Coinciding just prior to today’s first day of shooting, Moviehole posted a pretty scathing script review of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (2010) that had me slapping my knee and gufawing till dawn. Not surprisingly, the article is now MIA from their website, or at least was at the time, but we already had a quotation of it ready to post, so onward Krueger soldiers!
And so it comes to pass that one of mine, and “Hollywood Movie Star” Clint Morris’ favorite 80’s horror flicks “A Nightmare On Elm Street” is about to be remade…. I mean, first & foremost, the recent “Friday the 13th” is a prime example of why you shouldn’t insist on rehashing a true classic horror film – so… yeah, look, I’ll be brutally honest, I’ve just finished reading the script for the new “Nightmare”, and to say it’s horrible wouldn’t be fair, because it’s not – unfortunately what it is happens to be a typical “Platinum Dunes” film – a watered down teen slasher film that ultimately wipes it’s feet on the original superior story / movie, and will no doubt be instantly forgettable.
The draft I read is presumably the finished shooting script, by Eric Heisserer dated January 14th and is of course “based” on the original Wes Craven film. Basically, the cannon fodder is introduced at a party in the beginning, and instantly screams out “Fuck me this is going to be an awful raping of your memories”, introducing Quentin, Kris, Dean, Jesse & our hero, Nancy (described as “18, petite, approaching goth”… for fuck’s sake why not just go the whole hog and describe her as a whining emo kid).
Anyhow, it’s not long before our first young teen meets their end as:
Four parallel slashes RIP through Dean’s shirt, as if by
an invisible bladed weapon –
His eyes snap open and he stares right at Kris, half whispering
a warning as his last words:
He’s back –
He falls backward off the ledge —
Wow – an invisible bladed weapon you say – hmm, I WONDER WHAT THE FUCK THAT COULD BE? Dude, you’re writing “A Nightmare On Elm Street”… The party scene that opens the film is actually a pretty good indicator of throwing shit against the wall and seeing what sticks – we’re introduced to some mind numbingly boring characters that you will not care about, or remember two seconds after walking out of the cinema, and of course, as the young kids would do, instead of banging each other stupid – they’re holding “Guitar Hero” competitions.
Aw, Hell – anyway, in case you needed a refresher on what type of instrument Freddy uses, here’s another choice moment from a few pages later:
TIGHT ON A BURNED HAND
with bone exposed at the knuckle, as it reaches for
something among the spilled tools…
Like a gardening glove, but with a set of razor-sharp
blades welded onto the back of the hand.
Well bugger me, that’s quite descriptive isn’t it? So, it’s like a gardening glove with blades on it……Let me ask you, why not just attach a screen grab of Robert Englund from the first flick with a big arrow pointing at his hand and a note that says “Oi! This thing here – that’s what it should look like!” – y’know, like, ummmmm. FREDDY’S FUCKING GLOVE THAT HE WORE IN EVERY FUCKING MOVIE! Even if the heads over at Platinum Dunes are all to young to remember the original film, I’m sure they were all pimply faced teenagers when “Freddy Vs. Jason” came out, oh… 6 years or so ago, so I’m pretty sure the detailed description might not be ultimately necessary.
Now the somewhat good part that I was enjoying in the script up until around page 17 is that whenever Freddy was mentioned, it was that “in the shadows” type Freddy that was so kick-ass in the original flick, so I figured – OK, sounds like they are at least going to stay somewhat true to the “scary as all bollocks” Krueger that we all loved, but then of course as another unfortunate teen almost meets their demise in a classroom (complete with a stick figure chalk drawing with red lines down the front of it on the blackboard which Mr. Krueger must have quickly nutted out with all the talent of a four year old), Freddy utters his second line of the film:
Time for a new lesson
Oh joy, how wonderful that they’ve decided to move straight to “Dream Master” Freddy, he of the wonderful one liners and oh so subtle double entendres – but at least they’re still keeping up with the not quite in focus monster angle….., but believe me when I say that the one liners just keep on coming…
Look, ultimately, Heisserer’s script reads like common stock Fan Fiction – if this was coming out under any other title, it would instantly be dismissed as a “D Grade” knock off of “Nightmare” – I can pretty confidently say that this is not going to make for a memorable film, apart from now every time you reach for the original, you’re going to instinctively also remember that they made a crappy version of it 25 years later – the story & characters are incredibly weak – there’s no need for the investigation and drunken confessions of how Freddy became who he is from the original film necessary here, because in this version, Freddy insists on telling each and every teen he tries to slaughter exactly who he was, and why he’s doing it – and the change they’ve made in his back-story is just…. well, it’s boring – in fact, over the course of the 109 page draft, the only scene that truly stands out reads as an almost shot for shot retread of Tina’s death in the original film – hell, even our “Heroine” Nancy doesn’t really have anything to do until halfway through the film from the look of things.
So, short & sweet – this will absolutely fall in line with the other Platinum Dunes films like “TCM”, “Amityville Horror” & “Friday The 13th” – it’s going to cash in on the name, stock it with every CW star under the sun and piss off every person who loved the original – the only saving grace I can say is currently in place here is that Jackie Earle Haley will no doubt fit the Freddy character very well as he recently did with Rorschach in “Watchmen” – but good grief it would be a nice thing for them to cut out all the zingers.
Source: Moviehole Script Review