Thursday, June 25, 2009

A New Nightmare: My Thoughts on the A Nightmare on Elm St. Remake due in 2010

On November 9th 1987, the world gave witness to the birth of one of the most brutal, charismatic, and frightening killers that the film world has ever concocted and thrown on the big screen. The man with the razor hand and Christmas sweater, Freddy Krueger.

In horror, there are many characters synonymous with the genre such as Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, Jason Voorhees, Damien Thorn and Chucky, but none are more sly, cold, calculating and entertaining than Freddy himself. Portrayed by actor Robert Englund, and directed by Wes Craven, the A Nightmare on Elm St. series spawned 8 movies, one classic character and became one of the most successful horror franchises in history.

Fred Krueger, a child killer from Springwood OH, was burned alive in his own home by an angry mob of parents who had had enough of his murderous killing spree. On the verge of death, the dream demons come to him and grant him the power to invade dreams and twist them to his advantage in order to continue his rampage. Over the course of 8 films he managed to not only reach kill numbers in the middle triple digits, but cement himself as a classic villain, and cornerstone of horror.

Now lets bring it to the present. After a lackluster addition to the series (Freddy vs Jason) in 2003, which I saw on opening night, and now own on DVD, I thought good, lets put his to rest with some dignity. After a lull in the genre for the next 5 years which saw some pretty bad remakes (Amityville, TCM, Black Christmas, The Hills Have Eyes, Friday The 13th, etc...), on January 29th, 2008 Platinum Dunes announced that they were picking up the option for a A Nightmare on Elm St. remake.

Now here it comes. My opinion on the remake.

I'm not a huge fan of remakes, as first, why not try and further the story and add something new, instead of just remaking someone else's movie, and secondly, although some do work out ok, most IMO, suck. But upon hearing this news I thought to myself, "OK, here is a movie that's a classic, one I always loved, why?" and the pondered some more. My next thoughts were optimistic though "Well, with what we can do with special effects these days, and Robert being in it, and Wes helping to steer it creatively, it must turn out decent, right?" Then sometime later Robert Englund announced that he will no longer be involved, as he is not in good enough shape for the work required, and that Wes Craven was never even approached to help mentor the film along, that's when it hit me. Michael Bay is going to kill the series I love the most.

Here are my suggestions to Platinum Dunes people in and making the movie.

First off, Michael. Please, please, please add a real story to it. I know you said it will be an origin story, but please focus on an actual, entertaining story line instead of gore, girls and a campy, half brained plot. You've ruined every remake with that philosophy, don't do it with this one. Are two of those three elements staples of the slasher genre? Yes, and I can see the tasteful addition of those, but please, I'd like to not be bored after an hour into it.

Jackie Earle Haley, I know you have some big shoes to fill, but please don't try and over do it. There are some elements to Freddy that have made him legendary, his sense of humor, his slyness, his darkness, and his overall complete scare factor. Please! By all means make him as scary as you can, but don't make him overly serious.

Platinum Dunes, please don't screw this up promotion wise and under promote. This could be the biggest horror movie in the last 10 years, or one of the biggest in history if done right. In stores, TV adds that don't give half the movie away, cross promotion in TV shows, BETTER merchandise, Metallica in the movie soundtrack (All Nightmare Long please!), special Halloween events, Hollywood Horror Nights and others. This needs to be seen, heard and thoroughly enjoyed.

All in all, this is shaping up to a decent, mediocre remake of a classic film. Will I go see it in the movie theater? Yes (Cheaper than buying it on DVD). Will I buy it when it comes out? More than likely if not to just complete the collection. Will I watch it more than once? That remains to be seen, as it depends on how the movie is. Could it become of the the most relevant, biggest, best horror movies of the last 10 years? Well, that's all up to Michael Bay and Platinum Dunes, but I believe done the right way, yes it could be.