyser of blood. Thus, the nerve-wracking beats of the film are somehow retained despite lacking a human (or superhuman) presence.

This video follows a number of prior films that the creators behind Hungry Creature Productions have edited down to their "empty" shots. These experiments include horror classics like Candyman and Halloween, as well as other films such as Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. One of the creators behind the account explained that professional work as a painter inspired them to highlight environments and the stories in film rather than focus on the human characters. It all makes for a fresh look at familiar worlds.