Set preview: Elm Street
In the two and a half years I've been writing for JoBlo.com and Arrow in the Head, I've had the pleasure of visiting more than a few movie sets. Of course, it's always a treat, but some cause a greater amount of glee and anticipation than others. And when I was invited to the Chicago set of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, my glee took the form of a genuine fist pump and a comical utterance of "f*ck yeah!" There may have even been an enthusiastic jig; the memory is hazy...
Who among us wouldn't be excited? I'm going to assume the majority of you grew up watching on Fred Kreuger slay teens and crack wise; those who didn't are still familiar with the disfigured boogeyman's demented shtick, and probably well-versed in the trappings of a NIGHTMARE film (kid nods off, kid realizes they're in a dream, kid gets murdered by an evil cretin who happily mocks their suffering). And while a large percentage of Freddy's fanbase is dubious about a Platinum Dunes-masterminded re-imagining of NIGHTMARE, can anybody say (with conviction) that they're not the least bit curious about what a new, dead-serious take on the Springwood Slasher might look like?
And it is dead serious, my friends. Gone is the bad nightclub routine that the later ELM STREET sequels showcased. Platinum Dunes' vision is of a movie which is, to quote producer Brad Fuller, "dealing with themes that are pretty horrible", and Freddy himself is - again, in Fuller's words - "a f*cked up guy". (That's not to say Krueger doesn't get a joke in or two in...) I can safely say that, having seen Jackie Earle Haley in full, hideous make-up, I'm willing to believe the producer's claims.
Unfortunately, this is just a preview piece, and I'm not at liberty to divulge many details (the full article should be online in the near future). I wish I could tell you what I saw happen to actress Katie Cassidy; about Freddy's glove (and what it feels like to wear); about Freddy himself, and my first impressions were when he first emerged from the darkness. (I mean that quite literally.)
With Comic-Con upon us, I'm guessing Haley's interpretation of Krueger won't be a secret much longer. Truth be told, even I'm curious to see it, as his performance was kept under wraps. But his face? I've seen his face, and it's ugly. Mr. Krueger's classic accoutrements - the hat, the sweater, the glove - will be familiar to all, but the scarred visage is, shall we say, unique. And disturbing. The stuff of nightmares? Guess you'll have to wait and see for yourself...