Kruegermort

When will Hollywood ever learn?  When it comes to remaking movies, especially classic or iconic horror films, you just shouldn’t do it.  You can’t outdo something that made a subgenre what it is or defined the scares for a generation.  It’s just not going to work.  The reasons why are endless:

1) You probably have actors who created characters so notable that no matter who you recast into the role, they will not match up.  Example: Johnny Depp in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005).  Sure, he did something completely different, but anyone who knows Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) and what Gene Wilder did with that role (including the deliciously out of place horrific scene in the tunnel) probably walked out of that theatre going “eh”.

2) There will be moments and images from the original films that are indelibly printed into the minds of the viewer.  You thus have the option of copying them (a la Psycho which was pretty much an epic fail), or avoiding them all together (a la how the chilling ending of Ringu was eschewed in The Ring for a much more “hollywood” ending).  For those two reasons alone, it is rare that I am excited to see a remake.  I mean, I’ll see it.  In fact, I realize that I am probably a contributor to the problem of remakes as I will deliberately seek out awful remakes of movies for the purpose of bitching about how awful they are.  My $12 goes toward the millions of dollars that make movie execs go “wait…remaking movies is an AWESOME idea”.

My initial reaction upon hearing about a remake is almost always anger and a mental head slap.  When it was recently brought to my attention that a remake of The Nightmare on Elm Street is being released in the Spring of 2010, I pretty much lost it.  Freddy Krueger is one of the most iconic movie monsters of my generation.  I think nearly every child in my elementary school who had parents liberal/disturbed enough to let them watch horror films a) was Freddy for Halloween b) had a Freddy knife hand glove thing or c) was afraid to sleep for months.  I mean, really, the idea is epic.  Horror movies give you nightmares, right?  What about a horror movie about killer nightmares –  it’s BRILLIANT.  It’s like taking all of your worst fears and saying “well, yeah, if you dream about them, THEY WILL COME AND EAT YOUR SOUL.”  Pretty damn spooky considering the whole “it’s just a dream” aspect of nightmares is usually the only thing remotely comforting that can be said to assuage the fear.

Ok, so I’ll admit that Nightmare isn’t flawless.  The acting is downright laughable at times (Thank God that Johnny Depp learned how to act because if he’d stayed like he was in that film, I don’t think even his beauty could have saved his sorry ass).  Unlike some films, the special effects don’t all stand the test of time.  And I’ll be the first to admit the whole “Mommy-and-Daddy-went-vigilante-on-some-pedophile-janitor’s-ass” is pretty bizarre and weak.  But still, Krueger is a bad ass villain, and that little girl singing that song is still pretty unnerving to me.  Regardless, it’s a classic.  It’s one of those films that if I’m talking to a horror noob, I tell them they need to see it.  It’s just part of the horror movie canon.  Thus, remaking it equals a horrible move for that fact alone.  However, having watched the preview, I can tell you why this film will be even more horrendous than the basic “don’t remake a classic horror”.

1) Never give the backstory of a monster:  Unless you are looking to have the sort of strange empathy involved in Shelley’s Frankenstein, the less we know about the villain, the better.  One of the scariest thing about most villains and monsters, in fact, is that we don’t know them at all and thus we can’t predict their next move thus we’re scared shitless over what they’ll do next.  Think about Michael Myers in Halloween (yes, original, of course): We just know he’s some guy who murdered his sister when he was a kid and that his psychologist calls him evil.  That’s IT.  It makes him almost more of a force of nature than a man.  The backstory in the original Nightmare was, as previously mentioned, probably the worst thing about the movie.  So why in God’s name did the filmmakers remaking Nightmare decide to, in fact, elaborate on the pedophile vigilante?

Run, Freddy, Run!

Run, Freddy, Run!

Complete with cliche chase scene…

Is that one chick in a bathrobe?

Is that one chick in a bathrobe?

…and the least intimidating mob EVER.

Krueger ANGRY!

Krueger ANGRY!

YES!  Finally!!  What I’ve been waiting for my whole life – the story behind  why he always wears that striped sweater!…Seriously?  This is freaking not Superman.  We’re not going to find out that he’s got that sweater underneath and go “Ohhhhh I did NOT see that coming.”  This has to be one of the most pointless reveals in cinematic history.  If this is the first 5 minutes of the movie, I will be very tempted to walk out.

2) Do not remake famous scenes from movies:  I think Gus Van Sant fairly well proved to us with his remake of Psycho that remaking a film shot for shot does not equal a good movie.  In fact, as a general rule, it’s probably better to avoid doing scenes that everyone knows, loves, and remembers.  In Nightmare, there are actually several which could fall into that category, not the least of which is my favorite: the murder on the ceiling.  Sure, it’s probably a bit hokey now with better special effects and such but…that scene is still disturbing as crap.

Worst. Period. Ever.

Worst. Period. Ever.

