A new trailer for the ANOES remake is out. It’s about two and a half minutes long, so it gives a decent amount of content for you to justify whether or not this will be worth a theater viewing.
It looks…really plain and ordinary to me. It looks like everything has been recycled, only this time with a bunch of generic “teen” actors. The footage of the death setups; the “classic” kills that are being remade; seems utterly uninspiring to me.
Oh, and I know everybody likes Jackie Earl Haley. He was phenomenal as Rorschach and I’ve been trying to give him the benefit of the doubt even as mounting evidence piles up that he’s going to suck as Freddy. I’m just going to say it: I hate the voice. When he delivers that “I haven’t even cut you yet” line, I just cringed. Even his body language seems out of whack. It feels like his movements seem too robotic; telegraphed for “scariness”; instead of the more organic movements of Robert Englund.
If Freddy is not good, it’s game over. Freddy is not Leatherface, Michael Myers, or Jason. He’s not just a mindless killing machine with no personality. He’s an actual person. A pissed off person who brings cockiness, swagger, and fun to his role as a killer. He’s also not only a horror icon, but a cultural icon as well. Freddy Krueger is probably more popular and well known to the general public than the other three combined. And that’s because of Robert Englund and the charisma and all around awesomeness that he brought to the role. There’s a reason why the American Film Institute recognizes Freddy as one of the top 50 cinema villains of all-time. Think about that for a minute. Freddy Krueger has been honored as one of the greatest villains in the history of all cinema. Sure, horror fans take the character for granted, but there is a larger picture to the character that most people don’t even contemplate. You can always argue with lists, but just the fact that he made it on there is a testament to the power and impact that this character has had culturally. AFI is infamous for treating horror as not even worthy of their time and energy. In other words, getting Freddy right is essential.
In that sense, Jackie Earle Haley has no shot at meeting expectations. I certainly hope that what has been shown in the trailers isn’t representative of what’s in the final product. I’m rooting for Haley, really, I am. But I’m getting warning signs everywhere that this will be an utter trainwreck. It’ll look slick, just like every Platinum Dunes production, but I’m worried that the filmmakers are going to totally miss the tone, atmosphere, and “realness” that makes not only Freddy, but the Nightmare films in general, work.
And the real disappointment is that Robert Englund is here. He could have remade his own role and brought it back to the first couple of movies, when Krueger was still seen as “scary”. Hell, if the filmmakers insisted on altering his voice, then they could have done so. Krueger sounds way more guttural and hellish in the first film because of the voice filters Craven put on him. He sounds nothing like he does in the later films. At least if they went that route, we’d still have Englund, who knows how to make Krueger move; to make his character come alive. So if Haley misses as Krueger, it’ll be even more bitter knowing that the real Krueger could have made the remake something interesting.
Right now, this whole thing looks like a big misfire. I’m hoping I’m wrong. But damn if I just can’t be anything but skeptical about what I’ve seen of Haley so far. What do you guys think?