Thursday, 11 March 2010

A Nightmare on Elm Street [2010] trailer 2

A Nightmare on Elm Street 1984 is one of my favourite horror movies. Like the rest of the Horror Scope© I’ve been tracking this remake since it was mooted. I’ve had to bury my dismay because whether I like it or not the remake will be released (30th April North America, 7th May UK). On 25th February New Line Cinema released the second trailer:

The first scene in the diner is evocative of Freddy Krueger. It is written and executed in the classic manner as Wes Craven intended. The victim transposes his Freddy inflicted wounds to his conscious reality. 

Every horror fanboy knows what comes next.

Story is in the telling and horror films especially are susceptible to cheap shock and gimmick. The speculation as to how good/bad this film is ends on general release. The good news is that this trailer is markedly better than the first one in that it presents the film as faithful in tone and ethos to the original. Good marketing perhaps. Aint It Cool News has a review of a rough cut.

The horror casting handbook suggests young talent; the advantages being budgetary and narrative momentum with the disadvantage being inexperience. Thus the most imposing character in the trailer is actor Jackie Earle Hayley. This isn’t surprise. Freddy should always overpower all others onscreen. The more good news is that Hayley seems to inhabit (the original) Freddy. He exudes menace. This is to the detriment of the young actors. They're reciting lines and looking stupid.

I’m not one for sacred cows so I'm putting Jackie Earle Hayley over. I couldn't care less who plays James Bond, Spider-Man or my next girlfriend (so long as she's hot). Robert Englund’s last outing as Freddy Vs Jason 2003 was high camp. The young actors on display fail to impress. The blonde who screams in class is particularly woeful. They are not helped by the advertised dialogue.

Don’t fall asleep.”
A Nightmare on Elm Street 1983

In the original film it was urgent advice that became the franchise mantra. In this trailer each word is punctuated with a period for emphasis. I don’t know how the actor kept a straight face. Worse; those words are uttered by a boy. The Final Girl philosophy acknowledges males cannot be vulnerable in horror. It makes them appear weak. They lack sympathy. They incur contempt.

In 1983 CGI didn’t exist. The original scene where Freddy imprints against the wall above a sleeping Nancy was unexpected and convincing. In this trailer that scene is replicated with something that looks like leftovers from The Mummy Returns 2001. However there are good moments - one of the actors informing the audience of ‘micro naps’ - and good dialogue: “Why are you screaming? I haven’t even cut you yet.”

Platinum Dunes has form. They've remade The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2003 and Friday the 13th 2009 to box office bonanza. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2010 will be a hit. There’s a 27 year fan base that never went away and there’s internet awareness. Its box office may be as big as the Halloween remake. To celebrate the incoming release TFi will post an article for each film of the franchise starting next week (16th March) with Freddy’s Revenge 1985. The Wes Craven original will be compared and contrasted with the remake in my highly successful Re/Made series. I can’t wait.

I’ll have to.

Read more Thrill Fiction: The 10 Best Horror Films of 2009

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