Monday, May 24, 2010

A Nightmare On Elm Street

A Nightmare On Elm Street
Year: 2010
Director: Samuel Bayer
Cast: Jackie Earle Haley, Rooney Mara, Kyle Gallner, Kellan Lutz, Katie Cassidy

In My Own Words
I’m not entirely sure why “A Nightmare On Elm Street” needed to be remade. Sure, the 1980’s version was extremely cheesy, but that is what made it such a classic. It was just a cheesy teenage, horror film with tons of sequels. Apparently Mr Wes Craven, the director of the original “A Nightmare On Elm Street” movies, was not impressed by this remake either. I felt the same regarding Rob Zombie’s remake of “Halloween” in 2007, why did it have to be remade? However, when I saw “Halloween” I realised why it had been remade. Zombie put his touch on his product by pumping up the sex and gore. What did Samuel Bayer bring to the table to differentiate his film from the original? Not a great deal I hate to say. A Freddie Krueger who’s nowhere near as frightening as the original and a group of teenagers who act more like twenty-something year olds and are way too serious to be watched and enjoyed. Surel y this film did not need to be remade, but they have definitely generated a profit by releasing this film so good on them.

Has anybody ever wondered what it would be like at an audition for the lead girl in a horror film? I’m sure guys would find it very easy on the eyes as all “scream queens” are very pretty, but it would also be extremely noisy. There is an easily recognisable scream that all girls in horror movies have. You would definitely need to have that scream perfected before you go and audition for such a horror film as this. I guess that’s why many actresses we see in such horror movies as “A Nightmare On Elm Street” and “Halloween” tend to have many a horror film on their resume. And why wouldn’t you? There is no reason why you shouldn’t use a scream like that to your advantage! And yes, I am being serious.

And I have to throw this in, before I even saw the original “Nightmare On Elm Street”, the only way I knew the storyline was from The Simpsons Treehouse Of Horrors special when groundskeeper Willie is haunting the town’s children in their sleep. It is true, there is a Simpsons episode for everything!

These are my own words and here is my review.

The horror genre is one that produces many films which are classically predictable, especially if that film is a remake like “A Nightmare On Elm Street”. There is absolutely no reason why this film had to have been remade. There are definitely some differences between the original and the remake, but the differences of the remake are nothing of great importance. However, horror fans will flock to see this film just for the love of Freddie Krueger. As much as they will love seeing the man back on the big screen, they will surely be disappointed by his new look. The film begins with the first victim, Dean (Twilight heart throb Kellan Lutz)being killed in his sleep in front of his friends in a diner. Several of his friends start experiencing the same nightmares Dean complained of having, in which a man in a striped sweater with knives as fingers is trying to kill them. To stay alive, they have to stay awake, because if they fall asleep, they may not wake up.

“A Nightmare On Elm Street”, remake or not, is just a typical horror film. You know when the scares are coming and it is inevitable that there is going to be a scare right at the beginning and at the end. It is still a scary movie and it will leave many people gasping in fright in the cinema. There are some extremely gory bits, although there is a lack of sex which is actually refreshing for a horror movie as it is normally a prerequisite for horror films such as this these days. For a horror film such as this, it is surprisingly well made. The cinematography is not bad at all and the tranquillity of Elm Street is captured perfectly on camera. The disruption of innocence is also captured well and does definitely allow for some disturbing moments. The film can be very slow in parts, but maintains momentum for the finale.

Jackie Earle Haley‘s Freddie Krueger does not measure up at all to Robert Englund’s Krueger of the original films. The original Krueger was much creepier and unsettling than the new Krueger. The new Krueger’s bark is worse than his bite. You almost wish that you could just listen to Krueger’s eerie voice throughout the film rather than see him as this would be far scarier. However, Haley does not do badly in the role, he just has a lot to live up to, as horror far will agree. The supporting cast of teenage victims do not give over the top good performances, but are mediocre. The majority of them are just bland and do not bring much to the film. Perhaps the two best performances out of the group of friends are by Katie Cassidy as Kris and Thomas Dekker as Jesse. Cassidy, although her role is untimely brief, does give a good performance with true sadness and terror. Dekker starts of weak, but gets stronger as his role progresses.

Even as a stand alone film, “A Nightmare On Elm Street” does not impress. It is predictable and covers all the usual horror film bases (besides the un-necessary sex scenes the majority have). However, the film is generally well made and the end is still very disturbing and suspenseful. We’ll see you again next time Freddie!


  1. This exactly how I felt about the movie. But to be honest, I think a 4.5/10 is rather generous.

  2. Good to know. Didn't look like there was much to see. A shame they make remakes when there is no need to do so at all (Superman Returns, Death at a Funeral, Dinner with Schmucks, and a lot of horror franchise films)....well done!

  3. I kind of love Thomas Dekker since T:TSCC, so, y'know.