The cut opening of the Nightmare On Elm Street remake in 2010 would have made the misuse of villainous slasher Freddy Krueger’s flawed film even worse.
The 2010 remake of Freddy was a dud, but the original opening was almost even worse than what viewers got. Released in 1984, director Wes Craven’s Freddy was a rare sight for horror fans in the mid-1980s; a slasher movie with a really original and intriguing hook. Since the disproportionate success of John Carpenter’s sleeper Halloween in 1978 and the solid box office receipts earned by his many clones, the dumb madman clogged the cineplexes of the early 1980s.
However, despite these films showing slight variations in the specifics of the formula, the vast majority of early ’80s slashers followed a very familiar path. Craven’s original Nightmare on Elm Street, like his shot Scream, revised the standard rules of the subgenre by making his villainous Freddy Krueger a talkative, supernatural killer turned dream demon who used his paranormal powers to kill teenagers in their dreams. The film’s comparatively wordy villain and the ingenious “you can’t escape sleep” premise were a huge hit for Craven, and soon the series became one of horror cinema’s most popular staples.
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However, when production company Platinum Dunes opted to remake it in the late 2000s after a series of slasher covers made big business, the new Nightmare on Elm Street remake has it all wrong, angering critics and fans alike. However, the remake’s original opening scene, which reportedly saw a slowly dying Freddy lying flat on his own in a hospital, managed to be even more flawed than what viewers ultimately saw.
As it stands, the Nightmare on Elm Street The opening of the remake is one of its rare highlights. It opens with an empty dinner party where a convicted teenager walks the premises before meeting Jackie Earle Haley’s new Freddy. This surprisingly effective sequence then intersects with Freddy killing the hapless teenager (played by duskEmmett Cullen, Kellan Lutz) as horrified onlookers watch him slit his throat. However, that solid fear wasn’t the original opening, as the remake’s vetoed pre-credits scene was more cursed and moody than scary or shocking.
Originally, the Samuel Bayer-barré Freddy open-ended remake of a comatose Freddy Krueger slowly dying in a hospital bed after being burned to the ground by a mob of angry parents. Like much of the remake’s action, this dark, sad scene made Freddy more likable and tragic than Robert Englund’s theatrically cruel and evil iteration. Originally, in a nodding twist to the ’80s obsession with satanic panic and McMartin’s preschool essays in particular, this Nightmare on Elm Street revealed that Freddy was innocent. This might explain why Haley plays the character as a humorless, revenge-fueled monster, but ultimately the remake cut that revelation and added a twist of exploitation that proved Freddy to be even more monstrous. Removing the sympathetic twist about Freddy made this spooky, slightly creepy prologue unnecessary, so the Nightmare on Elm Street remake cutting that scene was a smart move.
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