Nov 25, 2010

Nightmare On Elm Street Remake Review


image from Amazon

Freddy Krueger was set ablaze by parents in... whatever neighborhood Elm Street is on and comes back to kill their kids in their dreams. That's basically all you need to know.

Jackie Earle Haley is an awesome Freddy Krueger. And this movie is as pretty as the first flake of snow when you're hoping for school to be canceled tomorrow. Very visually stunning! All of the other actors, with the exception maybe of the main character playing Nancy do a pretty good job too, but Rooney Mara just felt like she was playing a stereotype the entire time. I didn't get the sensation that she was a real character, just an actress phoning it in big time. Acting aside, the writing was really sub-par for this remake. In some ways it's very honest to the original film, but only in the layout of scenes (for example, you get the classic claw rising out of the bathtub while Nancy's napping in it scene). All of the interest in the human characters in this film are completely non-existant, they're all just floating names and faces waiting to be slaughtered. One of the best parts of the original film that was left out of this remake was Nancy's mom consistently telling her she's crazy for thinking Freddy Krueger is killing people in their dreams, but drinks like a fish because she knows he very well might be. That really let me down because while the original film is laughable for it's special effects, at least the characters were distinct.

My Highlights:
Webcam death, bedroom death, and the last scene of the film. Sorry die-hard fans of the original, I'll ruin this now and say we don't get the convertible car pulling the striped-sweater hood up, but I enjoyed the remake's ending.

Overall Rating:
By some weird twist of fate, I've seen all of Platinum Dunes' slasher film remakes prior to going back and seeing the original film, and the same goes for Rob Zombie's Halloween. This film however was different because I had seen the original many times and thought it was a good idea to remake it. Sure, Robert Englund wasn't going to be recast as Krueger and there would be some subtle changes, but I was let down by this film. They had a neat opportunity in this film to re-write Krueger as a child molester rather than a child killer, something that Wes Craven had wanted in the original film but had to re-write. The delivery of Krueger as child molester worked decent at best. If you're going to push Krueger as a pedophile pervert, why not really push the envelope? The murders don't seem as congruent with him just being a sick kid-toucher either, even when blamed on "OH, HE WANTS REVENGE!". It pains me to say I rate this film beneath the remake of Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Amityville Horror, and Friday the 13th. I would even rate this film beneath Freddy vs. Jason. 2 *'s out of 5, or 4 *'s out of 10.

When You Should See It:
At the end of a Nightmare On Elm Street marathon, because at least then this movie won't look as bad compared to some of the stinkers this franchise produced in the past.

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