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When horror film maverick Wes Craven released his signature 1984 surrealist slasher A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, he not only revitalized his somewhat stagnating career, he altered the course of the genre, spawning myriad, increasingly absurd sequels as well as comic books, a TV show and countless ripoffs. And now comes the newfangled, box-office-decimating remake courtesy of producer Michael Bay, who previously applied his glossy sensibilities to reduxes of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, THE AMITYVILLE HORROR and FRIDAY THE 13TH.
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2010—with WATCHMEN’s Jackie Earle Haley assuming the scarred, fedora-wearing, knife-gloved position as Freddy—has amassed reviews both positive and scathing, with the more negative responses slamming both Bay and first-time feature director/former music-video helmer Samuel Bayer (pictured) as eviscerating all that was treasured about Craven’s film. But whatever heat Bayer is taking from his potentially blasphemous revisit, he claims his intentions were honest and high-minded.
“I’ll have to admit that when I was approached to do this, I was terrified,” Bayer tells Fango. “But I wanted this to be a serious, straight-up horror film. The fact that we have an Academy Award-nominated actor as Freddy should signal just how serious we were. The original is an important film, and I really wanted to honor its dark tone and bring it to another generation.”
The world of horror fandom is an impassioned, opinionated and often cutthroat place, and since the film’s release this past Friday, message boards and blogs have lit up with fiery debates. But Bayer isn’t impressed by the virtual slings and arrows. “Look, I’m gonna catch a lot of heat for this,” he begins. “But some of these fans on the web should just get up, stretch, breathe, go outside and get some fresh air, maybe get a girlfriend and just get a life. They should see the movie and make up their own minds.”
Judging by the weekend take and the resulting on-line cage matches, it seems many of them did…
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