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Please Tell Me It's Only A Dream

  • Jun 24, 2010
I'll admit that Wes Craven's ANOES was perhaps one of the most influential, if not innovative scripts of the eighties. In light of that, it's almost impossible to believe that any sequels or needless remakes could ever recapture that charm in it's entirety. Nevertheless, I've seen virtually every sequel ever made & even had a razor glove as a kid which I bought from Toy R Us. Naturally, it would only make sense that I'd manage to find a way of seeing the remake in opening night if not sometime before. I somehow would like to believe that watching the final product last nite was nothing more than just a really bad dream. That would be a fortunate thing.

Sadly, I haven't really been thrilled with a Freddy Krueger movie in literally years. The sequels were, in most cases, barely anymore than a parody of the original which I absolutely loved as a kid. For some reason, Krueger simply wasn't scary nor frightening anymore once we learned what he was & the general information about how he operates in the grand scheme of things. The whole sinister atmosphere in the first entry was definitely lost in the midst of every writer and director wanting to cash in on it's success with the inevitable potboiler sequels. At best, the vast majority of the ANOES sequels range from mildly to moderately entertaining yet we watched them all numerous times as kids.

So what's the deal with the remake? I can't help but feel the whole revision is nothing more than an attempt to garner this generation's appeal as Hollywood assumes that no teenager in our their right mind could be so clever as to uncover the archives of horror's golden years by visiting their local video stores. How presumptuous. This generation obviously has a lot more resources than mine did as the remake will show you. Teenagers now have cell phones & the Internet readily available so there is no earthly reason why they shouldn't be able to find access to the films I loved & grew up with. Hollywood evidently feels that kids today are too lazy, however, & would prefer a rehash or remix if you will of yesterday's wonders. Maybe they are right as teenagers flocked to the remake on opening night in an almost imposing flux.

Needless to say, ANOES will likely appeal to those teens who have thoroughly enjoyed much of the crap that has been thrown in our faces like bad food during a cafeteria food fight. Teens who adored The Grudge, The Ring, & Stay Awake will absolutely love this.

Don't get me wrong. Jackie Earl Haley is a marvelous actor as he proved himself worthy of much admiration in Little Children & recently Watchmen. I, myself, thought he'd make a splendid Krueger even if the film itself was nothing to write home about. I will give Haley the benefit of the doubt. I think he could've pulled it off but I can't place the entire blame on him as the script really doesn't give him much to work with at all. Had the make-up job & script been tweaked a bit more, there may have been some possibilities as Haley surely would've been able to give the audience more of what they loved about Freddy from the get go.

Having said that, there are scenes in the re-make that everyone will fondly recall. Of course, there's the infamous bath scene where Nancy falls asleep & we get to see Krueger's finger claws spontaneously rise through the bubble bath filled water. Kris is attacked in her sleep by Fred & is slung all around her bedroom while the ex-boyfriend watches in near shock before seeing her get cut four ways from Sunday. Lastly, there's the murder in jail scene although Krueger makes this one look more like internal homicide rather than suicide. This is all fine & well I suppose but these scenes alone can't really give our film the solid foundation it desperately needs.

ANOES does, in fact, borrow heavily from virtually every film in the long-running series. Hardcore fans like myself can easily spot dialog used in years gone by & even character names which appear in the first three entries. It's almost fair to say we could accuse the writers here of copying & pasting material or just trying to grant the old school fans a greatest hits package although I don't believe this was their intention. I am still sticking with my theory that the film is catering to the younger set who don't know Freddy even though much of the good material used is, indeed, recycled material at best.

This time around, we are unsure if Freddy was truly a filthy child molester for at least half of the film and we even question whether or not he ever murdered anyone before the parents of Elm Street took it upon themselves to roast him. In fact, there was very little concrete evidence of any crimes committed & Krueger never had to stand trial. This was a clever approach & I'll give the writers a kudos for at least trying to bring something new to the table. Although most of us probably have never sympathized with Krueger, there is a brief moment where viewers almost feel tad sorry for him though that moment is quickly abolished when we witness his heinous acts through the film.

