Home > Film Reviews > A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)

A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)

A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010) – Rated R for strong bloody horror violence, disturbing images, terror and language.

It seems that most of the stuff Platinum Dunes produces ends up being crap.  If it’s possible, I would say that A Nightmare On Elm Street is not as bad as the other crap they’ve made.  However, that isn’t much of a compliment.  This remake, nay “re-imagining,” pays homage to the original by borrowing a few iconic scenes from it.  It’s unfortunate that with the technology we have today, the original is still better.  Some scenes that this film attempts to redo include Tina’s violent gravity-defying death, Freddy stretching the wall above Nancy’s bed, Freddy’s claw in the bathtub, and the steps melting as Nancy runs up the stairs.  We all remember these scenes because they were done so well at the time.  Well, you’ll remember them in this film too, but for different reasons.  I was really looking forward to this film because I’m a huge fan of the original.  I remember having a few nightmares about Freddy and waking up thinking it was real.  The only nightmare about this re-imagining is the film itself.

Tina’s equivalent, Kris, dies in a similar way as Tina did.  She falls asleep, her boyfriend beside her, and begins to violently thrash around the room.  She defies gravity and floats to the ceiling, rolling around being manhandled.  And her boyfriend gets the blame.  The remake does the same thing, only in a matter of five minutes.  It was rushed and then it was over.  That could be a way to describe the pacing in the entire film, as well.  Everything felt rushed and then it was over.  No character development and hardly any back story.  I didn’t care about the characters who died.  How could I?  I knew nothing about them!  It felt like the screenwriters wanted to get as much as they could into a certain amount of pages and refused to flesh anything out. 

Nancy running up the melting stairs in the original makes your heart race.  You think that Freddy is going to get her.  In the remake, Nancy is running up the stairs and then melts into the entire floor a la quick sand.  And then she falls into her bedroom.  The CGI effects in this scene are horrific.  The “blood” looked like Heinz ketchup.  And the scene where Freddy seems to stretch through the wall above Nancy’s bed is another example of the kindergarten CGI effects.  In the original it’s a quick peek and then he disappears.  In the remake he not only stretched the wall, his “floating” head turns and looks at Nancy and literally says, “Boo!”  I shook my head in disappointment.

It’s a shame that the film was a disappointment for me.  Jackie Earle Haley actually did a really good job as the new Freddy Krueger.  His Freddy was serious, dark, and angry to Robert Englund’s campy, joke-telling Freddy.  Haley played Freddy almost flawlessly.  His creepy, slow voice will haunt me in a few nightmares, no doubt.  Another great performance in this dud comes from Kyle Gallner.  He really shines as Quentin, the guy who has a crush on Nancy.  I felt his pain, his fear, and his fatigue.  I think it’s because of his eyes.  His performance really came through in his eyes.  I just wish I could say the same for the other characters.  Rooney Mara, the new Nancy, felt dull and like she didn’t even want to be there. 

It’s not that this was a bad film, it just wasn’t a good film.  The transitions from the real world and the dream world were really smooth.  The characters couldn’t tell what was real and what was imagined and neither could the audience, which is what we want from this horror film.  Who knows, maybe I was disappointed because I was comparing it to Wes Craven’s classic original.  But, unfortunately for this film, everyone else is going to do the same thing.  Filmtastic review: 2 1/2 stars

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