Drop Dead, Freddy

NOES_PosterIt’s anyone’s guess whether the upcoming remake of “A Nightmare on Elm Street” will be any good, but the parts that are in the trailer don’t look promising. All things considered, there’s some irony in all this – in an attempt to make the whole thing look worthwhile, the promotional bigwigs at New Line Cinema wound up with a trailer that might make some viewers think twice before parting with their money at the multiplex. In fact, it takes so many cues from the first film that it doesn’t seem necessary to see the new one.

On top of all that, the few things it does differently call attention to how the first film did them better. Fans will remember that the origin of Freddy Krueger was explained by the heroine’s mother, who joined a mob of parents that killed Freddy to avenge the children he murdered and protect the survivors. Not only does the new trailer take things one step further by showing what happened right before Freddy was killed, but it hints that he didn’t do anything wrong: “What do you think I did?!” Freddy screams. “I didn’t do anything!”

The possibility that Freddy was innocent is something the first film doesn’t bother to bring up: Its makers understood that Freddy was the villain, and that he was interesting enough without a half-baked back story that wouldn’t change the plot one bit. The remake, on the other hand, makes the same mistake that Rob Zombie made in his version of “Halloween” by trying to earn our sympathy for the villain with details that have no significance to the plot (or seems to, based on the evidence in the trailer). The entire first act of Zombie’s “Halloween” remake explains why Michael Myers is a murderer; the original did it in less than five minutes.

Insignificant emotional detours aside, this reboot of “A Nightmare on Elm Street” appears to be faithful to every other part of the story. Freddy’s spirit exacts his revenge by terrorizing the children of his murderers in their nightmares, where they suffer a variety of ghastly deaths. The real victim, though, might actually be Freddy, who gets stuck with the silliest line in the trailer. You’ll know it when you hear it.

The trailer’s disappointing, but so what if it is? That won’t prevent genre fans from flocking to theaters when the film comes out in April of 2010 – it’s pretty much required by movie-geek law that we get hyped for every remake or sequel that comes along, if only to see if lightning will strike twice. Even though there are occasional exceptions, most of them just make the original films look better. Come to think of it, didn’t Drew Barrymore have a line in “Scream” about good movies with bad follow ups? When the killer says he liked “A Nightmare on Elm Street” because it was scary, Barrymore agrees with him: “The first one was,” she says, “but the rest sucked.”

Check out this video: A Nightmare on Elm Street in HD

About David Guzman 207 Articles
I just received my degree in journalism at Brooklyn College, where I served as the arts editor for one of the campus newspapers, the Kingsman. When it comes to the arts, I’ve managed to cover a variety of subjects, including music, films, books and art exhibitions. I’ve reviewed everything from “Slumdog Millionaire” (which was a good film) to “Coraline,” (which wasn’t) and I’ve also interviewed legendary film critic Leonard Maltin.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.