Freddy?

Freddy?

Unfortunately it had to premiere on MySpace’s Trailer Park but that goes to show you where the eyeballs are flocking to. Now that the first trailer for 2010′s A Nightmare On Elm Street just premiered online, it will unspool traditionally this weekend attached to prints of Zombieland.

Despite watching it on a computer, the trailer has me very excited for this latest Nightmare, even though it is the 9th film of the franchise and a remake of the first, or a “re-imagining” as the official site will have you believe. Gus Van Sant’s Psycho was a “re-imagining” too yet a movie can’t be any more a remake than that one was. Ideally this remake/origin story will pave the way for a whole slew of original sequels.

Since the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise is getting rebooted into a new series, it kind of closes the door to the original series, which is a shame, since I think it still had room for another film or two. Maybe a few more Freddy Versus films or even a prequel to showcase more of Robert Englund’s talent as a pre-burned Krueger. Come to think of it, there definitely could’ve been a “Springwood Killer” prequel alas it’s too late; the franchise just got the reboot.

The trailer starts out with a pre-burned Freddy, this time played by Jackie Earle Haley, being chased through an industrial landscape by a vigilante mob led by Clancy Brown. Freddy’s portrayed sympathetically as a victim of vigilante force who may actually be innocent of the crimes he’s being pursued for. Once he gets cornered in a warehouse, he cries out “what do you think I did? I didn’t do anything” and you may notice a bit of his red sweater sticking out of his right coat sleeve. We already know who he is as he gets name checked “Krueger” but it’s a subtle little piece of color correction, as that part of the trailer is cast in dark blue tones and this may be the only red we get to see, until the mob leader tosses a gas can with a flaming rag into the building.

As the warehouse Freddy’s trapped in is set ablaze, he desperately and in slow motion rips off his coat to reveal Freddy’s iconic red and green striped sweater. Maybe it got to hot for him so he started shedding layers? It would’ve made more sense if the coat was on fire, otherwise Krueger tearing his coat open in slow motion plays like the sweater reveal that it is. Fortunately it’s not as cliche as ripping a shirt open to reveal a bullet-proof vest in a cop movie but it’s still pretty transparent. Let’s hope that moment plays better within the context of the film.

We then get a montage of a few scenes from the film, dream sequences featuring those little girls dressed in white jumping rope, boiler room scenes, the Elm St. street sign, an establishing shot of the new house, some cool glove action including a recreated shot of Nancy in the bathtub as Freddy’s glove surfaces from the water and various shots of the new cast, all to the tune of the infamous Freddy nursery rhyme. We also get a glimpse from the scene where Jesse, now played by Thomas Dekker, desperately tries to wake his girlfriend before she begins to hover over the bed. Think this film’s version of that scene will top the amazing gimbal effects of the first?

The title card confirms that they’re sticking with the title “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and not just “Nightmare on Elm Street” like the title page to the leaked script indicates. Then we finally get to hear and see the Haley as the burned Krueger. Face it, Robert Englund was so iconic in such an iconic role, Haley will take some time getting used to despite his excellent acting oeuvre. Englund’s characterization of Freddy Krueger, again, was so iconic he screwed every potential actor wishing to seriously take on the role. Not that it shouldn’t be done, it should but it’s a daunting challenge that feels experimental at this point in the franchise. Think how screwed the next actor is to fill Heath Ledger’s shoes as The Joker but then Ledger did top Nicholson’s Joker performance which at the time seemed impossible to do.

A few obstacles that may interfere with Haley’s performance is his iconic wardrobe and prop. It’s the same glove, the same hat, the same sweater. They’re the the exact same while the actor, make-up and voice isn’t. The similarities to the original Freddy might be a jarring reminder of the differences. Same iconic sweater, hat and gloves, but different actor? This’ll take some getting used to, especially Freddy’s speech and voice, which comes across as “marble-mouthed” as described in an Arrow In The Head tweet. Probably a very intentional decision, it sounds as though Freddy’s burned scar tissue may be impeding his speech, which is cool, but will it enhance or detract from our acceptance of the new Freddy? Hopefully the later but either way, there’s another 6 months to fine tune it and if necessary, ADR Haley’s voice performance.

If we get sold on the new Freddy, it will be during the film and not in the pre-release advertising blitz. If anything, showcasing the new Freddy before the film looks like it’ll only build up resistance towards accepting him, which can only happen in the film if at all. Haley’s Krueger should at least be comparable to Englund’s and hopefully won’t come across like a real life burn victim donning a Freddy Halloween costume, as he does in the trailer.

