Fan Creates a Mind-Blowing Nightmare 2 Tribute
Paul Bailey’s got the body and brain and the talent to pull off one of the best Freddy Krueger cosplays we’ve ever seen.
There’s no shortage of talent in the Nightmare community, and SFX artist Paul Bailey is blowing our minds with his tribute to Freddy Krueger circa A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. Bailey sculpted his own mask and hands, put together an entire cosplay and did a series of photoshoots bringing Freddy to life.
“When I decided I was going to make a Freddy mask, I always thought of the photoshoot or series of photoshoots and videos as one goal inherently linked with the mask,” says Bailey. “So I set out to do this all inclusive thing, something just short of a fan film. While I was sculpting the mask, sometimes I would design pieces of sets or lighting setups I wanted to try. So for me it is just different parts of the same project.”
The mask is one of the most realistic Krueger masks we have ever seen. It fits his face well and seems to move easily. That’s due to material quality.
“The mask and the gloves are all made from a platinum silicone commonly used in high-end mask making that is very stretchy and flesh like,” Bailey explains. “It allows for a bit of expression to be performed but requires exaggerated facial movements. It is also entirely reinforced with a four-way stretch material called powermesh that helps prevent running tears.”
This kind of accuracy and attention to detail was no small undertaking either. Bailey overviews the process:
The sculpt alone took a long time because I didn’t want to compromise on accuracy. I wanted my translation to be as close as possible to the source material without interpretation or my own stylistic choices interfering. The scars are like a puzzle and if you go too far off with one, it throws everything off in a domino effect. Underneth all that you have a likness to execute over basically a lifecast of me which presents its own challenges. Since I had never made a silicone mask before, I decided to complete both hands before finishing the mask for practice, as making a mask fit and perform as it should is more complicated than a glove.
Fortunately, I found lots of information on the internet and received help via texts from some very talented FX artists along the way. Even so, I failed numerous times at just about every stage of the process but one little victory can easily propel you through ten major setbacks, and I’ve found when doing this sort of thing, optimism and persistence are your greatest assets. I also need to mention the incredible support I received throughout from the fan community. They really got behind me from the very beginning and I am extremly grateful for that.
For me, Kevin Yagher’s redesign of Freddy is the quintessential look of the character and also happens to be my all-time favorite monster makeup. His work literally and figuratively brought Freddy out of the shadows and into the spotlight. Freddy was THE boogieman while I was growing up. I was aware of who he was well before I had even seen a picture. The first time I saw Freddy was on the VHS cover of Nightmare 2, and I have been hooked on that design since.
While I love the makeup work on the first film, in my opinion, it is best viewed in the dark, with light grazing the forms. Whereas the design from the second film looks good in any lighting situation because there is so much going on from the exagerated bone structure, to the tradmark burns, and the shallow subtle scars that flow and weave together. He just looks really creepy in that one in particular and it’s been cool trying recreate some of that.
Bailey knocked it out of the park. You can see many of his photos below. Click on each photo to enlarge.