Friday FabOoolousness – “One, Two, Freddy’s Coming for You.”

It’s time again for Catie Rhodes and I to break down another cinematic original and its remake.  Sticking with our usual ways, Catie reviews the original and I take on the remake.  This month we tackle the classic horror film, A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Usually, I include Catie’s Homemade Summary that applies to both films.  But this time, I tweaked it just a bit:

A group of teens’ dreams are haunted by the ghost of a child molester who has the power to kill them while they sleep.

Before I begin, let me just say why I chose the remake.  Regardless of how ashamed I am to admit it, I usually choose the newer versions because I have not seen the originals.  But, that is not the case today.  Not only have I seen Wes Craven’s 1984 A Nightmare on Elm Street, I’ve watched it so many times I’ve lost count over the years.  However, I still remember my first time…  I was a little girl, not quite ten years old, and Freddy Krueger scared the bejeezus out of me.

Since then, I’ve watched the original and all of the subsequent movies in the franchise probably more times than I should admit.  A few years ago, in preparation for the remake, I even hosted a group of girls for a Nightmare movie marathon.  Despite having seen the film countless times, the fear of Freddy and his razor-sharp claws still worked its magic… I checked under all of the beds and in all of the closets before going to sleep.  I know; I’m a dork—Freddy doesn’t get anyone while they’re awake, it’s after they fall asleep…

Wake Up! Wake Up! Wake Up!

One thing’s for sure, the endearment “Sweet Dreams” changed drastically in 1984 when audiences met Freddy Krueger for the first time.

And, what about that eerie nursery rhyme with the little girls dressed in beautiful, white baby-doll dresses jumping rope, singing, and having fun?

“One, Two, Freddy’s coming for you.

Three, Four, Better lock your door.

Five, Six, Grab your crucifix.

Seven, Eight, Gotta stay up late.

Nine, Ten, Never sleep again.”

Say what you will, but that rhyme still spooks me to this very day!  Not to mention the fact that I have a hard time remembering the actual lyrics to the peaceful, children’s song now.

Craven created the Nightmare franchise with his horrifying screenplay and his directing brilliance.  Robert Englund may still be recognized today as his character, Freddy Krueger, more than he is as Robert Englund, the actor.  This horror flick opened the door for nine feature films, including a 2010 remake produced by Michael Bay, Andrew Form, and Brad Fuller.

That’s right—Michael Bay.  Many associate his name with major motion picture action and drama masterpieces (Transformers, Bad Boys, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, etc…), but he also co-owns the production house responsible for so many of our favorite remakes, including Friday the 13th and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  Mr. Bay may be one of my favorite producers in Hollywood now simply for this reason.

Okay, let’s talk about this remake… first up, Freddy:

The 2010 version included more of the backstory of Freddy Krueger.  Anyone familiar with the character knows that Krueger was an alleged child murder—we never really saw anything to confirm these suspicions in the original, but the message was clear.  In the 2010 movie, there’s no doubt—only this time, Freddy is a confirmed child molester.  Viewers witness him preying on the children at the local Springwood daycare; we watch as the parents chase him to an abandoned warehouse and set the fire that burns him beyond recognition; and we see WHY he has hand-selected the teenagers he is currently stalking.  Plus, in my opinion, this Freddy (played by the great Jackie Earle Haley) looks a bit more realistic with his scars, and is still just as terrifying as Englund’s character.

Now, let’s meet the rest of the cast… the teens:

The 2010 movie successfully caters to today’s teenage audience by casting Katie Cassidy (Arrow), Kellan Lutz (The Twilight Movies), Kyle Gallner (Jennifer’s Body), Thomas Dekker (The Secret Circle), and the fabOoolous Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) as the heroin, Nancy.

Every group of teens in the Nightmare movies tries to fight Freddy; they fight to stay awake.  But, this group was different; they were stronger.  Not only did they do their very best in fighting off the man in the red and green sweater (and, of course, not all of them survive), a few of them actually researched the man haunting them in their dreams and figured out exactly what was going on, making the predictable fight scene at the end that much more intense and satisfying… if you ask me.

The fabOooolous Rooney Mara. Sadly, I’m afraid she’ll never reprise her role as Nancy after the success of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

Now, let’s talk about… the classic Freddy-esque scenes:

While the remake definitely stands on its own, it would be a mistake to ignore some of the memorable elements from the 1984 classic.  Luckily for those of us that love the Nightmare movies, the remake pays homage to those moments.  Take the bedroom scene from the original film:

Tina, wearing the oversized, white button down shirt, flailing about, blood spraying everywhere, levitating, crawling on the ceiling, and finally crashing onto her bed — dead.  Her boyfriend standing helplessly by, watching an invisible knife slash through his girlfriend, screaming her name, “Tina!” – completely terrified and confused.   

Almost everything about this scene holds true in the remake, except the character of Tina is now Kris (Cassidy) and she’s wearing a cute jersey-style t-shirt.

