The late Wes Craven was a legend in the horror making business and he created some films that we will never forget; the most memorable creation of his is without a doubt ‘Nightmare On Elm Street’. The film continues to be watched today and it’s a necessity for any horror film fan’s collection. Although Wes had a great imagination, he had a helping hand when coming up with the idea for ‘Nightmare On Elm Street’.
A serious of news articles in the Los Angeles Times gave him all the inspiration he needed to create the masterpiece that we all know and love. The news articles revolved around a series of deaths involving Asian refugees.
The articles written in the Los Angeles Times would tell how the victims mysteriously passed away in their sleep. Allegedly, the victims would refuse to go to sleep because of terrifying nightmares that would potentially result in their death.
Despite the similarities in all of the cases, the events were never linked. It was a particular article that caught Craven’s attention and here is the description in his own words:
‘The third one was the son of a physician. He was about twenty-one; I’ve subsequently found out this is a phenomenon in Laos, Cambodia. Everybody in his family said almost exactly these lines: “You must sleep.” He said, “No, you don’t understand; I’ve had nightmares before—this is different.” He was given sleeping pills and told to take them and supposedly did, but he stayed up. I forget what the total days he stayed up was, but it was a phenomenal amount—something like six, seven days. Finally, he was watching television with the family, fell asleep on the couch, and everybody said, “Thank god.” They literally carried him upstairs to bed; he was completely exhausted. Everybody went to bed, thinking it was all over. In the middle of the night, they heard screams and crashing. They ran into the room, and by the time they got to him he was dead. They had an autopsy performed, and there was no heart attack; he just had died for unexplained reasons. They found in his closet a Mr. Coffee maker, full of hot coffee that he had used to keep awake, and they also found all his sleeping pills that they thought he had taken; he had spit them back out and hidden them. It struck me as such an incredibly dramatic story that I was intrigued by it for a year, at least, before I finally thought I should write something about this kind of situation.’
It is pretty amazing to see where the great filmmakers take their inspiration from and just goes to show that ideas can be found in every area of life.