Nightmare on Elm Street remake (2010)
Director: Samuel Bayer
Jackie Earle Haley/Freddy Krueger
A bunch of one-note teens start dying in their dreams, hoffed by some striped sweater wearing, fedora hat whoring, finger knives flickering duder. You may have heard of him, his mug used to be on lunch-boxes in the 80's, his name is Freddy Krueger (Haley).
All right, first things fucking first, here's where I'm coming from with this one: I grew up with the original Nightmare Elm Street and still think to this day that it is one of the more innovative, unsettling and freaky horror films of the 80's. I drank and slept Krueger man as I practically f*cking lived on Elm Street. And as far as Platinum Dunes reboots go, hey if it were up to me there would be ZERO remakes of films that don't need it...period. But hey they're here, so I gotta take it and make the best of it. I managed to enjoy the Texas Chainsaw Massacre films, thought Amytiville Horror and Friday the 13Th were "okay" and that The Hitcher sucked major, hack ass. So how did the Elm Street remake fare? Somewhere in between Friday the 13Th and Hitcher. Let me sing ya a song.
"One two, who screwed the pooch?"
Talk about starting on the wrong stab. The first 40 minutes of this film did it all wrong. It shoved Freddy in our faces right off the bat, in full light, with no build up as to his arrival, it then plotted along at a slow ass pace while the evolution of the story was choppy to say the least. What happened to basic storytelling skills for f*cks sakes? It was embarrassing.
I guess that's what happens when you work off countless script drafts of one story
and play cut and paste. Moreover, now that I think of it, the original Elm Street worked cause there was an intimacy about the proceedings - this remake was too broad and all over the place hence less involving. Somebody should have hired the right editor(s) to get this ride flowing smoother than whore ass, cause whomever cut this wasn't it. AT ALL!
"Three four, we got banged on all fours."
Where was the tension in this film and the genuine scares? NOT HERE! And no,
solely relying on f*cking cheap ass boo jolts every five-seconds does not equal frightening, just amateurish and pathetic
attempt at jazzing the viewer. And why the hell were all of the key scenes from the original so rushed. The flying in the air kill, the bathtub scene, the body-bag bit... there was no momentum there
and no follow through... shit just happened and then dropped quicker than a lousy lay
at a Frat party, as if the filmmakers wanted the goods out of the way to go back to their
"cough, cough" storyline. They got the horror (or lack of) all wrong on this one.
"Five six, somebody beat the cast with a stick!"
To keep them awake! Apart from the on the ball Katie Cassidy (who's character should've been Nancy, she had "it"), Rooney Mara (who's morose turn grew on me as the clock wasted on) and
the oh so likeable Kyle Gallne (my only 100% human anchor to the film), the bulk of the actors looked like they were on prozac, echoing the initial bland pacing of the film with their dull performances. To be fair, it's not like the script fleshed the characters out beyond their names and gave them much to do other than tremble and die - so I can't really blame the performers on hand...but still... the film is called Nightmare on Elm Street, not nap-time on Elm Street...
"Seven, eight, I didn't take the bait."
Jackie Earle Haley was an ideal choice to play Freddy. He looked the part, I
enjoyed the quasi Southern sounding drawl he sported when he spoke, he had
some groovy one-liners, gnarly mannerism (flickering of finger knives) and the makeup worked for me most of the time. But he was
at times mishandled. Freddy in the original was somebody you'd run away from,
scared witless, Freddy here was somebody that was just begging for a left hook
to the face. It was like the filmmakers didn't know which Freddy they wanted - the one circa Part 1 or the jokey one from part 3 and beyond, so
they tried to do both. Freddy in the original WAS the Boogeyman, Freddy here was almost like a standard slasher mook with a toasted face and a couple of cool quips up his sleeve.
"Nine, ten, should they tackle Fred again?"
On the upside, the flick looked amazing with candy cinematography, some potent
slow motion stuff and slick angles. Some of the set pieces wowed me now and
again no doubt. The audio at hand was also sweet death to my ears, with a badass
retake of Charles Bernstein's score from the original and a visceral sound
design. I also relished some of the new ideas they brought to the game (the
micro naps thing was cool but at the same time somewhat of a storytelling cop out, but I let it go) and some of the crazy turns the last act took
KICKED MY ASS. A note on the last block; it was the more efficient and exciting section of the film, I was having a
hoot and nailing a nanny, so at least I left the theatre feeling groovy and
ready to rumble.
The new rendition of Freddy's back-story and the mystery that came with it (I particularly dug how the token Elm Street "little girl" fit into all of it) hit home as well. Jackie Earle Haley shined in them flashback scenes
(I felt for the dude) and the flick did a much better job at conveying Freddy's roots than Freddy's Dead The Final nightmare did that's for damn sure. And big props for the casting of the adult characters (Clancy Brown baby) as they brought legitimacy to the proceedings. Finally I had
fun playing spot the references to the Elm Street series (caught nods to Part 3,4 and 6) and the flick did have some funny lines/moments, with my fav bit of dialogue being "You're in my world now bitch".
But to answer the question I just posed, should Platinum Dunes do Freddy again? If they get a tighter script and a director that actually knows how to spell "suspense"... then sure, why not. If not, move on to the next classic or franchise ya feel like
lollipopping and dumbing down. I'M OUT!
We get some gory slashes, claw stabbings, a severed hand, a slit throat and an some "in the eyes" fun gory fun. Pretty basic.
T & A
Nothing to see here kids... move along!
Uneven - best word I can use to describe this remake. They didn't fully get what made Jason Voorhees tick in the Friday the 13Th redo and they didn't have a total wrangle on Freddy either. This new Elm Street was a bloated, badly structured, often boring (first 40 minutes) sit down with zero true scares in tow. Yup, I was let down by the constant missteps and missed opportunities this one kept snoring my way. At least the flick looked/sounded swell, had two engaging heroes and a gripping Freddy back-story. Furthermore, Haley owned for the most part as Freddy even though the character was randomly mishandled and that last act did leave me with an entertaining bang - best part of the f*cking movie. But yeah... on a whole...I'm half and half on this one... this aint prime time bitch!
Question; if some dream killer is chasing ya around within a nightmare, would you hide in a closet?
Billy Bob Thornton was at one point considered to play Freddy Krueger.
John Saxon was offered a cameo but was unable to fit it in his schedule.
DO THE FREDDY RAP AT THE OFFICIAL SITE HERE