And yet, our young Samuel Bayer has decided, or so it seems like he is implying he has decided, to remake that scene, except in a much more boring and serene manner:

Linda Blair?

Linda Blair?

Dude…don’t…just…don’t.

3) Make sure your monster actually looks scary: Freddy Krueger is known most for his sexy, sexy mug.

Smize for me

Smize for me

The crafting of Krueger’s face is pretty ingenious.  He’s grotesque, yes, but he’s also very very human.  So as we’re completely repulsed, we’re very strongly remind that this isn’t some demon, this is a man who turned into this monster.  The idea of human monsters is always unnerving and it was one of Krueger’s strengths as a lasting villain.  Now, of course, his face looks a bit…well…plastic.  I’m sure with the advent of CGI and new make up techniques, the new Krueger will be incredible.

Hold still...you've got something in your teeth

Hold still...you've got something in your teeth

…Are you FUCKING KIDDING ME?  What the hell is that?  Burn victims don’t look like that.  What, is J.K. Rowling not paying Voldemort enough, so he had to go schlub a role in a crappy horror remake?

Hello, handsome!

Hello, handsome!

Seriously, who thought that was a good idea?  And are they blind or for some reason scared of people with weird amorphous blob faces?

However, despite the travesty that this trailer is indicating the movie to be, I have to say it at least somewhat accomplished its job.  I cannot WAIT until this film comes out.  If nothing else, I love watching a good train wreck.

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7 Responses to “Kruegermort”

  1. carpeviam Says:

    Agreed. Don’t remake an already great film. Leave it alone. I felt the same way when I heard Hollywood was going to remake Swedish horror film Let the Right One In. Supurb film. Why America? Why?!

  2. I was unaware of that remake – tragic. I loved the film – need to find some time to pick up the book. I also heard rumblings of an Alien remake at some point which…frankly just makes me too angry for words.

  3. carpeviam Says:

    I haven’t read the book, but heard it really delves into Eli’s back history.

  4. A friend of mine said he was in the middle of it and was really enjoying it – he hadn’t seen the film but from what he said it was very much in the same “not a horror” horror vein, which I very much enjoyed.

  5. I don’t really understand why majority people think remakes are bad, for me it’s like having more movies around. If my judgment by the trailer is satisfying then I see it or I don’t. It’s always fun to see newer version of the classic horrors. And I’d rather see a remake with Jackie Earle Haley, the sequels were getting tired. And Kreuger’s face in the trailer was not final, they worked on it(and voice) for a month more. And horror remakes aren’t all bad. Rob Zombie’s Halloween was pretty good though it is nowhere near the original one(but don’t even mention the sequel). And the new Friday the 13th movie was the best of the whole damned franchise.

    P.S It is refreshing to know that there are women who are die hard horror fans(you are a woman right?). Romcoms and Twilight is really getting on my nerves these days(not that I hate them).

    • I have three main problems with remakes.
      1) Usually (not always, but I find the majority of the time) they are much worse. But people don’t realize that they’re remakes. So there are a lot of good versions of films out there that people will never see or even know exist because they just think that the crappy Paris Hilton version is the only thing out there. Or they’ll find out it’s a remake and never see the original because the remake was so awful.
      2) Remakes rarely expand or reinvent a theme – they just redo it. Again, this is not all. I absolutely love the Dawn of the Dead remake – I think it took the spirit and themes of the original film and truly modernized it and looked at it in a different way. Similarly, when people ask me if I prefer Ring or Ringu, I have trouble saying which because they are so fundamentally different to me, even though they have the same basic plot. But as a whole, I feel like I’ve seen so many remakes that just do the same thing again except with new, shiny film techniques. Given that horror is a genre that draws very heavily from current social fears, remakes often, then, feel just…irrelevant. That or horror remakes try to give more detail and background when, let’s face it, less can often be MUCH scarier.
      3) It stunts creativity. While there are some great remakes, I wish there were many more new, creative, never been done before horrors out there today. There are too many horror remakes and not enough blow your mind, catch you off guard films. I think that’s why I sang the praises of Paranormal Activity so much. It just was something new, different, creative (yes, sort of Blair Witchy in the camera work, but still…the idea of the camera being a stationary observer was really inventive to me) – it caught me off guard, unlike most of today’s horror films. I just wish instead of remakes being the norm, totally new films were – I think I’d have much less vitriol for remakes if that were the case.

      PS – thanks for reading!! I am indeed a female horror fanatic and I will say I’ve met few in my life. And I’m with you on the Romcom thing – so few that are awesome ala Harry Met Sally. And, in my opinion, Twilight needs to go disappear under a rock somewhere – really, vampires sparkling in the sun? REALLY??

  6. […] Yes, I am one of those who really cannot wait for this film to come out.  I’ll admit that I was super skeptical about the film after the first trailer.  I’ll admit that I’m frankly STILL super […]

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