I was always a big fan of Freddy Krueger and the "Nightmare on Elm Street" movies... well, the first three films, anyway. Krueger is such a great character (well, in the first three films, anyway) and so much fun to draw. The frightened girl sitting on her knees with her hands on her face was kinda meant to look like my wife in her cute green pajamas.
People today have forgotten why the original "Nightmare on Elm Street" was such a big deal when it came out, in 1984. I was 12 years old at the time and already a huge fan of slasher movies like "Halloween", "Friday the 13th" and, of course, the Mount Everest of slasher movies, "Texas Chainsaw Massacre".
But back then it seemed like there were two kinds of horror movies: the "supernatural" horror movies which involved monsters, ghosts, aliens, demons, and hauntings. You know, "supernatural forces".
Then there were the "realistic" horror movies, which were about horrible things that could possibly happen in real life - movies about human monsters like serial killers and slashers, or killer animals like "Alligator" or "Cujo", for example. The action in those films might have been crazy but it was possible.
And then in 1984 - here comes "A Nightmare on Elm Street"... which blew everybody's mind because it seemed to be a slasher movie, but its central slasher character was a supernatural being with a vast arsenal of supernatural powers. This sort of flipped out me and all my friends.
Then of course there was the basic appeal of the Fred Krueger character himself, who, by the way, displayed a wry sense of malicious humor, but was NOT a comedic jokester in the first film.
The visual appearance of the character was just plain crazy - what the hell was up with that bright red and green sweater when all respectable serial killers were supposed to wear black/brown/dirty white/ or gray color schemes? But you had to love the gnarled, burned face, the fedora hat, and of course the most ingeniously imaginative weapon ever - the "Claw Glove". All these attributes made Fred Krueger fascinating just to look at. And not only was he doing all these horrible things but grinning the whole time - he was enjoying it! You couldn't help watching in sick fascination to see what this character would do next.
The murder scenes were really scary - but not so much for their brutality, as for the impossible weirdness of each event. Tina was not only slashed in the chest, but levitated into the air, and dragged up the wall and across the ceiling, so that her blood was smeared all over the room - even as she screamed and begged for help. This wasn't just scary, this was freaky and insane.
I remained a huge fan of the "Nightmare on Elm Street" series through the second and third films, and you can bet I saw every single one of them in the theater as I progressed through my teenage years... but certainly after the awesomely climactic NOES Part 3: "The Dream Warriors" - the Fred Krueger character himself had been reduced to a comical mascot, and the power of each film was increasingly diluted to meaninglessness. I've been saying it for years - the "Nightmare on Elm Street" series should have ended after Part 3. Then it might have stood a chance of remaining a classic trilogy of horror.
Too bad the money grubbers who control these things couldn't contain their greed, resist temptation, and thus retain a bit of dignity for themselves and their creation...
As a result, the lasting impression most people have of the "Nightmare on Elm Street" series is the corny dark humor of the tacky sequels rather than the ingenious creativity and magnificent evil of the original film.
Now then... Regarding the 2010 remake:
I enjoyed J.E. Haley as Fred Krueger. It was a little jarring at first - but I eased into it. It was sort of like adjusting to Benicio Del Toro playing The Wolf Man, after years of identifying only Lon Chaney Jr. with that role. Unfortunately the rest of the cast was not so easy to adjust to... I found almost all of them to be very weak. Giving the painfully uncharismatic, monotone lead girl the name "Nancy" almost felt disrespectful to Heather Langenkamp, who played the original Nancy. This new wanna-be Nancy just struck me as only barely interested in what she was doing through the whole movie.
Sorry to say I was also NOT a fan of the remake's overall approach, which seemed to be: "Let's just re-create all the memorable moments from the original, first film, but do each one in a way that is less cool & less effective." Absolutely hated the unnecessarily convoluted "Freddy was wrongly accused!" "No! wait, Freddy really WAS evil!" plot "turns" during the latter half.
All that said - it was filmed well, was aesthetically pleasing, had several brief, nice "Freddy moments" that were genuinely cool. And I actually really did like the end battle/resolution. Overall, I give it a rousing C- grade. Mostly it just got me in the mood to go back and watch original NOES again.
You can view my other Nightmare on Elm Street artwork here: [link]