Michael Bay has made a name for himself by doing two things: blowing shit up, and producing crappy, unimaginative remakes of classic horror flicks like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Hitcher, The Amityville Horror, and Friday the 13th. (Actually, his Friday the 13th was superior to the original films, but that’s not saying a lot. The original Friday series sucked hard.) Next year, Bay once again dives headfirst into creative bankruptcy with his production of the Samuel Bayer-directed remake of Wes Craven’s classic A Nightmare On Elm Street.
As a longtime Nightmare fan, I’ve been dreading this movie ever since it was announced. The original is one of the most enduring horror films ever created, and Robert Englund’s Freddy Krueger has become an iconic figure in movie history. So while I understand why the movie is being made ($$$), I seriously doubt anyone has ever watched Craven’s original version and thought, “Hey, this movie really needs to be remade, because it sucks.”
Now that the trailer for Bay/Bayer’s quasi-reimagining has been unleashed, we’ve had our first glimpse of what the movie will be like. And since I have a tendency to be a judgmental ass, I figured I would share my initial thoughts about the movie.
Let’s start out with the positive stuff: I love the casting of Jackie Early Haley. He’s a great actor who portrays creepiness very well, and it looks like he’s portraying Freddy more like the savage slasher of the first two films, instead of the wise-cracking villain that’s become the more accepted personality for the character. I would definitely have preferred it if Englund was returning to the role he made famous, but at least they found a suitable replacement. And I like that the new film actually shows the origin of Freddy, as opposed to Craven’s version, which merely talked about it.
That’s pretty much it for the good stuff. I hate the fact that they used the exact same character design as the original; that they’re copying specific scenes from the original (The bathtub scene!); that it looks like this version of Freddy may have actually not been a child killer. And, most of all, I hate that Bay and Bayer aren’t just making a sequel instead of a remake. That at least would have been somewhat original. There’s no way it’s going to live up to Craven’s version, so why even try?
Despite my curmudgeonly grumblings, at some point I will check out the new movie. I may even go see it in theaters, though I think a Redbox rental is more likely. What can I say? I like Freddy Krueger, and I’ve always been a slave to my morbid curiosity.