You know Freddy Krueger … The red-and green sweater. The beat-up fedora. The bladed gloves. The evil dreams. Twenty-six years ago, Freddy Krueger emerged to haunt a generation in Wes Craven’s “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” But now, a new Freddy is born.
Welcome to your new nightmare.
"Real horror, when you think about it, relates to things on a very human level,” says Samuel Bayer, director of the upcoming new reinvention of “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” “and we all dream. It's universal."
In the 2010 re-imagining of “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” a group of suburban teenagers share one common bond: they are all being stalked by Freddy Krueger, a horribly disfigured killer who hunts them in their dreams. As long as they stay awake, they can protect one another…but when they sleep, there is no escape.
"One of the things about this movie that's so exciting for us is the concept that if you sleep, you die," adds Platinum Dunes’ Brad Fuller, who produced the film with Michael Bay and Andrew Form. "Growing up, I always felt that if I died in my dreams, I would actually die, and that didn’t come from hearing it on the news—that came from seeing the `Nightmare on Elm Street’ movies.” Adds Andrew Form, “`A Nightmare on Elm Street’ is the movie I grew up on and that scared the hell out of me as a child.”
Director Bayer, a twenty-year veteran of commercials and rock video, is a man with a reputation, in part, for his unrelenting pursuit of perfection, while in equal measure being a savvy filmmaker. Bayer has also shown a deft hand for nightmare imagery in his music videos, including "Anybody Seen My Baby," made for the Rolling Stones and featuring then-22-year-old rising star Angeline Jolie; and Nirvana’s zeitgeist-shifting video “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”
Bayer can, indeed, spin a nightmare.
Fuller notes that Bayer's video portfolio promises to bring something extra to Elm Street's intersecting worlds of nightmare and reality. "Sam’s sense of visual style was something that we all responded to, and have for years," says Fuller. "But I feel that the drama that happens in between those dreams—he really wants to nail that too. And that’s really refreshing, where someone can portray both sides so powerfully.”
With a screenplay by Wesley Strick (“Cape Fear”) and Eric Heisserer (the forthcoming “The Thing”), the filmmakers were thrilled to get Bayer involved. “Sam was an untapped resource,” Form says. “In the commercial video world, he's at the top of that game, but the guy had not made a feature yet and it was just crazy that for 20 years I watched this guy’s commercials and videos, and he had never taken his visual style to the next level to make a feature film. It took us five years to get in business with him and actually make a movie, but it was well worth it and I’m glad we convinced him to do this one.”
Form and Fuller’s history with fellow producer Michael Bay and his Platinum Dunes production company goes back to their 2003 hit “Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” Re-imagining “A Nightmare on Elm Street” is something their company has wanted to put on its roster for a long long time, the goal being to create a whole new vision that redefines the story of Freddy Krueger while remaining true to those elements that made it so timeless.
Opening soon across the Philippines, “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” is presented by Warner Bros. Pictures in association with New Line Cinema.