Comic Con 09 : Elm Street Panel

Platinum Dunes unleashed the new burnt n’ bloodied Freddy Krueger to an audience of, well, literally thousands today at Comic-Con San Diego. Unfortunately Jackie Earle Haley didn’t burst of a screen “Wes Craven’s New Nightmare”-style in full costume, to scare the love batter out of the mostly-male attendees… but there was still some fun to be had.

Warner Bros’ “A Nightmare on Elm Street” redo had – heck, has – it’s fare share of skeptics, and rightly so, the original Wes Craven movie is a classic, but the footage screened today may just have changed a few minds.

Shown was a stitched-together teaser trailer of sorts, featuring Freddy Krueger (Oscar Nominee Jackie Earle Haley), set alight by a gang of angry parents, who he tries to convince he hasn’t done anything wrong. Bursting in flames, Freddy eventually tears off his jacket to reveal his iconic Christmas Jumper. We were then treated to “nightmarish” scenes depicting the seemingly last moments of some of the film’s victims – including one who gets to make out with a body-bag in a hallway, one who, like Tina in the original, is thrown about a bedroom (ceiling, walls etc) before succumbing to her demise. Oh, and yes, there are little girls skipping rope! The boiler room! And a pair of sharp nails scratching a wall! It was all very “Elm Street” – - only it wasn’t. I’m sure you get the drift. In fact, the only thing I came away disappointed with was the announcement that Robert ‘the original Freddy’ Englund wouldn’t have a cameo in the film. Originally it was proposed that Englund would play a psychologist in the movie, but seems it didn’t work out – or there was a scheduling conflict – so there’ll be no Freddy 1.0 in the flick.

I don’t mind the idea of an uber-serious “Elm Street” movie that’s less funny and more frightening, but I always thought the series worked best when it was a combination of both (a Wes Craven specialty) and the Samuel Bayer-directed redo seems to have rid of all the humor. Could be wrong. But that’s the impression I got from the footage today.

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