Horror movies are filled with all kinds of cautionary tales. It's one of the genre's biggest themes. If you trespass on somebody's private property, and that private property just happens to be out in the middle of nowhere Texas with a creepy old house, you're pretty much guaranteed to be chased by a chainsaw-wielding murderer who would really like to know what sort of flavor you might add to his nightly beef stew. These movies also teach us other important (and also pretty dang obvious) rules for life, like if you hear a loud noise (or a creepy whisper, ghostly singing, etc.), you really should not go looking for its source. Also, if you have sex before marriage, this will probably mean you will definitely be the first to die if an unhinged masked killer starts stalking your neighborhood wielding a kitchen knife. Don't worry, though. Everything is going to be just fine.

There are also plenty of lessons to learn in Wes Craven's "A Nightmare on Elm Street." For example, sleeping in the tub = bad. Also, boiler rooms make not-so-great hang out places, and if you start telling people a deranged man in a fedora and Christmas-colored sweater is trying to kill you in your dreams, they will most certainly think you've lost your mind. In all seriousness though, Robert Englund, who plays the franchise's most beloved creep Freddy Krueger, actually does think the films in the series boast some important lessons about past and future generations, lessons that seem all the more prescient in today's climate where the divide between then and now seems to be getting wider every day.

A Lesson To Be Learned

Good ol' Freddy K. is the spirit of a man who murdered kids years before he started stalking them in their dreams. When alive, he was arrested for his crimes, but a technicality allowed him to get off without punishment. Enraged, the parents of Springwood weren't going to let a murderer get away with … well … murder, so they took it upon themselves to put a stop to Freddy by capturing and burning him alive in his basement. This really ticked off Freddy, so he continues his reign of terror, albeit from beyond the veil of sleep.

In a Rolling Stone article from 1988, Robert Englund talked about how he feels Freddy's murder actually has an important lesson to teach:

"There's a cautionary tale going on here. What the Nightmare films are saying is, here is a generation of kids recognizing evil for the first time. Not that the parents are necessarily idiots; we don't portray adults as stupid, as opposed to, say, a John Hughes movie. But still, the adults are weary of evil at the same time that they are also the cause of the evil. Don't forget: they are the ones who made Freddy. They mishandled his evil by murdering him, burning him alive."

Englund continued, "Like so many of the people who grew up in the Sixties, these parents have grown weary of trying to fix the world, and so they've joined in corrupting it." In today's political climate, where we see multiple generations arguing over the best way to handle things, this feels like an important lesson. Thankfully, though, our worst mistakes aren't going to come back to haunt us in our dreams. If we're lucky, that is.

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