A Nightmare on Elm Street

A Nightmare on Elm Street

In Theatres: 
Apr 30, 2010
Running Time: 
1 Hour, 35 Minutes

A Nightmare on Elm Street is about as stereotypical as a horror movie can be. Freddie seems to have lost his touch this time around.

With the success of the Friday the 13th remake it was only a matter of time before someone decided to do the same for A Nightmare on Elm Street. Freddie Kruger returns to your dreams only this time it’s Jackie Earle Haley behind the face and not the legendary Robert Englund. Does the nightmare live on or will you have no trouble falling asleep tonight?

Even though this version is a remake, things have been drastically changed from the original. All the characters are different and while director Samuel Bayer wanted to keep some signature deaths in the film, those are unique as well. Freddie would be dropping the whole cheesy jokes and go for a more terrifying personality.

Beginning with the star of the show, Freddie Kruger, Haley does the best he can with the material he’s given. It might have been the make-up or the filming style but he simply isn’t horrifying enough for today’s generation. I found there to be one too many close ups on Kruger’s face, showing off the crazy special effects used, along with too much talking. In the old days, Freddie would just say a few one liners and then you’d be dead; simple as that. Admittedly, his voice is perfect for the role so it wasn’t too bothersome. The fact that Haley also starred as the masked Rorschach in Watchmen can’t help but cross your mind either.

As the story progresses, the real world and the dream world begin to mend into one. Usually when one of the characters was in a dream sequence, the background would slightly vibrate or go out of focus. This is especially noticeable in one scene at a bookstore. Perhaps Bayer wanted to reciprocate the feeling of insomnia or something but the technique came off as rather annoying.  The effects used in these sequences are pretty convincing and the transitions between these different worlds (preschool, boiler room, snow-filled bedroom) indeed look cool.

A Nightmare on Elm Street is about as stereotypical as a horror movie can be. The production crew decided to play it safe on this one. Sure, the teens aren’t as stupid as they have been in past films but they still end up sliced or gutted. As far as scary goes, there are the occasional pop out moments where something randomly jumps at the screen accompanied by a sudden sound, but that’s about it. Freddie seems to have lost his touch this time around. Perhaps the biggest disappointment of all though, is the fact that Englund did not have a cameo in the film. He was Kruger for all eight films! How could he not at least get something in this one?

To read another take on the film (with some spoilers), check out Peter's review.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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