It might have been easier to do another post but as you see, we’re here! Its October 31st and we’re wrapping it up with the final movie of our highlight series. More accurately, this is the remake of the iconic series started by Wes Craven. I’m not going to lie, this one was a pain to do. At this point, I’m a little burnt out with all the Nightmare and Freddy movies. I’m all Freddy-ed out. Haha! We’ve gone through a wave of good, bad, great, cheesy, campy…basically, I have no expectations right now.
Let’s get going! Review first!
A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
Director: Samuel Bayer
Cast: Jackie Earle Haley, Rooney Mara, Kyle Gallner, Katie Cassidy, Thomas Dekker, Kellan Lutz, Clancy Brown, Connie Britton
The spectre of a dead child rapist haunts the children of the parents who murdered him, stalking and killing them in their dreams.-IMDB
We’re here in remake world. It feels like a long time ago that I watched Nightmare on Elm Street. And you know, it might’ve been since I started Halloween in September. As a recap (in case you didn’t read the review post on the original), I liked it but thought that it had some functional campiness to it and there were some creative kills. As we enter into remake world, there are pros and cons to this one. How do I say it? Everything that didn’t work in the first one worked here and then everything worked here, kind of didn’t work as much in the original? I guess I can say that.
Let me explain. First of all, lets take a look at our star villain. The main complaint I’ve had of Freddy (except for in New Nightmare) is that he isn’t scary because while his concept of using nightmares and a world you can’t control to kill you in real life is a good one, they never make him that way. He is always campy and goofy and just not horrifying. But this is where the remake does well. Freddy looks a little different from the original and the guy playing him is no longer Robert Englund but Jackie Earle Haley. Fred Krueger looks like a burnt victim and he is genuinely creepy as sh*t. Like I mean, he is a messed up, sadistic man from his laugh to his dialogue. There were parts that it sent chills down my spine and I literally feared for what he was going to do next. Plus, everything that he does with the characters is a hint towards a deeper trip into why he does what he does.
Second, its a refreshing time to be watching one of these where I actually know all the cast. I mean, I know what to expect from them and their performances. Kyle Gallner was in Veronica Mars, Rooney Mara in a ton of movies, Katie Cassidy is some movies and Arrow, Thomas Dekker was in Secret Circle. Its seriously looking like a CW party here or something. Anyways, the cast here pulls in some decent performances with what they had to work with. They didn’t exactly have good dialogue to support the script (which is something I’ll elaborate on later), but they did well enough.
Third, the remake makes a serious effort to give us some memorable scenes from a few of the past Nightmare movies. We can see it added in pretty nicely. There are a good many that are taken from the original Wes Craven’s. Obviously, those scenes are judged a little heavily. For one, the most effective scene in the original was the body bag scene and this one was a little overboard. Just one simple example.
Finally, the visuals and effects and sound worked well for this one. While we could feel the tension, the story behind this worked better. In one movie, we were able to learn about Freddy (even though some details were changed, I think). Freddy himself tried to lead the kids of those parents who killed him to know about it. At the same time, we also get more up close and personal of who Freddy is. Was he innocently accused? What is he trying to revenge? All those questions that took a few movies to build, we get a good idea of in this one remake. It tries hard to make us twist our beliefs about Freddy. While I can’t criticize what they were trying to do, the execution of it focused too much on the teens and paired up with the bad dialogue that sometimes felt a little choppy and awkward, it ended up causing the movie to drag a little in certain parts.
Overall, I rather enjoyed A Nightmare on Elm Street. I’m not saying its better than the original because Craven can build atmosphere and the passion is retained there. However, this is a decent effort. The script itself, mostly the dialogue and focal points in various plot points could have made for a better execution but the visuals are better and Freddy is much more chilling and thrilling to watch. The backstory of Freddy is the highlight here because we learn so much more about him and that really worked for me. Is it a good or bad remake? I really can’t say its bad. It feels a little lengthy at parts but it stays generally faithful to the original but with its own style.
What do you think about the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street?