We saw a clip of Jackie Earle "Rorschach" Haley playing the new Freddie Krueger, and he's like a shining ball of amazing deadliness. So we know Jackie can do Freddie, but does this movie deserve him?
Haley said he was thrilled to play the beloved, undead dream killer from Nightmare on Elm Street, which is returning as a rebooted of the original Wes Craven classic. He enthused, "It was a crazy opportunity to play one of the most iconic characters in the world – after playing Rorschach!"
In the clips we saw from the film, it's obvious the man who grimaced and growled his way through Watchmen can master the role of Freddie. He has the presence to pull off a Freddie who is more kinetic and serious than the wisecracking original. The movie itself felt like it was striving to be less slapstick horror and more genuinely horrifying. We get more backstory on Freddie's murder, and the movie seems to take him seriously as a man as well as a monster.
Director Brad Fuller said it's not an origin story, and added that he created a new mythology for the Freddie character, based on Wes Craven's story but quite different. There will be no cameos from former Freddie Robert Englund, who was reportedly very supportive of Jackie Earle Haley taking the part.
Haley explained the shift from Rorschach to Freddie: "I was the tortured soul, and now I'm getting to play the torturing soul."
The question is, do we really want a serious Nightmare on Elm Street? The original film was so creepy partly because Freddie had a twisted sense of humor that seemed to echo the teens' own sarcastic reactions to the world around them. As great as Haley is, I think he's wasted in this flick. No amount of his hardcore scare power can save a movie that wants to be seriously frightening but just (at least in what I saw) managed to look like every other horror movie about teen slaughter and vengeful ghosts.