Annabelle: Creation director David F. Sandberg has proven his talents in the horror genre, not just with his The Conjuring spin-off but also 2016’s Lights Out, and it looks like he’s still got ideas for rebooting some classics. During a discussion of his new film, the Swedish filmmaker was asked which franchises he’d like to have a go at and he picked some cult favorites:
“I’ve been thinking about what fun franchises New Line has like A Nightmare on Elm Street and Critters. Might be fun if you took something like that in a different direction from previous instalments. Like instead of remaking Nightmare you do some continuation of it in the same world kind of thing.”
Wes Craven’s original A Nightmare on Elm Street was released in 1984, introducing the iconic horror villain Freddy Kreuger, and since then there have been eight more movies in the franchise. The last film, released in 2010, was a remake of the original and replaced Robert Englund with Jackie Earle Haley in the main role, with the group of young teens he terrorized made up of Rooney Mara, Thomas Dekker, Kellan Lutz and Katie Cassidy.
Critters was released two years after Nightmare in 1986 and had a more comedic tone as it followed two intergalactic bounty hunters on a mission to capture escaped aliens (called Krites) that landed on Earth and began menacing a rural town in Kansas. There were a total of four films in the franchise, with the last one released in 1992, though it didn’t do as well as critically or commercially as the Nightmare series.
Critters would certainly be a fun one for Sandberg to have a play with, especially as the original tone of the movie is rather different to the dark and sinister horror films he’s known for. And if he was looking to take Critters “in a different direction from previous instalments” then his disturbing and menacing style would be exactly that.
New Line may well want to forget the 2010 remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street – which was savaged by critics – by having a fresher take on the franchise, and Sandberg could well be the director for the job. Both Lights Out and Annabelle: Creation have earned much critical praise but he is in the middle of working on a sequel to his 2016 horror film, starring Teresa Palmer and Alexander DiPersia, so he may not be able to commit to any new movies right now.
The Annabelle: Creation filmmaker will also be kept busy with directing the first Shazam! movie, a joint endeavor from DC Comics and New Line (released through Warner Bros.), but if he does a good job with the superhero film – scheduled for release in 2019 – he may well be able to pick and choose his projects in the future. A Nightmare on Elm Street and Critters may be on the top of his list.
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