Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

The remake of the Wes Craven classic of the same name follows Nancy and Quintin, two sleep deprived teenagers who are being haunted by a man in their dreams. The man, dressed in a dirty Christmas sweater, burnt head to toe, and downing a glove with knives for fingernails, is killing off Nancy and Quintin's friends in their dreams. Now as the two of them struggle to stay awake in what are called (or I believe) micro-dreams they try to figure out what he wants, knowing there's a larger connection to all of this. The look and feel to this is modern horror but I don't know it just doesn't work. Warning, some spoiler alerts.

The film doesn't go with out effort, the opening title sequence is a nice visual piece and new concepts to the series add an interesting touch, like the micro-dreams, or as I said in the first paragraph I believe that's what they called them. In all honesty I had a hard time following the dialog as it was less than intelligent at times. After the first forty five minutes I consciously made an effort to take in only about forty five percent of what people were saying to each other as it was just unrealistic and quite frankly stupid. Also another thing that added a different dynamic was that the current victims were the previous victims. However; that also serves as a down point for the film, they showcase the child molester element quite a bit, and when I mean that I mean when Nancy says: "Fuck you!" Freddy replies: "That sounds like fun." It's a little bit tough to take in. It didn't find a balance between casual and disturbing, at points in the film like when the kids found out they were molested as children from their parents (who also disclosed it in such a bizarre way) they had basically no reaction. But then there's a scene where Freddy comes close to raping Nancy.

Acting is decently awful. I couldn't stand Katie Cassidy and I was counting off the minutes until Freddy killed her, she also looked twenty five not seventeen. Kellan Lutz also got it pretty earlier as well and I was thankful for that. Roony Mara was fairly awful, I understand that Nancy is suppose to be a tortured misfit teen in this but reading all your lines in monotone doesn't help the audience like you. Her character doesn't compare with old Nancy and you can understand why they have another character in the end helping her try and kill Freddy. It isn't believable that she can do it on her own. I like Kyle Gallner from Jennifer's Body and A Haunting In Connecticut, so I know he can act, and while I'm glad he was there to counter Mara's acting he was also a little less than impressionable. Now Jackie Earle Harley is probably the only person I can see playing Freddy and he did alright, I guess. It's not as iconic as Robert England's but he's creepy, they made him look like a real burnt victim which did make it more horrifying and hard to look at. How he acted was a little odd but I don't know, it could have been worse.

The film would have gotten a solid two stars (out of five)  from me for the new ideas and the added creepiness of Freddy but the last ten seconds were so awful that it pushed it into the category that this is just another really shitty remake. They try to replicate the iconic scenes and it's obvious that they were hesitant about it, knowing that copying it exactly or dis-including it would piss off fans. But that dilemma speaks for itself; you can't do either without pissing people off so why bother remaking this? This just doesn't work, the undying bogeyman of the seventies and eighties who spawns sequels into the nineties doesn't work in the new millennium (unfortunately). I actually went to the theater (rare for me) and saw Scream 4, which isn't exactly scary but was a great movie as it did what the first did, paid homage to the genre while parodying it. You're wondering what relevance this has well I'm just saying Craven understands how horror has moved from the decades, current Hollywood producers don't. Freddy belongs in the eighties, this generation should stick to what it knows, torture porn and Facebook killers. Or maybe I'm asking to much here but...I don't but something new and creative we've never seen.


Anonymous said...

I liked Jackie Earl Haley in the role of Freddy but he isn't Robert Englund who pretty much put a bit of himself into the role. I wasn't pleased with how they changed the Krueger mythology. I was looking forward to this re-boot but I was really disappointed with it. If I were a producer, I'd wait a few more years before doing a sequel. It was just too soon after Freddy vs Jason to re-boot the series.

Bleeding Dead said...

That's exactly it I think, Robert Englund is Freddy, for better or worse. The films would not be so iconic without him, so while Haley wasn't bad he just isn't Freddy.

I'm really not sure why any director takes on remakes anymore considering the general negativity that accompanies them. It's one of the harder films to achieve, satisfying the original but updating for modern times.

Thanks for you comment :)