Can A Nightmare On Elm Street work without Englund?

I'll come clean right off the bat. In the war of the slasher franchises, I was never really a Freddy fan. I'm actually very pro-hockey mask and I'll tell you what turned me off to Nightmare: The quips. I like the first Nightmare On Elm Street. By 1984, slashers were very tired. Halloween and Friday the 13th created an indie movie boom town of slasher movies and it didn't take long for the concept to run out of gas so it was nice to see Wes Craven come along and kick it in the ass with something genuinely original. The glove helped a lot, too. But the sequels were a huge turnoff for me.

But I do recognize the importance of Robert Englund. Guys like Jason Voorhees and Michael Meyers are faceless killers, recognized by the masks they wear and not necessarily their personality or their face. Actors behind those masks came and went with each sequel and even if you want to argue with me about how vital Kane Hodder is to Jason, you're wrong. Any big-ass dude can slam a slutty chick in a sleeping bag against a tree. But Englund is to Freddy like Lugosi is to Dracula. I really don't think you can have one without the other.

So I haven't really been paying attention, but I've seen blips here and there about a Nightmare on Elm Street remake or reboot or whatever. It was inevitable. Hollywood won't be happy until they're remaking remakes of remakes, you know? Today I saw that it was official and even though I won't see a Nightmare remake, there's something patently wrong with doing Freddy without Robert Englund. And I don't mean this in the way that they'll spoil him, deconstruct the character and tune him up for a newer, younger audience that wasn't even born when the original was released, I mean that I just don't think you can do Freddy without Robert Englund. The character is so strong and has such an enduring appeal that I think that even modern teenage audiences will be soured by a Freddy Krueger that isn't played by the actor who really defines the character. He'll look wrong, he'll sound wrong. Horror fans, young and old, have seen these Nightmare On Elm Streets at least by way of video store by this point.

With Platinum Dunes behind the wheel again, I can only assume that they're going to focus group the shit out of Freddy and sort of distill him down to the most recognizable elements like they did with Jason. He'll be a different Freddy but certain characteristics will remain intact in order to make him identifiable. What I fear, like a Friday remake where they don't even bother with Pamela Voorhees, the bag over the head or the shack in the woods, they just cut to the chase, put Jason out there and slap a hockey mask on him, but I digress. The fear about Freddy is that rather than make him the sick motherfucker from the first movie, he'll be the quipping idiot from the later, softer sequels in the canon. The character that I really hate.

Thoughts? Am I off base?

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