A Nightmare On Elm St 3 Remake Would Be The Best Freddy Reboot

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A Nightmare On Elm St 3 Remake Would Be The Best Freddy Reboot

New Line already tried remaking the original, but the best route forward for Freddy now is a remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.

New Line already tried remaking the original, but the best route forward for Freddy now is a remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. Resurrected murderer Freddy Krueger often boasted to his potential prey that he was immortal or eternal, and in the eyes of horror fans, that’s certainly true. Despite the grossness of his backstory – which the 2010 remake explored to nauseating effect – Springwood’s dream-stalking slasher is a character audiences will likely never stop demanding return. Of course, that’s not as simple as many would hope.

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Unlike most other slasher villains, Freddy didn’t wear a mask and was also quite verbose, leading the character to be forever linked to his original portrayer Robert Englund. Many hardcore fans rejected the 2010 remake even before it had come out, due to Englund being replaced in the role. The problem there is Englund is 74-years-old, and while he’s teased the prospect a few times, seems done with playing Freddy, outside of perhaps a cameo appearance.

As if the hurdle of finding another actor to try and take over for Englund as Freddy wasn’t enough, after the huge letdown that was the 2010 remake, doing another redo of creator Wes Craven’s original masterpiece is probably a bad idea. The best route for Freddy to continue might just be a reboot that doesn’t again retread his first outing, but instead remakes beloved sequel A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.

While no one really disputes that 1984’s original A Nightmare on Elm Street is the best entry in the franchise, at the same time, many would argue Dream Warriors is the fan-favorite. While that might seem like a contradiction, it makes sense when examined more closely. While Wes Craven’s classic is objectively the better movie, is much scarier and has a much more sadistic edge, Dream Warriors is like a 1980s party in horror movie form. It’s got a Freddy who is part slasher, part stand-up comic, some of the coolest dream sequences of the series and a cast of teenage heroes that’s one of the best in slasher movie history.

Sure, some may consider Freddy’s one-liners to be the start of a downward spiral for the slasher, but it’s not fair to hold the ridiculous excesses of his gags in later sequels against Nightmare on Elm Street 3. In Dream Warriors, a perfect balance is achieved between sinister Freddy and fun Freddy, leading to horrific kills like the “vein puppetry” death of Philip, but also crowd-pleasing lines like “Welcome to Primetime, bitch!” This version of Robert Englund’s Freddy is still a rotten former human being, but it’s also a lot more fun to watch him work, even if his targets this time out are so likable. Basically, Craven’s Nightmare on Elm Street is what viewers put on to be scared, but Dream Warriors is what they watch to have a bloody good time.

As much as New Line may well want to try a do-over for how badly they messed up remaking the original A Nightmare on Elm Street in 2010, that genie can’t be put back in the bottle. While Jackie Earle Haley made an admirable effort as the new Freddy, some other awful casting and terrible creative decisions ensured nearly everyone hated the remake. Even people who will mount passionate defenses of the lesser Englund films like Freddy’s Dead are likely to throw up their hands and agree the 2010 remake is just bad. That failure has poisoned the well when it comes to doing another version of that story.

Doing a new take on Dream Warriors, on the other hand, is a fresh idea and the goodwill attached to it will likely get a reboot a cautious level of anticipation leading up to release. While the 2010 remake stink will likely preclude Haley from reprising Freddy, efforts need to be made to cast someone else worthy of the role, perhaps frequent fan-pick Kevin Bacon, who’s said he’s open to doing it, and who Englund himself endorsed. After that, the focus needs to be fashioning a worthwhile script and hiring a director, preferably one with horror experience this time. After how badly audiences got burned by Nightmare on Elm Street 2010, and the fact that Freddy has been in stasis for over a decade, New Line badly needs to knock their next reboot out of the park.

While the next Freddy reboot going back to A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors for inspiration makes perfect sense, that also doesn’t mean that it should be a straight-up remake either. The 2010 Nightmare on Elm Street remake showed why sticking too closely to the source material can create problems, as many scenes and character moments were emulated so closely that the movie had a “been there, done that” feel for those familiar with the original. It also didn’t help that the CGI effects used for many of the dream and kill scenes were largely inferior to their 1980s practical counterparts, especially when Freddy emerged from the wall above Nancy’s bed.

With that in mind, there’s no need to rehash the Nightmare on Elm Street 3 plot beat for beat either, especially if that means bringing back Rooney Mara’s take on Nancy Thompson. The basic premise of Dream Warriors, that being Freddy picking off teenagers at a mental hospital, only for those teens to develop dream superpowers to combat him, is one ripe for new creative possibilities. Making the new teens likable is paramount, as is finding someone equally likable from the adult world to work alongside them, in the same manner as Nancy and Dr. Gordon did in the 1987 sequel. The writers could even bring back the plot thread about Amanda Krueger, and her son Freddy being the “bastard son of 100 maniacs,” but add a twist to it. Trying to make a pop cover of Dokken’s iconic “Dream Warriors” theme would probably be ill-advised though.

Michael Kennedy is an avid movie and TV fan that’s been working for Screen Rant in various capacities since 2014. In that time, Michael has written over 2000 articles for the site, first working solely as a news writer, then later as a senior writer and associate news editor. Most recently, Michael helped launch Screen Rant’s new horror section, and is now the lead staff writer when it comes to all things frightening. A FL native, Michael is passionate about pop culture, and earned an AS degree in film production in 2012. He also loves both Marvel and DC movies, and wishes every superhero fan could just get along. When not writing, Michael enjoys going to concerts, taking in live professional wrestling, and debating pop culture. A long-term member of the Screen Rant family, Michael looks forward to continuing on creating new content for the site for many more years to come.

Unlike most other slasher villains, Freddy didn’t wear a mask and was also quite verbose, leading the character to be forever linked to his original portrayer Robert Englund. Many hardcore fans rejected the 2010 remake even before it had come out, due to Englund being replaced in the role. The problem there is Englund is 74-years-old, and while he’s teased the prospect a few times, seems done with playing Freddy, outside of perhaps a cameo appearance.

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