A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
Plot: A re-imagining of the 1984 slasher classic about Freddy Krueger, a serial-killer who crosses the boundary between dreams and the waking world to gut his victims with his razor-sharp blade-fingered glove. As Nancy and her friends fight for their lives, they also uncover clues to a shocking secret from their past.
My Review: First off, let me say, I’m not a huge fan of the original Nightmare on Elm Street series. Yes, I grew up in the 80s with Freddy, Jason and Michael. But for some reason I just never liked the ANOES series very much. I think it really had to do with the fact that I didn’t enjoy Freddy being a joker all the time. I do enjoy the first movie in the series, the third movie, and the sixth movie – I really liked the backstory and the characters. So, going into this one, it wasn’t a HUGE deal to me that Robert England wasn’t Freddy. Yes, I’m of the opinion that Robert IS the one and only Freddy. But I was open to other people playing the role and this being remade. I figured with all the new special effects out there that the dream sequences would be amazing in this. I was wrong.
The movie starts off with a couple teens at a diner. One is quickly murdered and the teens start to wonder whats going on. They all quickly discover they are having dreams about the same guy and the same preschool. Its not hard to figure out whats going on here. Especially if you followed any of the news stories about the movie on the internet as it was being made. Or if you know anything about the original series. It was always speculated that Freddy was a child molester. From what I gather (and I’m not an expert on Freddy or ANOES) in the original series he was supposed to be a molester, but they took it out feeling it was too much. So in this remake they decide to incorporate that storyline. In this remake, we don’t know if he’s innocent or guilty until the end. Problem is, at first they make it seem like a mystery completely. They don’t mention the molesting for awhile. But again, if you’d paid any attention to the news of this movie, or knew the original story of the original series, then it wouldn’t be that hard to figure out. That bothered me that the plotline was easy to figure out. But honestly, I really enjoyed the plot to the movie. It gave Freddy and the teens more of a backstory and really validated the fact that the parents killed him. I also enjoyed the fact that later on when they figure out whats going on they find a school photo (funny how all the kids are dressed the same as in their dreams) and they research the teens only to find out they are already dead. That was interesting to me.
I didn’t really like the characters. I thought for the most part the actors were all casted completely wrong for the movie. Nancy was weak. And the actress actually annoyed me in the role. I’ve recently found out that she didn’t even want the role, so perhaps her performance it in had something to do with that. I really really felt that Katie Cassidy should have been the main girl in the movie. Along with her boyfriend played by Thomas Dekker, who I LOVED in the Terminator TV series.
I also found it odd that “Elm Street” wasn’t really brought up at all. Nor was the iconic house. I *think* that the school was supposed to be on Elm Street, but I don’t think it was ever mentioned. I do recall seeing a street sign saying “Elm Street” while Kris was driving home. But that’s it. Perhaps they were trying to show that Kris lived on Elm St. I’m not sure.
As far as the dream sequences go. They were NOTHING special. Not even CGI’d that much. I was utterly floored the first time I saw this. Why was it remade? Just to cash in, but really, how could they not have done anything amazing with today’s technology and the unlimited aspect of doing ANYTHING in a dream. I was COMPLETELY disappointed in the dream sequences. They had the opportunity to do something amazingly awesome here, and they failed. They did do a couple nods to a few scenes in the original film. But it just wasn’t the same (obviously!), it just didn’t have the same effect.
This leads me to Freddy himself. I didn’t fully mind that he was supposed to look like a real burn victim. I liked that he wasn’t a complete joker, his jokes where limited and they were actually spooky, not meant to be funny funny. However, I would have liked for his lips to actually move properly with how he was speaking. If I recall correctly, they edited his voice a few times before the final edit. Not sure on this, but I recall hearing it in other trailers and it was totally different. But because his lips were supposed to be so burned as well, they didn’t move properly. And lips not moving with audio for ANY reason have bothered me. Probably why I’m not a huge fan of dubbed/subtitled films.
One last thing. WHY OH WHY, do these remakes have the heroine at the end saying some stupid one liner? They all do it! So lame, hilarious, and annoying!
Gore/FX: There were some decent gore scenes. But really they did not do the movie justice with all the awesome effects they could have used. HUGE disappointment.
Sexual Content: There is no sex in this. But obviously the plot has to do with the molestation of children. It does not go into graphic details, and it doesn’t really get into that whole aspect of it. The movie really just implies it all. It is uncomfortable, but that’s what the movie was going for. You aren’t supposed to cheer for the bad guy like so many do now with Freddy, Jason and Michael and I think it achieves this with the molestation aspect.
Acting: Jackie Earle Haley had huge IMPOSSIBLE shoes to fill, but he did a decent job with what he had to work with. The acting wasn’t all that bad, but Rooney Mara (Nancy) just felt VERY akward in the lead of Nancy. She just felt way too weak and didn’t really grow as a character for me. In the original series Nancy wasn’t a badass, but she grew as the movie went on, and she outright kicked Freddy’s ass in the end. Rooney just didn’t do it for me. As I said above, I felt Katie Cassidy could have done much better in the lead an I think I would have enjoyed the film more. I love Katie Cassidy in just about everything she’s been in and she’s been in a ton of horror stuff. The rest of the cast I didn’t have a problem with really and the acting was fine.
Overall: By the time I’ve gotten around to reviewing this one I’ve seen this movie a total of three times. But based on some of my postings on the Camp Blood forum, I see my opinion on this movie hasn’t differed much. I was entertained by the movie, but I wasn’t blown away by it. Something I could watch every couple years, but I’d rather watch the original movie by far. I love all the actors/characters and effects in that one.