Original Vs Remake : A Nightmare On Elm Street
Welcome to Original Vs Remake, the place where Horror Remakes go head to head with their Original. Was the remake an abysmal failure at the box office? Did the Original have a smaller budget? Which received the best reviews? All will be revealed here in the ultimate showdown! Today’s contenders are A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984) Vs A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010). Ready? 3,2,1 FIGHT!
A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
Release Date : November 9th 1984
Cast : Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, Johhny Depp, John Saxon
Director : Wes Craven
Writer: Wes Craven
Studio : New Line Cinema
Budget : $1.8 Million
Domestic total Gross: $25,504,513
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 95% Fresh
A Nightmare On Elm Street is more than a Horror film, it’s more than Horror Franchise (which Craven never wanted it to be) It’s a worldwide cultural phenomenon. It’s the film that built New Line Cinema and saved it from ruin, it launched Johnny Depp’s film career, it made Freddy Kruger a household name.
When it was released in November of 1984, Wes Craven and Bob Shaye (the film’s producer and head of New Line) who famously butted heads throughout the entire production (Shaye wanted a melting stairs sequence, Craven didn’t. Shaye wanted an open ending Craven didn’t) awaited the release of their little horror film. On an extremely tight budget of only 1.8 million, little could be afforded for marketing of the film and New Line didn’t even have a marketing department at the time. Knowing that the film was being given a limited release of only 165 screens nationwide with little fanfare, They were startled when it grossed $1,271,000 in it’s opening weekend, making it a commercial success. Craven has said that he and Bob Shaye got in his car one day during the film’s early release to drive around the L.A area and look at the crowds queuing outside the theaters to see the film, the gamble that was A Nightmare On Elm Street had paid off. Early popularity of the film with audiences led to positive buzz and very profitable word of mouth advertising. And then in an event of synchronicity that rarely occurs with the release of Horror films the critics shared the publics positive opinion of the film, as it received almost exclusively positive reviews. Critics praised the film for creating a truly frightening new horror villain in Kruger and for tapping into the universally human vulnerability that we all feel about our helplessness while sleeping. A Nightmare On Elm Street was a huge success and is considered to be one of the greatest horror films ever made.
An Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)
Release Date : April 30th 2010
Cast : Rooney Mara, Kate Cassidy, Jackie Earle Ray, Kyle Gallner, Kellan Lutz
Director : Samuel Bayer
Writers: Wesley Strick and Eric Heisserer
Studio : Platinum Dunes
Budget : $35 Million
Domestic total Gross: $63,075,011
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 15% Rotten
Michael Bay. Simply hearing his name makes you want to shake your head and then lower it in disgust. It was Michael Bay’s bright idea to use his production company Platinum Dunes to ‘reboot’ the Elm Street Franchise with the hope of many more installments following the 2010 remake release. Well I think one could safely say that considering this abomination was released three years ago and there has been not a twitter from Platinum Dunes since regarding plans for any more films in the series, that they hopefully got the message that no one wants to watch the memory of a iconic film beaten to death. Despite what the preproduction buzz tried to have the public believe (endless Wes Craven ass kissing, and praise of the original) the decision to remake A Nightmare On Elm Street was purely a business one. Platinum Dunes were also behind the awful Friday The 13th remake, which despite it’s critical failure, was moderately successful at the box office and the whole sorry exercise actually made a profit. Cue dollar signs in Michael Bay’s eyes. When it was announced that A Nightmare On Elm Street was to be remade, the studio talked extensively about how they were going to return Freddy Kruger to his scary child molester origins and restore the film to it’s former glory after its long battle with subpar to ridiculous sequels. Robert Englund believed them and supported their choice to not consider him for a reprisal of his most iconic role. Wes Craven however felt differently and called bullshit early on. He voiced his distress at the mistreatment of his baby to IGN in the following quote;
“I don’t even know who’s doing it and I’m not interested. It’s actually really painful to think about it. It’s the film of mine that I probably love the most, and which made the most money. The script went around Hollywood for three years and nobody touched it and I went through all my life savings and everything else to pay for it, so I had to make the deal I did. Frankly, at that time I thought it would be one movie and that’s it. I never thought it would go on and on and on.”“ “Yes it does hurt, it does because its such an important film for me that, unfortunately, when I signed the original contract I gave up all rights to it and so there’s nothing I can do about it,”
Fans of Craven and the original felt his pain, there really was nothing anyone could do about it, it was heartbreaking to witness. And so the film was released and no one was surprised that it was an overly earnest, boring, confused mess. And ironically more insulting to the original film then any of it’s remakes had ever been. But fans of the original were able to take solace in the terrible,terrible reviews as critics saw through the film’s cynical plan to syphon box office success from the original’s iconic status and deservedly ripped the film a new orifice. Fearnet.com’s Scott Weinberg gave a wonderful assessment of this awful film when he said in his review ;
“And then there are horror remakes like A Nightmare on Elm Street., which are so generic, so lazy, and so forgettable they may as well have “we’re not even trying” plastered across the bottom of the screen.”
As was surely predicted The film took a hefty $35 million in it’s opening weekend. But I can almost guarantee you that the people who helped create that number, would rather have their money back then be the reason that the film was technically successful at the box office. The film did in the end achieve what it had hoped (it made money) but it also made a hell of a lot of enemies and Platinum Dunes are now known as one of the film businesses most soulless studios, They are currently working on another remake of Halloween…
The Winner is : The Original
Despite earning less in box office (which hardly counts because the remake only beat it at the box office because it used the original’s appeal ) the original is of course the clear winner here! The remake should be downright ashamed of itself for being a bloated redundant cash cow. This a triumphant K.O for A Nightmare On Elm Street 1984!!