One, two, Kelly Leak’s comin’ for you…

If you’ve been wondering what’s scarier than Johnny Depp as The Mad Hatter in “Alice in Wonderland,” I have your answer.

It’s Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy Krueger! Check out the movie poster that surfaced on the Internet:

This still evokes one feeling in my psyche of psyches, and that feeling is: “Eek.”

This shot doesn’t summon a feeling so much as a desire to pull my blankie out of storage, crawl under my bed, ruin a perfectly good pair of underpants and cry for my mommy.

As someone still haunted by Robert Englund’s menacing glibness, I was skeptical about a remake … until I heard none other than JEH was stepping in as the mechanical-fingered sadist fiend. He was creeptastic in “Little Children” as a child molester, and he made for a very scary chaotician/vigilante in “Watchmen.” JEH has that Englund-ness about his piercing eyes, and I suspect that whatever shortcomings (a no-name cast; a director who has trafficked exclusively in music videos) the movie has won’t be due to his performance.

S0, non-Freddy fans, here’s a request from yours truly: Go see the remake in April 2010 to support the Jackie Earle Haley Renaissance hitting Hollywood. This is one actor with unparalleled talent, and we must encourage him.

10 Responses

  1. I love Jackie Earle Haley, but why remake Nightmare on Elm Street? The original holds up fine. I think the real story here is payback. Mr. Haley, who starred in The Bad News Bears, one of the finest baseball movies of the 1970s, watched helplessly in 2005 as Richard Linklater butchered that film with what has to be one of the most pointless remakes of all time. Linklater’s version not only failed to improve upon the original in every conceivable way, but, bound by contemporary political correctness, it managed to be less edgy than a film made 30 years earlier. And now Jackie Earle is perpetuating the remake cycle. Why, Kelly Leak, why?

    I will admit, though, I might go see the remake of Clash of the Titans next year… Burton’s rendition of Alice in Wonderland has me intrigued as well. I seem to have learned nothing from Planet of the Apes or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Ugh.

  2. Ah, a conspiracy theory! I love it. Perhaps payback is the motive. I would say I’m thrilled about a remake of “Nightmare on Elm Street,” but I’ll give JEH the benefit of the doubt because he’s such a strong actor and he has the potential to make a great villain. However, my prediction is that he will be THE ONLY GOOD THING about the movie.

    You list some good examples for a “this is why remakes almost never work” argument. I’d add “Last House on the Left” to that list. I quite liked the original, found it profoundly unnerving, and then came the 2009 one … which, of course, paled in comparison.

    Oh, and I still haven’t forgiven Tim Burton OR Johnny Depp for “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Perhaps Jackie should have signed on as Willy Wonka. Now THAT would have been a remake I’d want to see!

    M. Carter

  3. I wonder if anyone could argue that remakes are a good idea? While I have seen some that I enjoyed, they never match the greatness of the originals. I’m sure it has more to do with the fact that the remakes aren’t made for those of us who have seen the films but for those who weren’t around to see them the first time.

    A director who’s only made music videos is a strike against the flick right off the bat for me, but an unknown cast is sometimes the best way to go. And Jackie Earl Haley calmed my anger at the thought of a NOES remake. He really does seem well suited for the part and I’m actually looking forward to seeing him in the role, even if everything else sucks about the movie!

    • There seems to be a formula for making bad horror movie remakes/sequels: Take a music video director (a: who watches those anymore? and b: it’s hard to make a 90-minute movie when you’re used to making 4-minute vids) and mix with a no-name cast of forgettable teen actors. I think it’s safe to say I expect only one thing good to come of this remake, and that’s JEH’s performance. I’ll sit through pure swill to see Haley work his magic!

      M. Carter

    • Also, I have to disagree that remakes aren’t made for those of us who have seen the original. Filmmakers know that we will be a HUGE part of their audience. I am one of those suckers who falls for the hype. Sometimes I just can’t resist. Case in point: Simon Wells’s 2002 version of The Time Machine. Not really a remake, really, since the original source material was a novella, but, MY GOD, how could they screw up such a great story? And WHY did I sit through it?

      Still, I do think an argument can be made in favor of remakes. Peter Jackson’s King Kong, while not surpassing the original, was successful in that it updated an effects-laden movie with modern effects. Also (I’m going way back here) I think The Incredible Shrinking Woman improved upon the original (The Incredible Shrinking Man) with its message about the overuse of chemicals in American products — a relatively new idea in 1981. So there is hope… We’ll see what happens when the new Logan’s Run comes out in 2010.

      • A film like King Kong makes sense in the remake department. Huge differences in effects can be applied to a film like that and I could see how someone would want to see an older film ‘updated’.

        While those of us who have seen the originals do become part of the market, it always seems that those are the people who are the first to rip into the flicks. I still believe the filmmakers are trying to please the old fans while trying to bring in new fans to build new franchises. Halloween for example.

        What really bothers me about remakes is the complete lack of thought, especially in the horror genre. They take a series that has seen numerous sequels, has a huge fanbase and plenty of cult love and throw them back out there. Why not take a few minutes to create a new icon. Obviously people will pay to see the same killer over and over again. If there were a Friday the 13th part 11, I’d be first in line. Once you remake it, I’m just not going to be there. I wanna see something new, I want a new villain to cheer for! HAHA!

        I personally enjoyed the recent Friday the 13th remake, but they take parts from the first few movies and made a new one. A straight up remake of the original would have been terrible. I didn’t really like Halloween or TCM or pretty much any of the other remakes. Something about them smacks of lazy, greedy and thoughtless. It’s the exact reason that I find many foreign films give me what I want now, something I haven’t seen. I’m sure one could argue that even those films are stale, it all depends on your level of consumption of those products.

      • It’s certainly true that original fans will see remakes, if only for comparison purposes. I know that’s why I saw “Last House on the Left.” Loved the original, didn’t really care for the 2009 update. That’s my whole beef with remakes: If you’re going to make one, show me something I haven’t seen before or make it so impressive I don’t notice I’m watching recycling in action.

        I’m going to out on a limb here, take my very life in my hands and say that remakes aren’t necessarily a bad idea, either. The “take my life in my hands” part comes along because I would argue that the new “Dawn of the Dead” was a surprisingly effective remake. Did it eclipse the original? No, I don’t think so. But it did succeed in changing things a bit (admittedly, losing the whole mindless consumer culture angle that made Romero’s poignant and funny-sad).

        M. Carter

  4. Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy Krueger is perfect casting. Of course maybe, I’m still in love with his work on Watchmen.

    • He was aces as Rorschach — really the perfect choice. I can’t imagine anyone playing the character that well. But I L-O-V-E him as Ronnie McGorvey in “Little Children.” I still haven’t gotten over the fact that he didn’t win Best Supporting Actor in 2007 for his work. The crazy thing about Haley is that he hasn’t done very much since “Bad News Bears” — stray parts here and there, nothing of any import — and then he turns in these two brilliant performances. Makes me have high hopes for the new “Nightmare.”

      M. Carter

  5. […] thought of him as Freddy Kreuger is wet-my-new-pants scary. My appreciation for his talents — extolled way back in July 2009 – leads me to think his performance as Kreuger in Samuel Bayer’s 2010 “Nightmare […]

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