A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET Review [A solid, scary remake, albeit a joyless one.]

Posted by Peter Hall - April 29th 2010 @ 1:53 pm

Directed by Samuel Bayer, 2010
Written by Wesley Strick, Eric Heisserer


When Platinum Dunes, the production house created by Michael Bay, Andrew Form, and Brad Fuller, first came into being, it took on the father of modern horror films, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It’s safe to say everyone expected it to be a total failure given who was involved; when it turned out that it actually wasn’t too bad of a film, fans were justifiably surprised. A few mid-level misfires later, Platinum Dunes raised their aim at iconic horror franchises even higher, bringing back TCM’s director, Marcus Nispel, to tackle Jason Voorhees. Again people weren’t expecting much, so it was another pleasant surprise that 2009′s Friday the 13th turned out to be a thoroughly entertaining, respectful recombination of the cabin-in-the-woods slasher. From there the studio didn’t even bother to go back to lesser franchises, they notched their crosshairs as high as they could go; Freddy Krueger.

Fast forward twelve months. The main thing anyone will want to know about A Nightmare on Elm Street is whether it is, at the very least, a worthy remake of the original Wes Craven film about a slain pedophile who resurrects in the dream world to kill teenagers in their sleep. The short answer is a resounding yes. Samuel Bayer’s film is the best remake in the Platinum Dunes stable; Jackie Earle Haley is an excellent successor to the original’s Robert Englund; and Freddy Krueger isn’t just scary again, he’s the most disturbing he’s ever been. The long answer is, of course, a little more complicated and requires plenty of qualifiers.

Read the rest of my review at Hollywood.com!

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rss 17 comments
  1. April 29th, 2010 | 4:42 pm | #1

    Great review, I can’t wait to see it this weekend.

    What about the character of Nancy? I’ve heard gripes about her not being a more strong willed character and ultimately, its a lack of a backboned-ness that kind of kills the film and her role in it.

  2. R.J. Sayer
    April 30th, 2010 | 10:39 pm | #2

    awful. just completely awful.

    i’m done with Platinum Dunes. for life.

  3. Matt J.
    May 3rd, 2010 | 8:01 am | #3

    It wasn’t that bad. It was better than the F13 remake. I think to truly enjoy the Elm Street remake you have to watch the original before seeing the update. Do not go into the new version hanging on to your memories form when you saw Englund as Freddy when you were 12. If you’ve seen the original recently as an adult then you will clearly see that it was not scary. Don’t get me wrong…it holds a special place in my horror movie lovers heart (I bought the blu ray version for petes sake) but it’s really not that good. The acting was horrible, Freddy was very slapstick, and the story never truly told you why Freddy was after these kids in particular. I thought the updates to the story work and made Freddy much more menacing. The scene where he has Nancy trapped on the bed and he says “you smell different”…come on…that’s creepy folks. I liked the addition to why the parents were hiding all this kids (though I don’t believe any of them were in high school) it connected the children to Freddy that you don’t see in the original and for me it worked. The CGI effects here and there were unnecessary. I thought it was a solid re-envisioning of the original…not the best of the recent horror movie re make (Zak still owns that title) but I felt it was worth my 9 bucks.

  4. May 9th, 2010 | 8:04 pm | #4

    The remake was so aweful. I am devoted Freddy Fan and was extremely disappointed about Freddys character, makeup and voice! No one even commented that his voice was the same as Rorschachs’. I think that screenwriters are having a severe writers block! I don’t understand why everything has to be a remake! Be original for crying out loud!

  5. May 11th, 2010 | 10:06 am | #5

    Its really nice. I will keep reading this blog today onwards. thanks

  6. R.J. Sayer
    May 11th, 2010 | 12:15 pm | #6

    Matt J – don’t make assumptions. i DID watch the original recently before seeing the remake. i am very critical of that film, and even for all it’s flaws, it still makes the remake look like a shallow, pointless piece of shit (because that’s what it is). and no, it was not better than the F13 remake. it was on the same level.

  7. R.J. Sayer
    May 11th, 2010 | 12:16 pm | #7

    it’s – its*

    also, i watched it again immediately AFTER seeing the remake. and that made me appreciate the original so much more…

  8. May 16th, 2010 | 3:52 pm | #8

    I must disagree with you, especially about the new Freddy. The film certainly was better than the F13 remake because that remake was just totally forgettable. I do give the NOES remake props for coming up with an incredibly creepy back story for Freddy, but it did make the whole film really depressing. Freddy is menacing, but in a fun way. This new Freddy was reduced to the creepazoid pedophile at your kid’s daycare. I also didn’t like his new look. He sort of reminded me of a burned up Voldemort.
    I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again – it’s simple logic: Nobody but Robert Englund has played Freddy, therefore nobody can play Freddy but Robert Englund!

    Please read my new blog about horror movies… I just started. http://thegirlwholoveshorror.blogspot.com/

  9. May 19th, 2010 | 1:38 pm | #9

    I went in with the best of intensions, but man this one stunk. I’m pretty easily pleased when it comes to remakes. Earle Haley is not believable as a freightning figure. Worst make up job on a monster ever. Robert Englund should be happy he was not involved in this one.

  10. Sean
    May 19th, 2010 | 1:46 pm | #10

    It amused me when I was leaving the theater to hear a girl who had been sitting below me go “Tch, I cant believe, like, they made him a child molester!”

  11. Mike P.
    June 6th, 2010 | 7:41 pm | #11

    It’s funny to me that the storyline is about kids trying to stay awake so they won’t die in their sleep, because i was trying to stay awake while watching this boring crap. This was a horrible remake[probably the worst remake of them all]…they never even showed how Freddy made the glove, he just has it in the movies all of a sudden. To say that this was good by any means is a flat out lie! No character build-up or anything, so you don’t really care who lives or dies or anything…highly disappointing. What a shame…

  12. Jim
    June 6th, 2010 | 10:22 pm | #12

    Mike P., I loved your opening line—great stuff! :D
    The fact that I was a huge Freddy fan will be reason enough for me to see this one. Plus, I really like Jackie Earle Haley in his rejuvenated career.
    That said, I’m waiting till it’s on DVD to rent.

  13. marcus
    August 18th, 2010 | 5:24 pm | #13

    Check out Wes Craven’s new film…. My Soul to Take. Look’s cool. http://bit.ly/aPntOs

  14. Rachel
    October 29th, 2010 | 4:43 pm | #14

    I am an avid horror movie fan and i was excited to go see this classic remake………………ufortunetly as it has been said before only Robert Englund can play Freddy he’s the best and this film did itself no justice as all defo, makes me love the originals even more

  15. Barry
    January 22nd, 2011 | 6:16 pm | #15

    This represented everything that is wrong with modern horror and horror remakes. It was soulless, heartless, cold, mechanical, detached, etc. Completely watered down movie with nothing but a lot of bangs on the soundtracks for “scares”. Lazy, passionless filmmaking.

  16. March 9th, 2011 | 10:00 pm | #16

    When I heard about this remake, or as they put it “re-imagining”, I immediately tore my own eyes out so as not to catch even a millisecond of a glimpse of it. You can be critical, and I’ll stay stubborn.

  17. too young to watch this shit
    August 27th, 2011 | 1:23 pm | #17

    i think as a younger person who has never watched the origanl i found it to be a worth while film. i loved the down to earth but still compleatly crazy freddie kruger and found him to be both creepy and funny but i guess it probaly dosnt compare to the freddie everbody else knows and is scared shit of.

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