Here we go again. Yet another well known Horror franchise of the 80's has fallen victim to the inevitable remake trend. But this time, one of the most iconic Horror characters of its time has gotten one hell of a face lift. One that just may change the way you've thought about the character before, whether it be for better or worse.
Freddy Krueger is most well known to Horror fans, and others alike, around the world. A few years after the character broke out into the genre, he became something of a pop culture icon the likes of Michael Jackson or Madonna. A whole other kind of conversation could be covered with that, but we'll save that for another time. As the 80's came to a close, it seemed as if the 'Nightmare Train' was just about running on empty. In the early 90's, Freddy had been killed off, only to see a slight reemergence in 'Wes Cravens' New Nightmare,' then the new Millennium hit and some years later we saw him face off against another Horror Icon... Jason Voorhees.
Then, it was all up in the air as to which direction the character would go next. Rumors were swirling of a Prequel, a FvsJvsAsh movie, or a stand alone new Nightmare flick...all were murmured throughout the land of Horror. Actor Robert Englund, who carried the torch of Krueger from the very beginning, would say just about anything to keep fans eager with anticipation for the Springwood Slashers next outing. But nothing would come of it...until this weekend.
The remake has now been thrust upon us, and as one of the many writers in the Horror Blogosphere, I feel the need to lend my voice to the masses. Why try and change something that doesn't need to be fixed nor altered? Oh wait, it's a bankable product, that's why.
The remake took everything that was classic about the original...and threw it away. Yes, there are some scenes, as well as dialog, that are vaguely reminiscent of the first film, but they're executed haphazardly. The classic bedroom death (originally done to the Tina character) was borderline cheap, and devoid of any "wow" factor. In the remake, it kind of just...happens.
The only good thing I can say about this flick is that it looked great. The visuals were astounding, and the Nightmare atmosphere's were spot on. Oh, and this movie is better than the Friday the 13th remake.
I understand that you've got to mix things up a bit in order to attract a new audience when it comes to remakes, because if you do the same old song and dance as the original, then you know exactly what you're in for. With this, all of the modifications weren't very welcome.
I grew up on the original series, so all of those films were firmly planted in my brain, as much as I tried to go into the remake with a clear head (also trying to block out that dreadful script that made it's way online prior to shooting.) But, whenever Freddy was on screen, I had a really hard time stomaching such a change. Robert Englund is the only Freddy Krueger, and when watching Jackie Earle Haley's performance, I wanted Englund to come out of nowhere and reclaim the character. It seemed as if Haley was trying a bit too hard with the dialog he was given. Hell, to hear Freddy say "Fuck" was weird...and I'm used to him cracking a "...bitch."
I could kind of see where the writers were trying to go with this, but I'm not completely sold on what they were presenting to me. The directing was perfect (style, look, etc), but the story was really lacking, and some of the acting could have been a bit better. The new Nancy, while really nice to look at, is no Heather Lagenkamp. Also, the ending felt really rushed and practically tacked on.
And I'm sorry but...Jackie Earle Haley...you are not, not will you ever be, Freddy Krueger. Good attempt though, make up was pretty solid, but it's really hard to fault an actor's work...given the script they had to work with.