Horror movies have a way of paying respects to beloved films that came before them, with countless endeavors finding ways to honor 1984's A Nightmare on Elm Street, though The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It director Michael Chaves recently confirmed that his new film fully references not the original Freddy Krueger film, but rather the fourth film in the franchise, A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Master. As teased in the first trailer for the upcoming film, an otherworldly presence emerges from a waterbed, with the sequence serving as an homage to Krueger tormenting a victim in a similar fashion in the Elm Street sequel. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It hits theaters and HBO Max on June 4th.
"The fourth one was the first one I saw, which was the one with the waterbed," Chaves shared of the sequence during a press event, per Bloody Disgusting. "Which, yes, this is a shameless reference to that movie. Ironically, my assistant director [Jeffrey Wetzel] worked on that movie, so I had him tell me all the waterbed secrets. I needed to know how they did it."
Given how well known Wes Craven's Nightmare on Elm Street is, and the ways in which it impacted the world of horror, it has influenced countless successors, some of which pay respects to that outing in ways both subtle and obvious. As the series continued, the legacy of Freddy Krueger maintained its impact, though each subsequent installment failed to capture the magic of the original. While the inspiration for this sequence in the new film will surely surprise some horror fans, it will likely delight many others who also regard The Dream Master highly.
The first The Conjuring hit theaters in 2013 and, while director James Wan surely didn't invent the haunted house subgenre, some would argue he perfected it for a new generation, with a number of horror films in the years since earning comparisons to that experience. This new The Conjuring is the first entry in the proper series that wasn't directed by Wan, allowing Chaves an opportunity to pay respects to his horror predecessors.
"Honestly, preparing for it, it was just great to go back through all of my favorite horror movies," the director pointed out. "Of course, a lot of people mentioned the Exorcist reference in the beginning. I think the Conjuring movies are love letters to the very best classic horror movies. Like The Changeling in the first movie. There are so many great references in that one."
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It hits theaters and HBO Max on June 4th.
Are you looking forward to the new film? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things Star Wars and horror!