Friday, February 26, 2010

I'm Your Boyfriend Now, Bitch!

There's a new trailer out for the 'reboot" (oh, how I hate that word) of A Nightmare on Elm Street, the 1984 Wes Craven classic that starred Heather Langencamp, John Saxon, Ronee Blakely, Charles "Roger Rabbit" Fleischer and Robert Englund as the pedophile Fred Kreuger (it wasn't until the film's sequel that he was officially called "Freddy"). Oh yeah, it also starred this young unknown by the name of Johnny Depp, in his feature film debut (more on Johnny in my upcoming post about Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland).

In the movie, a small town's teenagers suddenly find themselves plagued by nightmares in which a horribly burn-scarred maniac stalks them with a razor-clawed glove. It turns out their parents had long-ago stalked and killed a local pedo, burning him alive in the high school boiler room, where he had been employed as a janitor. Years later, Freddy manages to invade the dreams of their children, taking advantage of the old urban legend that says if you die in your dream, you die in real life.

The movie was a sensation and spawned almost as many sequels as Friday the 13th, ending with 2003's Freddy vs Jason, a campy mix in which the two unstoppable Horror icons joined forces to take out local teens, but ended up battling each other for supremacy. Beyond silly, Freddy vs Jason was the nadir of both franchises, both of which should have been put to bed long ago (despite the calls for an Ash vs Freddy vs Jason sequel, which, thankfully, never happened).

As a young (23 - yes, I'm old) Horror fan who, at the time, adored 80's slasher flicks, I found the first film to be both original and effective, and Fred Kreuger was probably the most frightening Horror movie villain since Craven's mutant cannibal family in the original The Hills Have Eyes. Of course, as the franchise progressed and Freddy became an increasingly campy spouter of bad one-liners, I began to lose interest. That is, until Craven returned with 1994's A New Nightmare, which pitted Langencamp as herself, battling the fictional Kreuger made real through her son's own nightmares. The movie explored the fine line between fiction and reality, but fell apart in its last few minutes. And Craven's next film, the terrible Eddy Murphy vehicle A Vampire in Brooklyn seemed to seal his fate as a has-been. It wouldn't be until the Kevin Williamson-penned slasher satire Scream that Craven would redeem himself. I'm also a big fan of Craven's non-Horror thriller Red Eye, with Rachel McAdams, Cillian Murphy, Brian Cox and giant-eyed "Glee" star, Jayma Mays.

And Craven's next film, My Soul to Take, seems to explore familiar territory in a tale about a serial killer who returns to his hometown to stalk children whose birthday's fall on the day he was supposedly buried. How much more can Craven mine from this concept? I'm not sure, but you can bet I'll be seeing it.

Anyway, here's the latest trailer for director Wesley Strick's "reboot" of A Nightmare...

Is it me, or does Jackie Earle Haley's version of Freddy sound an awful lot like Watchmen's Rorschach? At least this version of Freddy looks like he's actually been burned, rather than ravaged by some exotic, disfiguring virus. And yes, that's doe-eyed Kyle Gallner from The Haunting in Connecticut and Jennifer's Body as Quentin. I'll withhold judgment until I see the new movie when it comes out in April, but I remain dubious. If nothing else, I'll give it this: At least the damned thing isn't in 3D!

More, anon.


Anonymous said...

I saw the preview before almost seeing The Crazies. The film broke 30 mins in and they couldn't fix it so I got my money back. This happened to me when I took my nephew to see Friday the 13th.

It seems like some of the deaths in this movie are similar to previous Nightmares and I agree with you about this Freddy sounding a lot like Rorschach but then he sounded the same in Shutter Island too.

Prospero said...

I'm seeing 'the Crazies' on Thursday with my Go-go Elf, Matty. My full review will follow.