Freddy?

The trailer’s running time is 2 minutes and 7 seconds. The finished film is supposed to come out April 30th and will most likely be rated R. And of course, this remake is based on the real Nightmare On Elm Street by Wes Craven.

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Comments

  1. Metallicat79 says

    I think this looks awesome!!! I am actaually more excited too see this one then the sad attempt that was Friday the 13th, but thats just me.

    • says

      whoops! I’ll try to delete that last reply when I figure out how to.

      But yeah, I agree, I can’t wait to see the film. Kinda feels like they saved the best for last, what with Freddy just being this giant horror icon.

      We’ve all heard Platinum Dunes is attempting a The Birds remake and I hope that works out and they may very well go all out and try to out do Nightmare but this seems like the last big deal, unless they try to revive Norman Bates!!!

  2. Metallicat79 says

    My personal opinion on Hitchcock remakes, is that is a big No No! The man was notorious for detail and the majority of his films are revered as classics and have stood the test of time. Not too mention the track record for reamkes of hitchcock films it not good (Disturbia and Psycho). If there is no curse on Hotchcock remakes, I hereby, from this forward pt a curse on said films and all parties involved. Sorry I digress. Freddy looks Fucking Nuts!!!

  3. says

    I’m not really proposing a Psycho remake but maybe going back to the original Bloch novel and re-adapting it, but as a horror film and not a suspense film since Hitchcock already perfected that. In tone, it would be more similar to Psycho II and Psycho III but it would follow the original novel along with some new material and alternate plotpoints. Maybe this time Norman finds the money rolled up in the newspaper.

  4. says

    You’ve got to wonder why these people do not just leave town since they are being stalk by a killer in their dreams in that area. Their fear gives him power. If no one fears him, he is powerless.

    That’s what was so brilliant about the Freddy vs. Jason script before it was butchered by its director and cut to pieces.

    • says

      I don’t think they realize Freddy is fueled by their fear. It’s happening to those characters for the first time; they’re not as familiar with the rules and mythology of the franchise like we are, having seen the last 8 films that they don’t even know about.

      You have a PDF of that earlier Freddy/Jason script?

  5. says

    You’re right about that Mike. They don’t know the rules.

    Hell yes. I have the script on my hard drive (and the treatment for Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash). Love it. I couldn’t believe they actually created holes in the plot-line where there were none in the script.

  6. JD says

    I’m really torn over this one. The thing about these “remakes” that Bay’s company has been doing is that they “Look Beautiful”. The cinematography is great, the lighting and design is fantastic, but I always fall back on the fact that it’s “another remake” whether they are any good or not. Platinum Dunes knows how to make a “GOOD LOOKING” film and this new Nightmare actually looks like it could be entertaining, though I really don’t see the need for it…I’ll watch it for the nostalgia of it all.

  7. says

    the automatic reaction to the news of remakes is unfortunate, since it could actually a get in the way of enjoying one. To me, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a remake or not. As long as it’s good. One of my favorite remakes was John Carpenter’s The Thing. That’s just a really good film, it shouldn’t lose points just because it’s a remake of the 50′s film.

    • says

      It is a shame that some remakes carry the stigma that others create, as there are good ones out there, like The Thing as you say. But for every one of those there are several The Wicker Man. It’s the success rate that puts people off I think. I’d say the casting of Jackie Earle Haley alleviates that a little, but then I thought that with Christian Bale as John Connor, and look what happened there. Damn I’m cynical!

      But hey, right now it looks good so it’s innocent until proven guilty!

  8. says

    well the problem with Terminator Salvation wasn’t Christian Bale, it was the script. He actually would’ve made a decent John Connor in a good Terminator prequel, but that film just screwed up at the story level.

    And as for the success rate of remakes, I bet it pretty much measures the success rate of regular films. You have to produce a lot of crappy films to get to get that one gem. Same thing applies to remakes. But they should still go along with it because what can seem to be a crappy film might end up becoming a gem.

  9. says

    You’re exactly right on T4, what I meant was you’d think with such a great piece of casting that you think the producers have it all in hand, but it didn’t turn out that way.

    Sure there are a lot of crappy regular films, but they don’t carry the weight of the originals on their shoulders. Cinema-goers have pretty much had all of their old favourites bastardised in the past decade or so, so they are a little more skeptical when a new remake is announced.

    But again you’re right, we shouldn’t be writing them off before they are released, there is every possibility it turns out better than the original. And the Elm Street “franchise” is one that needed a complete overhaul anyway.

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