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The consensus of the major1 and smaller blogs2 is that A Nightmare on Elm Street 2010 is the worst horror film of last year. The problems of the film can be read in the screenplay3. It is a testament to corporate fiction.
This script is populated with underdeveloped characters. Their motivations derive from their writer’s whim. The narrative is illogical. The McGuffin is a con. Above and beyond the screenplay A Nightmare on Elm Street is problematic in concept.
This is not Oasis
The music industry calls them ‘covers’4. There are even cover bands5. The movie industry calls them remakes. The first remake was a short: The Great Train Robbery 19046 is based on the 1903 film of the same name. The first feature length remake is Marked Men 19197 based on The Three Godfathers 1916. The remake is as old as the industry and will last as long.
Remakes are a valid form of storytelling among which are John Carpenter’s The Thing 1982, Invasion of the Body Snatchers 1978 and The Fly 1986. The problem with A Nightmare on Elm Street is not the fact it is a remake; the problem is it is an unnecessary remake.
The 2010 version adds nothing to the mythos of a recently established pop cultural figure. It neither expands nor extends Freddy Krueger’s story. This film is a cash grab. It is a con. It is a spit in the face to every horror fan.
Despite Warner Brothers and Platinum Dunes avarice A Nightmare on Elm Street grossed (a domestic $63million then) a worldwide total of $116m8. The average split between exhibitor and distributor is 50/509. The budget for the film was $35m8 while prints and advertising (P&A) cost studios an average $34m10 per picture. Thus with $69m spent and a return of $58m10.5 Warner Brothers axed any talk of a sequel11.
The public spit back.
10.5 The budget and box office for A Nightmare on Elm Street are reported fact. All other figures are speculative. It is impossible to know how much the studio spent on P&A on this particular film unless they release those numbers. Furthermore the exhibitor/distributor split can vary with each film, studio, cinema chain/house and territory.
In addition all films have ancillary revenues such as Home Market (DVD/Blu Ray sales/rental, Video-on-Demand/Pay-Per-View, free TV), games, toys, clothing etc. Thus it is a fool’s errand to speculate the final profit/loss of a movie as an entity. However a deficit of $11m is an educated guess as to the box office first run of A Nightmare on Elm Street and it is the first run that best indicates a movie’s ultimate profit or loss.
It is easier to criticise than to construct. It is easier to destroy than to create. With the Hollywood machine gunning down the legacy of great horror films (Halloween 1978, The Last House on the Left 1972, The Wicker Man 1973) I decided to write an insurgency. As stated in a previous post I am rewriting A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge 1985.
Freddy’s Revenge is disparaged because it broke the lore written down by Wes Craven: Freddy exists in dreams – he does not crash parties in the real world. In my script A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Return he remains firmly in nightmares.
He exists through fear.
Freddy’s Return is a rewrite/remake of the first sequel. It is not a sequel to the remake. It adheres to the rules and lore set out in the original and remains faithful to the tone. Remember – it wasn’t until Dream Warriors 1987 that Freddy became a wise ass. Freddy’s Return will fit securely into the canon.
This is a script that has to be written because the legacy cannot end on the 2010 remake. Freddy’s Return will repair the damage done by the reboot. It will give the fans another chapter in the story of a character we made famous. My goals are lofty: Freddy’s Return will shame the Hollywood industry into making great horror – because great horror continues to be written.
I’m a football fan – that’s soccer to you. In 2005 Manchester United Football Club was bought12 by the American carpetbagger Malcolm Glazer. Some fans were so outraged they renounced their support and broke away to form their own club – FC United13. In a country where the professional clubs are over 100 years old FC United are playing in the footprints of giants – but there is recent inspiration.
In 2002 supporters of Wimbledon Football Club broke away – for different but legitimate reasons – and formed AFC Wimbledon14. This year they achieved professional status into the national football league.
Dreams can come true. So can nightmares.
People have power only when they exercise it and that should be more than once every four years. As soon as art is disseminated it becomes the cultural property of the people. Corporate plutocrats see otherwise. They see It as their legal right to rape and abuse our icons like Freddy Krueger and John Carpenter’s The Thing ad infinitum. In the age of New Media the Arabs have shown us this is Our Spring.
Thus I am clarion calling all horror fans – I need your support. I need you to spread the word, to share your thoughts and feelings by adding comments, to email your pals, to facebook twitter and myspace them. Let this script viral the web like Mark Protosevich’s I am Legend15 did.
I know I can only convince you if you deem the screenplay good enough so here are the opening scenes. The final draft is coming soon.
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