The movie A Nightmare On Elm Street is set to be released on April 30, 2010. It is “reboot” of the classic horror movie of the same name originally released in 1984. Wes Craven had already established himself as a master of the horror genre when he wrote and directedA Nightmare On Elm Street.
The original 1984 version of the movie focused on a group of teenagers who had their sleep disturbed by nightmares. They soon realize all of their nightmare had one thing in common. Freddy Krueger, a man with a horribly burnt face and knives on the fingers of one hand, was trying to kill them. As we find out later in the story, Freddy Krueger was a child murderer. He had been released from prison on a technicality. The parents of the murdered children trapped him in an old boiler room and burned it down, killing Freddy Krueger. Now, over 10 years later, Freddy has returned. He is able to enter the nightmares of the teenagers. If he kill the teenagers in their dreams, they also died in the real world. One main character of the movie, Nancy Thompson, realized a way to bring Freddy into the real world, making him vulnerable and giving her the opportunity to destroy him.
The original movie is so good on many levels. There was exciting action with scenes of chases and fights. There were brutal killings and graphic, unexpected deaths that were exciting to those who have not lived long enough to realize differently. There was a surreal feeling in the nightmare sequences that left the viewers never knowing what to expect. And the movie made you recognize that for at least one third of your life you were completely vulnerable and exposed to nightmares you had no control over.
I can easily recall the first time I saw this movie. Somethings you can never forget. I was in high school. My friends were having a movie night. I remember it was five or six of us. All guys. The movie was advertised as a new release. I think the tape was in the Beta format. I don’t remember for sure. But I do remember we were scared. Perhaps it was because it was just us guys and there were no girls to impress with how brave we were. Maybe it was because A Nightmare On Elm Street, as unrealistic as the story was, reminded us of how vulnerable we are and how helpless we can be at times. I remember our braveness was tested. Some friends were arriving late, just as the movie was ending. They were not exactly sure which house we were in, and they were driving up and down the street looking for it. We ended up in an argument trying to decide who would go outside and flag down the car. It was dark outside. No one wanted to do it. I don’t remember who was brave enough to go outside and flag down our friends, but I know for a fact it wasn’t me.
Now they are going to release a new version of the movie. They call it a “reboot”. I’m not a completely sure what that means. It probably means the story is going to be similar, but we can expect some differences. It will probably be designed to appeal to today’s teenagers, just like the 1984 original was designed to appeal to us. No doubt there will be computer generated effects. Are all these changes necessary? Have teenagers changed so much that one of the scariest movies of the 1980’s no longer brings chills to today’s audiences? I hope this not the case.
I realize that a “reboot” of Freddy Krueger in the movies should be expected. Like the character in the movie, Freddy Krueger and A Nightmare On Elm Street are just too powerful to remain dead. I also know I’ll see it. The movie trailers look good. Maybe I’ll be one of the first in the movie theater, before I can be influenced by reviews, press, and peers. Or maybe I’ll wait for Redbox to have the DVD available. Then I can lie on the floor in front of the television, wrapped up in a blanket and try to “reboot” the experience I had in 1984 when a burned man named Freddy Krueger scared me and Beta tapes were all the rage.