14 August 2008
A Nightmare on Elm Street, dir. Wes Craven (1984)
Billy Bob Thornton is to take on the role of Freddy Kruger in the Nightmare remake. News of the remake was disturbing enough, but Billy Bob Thornton? That's so wrong, I don't even want to go into why.
Well, alright. Arguments can be made that he's too old - he's only eight years younger than Robert Englund, anyway - but that's less of a concern for me. On the Nightmare commentary, Wes Craven says he wanted to cast someone older, but that Englund was just right for the part. So even though Englund was only 37, I get the idea that Kruger is supposed to be much older. (And how can you really tell under all that latex?)
No, my problem with Thornton is, he's just too well-known. Robert Englund had been a working actor for 10 years when he first donned the glove, but I only knew him because I was a rabid V fan. He was a no-name, like Gunner Hansen, Warrington Gillette and Nick Castle were when they originated Leatherface, Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers. You didn't know what to expect because you didn't know who he was or what he was capable of. He was an enigma.
But Thornton comes with baggage. The hayseed accent. The whole Angelina Jolie thing. Bad Santa. I wonder how long it's going to take for an image of Freddy Kruger with Karl Childers face Photoshopped over Englund's to appear online.
I've got some problems with the original - like it contradicts its premise halfway through when Kruger starts killing people in the real world instead of just their dreams; like Nancy's setting up a series of elaborate, Kevin McAllister type booby-traps in the time it takes John Saxon to climb a set of stairs; like the blow-up doll that stands in for Ronee Blakley when she's pulled through the tiny window in the final scene - but it still works on so many levels, I'm willing to overlook those problems. The remake is going to have to be fairly fucking impressive in order for me to overlook Mr. Woodcock.