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A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)


Clancy Brown

Connie Britton

Jackie Earle Haley

Katie Cassidy

Kellan Lutz

Kyle Gallner

Rooney Mara

Thomas Dekker

Directed by:

Samuel Bayer

Rating: 3/10

I’ve said it so often that it sounds like a broken record, but what’s the deal with all the horror remakes? Besides the fact that there’s always some lame remake of a foreign scary in the pipeline, now it seems that every few weeks there’s a new “re-imagining” of a classic 70s or 80s horror flick being made. It seemed especially wasteful to re-do A Nightmare on Elm Street, though obviously it was ripe for the picking judging from the box office take; it isn’t as bad as I’d expected, but it definitely pales in comparison to its original and suffers under the weight of so many plot holes.

Just like in 1984, the teens of Elm Street are having a hard time sleeping because some burned up creepy guy named Freddy (Jackie Earle Haley) with an ugly sweater and a razor blade glove is killing them off in their dreams one by one. Once just about all their friends are dead, it’s up to Nancy (Rooney Mara) and her friend Quentin (Kyle Gallner) to figure out how everyone is connected, what dark secret has put them all in danger, and if there’s any way they can stop the trail of dead kids before it’s too late.

Having seen the previews and trailers, I was in no way hopeful that this latest reboot of an old franchise was going to work. I was unprepared, though, for just how much it didn’t work, somehow still holding naively to the belief that if someone chooses to remake a film, they must have an affection for the original. Sure, NoES 2010 does a few things right—insomnia is always frightening, some key moments are recreated, and I must say, it’s refreshing in a slasher/horror movie populated with teens to not be all about the naked. There have been worse remakes—that’s as ringing an endorsement as anyone will get from me. There’s been worse. Robert Englund IS Freddy, and though Jackie Earle Haley probably could’ve pulled it off, his Freddy has none of Englund’s, dare I say, charm, and where the Freddy of old was both scary and funny, this one is just icky and dull. Mara, too, is no Nancy, bringing none of Heather Langenkamp’s scream queen kick-assery to the role. And oh the inconsistencies! We first meet Nancy as she waits on tables at a local diner, though this job is never mentioned again throughout the whole movie. Or then there’s the fact that, apparently, Freddy molested an entire pre-school class but they ALL repressed it, even to the point of not remembering they knew each other as children despite the fact some of them are DATING in high school. There’s more—Freddy sounds like Batman in The Dark Knight, Freddy looks like a cross between a burned fish and Vincent from the old “Beauty and the Beast” TV show—but suffice it to say you’re better off staying home and renting the old classics.

It's Got: Scary theme of sleepiness; A few good scenes; A much better original version

It Needs: Robert Englund and a better Nancy; To not be so obvious when a dream starts; Much better grasp of consistency


Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Sleepaway Camp


Remakes aren’t always a bad thing, but the lack of charisma from the leads and the script that feels like it was written by six different people who never met converged to make this a mostly bad thing with a few good bits.

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