Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Review for 'A Nightmare on Elm Street'

Release Date May 7

Directed Samuel Bayer

Starring Jackie Earle Haley, Kyle Gallner, Rooney Mara

What’s there to say about the remake of the classic slasher that hasn’t already been said? It’s a high budget remake of a classic low budget horror which has been directed by someone no ones heard off (he aparently is a music video director) and produced by Satan himself Michael Bay in an attempted to not do it for the art for but simply for the money.

The story if you haven’t seen the original Wes Craven film (shame on you) follows the story of a group of teenagers who are haunted by a dream like boogie man. This mysterious figure torments them for several days before finally killing them off (no surprise there). They try to keep awake and alive before experiencing ‘micro naps’ and before long they find they are trapped in Freddy’s world.

Now I’m really in two frames of mind about this. Part of me hates it, and the other kinda liked it. Obviously it’s stupid and nothing like it’s counter part but I don’t feel like I wasted money seeing it.

One of the main problems which renders the whole films ridicules is that fact that they don’t all live on Elm Street. And if they do, it never mentions it. This is stupid because it’s called ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ not ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street and all the other teenage in the community.’ What links them together is that (*SPOILER TIME*) they went to the same pre-school where they where all , get this, raped by pre-school gardener Fred Kruger. He’s a pre-school gardener turned pedophile then murderer in the after life. And when the parents discover that he’s a paedophile they turn into backwards crazy villagers out for his blood just shy of pitch forks and fire. In some bizarre dream flashback one of the characters sees Fred Kruger being chassed into a warehouse and brutally set a light as the family listen to him burn alive. Who need a justice system or a fair trial? At least in the original he was a child murder which gives them more incentive to kill him.

All the teenage actors where pretty poor and boring and there was no characters we where suppose to cling on to. It jumps between the teenagers which just confuses the audience. So are we suppose to route for Freddy? Granted in the original you didn’t but through the series you began to like him and eventually by Craven’s New Nightmare we loved the beloved classic Robert Englund. But in the new film Freddy’s a paedophile so how could we as an audience possibly relate to him? So we end up not caring the teenagers are tearing them selves apart from not wanting to fall asleep but when they’re in Freddy’s world we don’t care if he kills them. That’s bad in a slasher movie. Jackie Earle Haley is clearly the best actor in the movie however he character doesn’t develop till the end. Jackie must have expected not to best Englund and I think it shows but they missed something about Freddy which is fundamental – his black comedy. Sure in the movie towards the end he says some funny words but at the beginning he’s not funny or intimidating.

The film also has no sense of pace. In the original they talked about this burnt man who haunted their dreams which build a lot of tension so when the audience eventually saw him seemed like a threat. In this he appears in the first five minutes and pops in a way to send the fans boys into joyful glee. This is not good horror movie making. This just shows your doing it for the money and fanboys. Then after that you see Freddy enough for him to not be scary by the end. So in the end he’s not scary or funny = not Freddy.

In the grand scheme of horror remakes, Nightmare on Elm Street falls between the two Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake and prequel which where necessary because after the first they where terrible and also the Last House on the Left remake which I enjoyed and at the low end the Friday 13th remake. I’ve said it hundred of times before. Horror films do not need a remake unless you can do something for them, case and point The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. But this falls flat with a incoherent script with bad characters and a stupid plot. Poor Jackie has to do another two movies as well. Let’s hope they turn out better then this. I think anyone who thinking about seeing it would have seen it already, but save you money and by the DVD classic.

Anticipation - 3
Enjoyment - 2
In Retrospect – 2


  1. Personally I though it was very poor far to Hollywood over polished and to far removed from the original idea. We have seen far to many Teen Slashers give us something new and Wes Craven should be ashamed of himself.

  2. I agree. It was watered down and aimed at non-horror fans. I really hope this relview makes me sound like I liked it becuase I didn't. Michael Bay = Satan.