A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) ⭐️⭐️

Director: Samuel Bayer. Cast: Jackie Earle HaleyKyle GallnerRooney Mara, Katie Cassidy, Thomas Dekker

When you decide to remake a horror classic, which is so revered by so many fans, you’re really asking for trouble. In fact I think you lose whatever you do. People will always compare it to the original. So, if you change too many things and make a different movie people might wonder “what the hell was that?”. And if you “re-hashed” the same plot, with the same characters, the same scenes people will obviously say “what was the point of that?” (Psycho’s remake I’m talking to you).Remaking a horror is not impossible (see Carpenter’s “the Thing”, Cronenberg’s “The Fly”, the recent “It”, just to mention a few off the cusp… and why not? “Evil Dead 2” which is really a remake of the first), but the starting point needs to have enough weaknesses to justify the make-over.In this case (like many other times) the only justification is money… and hope for another franchise. This remake feels (and probably is) a film made by ticking a check-list, with decisions made by a corporate committee of people who don’t quite understand what made the series so enduring and loved.

The “magic” of these Freddy films (even the bad ones) was the constant play with dream and reality, the inventiveness of the dreamy/nightmarish landscapes. Here a lot of that has gone. Replaced by a series of loud jump scares, an overstuffed cacophony of noises. They’re so anxious to make us scare that they crammed every single inch of the film with loud sound effects. Every time Freddy appears there’s a bang, or a screech or a swoosh. To top it all off some terrible CGI is used (the worst offender the scene where Freddy comes off from the wall, which now looks more like a clip from Tom & Jerry that a horror) why the cinematography makes it look like the film has fallen into a can of green paint. T

here are also “homages” to the original, scene which despite being virtually identical to the first film (the Bath tub scene or Tina’s death for example) manage to lack the same tension and look tamer than they ever were, making no impact whatsoever. It’s a film that has very few new ideas and those changes they try to bring are so so pointless (the micro-naps introduced and then forgotten) and insulting (the whole child molestation subplot which is so badly handled that it’s almost criminal) that they’re just infuriating. The cast is decent enough and they generally do their best with that very little their given. Poor Rooney Mara is often criticised for her sleepy performance ( that’s a bit unfair especially knowing how poor the original Nancy actually was), but she certainly lacks strength. Which brings me to Freddy himself. Robert Englund made a career out of playing Freddy Krueger, bringing his delicious nastiness and the darkest humour in one amazing turn. It was always going to be a hard act to follow. Jackie Earle Haley certainly knows how to act (as he demonstrated in Little Children a few years before this), but he plays Freddy with the same mono-tone throughout and appears to have no fun at all, but actually he’s not as scary as he should be.It doesn’t help that the director doesn’t quite know what to do with him or how to film him or how to reveal him to the audience.

This is a lifeless, predictable, unimaginative, pointless film which really should never have been made.

Don’t be misled by my 2 stars (purely because it’s generally competently made), but it’s my least favourite of the lot.

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