Horror films, you either love them or you hate them. For those who love horror films as much as I do, learning the true real-life events they're based off of is a real eye opener and honestly, quite terrifying.
While A Nightmare on Elm Street doesn't seem like it could possible be based off of a true story, it most certainly is. In the movie, a pizza-faced madman sets out to terrorize teens in their dreams. You might be wondering how that could even happen in real life. Well, it did, and the story behind the movie may be even more terrifying than the movie itself. The director of A Nightmare on Elm Street, Wes Craven, became mesmerized by an article he had read in the LA Times. The article he had read explained the odd details of a man's death. It stuck with Craven and this lead him to create the 1984 classic, A Nightmare on Elm Street. In an interview, Craven went in detail about the article in the LA Times and how he created A Nightmare on Elm Street based on this piece:
"It was a series of articles in the LA Times, about men from South East Asia, who were from immigrant families and who had died in the middle of nightmares --- and the paper never correlated them, never said, 'Hey, we've had another story like this.' 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."