A Nightmare on Elm Street is one of those movies that, much like its haunting, evil bogeyman Freddy Krueger, just never goes away. With talk of a remake for 2018, we’re wondering what to make it of all….
It’s true that a lot of horror fans will greet the news with a horrifically wide smile and an intense look of creepy pleasure in their eyes, but some of us are wondering if this 2018 remake is really something to celebrate.
Now don’t get us wrong, Freddy Krueger is a great horror hero… or anti-hero… or villain… or whatever you’d care to classify the blade-fingered dude as; but is something of the magic lost by continually re-making the movie? Is it having all the vitality and life squeezed out of it in an attempt to make money?
Take your mind back to that original picture of 1984. Directed by Wes Craven, the story blended horror, slasher, a little comedy even (though that could depend on your sense of humour) and crafted all these genres into an original and quite disturbing movie. The fact that the victims can’t fall asleep because it’s in their dreams that Freddy gets them surely caused more than a few unwitting audiences a disturbed night or two. Incidentally if truly disturbed nights are a problem, a divan bed could be the solution and while there’s no guarantee of sweet dreams, what you can be sure of is a proper supportive mattress. And hey, you never know, maybe monsters and boogeymen have a harder time hiding in a divan than a regular bed!
Now compare that 1984 version to the 2010 version. Here’s the trailer to jog your memory. It just seems to be devoid of the charm of the original somehow, doesn’t it? It could be that there’s something quintessentially ‘80s about the story or the character or the whole set-up; but whatever it is that’s different, what’s clear is that it’s simply not as good. And the critics agreed too since very few, if any, rated the picture highly.
And then what about the other films in the series? A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge is great, but by the time Wes Craven’s New Nightmare came along in 1994 things had got pretty odd. In this addition the story took an interesting, if not entirely successful twist when Freddy invaded the real world and haunted, or hunted, the actors and writers themselves. Wes Craven even played himself, which made for a novel ninety minutes or so if nothing else.
It’s not that we want to knock any attempts to revive an iconic character; it’s just that when something is really good, it has to be respected. Remaking a great movie should either be done brilliantly or not at all, as you risk detracting from the original in some way and trashing something of quality (think of the 2000 remake of Get Carter compared to the gritty 1971 version). There’s a lot of pressure on this 2018 version of A Nightmare on Elm Street and we’re nervous about the return of Freddy in more ways than one….