It doesn’t stop there!  The remake also incorporates other familiar scenes from the franchise, not necessarily limited to the original—the very frightening razor-sharp claw in the bathtub scene; the jail cell murder scene; and, the steaming scenes from the boiler room, with Freddy dragging his razor-sharp fingers down the metal pipes—to just name a few.

Never fall asleep in the bathtub!!

And, let’s not forget about the dialogue… especially Freddy’s quirky one-liners:

Jesse (Dekker): Oh, God.
Freddy: No, just me!

Freddy: Why are you screaming when I haven’t even cut you yet?

Freddy: How’s this for a wet dream?

Obviously, I’m having a really great time with this post and could probably go on and on… but, I’ll stop here.

Bottom line: is A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) worthy of watch?  I answer with an unequivocal YES!

The original was ground-breaking, but this film, from a story-telling aspect, is better; it was more developed, allowing it to stand on its own in today’s market… especially for those who aren’t familiar with the franchise… and let’s hope that demographic is very small!

The 2010 film did not disappoint this Nightmare-aholic .

What do you think?  Have you seen either the original or the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street?  If you’ve seen both, which do you prefer and why?  If you haven’t, do you want to?  I’d love to hear from you! 

Remember to stop by Catie’s blog discussing the original if you haven’t already.

Friday FabOoolousness – Escaping with Movies

Very rarely do we actually go to the movie theater to catch a new release, but my guy and I do frequent the fabOoolous movie vending machines known as Redbox.  We also like to “rent” movies via OnDemand, whether it is the pay services or the free premium channels that accompany our cable plan.

Lately, our weekends have been filled with late night cinematic greatness after a day of running all around the metroplex shopping for cars and home workout equipment.  After being out in the Texas heat (it came early this year, folks), we only seem to have enough energy to curl up on the couch and pop in a movie.  Mostly we lean toward the comedies, wanting to laugh the day away, but we don’t shy away from the drama and tension filled mysteries either.

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a list of movies that come highly recommended here at The Ooo Factor, so it’s time…

*****

If you’re in the mood to laugh…

Jack and Jill

While it’s not Adam Sandler’s best, it was very enjoyable.  As always we see the same cast of characters that Happy Madison Productions likes to offer cameo appearances to (it’s almost like playing a game… “which of Sandler’s friends grabbed a part in this film”), and we see the same type of comedy we’ve grown accustomed to over the years when Sandler’s involved.

Jack and Jill actually shares a very valuable message through the twin brother (Jack, played by Adam Sandler) and twin sister’s (Jill, played by a cross-dressed Adam Sandler) tumultuous relationship, and shows the importance of family and true friends.  Oh, and movie goers get to experience Al Pacino in a role unlike any other he has played.

*****

If you’re looking for a good, yet dark, mystery…

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Many have read the book, many have seen the Swedish film, but that didn’t stop American productions from making its very own version of the Steig Larson hit.  First of all, Rooney Mara deserves any and all acclaim for this film.  She transformed herself into the title character’s role, Lisbeth Salander.  From the hair, to the tattoos, to the piercings, and to the horrendously dark storyline of her character, she nailed the performance.  I think it’s safe to assume we won’t see Rooney resume her role in any future Nightmare on Elm Street renditions as Nancy, although that would be lovely.

And Daniel Craig, no he’s not James Bond in this film; but it is a nice change of pace from his 007 role.  I’ve always likened the actors who have played Bond in the past strictly to the Bond character, but not Craig.  His depth and acting skills are quite amazing, and I almost forget he’s our most recent sexy spy when I watch his other movies.

In the rare case that someone isn’t at all familiar with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo franchise, let me warn you – this is a dark film; I cannot express it enough.  I don’t want to give anything away, but there really is no “Hollywood ending” to this story, but that’s not to say it isn’t fantastic.  And if you like mysteries and attempting to figure out the who, what, why, where, and when, give this one a go.

*****

One that I actually can’t recommend…

The Rum Diary

Usually we love Johnny Depp movies, and he seems to only select the best roles that add to his Hollywood greatness, but The Rum Diary was nothing at all like we expected.  The trailer looks hilarious, even the poster board at Redbox listed the movie as a comedy.  It’s not.  While there are funny moments, the movie’s more of a drama told in dedication to the deceased columnist and author, Hunter S. Thompson.

It’s hard to explain exactly what went wrong or where the film lost us, but we refused to give up and watched until the very end.  Even then, we just shook our heads in dismay; it was a major let down.

Here’s to hoping Depp is back to his fabOoolous roles as Barnabas Collins in the upcoming release, Dark Shadows.  Now this one will get me to the theater, and I really need to wash this Rum taste out of my mouth.

