With the remake craze taking the horror genre by storm, we all compare the remake to the original while we’re watching it. This is going to be my first article in a new series I am going to be doing, Original vs Remake.
When the 1984 classic ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street‘ got a remake in 2010, everyone was a buzz and from what I seen there was a split on how people felt about it. I am not a big fan of remakes, but I give every film that I see a fair chance, so I have seen the remake a few times.
My first concern with a remake of ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street‘ was obviously Freddy Krueger. What would he look like? Who will be playing him? Jackie Earle Haley was cast as the iconic villain. He did a decent job portraying Freddy Krueger, but in my opinion did not quite measure up to Robert Englund. Robert Englund played the role with so much more passion and he was much more natural. Robert’s Freddy had a lot more playfulness and was at times funny while Jackie Earle Haley’s Freddy was more menacing and did not have those comedic properties. Robert also had the better voice as Freddy.
Perhaps the biggest change made to the film in the 2010 remake was the makeup. ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street‘ 2010’s makeup was more accurate to what someone who was severally burnt would look. My biggest gripe about the makeup was how it fit Jackie’s face. It appeared to be too tight and did not look like it functioned well. Where as the 1984 makeup seemed more functional and, in my opinion, more menacing and demonic. I know that with a remake, the creators like to tweak the look of the main characters a bit, but I did not like that they completely changed the appearance of one of the most recognizable, iconic faces in the horror genre.
A couple more things that Freddy is known for are the red and green striped sweater and the razor glove. The sweater is pretty much the same in both films, but there are some slight differences in the glove. The glove is more intricate in the remake, but I still prefer the 1984 glove.
In the 1984 classic, Freddy was more about the psychological attack. He liked getting into the heads of his victims. The 2010 Freddy was more into physically attacking his victims and making them pay for what he did.
In both films, Freddy Krueger preyed upon the children of the parents that killed him. His favorite target in both was Nancy. There were some changes to Nancy in 2010. They changed her last name to Holbrook from Thompson in 1984. In 1984 Nancy was played by Heather Langenkamp and in 2010, Nancy was played by the talented Rooney Mara. Heather’s version of Nancy was a little bit more, for a lack of better terms, crazy whereas Rooney’s Nancy was much calmer and a bit of a badass. The 1984 Nancy caught on to Freddy and his game much quicker. In both films, Nancy finds out who Freddy is and what he did from her mother. Nancy was the one to stop Freddy in both films, but in the original she did it by herself whereas in 2010, Nancy had help from her “boyfriend’. Nancy’s dream sequences are much more elaborate in the 1984 original than they are in the remake.
Nancy is not the only target in both, Nancy’s friends are also on Freddy’s “to kill” list. They changed the names of the friends and how they were killed. In 2010 the girl named Kris was killed the same way as Tina in the 1984 film with her boyfriend being the only witness. In both films, the boyfriend is wrongfully accused and locked up only to become a victim of Freddy.
Surprisingly, there is more gore and sex (I guess it’s because sex scenes were the thing in 80’s slasher films) in the original than in the remake. Tina and her boyfriend engage in what could possibly the loudest, most obnoxious sex scene in the history of horror movies. There are no sex scenes in the remake. The kills in the original are much more bloody and intense than they are in the remake.
One of my favorite lines from the 1984 original, “I’m your boyfriend now“, also appears in both films. When Freddy says it in the original, it is much more entertaining. Right before he kills Nancy’s boyfriend, he calls Nancy and turns the bottom of the phone into his mouth whereas in the remake he says it to Nancy’s face and it’s kind of anticlimactic.
The way that Freddy stalks the teens in the original is way more creative than in the remake. In the remake, he more or less only stalks them in there dreams, but in the original, he appears in bedrooms as they are falling asleep and they see him in other ways.
The story line as a whole was pretty different between the original and the remake. In the remake, the group of friends went to preschool together, but the parents hid it from them and made them forget about it, so they thought that had met in high school. Then Nancy finds a photo of all of them together in preschool, so she and Quentin track everyone down only to find out that they are the last two in the picture left alive. In the original, we are not really told how or when they all met.
The endings were drastically different from each other as well. The ending of the remake
was not as good as the ending of the original. In the original, Nancy alone pulls Freddy out of her dream at her house. In the remake, Nancy and Quentin pull Freddy out of Nancy’s dream at the preschool they attended. In the end of both films, Freddy kills Nancy’s mom, but unlike the remake that ended abruptly after he kills Nancy’s mom, Nancy’s mom is back and Nancy gets in the car with her friends. The car is possessed by Freddy, so it gets a little more confusing than the remake. Both the original (obviously) and the remake were left open for sequels.
I am going to have to say that in the match of A Nightmare on Elm Street 1984 vs A Nightmare on Elm Street 2010 that the original 1984 A Nightmare on Elm Street is the winner with a total KO.
Below are the trailers to both the 1984 and the 2010 A Nightmare on Elm Street.