Posted by: Peter Hall
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.