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Bring Whoopie Coushions, and take many bathroom breaks.

  • Mar 23, 2011
* out of ****

The remake of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" is a mad failure of a horror film; a horror movie trying to seduce us through visuals that aren't even the creation of the director or the writer (or even the visual effects designer), as well as that ever-so generic feeling of horror. Yes, I know that this remake isn't the first, of many, to suck. But since "A Nightmare on Elm Street" was originally a good movie, with all its surrealism and intelligent ideas, I would at least expect the remake to be far from the runt of the litter. Maybe it's not the runt. It's definitely not the worst horror remake out there. But it's just as boring, pointless, and stupid as any other remake; and it forgets why Wes Craven's original was a fine slasher movie to begin with. While the original film was a breath of fresh air even though it still inherited the clichés and characterless kids that most slasher films have; it was still entertaining and has a good premise that was explored with surprising depth. This "Nightmare on Elm Street" is the complete opposite; it has the clichés, and it has the characterless kids, but it's boring as heck and never does anything beyond attempting entertainment. Well, at least it tried; at least. And at most, "A Nightmare on Elm Street" looks pretty good, but so much interesting visual effects go to waste that you just have to go along and hate the film the prettier it gets. As it goes on, the thing just keeps getting progressively worse. So it does do something as the story goes along, but alas, it is up to no good. My word to teenagers: if you have not seen the original film, then see it. If you like this version better, then that proves my point that most (nigh, all) teenagers are boring, self-centered individuals who use the word "scary" without knowing the meaning, the purpose, or where it applies. "A Nightmare on Elm Street" sucks because it is poorly made, and it's not even entertaining. Yes, remakes can be entertaining; even ones that are frame-by-frame remakes. But this one is just plain stupid. It doesn't take much to see that.

So "A Nightmare on Elm Street" has the story of the original film, with a few changes hidden in-between the cracks. The film still has a surplus of teenagers just ready to be killed by a slasher (I shall not name the teens, because none of them count as "characters". They are insulting to the term). The slasher himself is Freddy Krueger; a sadistic pedophile who was burned, died, and came back to life within a dream realm in which he hunts down the kids who made him go up in flames. The kids begin to realize that they're all having the same dream when the cuts and bruises that Krueger gives them show up after they happen in the dream, in reality. The kids get worried; and as more and more die, they decide to take matters into their own hands. And as with the original film, they attempt to cheat death-by-Krueger. But I don't remember a climax quite like the one in this film; which was stupid, unnecessary, and never captured the surrealistic heights that it had intended. Long story short: "A Nightmare on Elm Street", as a remake, could have been entertaining if (1.) I had not seen the original film and (2.) it had not been so brainless and bland. It looks good; I get that. But it wants to be scary, thrilling, entertaining, while alas, it is neither of the three. I won't say it is unwatchable; but it nearly is because of how boring it is. There are no characters, and there might as well be no plot either. But the filmmakers attempt to write one anyways, and what a grand failure it is. I hated watching this movie; not because it had over-the-top gore, and not because I hated its guts; but because it feels so perversely familiar that it's almost milking the franchise. It's intended as a reboot. Oh, joy: sequels.

All the acting done by the teens sucks. It just plain sucks; and probably solely because the characters are boring. Rooney Mara, a talented actress if you saw her in "The Social Network", is in this film; a role which she does not deserve, need, or has earned. Why do good actors take such crappy roles? Tell me that, Hollywood. Tell me that. Practically the only actor in the entire film who actually seems like he wants to do anything is Jackie Earl Haley as Krueger; a role I was sure he would fit well. So you'll know why it's such a damn shame, for me personally, when I discover just how crappy and forgettable the portrayal actually is. I do think that Haley can act; I know he can. But his Freddy is sadistic, and humorless; and never as menacing as he wants to be. He tries to reinvent the character; and that is perhaps why I hated the performance. The make-up looks fine on Haley, and he gets the visual look of Krueger right. But who really cares when a role such as this goes without proper inspiration. Robert England over Jackie Earl Haley any day, I say. Most people would think as I do.

The most I can really say for the remake of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" is that it looks fine. While a lot of horror movies just completely fail visually, this is one that ends up looking good. I can admire a film "looking good" when it works for me emotionally or artistically; but there's really no purpose to the visual detail here. A lot of effort was put into these almost-entertaining visual effects, and this film does not deserve the quality and imagination that could have sprung from them, if they had not been in such a poor movie as this. The cinematography also looks fine, but there's nothing inventive or interesting enough to entertain me, genuinely. The film tries to scare us through visuals, and even there it fails to do so. It's not the visuals that frighten us. They can scare us; but it's the thought and genius of these effects that truly counts. The fact that none of the movie is really that brilliant or entertaining makes "A Nightmare on Elm Street" a horror movie that MIGHT scare only the most jumpy of human beings. But a real horror film doesn't always want you to jump. And a real horror film isn't as blandly bloody as this one. Here, there's blood whenever Freddy kills a kid. Yes, that was present in the original film. But then again, the deaths were bloody, but inventive. There was a scene in which Johnny Depp's character gets eaten by his bed (which is really Freddy), and his blood n' guts get spilled onto the ceiling. But that was in the 1980's original. Here, there's not a scene as funny or ridiculously inventive as that. A few visual moments, yes, but nothing can save this film from its focus on pure stylization. Its crap, it's forgettable, and yeah: you don't need to watch it.

What is the point of remaking a film, or specifically, a horror film? Is it to introduce a new directorial vision? Is it to try and scare the audiences of today's world? Well, I think that second part will work out just fine. Part of the reason why films such as this one are made is because teens will go to the theater and piss their pants out of honest fear. Because to them, this film is scary; and pretty darn cool. To me, it's boring and not the slightest bit scary. It's just dumb; all dumb, and no fun. If the most you can say about a movie is that it has a convincingly visually impressive burned-pedophile, then you've got a hell of a problem right there. But wait, there's more. "A Nightmare on Elm Street" has problems everywhere, and that is precisely why it just didn't need to be made. It was made for profit, money, and whathaveyou. But I guess when Michael Bay is producing a film, that's what you'd come to expect. I never thought this film would be good; so I don't really care that it is as bad as it is. It will easily be forgotten, and isn't fun enough to recommend. I hated it. I really did. And if you're a true "Nighmare on Elm Street" fan, so should you. Hell, you should have given up long ago on the series. "New Nightmare" was good. But none of the sequels to the original film, aside from that one, really were. So what makes you think that this one will be any better? If you do think that way, then please change your mind. You are succumbing to this film's failed affect, and anyone who doesn't see its flaws is missing the point. It wants to be scary, and it's not; but also thrilling, which it also is not. But one thing "A Nightmare on Elm Street" is, with all due respect, is visually mediocre. As I said, it does not look bad. Some scenes even mimic the original film in semi-admirable ways. But that is still far from a complement, and judging by everything else I have said, "A Nightmare on Elm Street" is far from a recommendation.

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March 25, 2011
The ONLY decent thing I remember from my experience with this movie was the fact that the actor made a decent "Freddy". This was not a good film at all.
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Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … 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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