A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) - Samuel Bayer


A remake that missed the mark. A different take on Freddy.

Director: Samuel Bayer

Producer: Michael Bay, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller

Writer: Wesley Strick and Eric Heisserer

Starring: Jackie Earle Haley, Kyle Gallner, Rooney Mara, Katie Cassidy and Thomas Dekker

Studio: New Line Cinema, Platinum Dunes and Warner Bros. Pictures

Release Date: April 27, 2010

Country: United States

Did you know: Originally intended to be a prequel. Billy Bob Thornton was considered to play Freddy Kruger. Johnny Depp accompanied his friend Jackie Earle Haley to auditions for A Nightmare on Elm Street. Instead of Haley being chosen for a role, it was Depp who was spotted by director Wes Craven, who asked him if he would like to read for a part. Depp got a part in that film, Haley didn't, but Haley would go on to play Freddy in this remake 26 years later.

This is a pretty movie. Its apparent from the start, that this remake of the 1984 classic, has a pretty good sized budget to work with. In fact the budget for this incarnation was $35 Million according to Wikipedia. The budget for the Wes Craven original, $1.8 Million. You don't always get a better movie if your budget is huge, look at Avatar. You just get a really pretty movie that looks polished and has flawless special effects. Again, see Avatar. That movie was nothing but flash. The story is unoriginal and weak... and don't try coming at me with this whole "Shut up man! Avatar proved itself!" shut up! The larger budget in this case makes the movie look too polished to be takes seriously. Why the hell are we caring about watching clones of the Twilight teens being chased by Freddy Kruger? Were not. This movie didn't need a budget of $35 Million. It feels wasted. Some of the appeal of the original came from watching the director be a director and figure scenes out. This movie didn't do that. It felt trite and forced.

A Nightmare on Elm Street is a movie about our friend Freddy Kruger. A school groundskeeper and child molester is burned alive by his victims families for putting them all through such pain. Years after his death he comes back and seeks his revenge on the children in the town. Coming to them in dreams and attacking them with his razor sharp nails (You know Freddy Kruger!) Anyway, the differences are huge in this movie. The disgusting use of CGI is apparent from the beginning. Hell Freddy's burns weren't even real, they were CGI burns. He didn't look scary. He looked like a cartoon. It was really disappointing.

The movie also does something different, as it decides to go back into Fred Kruger's history. Giving us some back story on the character and making us feel remorse for him. This makes him less bad-ass and paints him as a wounded puppy, a character that we are meant to feel sorry for. This is yet another element that takes away from the original. You don't need his back story. In fact the movie is scarier without a back story. If you are not a fan of being scared but you want to know about Freddy then I would say that this movie is for you. It is like a family friendly horror film when compared to its original. I know that I shouldn't draw so many parallels but it is hard not to.

The movie has some pretty cool scary elements though. It doesn't fail in every aspect, it just could be done so much better. Jackie Earle Haley actually does a pretty decent job. If it weren't for the CGI, he would scare the piss out of me. The movie does itself justice by keeping the creepy nearly silent dream sequences. Which is always fun in Nightmare movies. You never know if they are dreaming or sleeping until POP Freddy pops up and cuts their throat or something. Its pretty exciting. That is still around. Oh and the teenagers are still played by actors that are like 26, so that didn't change. The movie even has a few jump scares and creepy spooky scenes. Its not a horrible horror movie. It is just different.

Freddy Kruger is less of a movie villain in the horror industry and more of an icon. Everyone I knew growing up all had Freddy Kruger nightmares when they were a kid. Perhaps this new version of Freddy will serve to scare the shit out of kids these days. I would hope so. Maybe when they remake this movie again in twenty years they will bitch about it then as well. Who knows.

Did you know that after the heart stops beating the brain can function for well over seven minutes? We got six more minutes to play. - Freddy Kruger