Okay, so Jackie Earle Haley’s brave attempt at becoming Freddy Kruger in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2010 did not come off as well as hoped. However, his immediately recognisable costume is still emblematic as ever – albeit now with some subtle differences.
Costume designer for A Nightmare on Elm Street reboot Mari-An Ceo had a wealth of considerations to take into account when creating her version of ‘that sweater’, not least that the green and red striped colours are so dark along side each other they are barely perceptible to the human eye (indeed, many think Freddy’s sweater is actually red and black to this day).
In this video (opens in new window) Mari-An Ceo, Earle Haley and crew chat briefly about how the new Nightmare sweater was envisaged and its legacy for the character.
The basic Freddy Kruger ensemble is one of the most iconic horror costumes on film. A Halloween favourite because even without the bladed glove, just the merest peek of a tattered striped sweater, holey and frayed at the edges, along with brown battered fedora is enough to scream ‘horror’ without uttering a word. Take into account that one of cinema’s biggest heroes Indiana Jones also wears a fedora and that makes for a seriously powerful statement.
How ironic too that Mari-An Ceo hired Judy Graham to make the new sweater without realising she had also stitched the original worn by Robert Englund in 1984. A new fedora was found for Earle Haley at Optimo Fine Hats (Public Enemies, Road to Perdition), which was then reworked several times to give it that ‘lived in’ look.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2010 is out on DVD and blu-ray on 25th October. It is perhaps worth seeing for the sweater alone – and you can’t say that about many films.
© 2010 – 2012, Christopher Laverty.