fuck this up. I swear to God and all that is holy in the horror world…
The very first scary movie I ever saw was “Night of the Living Dead” – all black and white, dramatic, and featuring some very ugly, very “dead” cannibals. I loved every second of it because it scared the bee-jeezus out of me. Ever since that moment, a moment in my life full of upheaval and some very scary real things going on, I have devoured a horror/gore/thriller genre movie when it’s been presented to me.
Horror movies have always held a very dear and special place in my heart. Personally, they are my favorite form of escape. I love to listen to music, to read, and write; but when it comes to really burying my head in the sand I select a good scary movie. As you might assume, I have my favorites, the tried-and-trues that get me through a really bad day: A Nightmare on Elm Street.
If you already clicky-clicked my little link up there you knew where this was going! 🙂
I started out frightened of Mr. Englund, not knowing that was his alter-ego of course. I didn’t have Internet Movie Database (IMDB) or even fan mags back then (Like Fangoria or Rue Morgue) to introduce me to the faces behind the masks, scars, and rot I’d come to love. I don’t know that I would have wanted them if they were available. It may have ruined the illusion that Freddy existed, living in my dreams, and was pissed off at my mom for making him go away. For burning him alive.
As I’d grown older, I came to better understand Freddy and his desire for revenge. His need for belief and fear to work his delightfully dubious magic. If you can’t kill the one you hate, hate the one you can kill, right? He went after the children because he knew he could get them to believe – start knocking off a teenager’s buddies (the drinking, smoking, having-sex buddies to boot) and you’ll get their attention. Freddy knew the parents weren’t scared of him anymore because they had “killed” him. In Adult Land, if I douse someone with gasoline and set them ablaze they are dead. Not so in the Imagination World of children. That’s where Freddy needed to lurk, in the fears that the parents had inadvertantly passed down to their children.
See? Not only is Freddy scary, he’s an educational tool. If you’re a teenager who does dirty, nasty things – you will die. Further, adults have this tendency to pass on nasty things from their own generation to the next one… but I digress…
While I would love to analyze Freddy until he’s blue in the face, my point in all of this is: He’s an icon. At least in The Melissa Bubble, where he’s existed as a force to be reckoned with and a force to wash out all the other scary shit I really have to face day-to-day. And now, like his Brother in Arms, Jason Voorhees, he’s being made into a remake.
Who can take Mr. Englund’s place? Why would anyone bother? There have been multiple Jason’s because his identity, morbid and twisted as it is, is hidden behind a hockey mask. Mr. Voorhees is still Mr. Voorhees no matter who is donning the mask and machete. But Freddy – FREDDY – is Robert Englund. He made Freddy his own and gave him a kind of black heart that I don’t think anyone else could. For 8 movies, Robert stood up and gave us the sarcastic lines; the dark, twisted humor; the willingness to remove his own limbs just to scare the shit out of his victims. While Freddy can still be written and depicted (hence the link to the poster) as “Robert’s Freddy” that doesn’t mean he can still be portrayed as such.
Now that I know Jackie Earle Haley (JEH) is portraying my dark prince, I’m definitely going to have to see Watchmen and make sure he’s going to be scary enough. He needs to be dark enough, vicious enough. There can be no morals, no holding back, no second-guessing yourself or the fear in your potential victims. JEH doesn’t have to be Robert Englund; this is a new spin of course. He just needs to be aware of the glove he needs to fill.
I had hope for the Friday the 13th remake. With graphic effects and the potential for mounds of gore and a bigger, scarier Jason, I was excited. I anticipated it, was hopeful for it. Then I saw it. Yeah, the characters were fist-magnets and the kills were okay. There was one exceptional, long-distance kill that I loved. But watching that makes me scared for this Nightmare remake.
No matter what happens, or who plays him, Freddy will go down in history as one of the scariest movie villains of all time. I am excited to see what a new perspective and a fresh spin on Freddy will generate, but I’m also scared they will royally fuck this up… and they should be too.