Set Visit Preview: He's Back - The Return of Freddy Krueger
by Brandon Lee Tenney
July 21, 2009
One, two, Freddy's coming for you. Three, four, better lock your door.
Just outside of Chicago, Freddy Krueger was making his return to the silver screen. And I was there. In the dark warehouse, it felt almost like I was trapped inside one of Freddy's creations instead of merely visiting the set. The reboot machine that is Platinum Dunes has tapped the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise as the latest (and possibly last) property to retell. And this isn't going to be Robert Englund's Freddy. Nor is it going to be Wes Craven's Nightmare. Jackie Earle Haley will be donning the bladed glove in a wholly refreshed and modernized story, a new timeline altogether. But it's still very much Nightmare on Elm Street. Amidst a haze of smoke, a room engulfed in billowing flames in the distance, a basement crawling with dank fear, screams, dread -- yes, this is a nightmare.
Five, six, grab your crucifix. Seven, eight, stay up late.
"I think what I was playing before was tortured souls… I figured in this one I'd play the torturing soul," Jackie Earle Haley said when asked of his propensity to play psychologically damaged characters. After his stunning, but taxing, performances in both Little Children and Watchmen, there seemed to be a sense of cathartic relief in his voice. Even under all of that makeup -- oh, that makeup. But there's more to come on that. There's more to come on everything. This being but an appetizer before the main course of-- well, you'll see. Just know that although this Nightmare on Elm Street will surely set itself apart from the long pedigree that's come before it, its horror will remain.
As producer Brad Fuller puts it, "You fall asleep, you die. All you have to do is stay awake." But as we know, staying awake is so much easier said than done. So don't fall asleep. Try not to dream. Or else…
Nine, ten, never sleep again.