The holiday season is upon us as we celebrate #AllHallowsEve here in a couple of weeks. I was browsing the internet for material for some articles and came across the #PlatinumDunes remakes of the horror trilogy that is #Halloween, #Fridaythe13th, and #ANightmareonElmStreet respectively.
Friday the 13th is downright asinine (super strong zombie Jason struggles to kill a 98lb Asian teenager? Hog wash), and Halloween, while adding a good bit to #MichaelMyers backstory, didn’t really bring anything else new to the table. Then I landed on A Nightmare on Elm Street. I remember enjoying the film despite it being critically and commercially panned. I know: I’m a rebel. It caused me to dig a little deeper and I found a few reasons why this movie doesn’t deserve all the hate.
3. Jackie Earle Haley Has An Insanely High Standard To Meet
When it was first announced that #RobertEnglund would not be reprising the iconic role of #FreddyKrueger, fans spat blood. Englund is the only actor to ever play the dreamscape psychopath in any medium; he could truly call the role his own as it was something that he built from the ground up. It is said that he picked out the iconic fedora while #WesCraven was in wardrobe perfecting the look.
When it was announced that #JackieEarleHaley would take on the daunting task, I had a good feeling. Sure, he’d be no Robert Englund, but he is a great actor who shows a wide range. Fresh off of playing another wackjob, #Rorschach in #TheWatchmen, he would prove to bring justice to the son of a hundred maniacs. Robert Englund even endorsed him, so at least he had that going for him, which is nice.
2. They Expanded On The Source Material
This iteration of Freddy added molestation to his list of vile acts before being sent to his fiery end. At first, I thought they did this simply to up the stakes and slightly differentiate from the original. I didn’t think it necessarily added or detracted from the character of Freddy (after all, he is a #slasher). I’m sure purists went ape because they changed something, but I read that the original script called for him to be a child molester and Wes Craven only changed it at the last second.
Another change that occurred that at first didn’t sit well with me at the time but adds another element to the story is Freddy’s possible innocence. The parents formed a mob and quickly brought Freddy some flaming justice. They never thought that he could have actually been innocent. They were hurt and their soul cried out for vengeance. Never mind whether his blood was innocent or not. Of course, it turned out that he did in fact do all the vile acts he was accused of, but for a split second the audience was forced to possibly feel sympathy for a murderer.
1. They Made Freddy Scary Again
Freddy Krueger was a household name in the '80s. It was an original idea that took off. Naturally, producers tried to run it into the ground with a bevy of sequels that got less and less scary. The Nightmare series turned into dark comedies after awhile and Freddy lost his edge. While I admit to those sequels being a guilty pleasure, it can’t be argued that Freddy is best when he is intensely trying to murder teenagers.
Jackie Earle Hayley brought that back in spades. He took what Robert Englund established and ran with it, offering new dimensions of scare in the process. The quips and one-liners were gone in favor of eerie grunts and the occasional ranting outburst. For fans of scary Freddy, this film delivered.
Overall, the Nightmare on Elm Street remake is by no means a masterpiece. It suffers from having to live up to impossible standards. It does what it can and delivers an intense look into the source material, taking what works and (dare I say it) improves upon some things. There were planned sequels to the film, but critical and commercial bombs tend to wither on the vine, which is a shame. I would have liked to see what else they could come up with in terms of effects in the dream world. Visual effects were made for this type of material. At this point, sadly, sounds like a pipe dream. What did you think about the remake? Sound off in the comments!
Check out the trailer for the 2010 reboot of A Nightmare on Elm Street — if you dare:
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What did you enjoy (or hate) about the 2010 reboot of A Nightmare on Elm Street?