Re-Casting Freddy Krueger: 5+ Actors Who Could Do the Job

So, fine citizens, A Nightmare On Elm Street is being strapped over the horse and is preparing for yet another remake flogging. I know, surprising, isn't it? Well, unless divine intervention or a man-eating cheese monster devours the supreme mental giants behind this latest cash grab this is a burden all of us will suffer together. So rather than fuel the antagonistic greedy flames that are being applied to the pot, I would like to turn a sour situation into a sweet one by giving my suggestions for a new Freddy. Now before you pick up the pitchforks and stoke those flames, allow me to clarify; Robert Englund is and always will remain Freddy K. There is no disputing the mans' work or his talent because he helped to give us a monumental icon.

The original films aren't going anywhere and neither is Robert. All I want to do is something a little different as there are actually a few actors out there who could very well don the infamous clawed glove, pepperoni face, tattered fedora and eyesore of a sweater. Keep in mind, this list has been made purely in the name of levity, creativity and more than a little bit of fan appreciation, not a swipe against Mr. Englunds' legacy. So, without further ado, here are my primo five choices as to who could make a suitable Freddy in the upcoming re-remake.

Honorable Mention: Jackie Earle Haley

Yeah, alright, he had actually played the role in 2010s' disaster of a resurrection, but to be perfectly frank and without a single shred of irony, Haley was perfect. He had the savagery, the sadistic humor and the perverted cruelty that Wes Cravens' character originally WAS supposed to have. Say what you will about the rest of the movie, but Haleys' performance was inspired and did remarkably well with what little he was given to work with. If he were to actually give Freddy another shot with better material, I would present no resistance.

5) Michael Emerson

I was not a huge fan of Lost (quite frankly I couldn't abide it), but it had boasted a significant amount of talent and one of the actors that frequently attracted my attention was Emerson as the enigmatic and downright dangerous Benjamin Linus. What works in Emersons' favor, at least physically, is how his face and body can be a blank slate. He has one of those countenances that you could imprint any type of character over it and all you need to do is give him a general indication of what you want and he will go places you hadn't even dreamed. Given that Mr. Emerson is a trained stage actor, he understands how to emote through those deep-set eyes that can go from warm to dead in a matter of miliseconds. When it comes to Freddys' signature appearance, you need an actor who can sell the rage and menace not just through the voice and physicality but the windows to the soul themselves.

4) Robert Knepper

Knepper was perhaps one of my favourite aspects of the over-blown saga of Prison Break, but I say that with love. The role of T-Bag (Theodore Bagwell Esquire) permitted Knepper to dominate the screen in an opportunity so rarely afforded to actors. Naturally, what drew me into adoring his character was his sense of perverted mischief and salacious transgression... I have issues, I need professional help, I know. But in all seriousness, Knepper is another one of those actors who can look you dead in the eye and you can tell he is envisioning you on a spit being roasted over a fire if you dare shake his cage. On top of that, he knows how to modulate his voice in such a way that can be confident and full of malevolent joviality one moment and then downright frightening the next. I also really want to hear him ooze "Bitch".

3) John Hawkes

While admittedly off the beaten track in terms of possible Freddy candidates, lets consider the evidence here- Hawkes is a talented and versatile chameleon who is quite capable of switching gears at the drop of a hat. Undoubtedly, his most (thus far) well known role was that as the charismatic and creepazoid cult leader Patrick in Martha Marcy May Marlene. While nowhere near being over the top, every scene he slithered through was like being stuck in a room with an imposing shadow. The way he moved, spoke, gestured, he was not a man who acted harshly, but one who used the power of suggestion to get what he wanted. He was psychologically manipulative and he knew it. Now of course Freddy is not the most low-key of horror villains, but therein lies the beauty of Hawkes' talent- give him enough material to work with and he will deliver many incarnations of any role you give him. Additionally, I have always thought that part of what Freddy represented was some sort of sexual terror so when you equate that with Hawkes as Patrick... the result is quite compelling.

2) Peter Stormare

One of the best things about Stormare is that the guy was born with the look of a man who can go bonkers at a moments notice... and here we thought Swedes were always nice. (Jokes, jokes, I love the Swedish, you guys have the best examples of health care ever) Seriously speaking however, Stormers has made a hell of a career at playing bad guys who are more than a little unhinged. The guy seems to be built to make your skin crawl and damn if he didn't play one of the best cinematic incarnations of Lucifer in Constantine then I'm a delicate Disney Princess. Although he requires reigning in every now and again with some of his performances, there is little doubt the guy knows how to keep a hold of himself when it comes to delivering downright scary and disturbing characters. I personally wouldn't mind seeing him play Freddy as the quiet, filthy child molester/murderer Wes Craven originally intended the character to be, I feel he would be genuinely formidable.

1) Brad Dourif

Chucky as Freddy. PARADOX!!!!!! But in all honesty, is that too far of a stretch? Dourif is another one of those actors who have just seemed to have simultaneously enriched a career and set the standard of navigating the depths of the despicable. Apart from all of his phenomenal works however, one role which really struck me hard as his audition of sorts for Mr. K. would be his horrifying portrayal of The Gemini Killer in The Exorcist III.  Although a flawed film, it nonetheless promoted an incredible turn for Dourif. Everything from his primal voice that is so crazy it swings around back to sane to his intense gaze to his very carriage makes you believe this man will partake in your demise with a sense of ritualistic and delicious ecstasy. Don't believe me? Check out the clip below and be amazed... and prepared to be robbed of pleasant dreams.

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Fallen Botticelli Angel/Elightened Eldritch/Lunatic Fringe
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