"A Nightmare on Elm Street": Movie Review (2010)

5/03/2010 Posted by Admin

Movie Review

"A Nightmare on Elm Street"

By our guest blogger, Spencer Morton


Let’s start by naming a few things scarier than the new “A Nightmare on Elm Street” – golden retriever puppies, rainbows, chocolate chip cookies, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” and flower gardens. This dreaded remake is seriously less frightening than the fact that Paris Hilton needs a television show to find a BFF.

Platinum Dunes, a production company started by filmmaker Michael Bay, is responsible for this atrocity. If there was a three-strike system for crappy filmmaking, this company would’ve been behind bars a long time ago. They’re responsible for the remakes of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “The Amityville Horror,” “The Hitcher” and “Friday the 13th.”

“A Nightmare on Elm Street” follows a group of high school kids who have nightmares about a sweater-wearing, knife glove-wielding, burn victim named Freddy Krueger. In these twisted dreams, Krueger tortures and torments the teenagers until he finally slays them, and as was so eloquently put in the film, “If you die in your dreams, you die in real life.”

All in all, the current release is pretty much a cut-and-dry remake of the 1984 original. Only it lacks the intelligence, suspense and scares of its predecessor. Every jump scene is telegraphed and real surprises are as rare as a good Nickelback song. One of the beautiful features of the original was its ability to seamlessly blend together times when characters are in a dream or when they’re in reality. The remake practically shouts dream sequence every time someone dozes off, and that smothers the much needed suspense factor that horror films thrive on.

Jackie Earle Hayley does a formidable job as Krueger, but his face was too noticeably CGI. Did Christian Bale’s "Batman" do voice over work for Hayley, because they sound identical? The rest of the actors simply plodded through a script of screams clichés, and otherwise mindless dialogue. No one really stood out, with the exception of Rooney Mara, who played the lead, Nancy.

Other than the fact that “A Nightmare on Elm Street” wasn’t scary, and the fact that it sucked, there are a few other qualms I have with the film. First, why do actors who look like they’re in their mid-20s keep being casted as high-schoolers? I know this is no new phenomenon, but just once, give me a pimply little book-worm with a stutter and hand-me-down clothes, and have him be chased around by a psychopath. Another thing, one-liners generally have no place in films unless they’re being delivered by Arnold Schwarzenegger or Bruce Willis. There are about 50 of them in “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” and they all made me wish I could fall asleep and be shanked by my fedora-wearing friend.

Despite what you may be thinking, it wasn’t all bad. The film had some visually compelling moments. In the scene when Nancy is in a drug store, the flashes between reality and the dream world are extremely well spliced together. It was the best bit of “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” There also are a pleasantly low number of explosions, only one if memory serves me right, which is a low number for anything touched by the fiery hands of Michael Bay. Unfortunately, everything he touches also is shockingly bad, and this film is no different.

Luckily for me, I hit the matinee showing for this gem--I saved myself five bucks. All wasn’t lost. Don’t see “Nightmare on Elm Street.” If you want to be scared by a burnt up dude that plays with knives, go to a Benihana. If you’re lucky, one of the Japanese chefs will set himself on fire and start tossing around cutlery.

Grade: F

View the trailer for "A Nightmare on Elm Street" below.  What did you think of the movie?


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