Movie Review: A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

Movie Review: A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

Summary: A remake of the 1984 classic, Freddy Krueger is taking revenge on the children of the parents who burned him to death.

Published April 29, 2010

Nightmare-on-Elm-Street-2010-movie-poster Summary : A remake of the 1984 classic, Freddy Krueger is taking revenge on the children of the parents who burned him to death. He meets the teens in their dreams and slices them away.

Review : Every time I have a little hope for a solid horror movie remake, I get disappointed with a not-bad-enough-to-be-camp but not-good-enough-to-be-entertaining, critical and commercial flop. This just might be destiny for the 2010 version of A Nightmare on Elm Street . The trailer sets the remake up as a more sophisticated, less campy and darker version of the original, but from the weak opening scene, the viewer immediately knows this isn't going to work.  Once the film ends, you are ready to shout out one of Freddy's legendary quotes like, "Now there's a REAL nightmare!"

Maybe it's the times.  The ’80s was the ideal era for supernatural slasher flicks; in 2010 the whines from generic extra-pretty people were less fearful, more annoying and sometimes just boring (the skinnier, fashionable version of Nancy -- shout out to the original lead, Heather Langenkamp -- was a disappointment).  In addition, the story was overdosed with Freddy's child molestation plotline, which was part of Wes Craven 's original script but he was changed to a child murder and burned alive by the parents after he was acquitted of all charges due to a legal technicality.  By the fourth version in the series, Freddy was just terrorizing folks in their dreams for the fun of it. Freddy as a molester in 2010 was an attempt to give the character more depth, but it made the horror classic take itself too seriously. Freddy is not serious, he is the one villain who will party with you before he kills you!

There were moments when A Nightmare on Elm Street worked, especially when the creators used pieces of the 1984 original, such as the girl levitating in her bedroom and being thrown around by an invisible Freddy, or the legendary scene with Nancy in the bathtub, which was cut short to a disappointed audience. These are all scenes that focus on visuals, and special effects have clearly gotten better since 1984. The elaborate dream sequences, such as snow in a bedroom or a hallway that turns to blood, were interesting to watch, which is a testament to the first-time director, Samuel Bayer , who is famous for artsy music videos from the '90s (mainly Nirvana 's "Smells Like Teen Spirit"). Only problem is there wasn't enough of these imaginative nightmares. Most of the "dreamscapes" involved being trapped in a dark daycare center, Freddy popping up around a corner, or running in Freddy's boiler room.

As for Freddy, Oscar winner Jackie Earle Haley replaces Robert Englund in the role; but he couldn't match the zeal that Englund shot into Krueger (who could?). Instead, the screenwriters gave Haley some cute one-liners and back-story on how the razor gloved-one came to be. Haley might have been too much of a serious actor to inject some horror-movie heart and soul in one of the greatest villains of all time. Plus, it didn't help that Freddy's 2010 makeover made him look like a burn victim meets a Na'vi creature from Avatar .

For a movie that is about its characters fighting sleep to survive, it's a shame A Nightmare on Elm Street induces a few REM-driven nap. As silly, campy and over the top as the original Elm Street was, it was never boring. Despite some quick cuts and edits, you'll have more yawns than screams in this remake. However, this was still better than the 2009 Friday The 13th remake or Rob Zombie 's version of Halloween , so Freddy still wins!

All that said, Elm Street didn't get rave reviews in '84 and now it's considered a classic.

A Nightmare on Elm Street is in theaters tomorrow.

Written by Clay Cane


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