Day Twenty Seven: One, Two Freddy’s Coming For You
I’ve been teasing a Freddy Krueger post since this whole blog challenge started, I figured it was now or never.
I’ve been watching Freddy movies since I was about nine or ten years old, so I wasn’t quite sure what angle to take with this. The first Nightmare on Elm Street movie I saw was Dream Warriors and the first one I saw in the theatre was Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare. For better or worse, Freddy Krueger will always be a part of my life. In a battle between Jason, Michael Meyers, Leatherface, and Freddy…make mine Freddy any day. If this were the Twilight universe, I’m on Team Freddy.
Freddy is one of the best villains in cinema history in my opinion (potentially only topped by Darth Vader). Originally, he was a child murderer who was caught by parents and murdered; coming back as a vengeful spirit who is able to kill people in their dreams resulting in their real deaths. In the first Nightmare flick, Freddy goes after Nancy because of the circumstances surrounding his death. In true Wes Craven fashion, the original Nightmare is definitely the best of the bunch and should be in any horror fans DVD library.
He’s a bad dude, and the first flick really messed me up the first time I saw it, but I kind of felt that as the series went on, the movies were more a showcase of Freddy anti-hero instead of Freddy major scary villain. At some point, the series flipped from gory and scary to campy and fun. I think that’s about when Freddy really jumped into the pop culture realm. At one point in my childhood, I remember having a Freddy glove, dressing as Freddy for Halloween, having a Freddy NES game (old school), and even having a Freddy board game. I guess it’s kind of weird to see a character like Freddy Krueger so revered in pop culture, but I really think most of that was due to the character’s personality and Robert Englund’s portrayal. Jason, Leatherface, and Michael Myers will never reach the levels of Freddy because they were all silent killers.
Sadly, as cool as Robert Englund’s portrayal of Freddy is, Jackie Earle Haley’s Freddy is a complete disappointment (as most horror remakes are…seriously…name a good horror remake, I dare you). The new incarnation of Freddy is a blatant child molester, which makes the movie completely uncomfortable to watch (and makes Krueger absolutely pathetic). It also destroys the fun of the original series (yes, I realize how bad that sounds). Besides, while watching the remake, I felt I was watching Rorschach without the mask. Also, the piece de la restistance is the involvement of Michael Bay. His name should be enough to clue you in on how bad the new movie was going to be.
One last thing about the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, like them or not, it’s safe to say they launched the careers of Johnny Depp, Patricia Arquette, and Rooney Mara. For that fact alone, you should be thanking Freddy Krueger.