My biggest complaint has to be the casting of Rooney Mara who will never be Nancy Thompson & I sincerely hope someone else will be granted the role next time around. Unlike Heather Langenkamp, this child can't seem to get her lines right & barely speaks above a whisper for the duration of the film. For 3/4 or more of the film, I kept wanting to scream at her in hopes she'd actually speak as her mumbling was getting on my last nerve. She does belt out one or two screams near the end but I didn't even care by that time. Katie Cassidy, however, does an ok job as does Kellan Lutz but unfortunately both are killed off pretty early in the film.

Sadly, I can't recommend this film. I wouldn't purchase it on DVD & it's doubtful I'll have the desire to rent it somewhere down the road. What a disappointment!
Please Tell Me It's Only A Dream Please Tell Me It's Only A Dream Please Tell Me It's Only A Dream Please Tell Me It's Only A Dream

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December 19, 2010
This remake was ok for what it was, could have been much better.
January 20, 2011
I agree. I think they should've spent more time on this one. Thanks Alex!
July 05, 2010
I saw the trailer in the theater and it concentrated on scenes taken almost verbatim from the original so I knew that this flick wasn't going to have very much to offer me. It wasn't even going to qualify as a rental. I'll wait 'til I can see it On Demand. How did you feel about the last one, WES CRAVEN'S NEW NIGHTMARE? It's the only other one Craven was associated with other than the original.
January 20, 2011
I liked New Nightmare for being the ambitious film that it was although the pacing seemed a trifle slow. I do love Heather Langenkamp though and it was nice to see another Nightmare film with her. She's a real sweetheart in person too.
January 21, 2011
I saw Craven at Fangoria in LA when he was promoting NEW NIGHTMARE, and it was a gas. He really lured us in by lowering his voice and making us lean forward in order to hear him. The guy knows what he'sdoing all the time.
June 27, 2010
well, welcome back, Brian! You should join us in our little MOVIE HYPE community. I saw this myself, and I wasn't at all impressed with it. We are on similar terms on this one.
January 20, 2011
Yes, indeed. I read your write-up and we are definitely on similar pages here. I probably won't watch the sequel if there is one unless I hear something different from trusted reviewers. ;-) Oh, I'm part of Movie Hype and Asian anatomy but I think I was slow on the draw to reading your comments.
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Brian ()
Ranked #13
I've spent years trying to make others happy & not really focusing on what's most important in my own life. Having said that, my own health & security are paramount so now I'm more … more
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Michael Bay (Transformers,Pearl Harbor) produced this remake of Wes Craven's 1985 horror classicA Nightmare on Elm Street, which means updated shocks, computer-driven special effects, and a brand-new Freddy Krueger, this time played by Oscar nominee Jackie Earle Haley. Unfortunately, it also means a mechanical, largely scare-free carbon of the original film--the same fate suffered by Bay's remakes ofThe Texas Chainsaw MassacreandFriday the 13th. Director Samuel Bayer, best known for helming videos for Nirvana and Green Day, does well by the film's visuals, which hew toward stylized doominess, but the film itself limps from set piece to set piece, with the ones borrowed directly from Craven's original scoring the most impact. What's left are a group of dull teens on the run from Haley's Freddy, who proves unsettling, if not the dynamo that Robert Englund was in the previous franchise entries. Speaking of which, the picture ends on a note that suggests a follow-up is imminent, though some more inspiration is clearly needed if Bay'sNightmareintends to have the longevity of the first series.--Paul Gaita


Nightmare on Elm Street
 is a reboot of the popular Freddy Krueger franchise from the eighties and nineties.  Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen) will take on the razor glove as the new Freddy.  It is scheduled for release on April 30th 2010.

A Nightmare on Elm Street is a 2010 American slasher film directed by Samuel Bayer, ...
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Director: Samuel Bayer
Genre: Horror
Release Date: April 10th 2010
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Wes Craven
DVD Release Date: October 5, 2010
Runtime: 95 minutes
Studio: Platinum Dunes, New Line Cinema
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