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A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
6 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Samuel Bayer

Written By:
Wesley Strick, Wes Craven, Eric Heisserer

Jackie Earle Haley, Katie Cassidy, Kyle Gallner, Rooney Mara, Thomas Dekker, Kellan Lutz, Clancy Brown, Connie Britton, Charles E Tiedje, Andrew Fiscella, Judith Hoag, Tommy Bartlett, Joe DeVito, Tony Domino, Thomas Kosik, Dan Latham, Scott Lindvall, Joseph Mazurk, Kurt Naebig, Rebecca Spence, Christian Stolte, Giota Trakas, Shirin Caiola, Christopher Midkiff, Grace Rex, Lia D. Mortensen, Anna Hagopian, Patrick Sokley, Carissa Casula, Jennifer Dickey, Greg Kuk, Eddie Kunz, Frank Anthony Meo, Kathy Midkiff, Grace Rex, Roger Wiggins

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) (2010)
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Movie Review by Jarrod
May 4th, 2010

'Nightmare on Elm Street' is a markedly inferior, consistently underwhelming remake of Wes Craven's classic 1984 original, which was one of the best horror films of the 1980s. Even a few sequels were not totally awful. This movie can be defined, unfortunately, by what it is missing, and how it stacks up to its predecessor. Most notable, and insurmountable, are the absences of the incomparable Robert Englund and Heather Langenkamp. It upsets me that neither of them chose, or were invited, to make cameo appearances. A cameo from Englund was something I expected. Englund played Freddy Krueger for more than two decades, in eight flicks, and it was the role that defined his career.

I doubt he will be remembered for anything else, certainly not The Mangler, and probably not Urban Legend. Englund has been replaced by the talented Jackie Earle Haley (Oscar nominee for Little Children), and, despite all the hideous make-up, we cannot accept him as Freddy, even if he makes an earnest effort to return Freddy to his roots as a terrifying monster, and not, as in later installments, a largely comic creation with tendencies towards self-parody. High schoolers are being haunted in their dreams by the mysterious Krueger, and they develop sleep afflictions, and go to extreme measures to keep themselves awake.

Heroine Nancy (Rooney Mara) and friend Kris (Katie Cassidy) witness the brutal death of their classmate Dean (Kellan Lutz), and while it could be ruled, or dismissed, as a bizarre suicide, they come to suspect otherwise. They discover that they and Dean have all been having similar dreams featuring Kruger, and they begin to research him, and his backstory becomes a major part of the plot; rather than a child murderer, Freddy is more of a pedophile, who is hunted down by outraged adults, and cornered in a building that is subsequently torched. He then seeks revenge on their offspring.

The more iconic sequences from the original are referenced here, including the bathtub scene, the body bag in the hallway, the gravity-defying bedroom murder, but they are done less effectively. There is, I think, an over reliance on cheesy CGI and special effects that are intended to show off not only the bigger budget, but also the better technology that has become available in recent years. It displays no real ingenuity, and works mostly as a lazily conceived rehash, which will appeal more strongly to those unfamiliar with the source material. I will say that the most unnerving moments are still those little girls jumping rope and reciting their ominous rhyme, and hearing Freddy's claws scrape against metallic surfaces.

I do not need to tell you that the victims are picked off one-by-one, leaving only Nancy and her boyfriend Quentin (Kyle Gallner), who then suffer from brief episodes of narcolepsy. They try to devise a way to stop Freddy, and the only solution is to drag him out of the dreams into the real world, where he can be physically harmed. As Nancy, Mara does what is required of her, but offers a surprisingly weak-willed, easily intimidated heroine who cannot get herself out of dangerous situations without male assistance. Langenkamp's Nancy was strong and independent, so it is a disappointing change.

Also, might I note the irritatingly trite and forgettable music score from Steve Jablonsky, which does nothing to enhance to increase the mood or atmosphere of the picture. It seems out of place. Actors playing Michael Myers, Leatherface, or Jason are interchangeable; we simply fail to notice the man behind the mask. What set Freddy apart was his personality, and Englund's portrayal is the definitive one. To replace Englund is almost unthinkable, even when his replacement is someone like Haley. I could go on about this, and some might regard it as unfair, but this is an issue that needs to be addressed.

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May 6, 2010 11:29 AM
also wrote a review of A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
god...the mangler...I had forgotten about that film...probably the worst film I have ever seen.

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