Even the longest movies can’t fit every piece of footage shot into the final cut. And while some scenes end up on the cutting room floor simply because they did nothing to push a film’s narrative forward, other cuts can alter an entire storyline. Thanks to a recently unearthed scene that never made it into the final movie, it seems that A Nightmare on Elm Street now falls more into the latter category.
Wes Craven’s bloody good 1984 horror flick sees Freddy Krueger, a crazed killer with a penchant for stripes, wreaking havoc on a small clique of high school friends—seemingly at random. At least that’s what we’ve been led to believe for the past 32 years. But an extended version of a scene between Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp) and her mom (Ronee Blakley) drops a game-changing revelation that never made it into the final cut: namely, that Nancy, Glen (Johnny Depp), Rod (Jsu Garcia), and Tina (Amanda Wyss) all (unbeknownst to them) had siblings who were murdered by Freddy. Which makes it easier to understand why Freddy would zero in on this particular group of friends, and why their parents banded together to take Freddy down all those years ago.
Had the scene been kept in, it likely wouldn’t have changed anything about the final outcome, but it would have added an extra layer of character motivation. Given Craven’s untimely passing last August, it’s not likely we’ll ever know why he ultimately opted to abandon that pivotal plot point. But it will make a great piece of trivia at your next horror movie marathon.