Ahead of the release of Stranger Things Season 4, creators Matt and Ross Duffer teased that the tone of the new episodes would lean much more into a horrifying tone than previous seasons. Adding even more excitement to the new season was the reveal that A Nightmare on Elm Street star Robert Englund would be appearing in the new season as Victor Creel, with Englund earning a passionate following for his portrayal of Freddie Krueger over the years. With Season 4 – Volume 1 of Stranger Things now streaming, audiences have learned how Englund's mysterious character ties into the events of Hawkins, Indiana.
WARNING: Spoilers below for Season 4 – Volume 1 of Stranger Things
Victor Creel is spoken of in Stranger Things before actually appearing, as he was said to have moved into a home in Hawkins with his family back in the '50s and was blamed for murdering his family. However, when Nancy (Natalia Dyer) and Robin (Maya Hawke) managed to confront Creel in Episode 4 of the series, they learned that there was a much more unsettling history behind the figure.
Creel recalls to Nancy and Robin that he witnessed his family be killed by the otherworldly Vecna, who audiences witnessed terrorizing victims in Hawkins in earlier episodes, while also noting that he was targeted by Vecna yet he managed to escape. As far as his disturbing scares on his eyes, he revealed that he blinded himself.
This conversation did provide key insight into the Vecna, mainly that Creel's mind had been twisted and he frequently sang a song he heard on the radio from the time in which his family was killed. This meant that, when Max was targeted by Vecna, she used her own favorite song to escape his clutches and find her way from the Upside Down and back into the real world.
In Episode 7 of this season, audiences learn surprising news about the Vecna that recontextualizes Creel's recollection. The series revealed that Vecna was actually Creel's son Henry, who had powerful telekinetic abilities. Henry intentionally used his powers to kill his mother and sister, knowing his father would take the blame, resulting in Victor being imprisoned. The effort of attacking his family resulted in Henry becoming hospitalized and becoming the first test subject for Dr. Brenner (Matthew Modine), earning a 001 tattoo. Later, Henry would go on to battle Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) in the facility, resulting in him being banished to the Upside Down, with the dark dimension mutating his body into the horrifying figure of Vecna.
Even though he only appeared in one episode, clearly Creel is a major figure in the overall history of Hawkins, leaving audiences to wonder if we could ever see him return.
Stranger Things Season 4 – Volume 1 is now streaming on Netflix.
What did you think of Creel? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars!