Nightmare on Elm Street is often cited as one of the scariest movies of all time, so it is perhaps little wonder that Halloween costumes have sprung up based on its terrifying main character.
But supermarket giant Tesco has been accused of going too far with its realistic Freddy Krueger masks.
Following mounting social media pressure from campaigners, including the Charity Changing Faces, which aims to prevent facial prejudice and discrimination, Tesco agreed to take the masts off its shelves, it has emerged.
Krueger is notoriously burned in the movie, by parents taking revenge.
But Changing Faces claims that showcasing facial disfigurements as some sort of Halloween costume is totally inappropriate.
The group aims to help people with birthmarks, scars and skin conditions to make them feel more confident, as well as providing support through changing faces practitioners who can offer counselling.
But the charity has also launched a series of high-profile campaigns against businesses in a bid to stop villains being depicted as the “ugly” ones in horror and children’s stories.
As well as complaining to Tesco, Changing Faces has also demanded that Disney change the way it portrays its villains.
Tesco’s website is currently showing the Freddy Krueger costume as out of stock and it is believed not to have sold it since last year. But, in the description, it says: “With its burned face and dishevelled appearance, it is no surprise that a Freddy Elm Street costume makes a unique Halloween outfit.”
It adds: “To re-create his facial disfigurement a soft EVA mask is included. With this eerie costume based on one of the most recognisable villains of all time, you will become the nightmare on your street this Halloween.”
In its annual report, the Changing Faces charity said it has spoken to Tesco in 2015 about the costume, and it agreed not to sell them anymore. The charity said: “Tesco removed all items with Freddy Krueger’s characteristics from their Halloween ranges after only a small amount of social media pressure.”
However, even though Tesco have removed the costumes from sale, many outlets are still selling Krueger costumes.
The Freddy Krueger series began with Nightmare on Elm Street in 1984. Famously directed by Wes Craven, the plot follows several teenagers who are stalked and killed in their dreams, and in reality, by Krueger, making them too scared to fall asleep.