BEVERLY HILLS, California — As any good horror fan knows, Freddy Krueger has a style that separates him from the rest of the cinematic serial killer pack. The man in the fedora and striped sweater takes a certain pride in the way he kills, harnessing a panache — a joie de vivre, if you will — that makes the ends entertaining.
In many of his classic kills, Freddy takes a person's hobby, career aspirations, or personal eccentricities and customizes their murders as if he were giving them an iPod for Christmas. Who can forget the time he killed the video game lover by beating him to death in the glory of 16-bit graphics? Or said, "No pain, no gain!" to a workout fanatic as he pushed down on her bench press, snapping her arms in two? Then, of course, there was Jennifer.
" 'Welcome to prime time, bitch!' — that's 'Dream Warriors,' by the way," laughed Thomas Dekker, one of the stars of Friday's (April 30) "Nightmare on Elm Street" remake, remembering the classic kill of a wannabe actress who gets her face smashed into a TV. "'This is it, Jennifer. Your big break in network TV!"
On the big screen, the young stars of the new film will spend this weekend trying to evade Freddy's demonic plans. But in real life, we asked how Krueger would come after them.
"He'd smash me in the head with a 16-millimeter camera, because film is my favorite thing," grinned Dekker, one of the imperiled teens in the new flick. "I'm thinking he'd strangle me with a big roll of film, and then cut me with CDs, and then bash my brains in with a camera."
Then there's the matter of Freddy's always-on-point quip as he watches his victims expire. "I think for me, he'd just keep it simple, like, 'Just shut up already, schmuck,' " Dekker explained. "He'd just say something like that to me, and then bam! He'd just want to get me done quick, because he'd be sick of hearing my voice."
Rooney Mara, the young actress who plays the new Nancy, didn't have a ready answer. "How would he kill me? I have no idea," she smiled.
"I think he'd suffocate you with really nice skirts," teased Dekker, a huge "Nightmare" fan, trying to help. "Because you always look nice.
"Kyle come on," Dekker said to his co-star, Kyle Gallner, urging him to play along. "Come up with something."
"Kyle would be singing karaoke," Mara laughed.
"A karaoke machine would electrocute him!" Dekker agreed.
"I would be ripped to pieces," admitted Gallner, who plays Mara's boyfriend in the film. "Me and Thomas would be doing a duet and then we would just explode."
The question wouldn't be complete, however, unless we asked Freddy himself. And when it came time for new Krueger Jackie Earle Haley to answer, he insisted that if Freddy came after him, the man with the razor-blade fingers would find his hands full.
"I think if Freddy were to come into my dreams, I'd just look over and give him a look," teased Haley, flashing a wicked grin. "I think he'd just turn around and split."
Check out everything we've got on "A Nightmare on Elm Street."
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