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“I’ve been away from my children for far too long…”
But he’s coming back to haunt your nightmares. Beware, Elm Street. Lock your door. Grab a crucifix. Stay up late. And never sleep again…
April 30 is the date when New Line Cinema debuts A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, the remake of the 1984 Wes Craven classic that first put the company on the map. Feature-directing newcomer Samuel Bayer took on the challenge of revamping one of the most beloved fright franchises of all time. And Jackie Earle Haley, an actor well-known to fandom for playing Watchmen’s vicious Rorschach, fills the glove previously worn in eight films by Robert Englund. Will this new vision spark a fresh round of bad dreams?
Fango sets out to learn for ourselves in July 2009, heading off to encounter the dark lord of dreams on the NIGHTMARE set, located in the outskirts of Chicago. Our main host during the early hours is production designer Patrick Lumb, whom we meet in his office, rife with large tables, set pictures, concept art and well-known artistic masterpieces covering the walls.
“I used to be a painter,” Lumb explains, pointing to Caravaggio’s Medusa. “So the influence of classical painting in my work is obvious. But I believe that’s good, because one of the main problems involving the creation of new images these days is the references. The cinematic ones are too well-known; they’ve become boring. So grounding my work in Goya or Caravaggio creates a new vision that, I hope, will excite the audience and be refreshing.”
Viewing Lumb’s unique designs is, indeed, exciting and refreshing. The artist adds that one of the key facets of his job involves “our sudden transitions from reality to the dream world. Some are subtle and almost unnoticed, and some happen quickly. Sometimes, characters fall into dreams in such a subtle switch from reality that it’s almost impossible to notice the change. Others, however, confront you with sights only possible in dreams. You open the door of your room and suddenly, you’re in a snowy landscape—but without a loud sound effect or a sudden camera movement that would make things too obvious.”
Keeping a realistic mood doesn’t mean the NIGHTMARE team is not having fun with the movie’s frights and creatures. In fact, as Lumb continues to talk, we spot a folder labeled “Scary Dog,” and can’t help asking about it. “Oh, damn it—don’t look there!” the designer says, to much laughter. “That was supposed to be a secret… Well, now the damage is done [more laughs]. All I can say is that, obviously, there are going to be more creatures besides Freddy Krueger in the film. So stop spoiling my monsters!”
For the whole story, pick up FANGORIA #292, on sale now. Go here to subscribe to the magazine!
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