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Things Are Looking Grim For 'Nightmare On Elm Street' Remake

Kris King Kris King
February 24th, 2009 10:33am EST
A Nightmare on Elm StreetStarpulse writer Kris King has a few choice words for Platinum Dunes, the horror production company behind the upcoming A Nightmare on Elm Street remake:

Dear Platinum Dunes,

First of all, nice work on your Friday the 13th reboot/sequel/remake - you managed to make a new Jason movie that neither disregarded its roots nor shot anyone into space on a straight-to-video budget.

With the hype surrounding Jason's return to Crystal Lake dissipating, news about your next bank run remake is pouring in. Having tackled Leatherface, 112 Ocean Avenue, and whatever the bad guy's name was in The Hitcher, you're all set for the next character waiting for a 21st century spit-shine: Freddy Kruger.

Frankly, your company's association with explosion maestro Michael Bay and its dubious track record of horror remakes leaves us concerned. So far the news surfacing about the 2010 remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street freaks us out more than that time Freddy turned into a bed and tried to eat Patricia Arquette.

Between your choice of director and some initial casting rumors, things are looking grim. So if you insist on turning out cheaply made horror rehashes, you might as well make it worth our while - after all, we don't need another Prom Night or Black X-Mas. Based on what we've seen so far, we thought we could lend you a hand with some pointers.

1. Cast Freddy Correctly

Jackie Earle HaleySince Robert Englund has either refused to reprise his best-known role or you just refuse to cast him, you've given yourself the hefty task of finding a new face for one of horror's most unique, and talkative characters. Unlike Leatherface, Michael Myers or Jason Voorhees, the actor that plays Kruger needs to adhere to, and surpass, an established look and attitude in order for the project to succeed. If you aren't careful, Freddy will just seem like someone that's spent too much money on a Halloween costume.

Early rumors claim that you've fished for the likes of Billy Bob Thornton and Jackie Earle Haley (Rorschach in the upcoming Watchmen) for the part, which is either wishful thinking on the part of fans or that you have the right idea of casting a competent actor to take Englund's place. Still, you have to think about the constraints of making a genre movie and the slim likelihood of casting a real live actor on a short budget. So...maybe you should just re-think casting Robert Englund besides, it would do a service to us all by preventing him from making "Zombie Strippers 2."

2. Don't make the movie look like this:




The Nightmare series has always been a breeding ground of innovation, and setting a killer loose in an otherworldly dreamscape allows for practically endless possibilities. In the wrong hands, this freedom can fall flat (Freddy's Dead, anyone?).

Of course, you know that.

So why then, are you entrusting the film to Samuel Bayer, a music video director whose best known work, the videos for "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "No Rain," are over 15 years old? We scan see why you picked him - he's never directed a feature, which means he's cheap, and a lot of his videos have an odd, dreamy look about them. We're not saying that music video directors can't go on to do great things (David Fincher comes from a music video background), we just worry that Mr. Bayer may make the ever important nightmare sequences look like a goth kid's locker.

3. Learn from your mistakes

Now that you have five franchise remakes under your belt, you should look back on your own movies before starting up a new one. While your enjoyable "Friday the 13th" retooling managed to surpass the awful movie watermark left by Jason Takes Manhattan, it still ended up feeling empty. Jason may have gone through the motions, but there was nothing to set it apart its predecessors - at least Part 7 had a psychic girl.

In 2004, the remake of Dawn of the Dead built on the sense of chaos and suffocating isolation from the original, while still maintaining a sense of seeing something new. The best moments in the Nightmare series stem from Freddy's reliance on fear to maintain power and how he plays with his prey, forcing them into amphetamine addiction to stay awake to the point where the lines of consciousness become blurred. You already know that Freddy can still draw an audience, so why prove it by telling the exact same story again? If anything, you could take another shot at The Final Nightmare and rework the interesting, if not disastrous ideas from that movie.

If you take these simple ideas into mind, you may just have a worthwhile movie on your hands. The Nightmare series still has enough juice in to jolt viewers out of the sea , but if you aren't careful you'll just have another shoddy remake that sends viewers off into a quiet, pleasant sleep.

Sincerely,

Kris King

PS: Just scrap "The Birds," we all know how that's going to turn out.

Kris King
Story by Kris King

Starpulse contributing writer




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