*****

Now, if you’re looking for a surprise treat…

Tucker and Dale Vs Evil

If you’re in the mood for a slasher that you can make fun of and laugh along with, I highly recommend Tucker and Dale Vs Evil starring Alan Tudyk (Suburgatory, Doll House) as Tucker, and Tyler Labine (Reaper) as Dale.  Most of us laugh at slashers anyway, right?  But those laughs are usually not along with the film, they are at the film…

In a nice change of events, we can actually laugh along with this movie.  Tucker and his buddy Dale, two hillbillies enjoying their purchase of their very first vacation home (a rundown shack that screams “Murderer lives here!”), are mistaken as murderers by a group of college students out in the woods on vacation.  One by one the college kids kill themselves, but no one is there to witness these deaths so the others believe Tucker and Dale are responsible.  Meanwhile Tucker and Dale think these kids have lost their minds killing one another, and they too are running around just as scared.

Seriously, this is an underrated film.  Most have probably not even heard of it.  Have you?

*****

Have you seen any of these movies?  If so, what did you think?  What movies have you seen lately that come highly recommended?  Have you been disappointed by any recent films?  I’d love to hear from you! 

Friday FaBOOolousness – The “Boo” Factor #2

The endearment “Sweet Dreams” changed drastically in 1984 when audiences met Freddy Krueger for the first time.

 

Happy and carefree high school students in Springwood, Ohio transformed overnight into terrified teenagers afraid to fall asleep.  It all started when Tina dreamed of being chased by a horribly burned man wearing a green and red striped sweater, teasing her with his razor-sharp knives in lieu of fingers on his right hand.  Tina escaped his clutches just in time, and woke up with tears in her night-gown.  How can something that occurs in a dream actually happen?

Tina’s best friend, Nancy (Heather Langenkamp), experienced a similar dream the very same night.  Nancy dismissed her nightmare as just that, a nightmare.  Being the good friend that she was, Nancy agreed to spend the night with Tina so that she wouldn’t be alone.  Joining the girls, of course, was Tina’s boyfriend, Rod, and Nancy’s boyfriend, Glen (introducing Johnny Depp, ladies).  Tina fell asleep feeling safe with her friends nearby, and Freddy appeared again; only this time, Freddy didn’t miss slashing Tina with his razor-sharp claws.

Do you remember that scene?  Tina, wearing the oversized, white button down shirt, flailing about, blood spraying everywhere, levitating, crawling on the ceiling, and finally crashing into her bed — dead.  Her boyfriend standing helplessly by, watching an invisible knife slash through his girlfriend, screaming her name, “Tina!” – completely terrified and confused.   

The nightmares continued for Nancy, finally convincing her that she and Tina were dreaming about the same man.  Continuing to have nightmares, Nancy saw the burned man kill Rod; and, later found Rod dead in reality too – just like Tina.

Finally, Nancy’s mother confessed that the man haunting and stalking her in her dreams was Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) – a child murderer that was burned and killed at the hands of the children’s parents.  Together, Nancy & Glen devised a plan to trap and kill Freddy, but Glen made one fatal mistake – he fell asleep.

Do you remember that scene?  Glen lying on his bed in his midriff jersey t-shirt with his television & gigantic head phones, sinking through the bed as Freddy sucked him in, the blood rushing through the mattress with the velocity of a fire hydrant.

Alone, Nancy battled Krueger to the end, living to see another day; actually, Nancy survived to see another few installments of the Nightmare franchise: Nightmare 3 and New Nightmare.

Do you remember the eerie nursery rhyme?  The little girls dressed in beautiful white baby-doll dresses playing hop-scotch and jumping rope in the parks?

“One, Two, Freddy’s coming for you.

Three, Four, Better lock your door.

Five, Six, Grab your crucifix.

Seven, Eight, Gotta stay up late.

Nine, Ten, Never sleep again.”

Say what you will, that rhyme still spooks me to this very day!  Not to mention the fact that I have a hard time remembering the actual lyrics to the peaceful, children’s song.

Wes Craven created the Nightmare franchise with his horrifying screenplay and his directing brilliance.  Robert Englund may still be recognized today as his character, Freddy Krueger, more than he is as Robert Englund, the actor.

A Nightmare on Elm Street opened the door for nine feature films, including a 2010 remake produced by Michael Bay, Andrew Form, and Brad Fuller.  The original Nightmare will always be great; but, the remake included more of the back-story of Freddy Krueger, and the children he preyed on, making the 2010 film very exciting for a Nightmare-aholic like myself.

Wake Up!

The Nightmare franchise has also featured an array of popular actors over the years in addition to Langenkamp, Englund and Depp, such as Patricia Arquette, Laurence Fishburne, Jason Ritter, Breckin Meyer, and Lochlyn Munro.  Additionally, Rosanne Barr and Tom Arnold appeared briefly in Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare.  The 2010 movie successfully catered to today’s teenage audience by casting the brilliant Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy (in an absolutely FaBOoolous performance assuming the role from Englund), Katie Cassidy (Gossip Girl), Kellan Lutz (The Twilight Movies), Kyle Gallner (Jennifer’s Body), Rooney Mara (The Social Network), and Thomas Dekker (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles).

Hopefully, the franchise will live on.

Do you believe that if you die in your sleep, will you die in real life?  Do you prefer the 1984 original or the 2010 remake?  Do you fear Freddy, Jason, or Michael more?  What’s your favorite scary movie?   I’d love to hear from you!

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