Andy Burns: A Nightmare On Crap Street
Freddy Krueger scared the hell out of me when I was 10 years old. Before I would even see any of the Nightmare On Elm Street films, I read a novelization of the first three. While I talked brave, the darn books kept me awake for nights on end. When I eventually watched the entire series (minus The Dream Child and Freddy’s Dead; for some reason I missed out on those ones), I found the character creepy when he had to be (1-3, parts of New Nightmare) and campy when he was meant to be.
Remaking the first film was never going to be easy. Unlike Jason from Friday the 13th or Michael Myers in the Halloween franchise, the strength of Freddy Krueger was always Robert England’s consistent performances as the burned madman. Putting a strong actor like Jackie Earle Haley into the make-up was a smart idea, but his performance as Freddy just doesn’t even come close to being memorable. Not the way England’s was. There was nothing scary about Haley’s Freddy ; not his voice or his movements or his make-up. Throw in the fact that the actors surrounded him were non-descript and uninteresting, a script that takes the best scenes from the original almost verbatim but without any of the shock or style, and you pretty much have an absolute failure of a relaunch.
Ian Rogers: Let Sleeping Horror Franchises Lie
On Sunday I joined the Biff Bam Pop gang to go see the reboot of A Nightmare on Elm Street. My first mistake was thinking that this was, in fact, going to be a reboot when it was much closer to a remake. Yes, they changed a few things around, but all of the scares were lifted right from the original. All the notable scenes from Wes Craven’s classic original were here: the girl being thrown around her bedroom and slashed by an invisible attacker; Freddy’s razor-tipped glove coming out of the bathtub between the sleeping girl’s legs; the bloody bodybag ghost wandering the high school hallways. Andy Burns summed it up perfectly when, about halfway through the flick, he leaned over and said, “That would have been scary if I hadn’t already seen it twenty years ago.” Which about sums up the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street.
All the parts that managed to border on entertaining we had already seen before. Even Jackie Earle Haley’s performance as Freddy Krueger was meh. He wasn’t bad, but he didn’t bring anything new to the role, except maybe for a few incoherently mumbled lines from the new face-melty make-up. If you’re a fan of Freddy’s schlocky puns and word plays, you’ll be glad to know they’re alive and well in the remake. My “favourite” was when the hallway turns to blood and Freddy quips, “Now that’s a wet dream!” Freakin’ brilliant. Like so many horror reboots/remakes coming out these days, Elm Street is directed by someone I’ve never heard of, starring young actors I’ve never heard of. Maybe that makes me old, but it doesn’t change the fact that the A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) should be put to sleep. Go rent the Friday the 13th reboot instead. At least Jason knows how to keep his mouth shut.
JP: Has Seen This Nightmare Many, Many Times Before
I saw A Nightmare On Elm Street the other day and some woman in the row behind me was horrified at what she saw.
There were short pants of breath when a knife plunged deep within a neck. There were audible gasps of air whenever Freddy appeared from the shadows. There were shrieks every time a torso was punctured by razors.
I wonder if those emanations of emotion I heard were less to do with what was on the screen and more to do with what was on the screen…again.
In this Nightmare, there’s absolutely nothing new to see. No new aspect of storytelling, no new quips from the antagonist, no new imagery, no new kills, no new anything. And with a canvas as broad as dreams and nightmares to work with, the creators of this flick have nothing new to say or show for the genre – and that’s a real shame. I’ve seen this movie so many times before that it’s now become a middle-of-the-road bore.
A Nightmare On Elm Street is a washed-out watercolor where plot is as predictable as a math equation, where dream sequences seem like played-out déjà vu, where kills are like your worst cable-access rerun and where Freddy’s razors are, indeed, dull and rusty.
Don’t make the decision to spend the money. Sleep on it instead. You’ll be happy you did.