A stripy jumper and a brown fedora don’t exactly sound like obvious attire for a horror icon, but ever since Freddy Kreuger was first sighted chasing the hapless Tina Gray around a dingy boiler room during the opening credits of A Nightmare on Elm Street back in 1984, his signature ensemble has been firmly scorched into collective conscience as a true symbol of terror.
And now, some 36 years after Freddy’s first outing, his trademark garb has been immortalised in sneaker form thanks to some ultra-detailed Nike Air Max 95s. Dubbed by some as ‘the Freddy Kreuger’ or more formally known as the Air Max 95 Halloween, Nike combine Sergio Lozano’s classic design with a few not-so-subtle nods to the Elm Street dream-invader. The red and olive rippled uppers echo his tattered jumper, that silver detail on the tongue is a nod to his razor glove, and the visible air bubbles come in a particularly bloody shade of red.
With the almighty Swoosh tipping their hats to the Springwood Slasher, and Halloween just around the corner, SEVENSTORE pay homage to the golden age of terror in a dissection of iconic villians to mark the occasion of the Nike Air Max 95 Halloween.

Freddy Kreuger — A Nightmare on Elm Street
Starting things off with the main man, Freddy Krueger is the child-murderer-turned-dream-weaver who haunts the nightmares of teenagers in the fictional town of Springwood, Ohio. Inspired by a whole host of sources—from Klaus Kinski’s in Herzog’s Nosferatu remake to an angry old man who confronted director Wes Craven in his youth, Freddy is the polar opposite of your typical horror villain. 
Played by the classically trained Robert Englund, not only is he a fair bit shorter than his fellow merchants of misery, but he’s also got a sense of humour, and whilst Leatherface and co can barely string a sentence together, Freddy drops Roger Moore-esque one liners with every kill. 
As the sequels went on, Freddy only got more outlandish, and due to his status as a figment of dreams, there was no limit to how daft he could get. In one film he was flying about like the Wicked Witch of the West, in another he transformed into a shisha-toking caterpillar. And like the best baddies, he can seemingly never really die—meaning film producers can keep churning out sequels and reboots until the end of time. 
Parodied by The Simpsons and name-checked by everyone from Jeru the Damaja to Catatonia, Freddy has long since outgrown the horror genre to become, without sounding too dramatic, nothing short of a pop-culture phenomenon, as recognisable as Elvis or Michael Jordan.

Leatherface — The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Up next is Leatherface from Tobe Hooper’s low-budget masterpiece, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Arguably the film that began America’s obsession with the slasher genre (along with Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes a few years later), Texas Chainsaw combined exploitation grindhouse gore with some clever marketing tactics to become a huge commercial hit. 
Sold as a true story, the film tells the uplifting tale of a group of teenagers who get caught up with a family of cannibals deep in the Texan wilderness. Whereas in most horror films the bad stuff happens at night, this film gives its victims (and viewers) no respite, and a good chunk of the action takes place in the middle of the day, right under the blistering sun.
Leatherface is the youngest of the family—a hulking lummox in a blood-splattered apron relied on to bring in fresh meat with the help of a 13lbs Poulan 306A chainsaw. He’s hardly Mother Theresa, but as he’s only acting on orders from above, he somehow seems a little less evil than some of the other unsavoury characters listed here—and considering his family tree, it’s not really much of a surprise to see that he spends his days chasing after lost teens with a mask made out of human-skin dangling off his face. 

Michael Myers — Halloween
Before Halloween, horror films were either set in a remote back-country wilderness filled with toothless inbred murderers (Texas Chainsaw, The Hills Have Eyes and The Cars that Ate Paris), or unattainably swanky country manors, ballet schools and cliffside villas (see pretty much any British or Italian slash-em-up from the early 70s). Halloween flipped the formula by taking place in amongst the tree-lined avenues of American suburbia, proving nowhere was safe from knife-wielding dodgy-dudes. 
The knife-wielding dodgy-dude in question was none other than Michael Myers—locked up at the age of six after murdering his sister, escaped and at large in the town of Haddonfield, Illinois, 15 years later. Unlike the wise-cracking Krueger, Myers isn’t much for chat, and when he’s not stabbing teenagers, he likes nothing more than skulking around washing lines and peering from behind hedges in his blue overalls and an ill-fitting rubber mask he nicked from a hardware shop.
For such a famous film character, Myers has very little in the way of actual ‘character’, and that blank, expressionless mask is the perfect visage for his emotionless killings. The story goes that with little in the way of budget, the man in charge of art direction was left rifling through the shelves at a local magic shop for something that’d work to create Michael’s signature look. He returned to the set with two options… a clown mask, or a cheap two-dollar Captain Kirk mask. James Tiberius Kirk won out, and with a bit of spray paint and a few quick modifications, the melted features of William Shatner became one of the most recognisable faces in horror.

Jason Voorhees (and His Mum) — Friday the 13th 
Perhaps the perfect example of the never-ending, increasingly far-fetched nature of a horror franchise, Jason Voorhees cast a dark shadow over the 1980s, appearing in sequel-after-sequel of critically-panned blockbusters which made a mint thanks to the rise of video rental and home VCR systems. He appeared in 3D, he fought with Freddy in a bizarre crossover film, and he even went to space—not bad for a kid who drowned in a lake when he was eleven.
Although the image of Jason lurking about in a hockey mask has firmly cemented itself in the cultural canon (Jason even bagged an MTV Lifetime Achievement Award back in 1992), it wasn’t until Friday the 13th Part III that he donned his famous mask (in Part II he opted for the humble sack-over-the-head). He wasn’t even in the first film (unless you count a quick flashback and a particularly harrowing dream sequence), with his mother responsible for the slashing, axing and general blood-spilling which kick-started the seemingly endless series. A middle-aged mum in a chunky cable-knit jumper might not sound too terrifying, but Pamela Voorhees was still scarier than the amped-up cyborg Jason of the later films. 

Ghostface — Scream 
17 years after the first Nightmare on Elm Street, Wes Craven created another ultra-successful horror franchise—Scream. Building on the self-referential themes of 1994’s New Nightmare (which saw the cast and crew of Nightmare on Elm Street playing themselves during the doomed production of a new film) Scream featured protagonists who were fully aware of the slasher tropes, and a villain who’d clearly spent a bit of time in the horror aisle of their local Blockbuster.
Dressed in a simple shop-bought costume, ‘Ghostface’ shared Krueger’s penchant for witticisms, racking up a hefty phone-bill by taunting his victims with pop quizzes on classic horror—simultaneously resuscitating the genre in the process. Following the straight-to-video boom of the early 90s, when endless sequels and countless cheap knock-offs flooded the shelves, Scream poked holes in the clichés whilst still delivering the all-important knife-jabbing. The fact that it eventually became a long-running series itself, inspiring a whole new wave of watered-down post-modern slashers (as well as providing the basis for the Scary Movie catalogue), only added to the irony. 
Just like the killers he was imitating, Ghostface quickly became an iconic character—and now sits up there with Freddy and friends in horror’s very own Mount Rushmore. There are plenty more notable bogeymen out there (and tomes could be written about Italy or Japan’s contributions to horror)—but as far as sheer cultural reach is concerned, this shady bunch still reigns supreme. The fact that all five of ‘em reportedly have films in some stage of production only shows their enduring appeal. Just remember—never, under any circumstances say, “I’ll be right back,” and whatever you do, don’t fall asleep.

The Nike Air Max 95 Halloween is available to register to purchase through our in-store raffle or on SEVENSTORE Launches now.