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The months leading up to the Nightmare on Elm Street have seen me flipping back and forth quite a few times on the subject. When it was announced, I merely rolled my eyes and wondered, "Why?" As I read more about it, and how it was going to recapture the sadistic character of the original movie as opposed to the one-liner dropping comedian he became, I began to get pretty excited about the project. And then, as the trailers began making their rounds and I saw Haley in action, those hopes went down like the Hindenburg. And after watching the movie; well, it could have been worse.
Review by Crispy
Added: May 01, 2010
Late at night, at the Springwood Diner, young Dean is doing everything in his power to stay awake. After chasing the waitress into the kitchen to get some more coffee, he realizes something is amiss; the stove has a grease fire a foot high, there's severed pig heads on the counter, and Dean is none too happy to discover that he's dozed off. The reason for his forced insomnia quickly makes himself known as Freddy steps out and takes a swing at him with the six inch razors on his glove. Dean is just able to get a hand up to shield his face when he's shaken awake by the waitress, Nancy. Hiding the blood pouring out of his hand, he's soon joined by his girlfriend, Kris. She quickly sees he's been better, but can't get a straight answer out of him as to why he's been awake for three days straight. As she's returning from the bathroom, she's horrified to find her boyfriend, seemingly asleep, holding a knife to his neck and screaming "You're not real" repeatedly before slitting his own throat. Soon after, Kris, her ex-boyfriend Jess, his friend Quinton, and Nancy find themselves all dreaming of the same hideously burned man. And as hitting the hay quickly proves to be fatal, the remaining teens had better figure how to stop the man's rampage real quick and in a hurry, because the human mind can only stay awake for so long before falling into a coma which, after all, is a prolonged sleep.
As the movie began, and kids were getting ripped apart left and right, I realized I was really enjoying the flick; and it seemed that my concerns over the last few weeks were completely unfounded. But way too soon, Freddy had whittled away all of our main characters except for two, and we're left with countless scenes of Freddy toying with the teens interspersed with them trying to solve the mystery of who he is, and what he wants. The pacing, which started out fast and heavy, grinds to a total crawl; and dealt a very large blow to what could have been a great reboot. They should have either a) spread the kills out a bit more throughout the movie, or preferably, b) added a few more characters to kill off throughout the second half of the film. Wanton sex scenes would have worked well towards this end too. I see what they wanted to accomplish; they were trying to build up Freddy's cat and mouse game with Nancy, but this approach did little besides flop, and hard.
Rounding out our hapless teenagers are Rooney Mara, Katie Cassidy (neither of which show the goods), Kyle Gallner, and Thomas Decker. Standard kill fodder fare here; nothing amazing, but nothing crippling either. I'm not entirely sold on Mara as the fair face of the franchise, but the character wasn't exactly given a whole lot of depth, so to be fair, she hasn't shown she can't handle it either. Of special note, Connie Britton was really bad as Nancy's mother. I'm thinking this small role would have been a great spot for a Heather Langenkamp cameo, but what can you do? With that out of the way, the reason we're all here is ol' Freddy Krueger himself.
Let's start off with the aesthetics, Freddy looks awful; and not in the good way. They tried to make the burns more realistic, but it just doesn't hold a candle to the look that Englund sported. Instead he just looks like a brown, Chinese Kermit the Frog. It's hard to be scary and goofy looking at the same time. Now, Haley's performance is the main reason those trailers had me so sure that this movie was going to fall, but when I sat down and watched him in his own world, (read: stopped comparing him to Robert Englund) the results were so much better. In fact, it was almost too close. Sure, he was more sadistic than Englund has been since the original movie, (and to be honest, Haley's Krueger probably topped that), but if you're going to remake a movie, especially one considered a horror classic, you have to do something to differentiate it from the original somehow, and Nightmare 2010 really doesn't do that. The rest of this paragraph has some minor spoilers in it, so go ahead and skip it if you haven't seen this yet. Anyway, turns out Freddy was molesting these kids when they were in the second grade, and after the revelation, his attacks become very sexually aggressive as well, which adds a whole new level of abhorrence to the character. He really should have been this way throughout the whole film, to really recreate the character and give this new franchise its own legs to stand on.
There's certainly some potential in this second take on the series, and to be honest, I'm actually looking forward to them, especially if Samuel Bayer sticks around to direct them. His panning shots, along with the micronap angle, do a great job blurring the line between dream and reality. Whether or not Bayer decides to split, Haley is already signed on for two sequels, so they're definitely coming. Hopefully they not only maintain this new despicable Freddy, but really up the ante going forward. I want a character that physically makes me sick to my stomach. I want a character that I can hate. I want a character that truly is a nightmare. 6.5/10.
- added 05/11/2010, 11:55 PM
I agree with what is said here. I did find myself
a little bored about half way and the constant
encounters with Freddy started to get old very
fast. Some of the dialogue was pretty rough ,and
in the end I didn't dig Freddy's make-up, even
though I used to. For the sequels I hope they have
less "close calls" with Freddy ,and
change the make-up a little. 6.5/10 as well.
- added 05/14/2010, 12:06 PM
Dreadful. Awful. Pathetic. Those are words I
would use to describe this complete waste of time.
The editing was awful...choppy and and
amateurish. The CGI was lame and unnecessary.
The violence level was so sad -- not even close to
as gruesome as the original film. The
performances were, for the most part, pretty
terrible, most notably Kellan Lutz, Rooney Mara
(Daria-Nancy) and -- yes -- Jackie Earle Haley.
Haley is not Freddy. No matter how you slice it.
I didn't like the direction they took that Krueger
character and I didn't like how dumbass thought --
I'll just wait here with some office supplies and
take care of Freddy when you pull him out. Did I
mention how Connie Britton and Clancy Brown were
totally wasted in this film? Not as bad a remake
as "Friday the 13th" but terrible
- added 05/16/2010, 03:09 PM
I don't even feel like giving this a full
comment. I saw it, it sucked, the end.
- added 11/14/2010, 09:06 AM
Not as bad a remake as "Friday the
13th" but terrible nonetheless. 3/10.
^Agreed. How can a remake come out almost
thirty years after the original, attempt to redo
key scenes, and pull it off with worse special
effects? It boggles the mind. Also, yeah, bring
back Englund or scrap the remakes.
- added 01/09/2011, 08:43 PM
This film doesn't contain a single redeeming
- added 09/29/2014, 08:42 PM
It's so much better than what I expected. Making
Freddy look more like an actual burn victim is a
good idea, even though the execution certainly
could be improved upon in the next installment.
Also, as far as horror antagonists go, Freddy's
character is demanding (much more so than your
typical Michael Myers / Jason Voorhees style
monsters, for example). So while Haley is no
Robert Englund, he was pretty damn scary, and
deserves credit for that.
in the movie were bad, but I expect that from
literally every slasher movie I sit down and
watch. It doesn't matter when they are being
ripped to shreds by a psychopath like Freddy. But
that's the remake's biggest shortfall: while the
new Freddy is scary enough, I wasn't satisfied
with the carnage level. I want to see Krueger
explode Kyle Gallner's head a la Carlos (that
scene gave me nightmares as a kid).
A prequel with Englund in it
would be so awesome: