Available on Netflix, part 1 of season 4 arrives with its share of new characters. Among them is the disturbing Victor Creel, played by horror film legend Robert Englund.
Warning, spoilers! This article reveals key plot elements of Season 4 of Stranger Things. If you haven’t seen Part 1 of Season 4 and don’t want to be spoiled, don’t read on!
This is the character who has raised the most questions since the release of the last trailer for season 4 of Stranger Things. While we discovered a haunted house and Vecna, even scarier than the upside-down monsters of previous seasons, the sneaky image of a mysterious old man named Victor Creel was most intriguing.
And for good reason ! Victor Creel is played by nothing less than a legend of horror cinema, namely Robert Englund! But let’s first come back to this disturbing character, an inmate of the psychiatric hospital of Pennhurst.
In 1959, Creel and his family moved into a large, beautiful mansion in Hawkins, and soon after, strange phenomena (like flickering lights, hey hey) started happening. Very quickly, misfortune does not take long to fall on the Creel. Victor’s wife and daughter meet a gruesome death, the same as Vecna’s victims. And unsurprisingly, Creel is now known in Hawkins as the psychopath who murdered his family 20 years earlier.
However, it is the son Victor Creel who will later become One, the first guinea pig child of Dr. Brenner, who will then become Vecna, who committed these atrocious crimes. Of course, it was the poor man who was convicted of murdering his family, declared insane and sent to Pennhurst – where he gouged out his own eyes in a desperate attempt to end his life. .
Since then, he has lived there as one of the most dangerous patients in the establishment and undergoes the same isolation treatment as Hannibal Lecter. Even if his character serves as a “pivot” to the mystery of the season, he only appears in a single episode (the 4th) and this, due to the difficulties encountered by the production with the pandemic.
A legend of horror cinema
Creel is therefore played by legendary horror actor Robert Englund, best known for playing the iconic serial killer, Freddy Krueger, in the Claws of the Night franchise. Freddy Krueger, an iconic character that the actor found in eight films! And throughout his career, he’s continued to produce nightmares as he portrays a variety of disturbingly disturbing characters, from the Phantom of the Opera to 2001’s Maniacs.
In an interview with IGN, the Duffer brothers (Matt and Ross) briefly touched on Victor Creel. They described him as a “pivotal” character of the season and revealed that not only is this season heavily inspired by the Nightclaws films, but it was Robert Englund himself who approached them about starring in series :
“The fact that he reached out to us for a season so deeply inspired by the Freddy Krueger franchise and his performance in particular in those films, it was like fate, we said to ourselves, ‘Okay, that must be done’.“said Matt Duffer.
The co-creator also talked about the significance of Creel’s haunted house. This house was one of the most teased images during the fourth season promo, due to its ties to the horror themes of the story. Duffer explains that:
We’ve been wanting to do the haunted house thing for a while. Every year we try to do something different. It’s a more terrifying season. The kids are in high school, and it only seemed natural for them to be in a horror movie.
As for Vecna, his appearance is strongly reminiscent of that of Freddy Krueger. Again, it is no coincidence, as the Duffer brothers explained in a video decryption of the trailer:
“We wanted to introduce right away the idea that there is a major new threat. We always wanted to make our… whatever version… a Freddy Krueger, or a Pinhead [de Hellraison, ndlr]or a Pennywise [Grippe-sou de Ça]. Because it was the monsters… the villains… the supernatural villains that terrified us the most when we were young.“