|Directed by:||Samuel Bayer|
|Written by:||Eric Heisserer, Wesley Strick|
|Cast:||Jackie Earle Haley, Kyle Gallner, Thomas Dekker, Rooney Mara|
Sorry, I never know what to say in those plot sections. Especially with a film like this that doesn't really have one. Its just dialogue filling in the gaps of pointless murder scenes. Do I sound like a bitter Robert Englund fan yet? I certainly will after reading this...
I don't know how Michael Bay manages to rob me blind with his terrible production company Platinum Dunes, but he did it again. Its almost like a car wreck. You know its going to be terrible from what you've seen so far, but you have to know the details and see the whole thing for yourself just to see how bad it really is. And this one is awful.
Its probobly no secret the A Nightmare on Elm Street is one of my favorite horror films of all time and that Freddy Krueger is unquestionably my favorite horror villan of all time. So this one had a lot to live up to. And rather than taking a giant leap and trying something new, or even re-hashing the original scene by scene this film feels to safe and fearful to try anything. Its one of the most uneventful and boring horror films I can recall. And for a film about nightmares and dreaming, there really aren't any memorable dream sequences to speak of.
The kills are fast and furious, and feel like they're trying to emulate the brutal nature that they captured with Jason in his recent remake. The only problem is that Freddy really isn't a strong, brutal guy. He's a sick and torturous little creep. But in this film the emphasis is so much on how quickly and harshly he claims his victims, that we really lose the most important part to Freddy. Rather than being a mentally frightening figure, he's been turned into a physical threat. And even though the claws are creepy and awesome, they're not the most physically threatening things in the world. If they were really that sharp and lethal he'd be cutting himself all the time.
The nods back to the original felt way too forced and watered down. Most notably when a girl is supposed to be dragged up the wall similarly to Tina in the original but instead bounces around the celine like the pinball scene in Freddy v.s. Jason. Its just awful. And with all these kids being molested by a day care janitor, wouldn't you think one of them would have remembored? I was waiting for the hypnocil storyline for a half assed explination of why these kids have the memory of an alcoholic, but they never even tried to explain it. Nor did they explain why Freddy was in these kids' dreams. Or why the parents went from seeing scratch marks on their childrens' backs to burning a man alive. Or really any of the awesome thematic elements of fear, falling asleep, or parental control that made this series so much more than another slasher. Because thats all the remake has reduced this film to.
As if the story wasn't bad enough, the acting is worse. Its a horror film, I know. But this kind of stuff can't go unmentioned. Nancy goes from an independent ass kicking girl next door, to an emo nobody that has no personality. The Nancy in this film maybe the most 1 dimensional leading character to any movie ever made. And if she isn't bad enough, the chubby Robert Pattinson wannabee who plays Quentin will surely make your skin crawl. Basically tone down the role he played in Jennifer's Body and its the exact same kid. Jackie Earle Haley isn't bad, but he's not really given much to work with here. He's especially eerie in the flashback scenes, but other than that he doesn't even come close to Englund. Especially with the Rorshach voice in full effect.
But even worse than the acting and story are the effects. I don't know how a film thats 26 years newer than the original can go backwards, but this does. Freddy coming out of the wall looks more like the Frighteners than ANOES, and its so fake looking that it loses all the suspense of the original scene. And why the fuck do Freddy's claws shoot out sparks like a sparkler? Was the lack of explosions substituted with sparks to please Michael Bay?
I know its not Jackie Earl Haley's fault, but Freddy looked absolutely rediculous. All of our fears and doubts about the new Freddy make up were absolutely true. He looks like he's got a some kind of weird cat nose with lizard eyes. I don't know. Its definitley more animal looking than human. And its definitley not scary. Its rediculous. How can you expect to be scared when the guy chasing you looks so terrible? Not scary terrible, awkwardly goofy terrible.
So if you haven't come to this conclusion by now, I'll go ahead and spell it out for you: DO NOT SEE THIS FILM. IT IS NOT A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET FILM, IT IS ON THE LEVEL OF A TEENAGE FANBOY'S ADAPTATION OF THE ORIGINAL SET IN MODERN TIMES. SAMUEL BAYER HAS USED MORE IMAGINATION IN HIS DEFENSE OF THE FILM THAN WHAT HE PUT ON CAMERA. DO NOT BE FOOLED LIKE I WAS. PLEASE, DO NOT SUPPORT THIS FILM. THE REMAKES NEED TO STOP.