Friday, October 29, 2010

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Well they've been remaking a lot of slasher films lately, good God they remade Prom Night.  Prom Night?!  Was there a crying need for that?  I think not.  So, it's not suprising they finally got around to doing a remake of Wes Craven's Nightmare on Elmstreet.  At least this was handled by the folks who did the remake of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," so you are fairly assured that if they didn't make it better at least they'd remake it fairly competently.

So, we have dumb teenagers again.  They are having nightmares, and this time it is Jackie Earle Haley instead of Robert Englund doing the honors of putting most of them out their misery.  The main difference here plot wise is that they tie Nancy much closer to Freddy making it a more traumatic grudge match.

Well, in theory.

Look, this film has way better production values than the first.  It also has a more consistent tone.  What it is missing is craziness and fun.  The first film you really had no clue what was going to happen, not everything worked to be sure (the ending?  Really??), but it had a wonderful funhouse quality.  The new film is so dour.  Yes Freddy was a child molestor but in the first film that was just a reason for the parents to kill his ass to set the plot in motion.  The new film really dwells over it making Nancy a victim of Freddy before Freddy got hi s pizza face.  It's good, just not near as much fun.  Also, while the actors are on the whole way better, this film could have used an actor like John Saxon who may not have been good but was always John Saxon and don't you forget it.

Jackie Earle Haley does carry most of the film's water in his protrayal of Freddie.  In keeping with the new film it is a darker performance than Robert Englund but it is also a less punny, more purposeful performance.  Certainly, he channels his inner bad ass here for good effect.  The make up is different but good, it reminds me of the skinned baby in "Eraserhead." 

Overall, it wa not bad, but I'll always prefer the first film.


  1. How was Rooney Mara? I thought she was great as the girlfriend who dumps Zuckerburg in The Social Network. It surprised me that she was cast as Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and rumored for the Aliens re-boot. She didn't seem like that type of actress.

  2. she acted rings around the performance of the previous actress of course. This though is one of the cases where great acting isn't as important.

  3. For a remake, it held it's own quite well. The first one was definitely a 'jump out of your seat' kind of ride, but it was new and fresh and a lot of the imagery they used (the lamb) was missing in this version.
    Loved the effect toward the end with her Mom! (Valinda from Lather Effect anyone?)
    Worth the watch, but maybe not the re-watch...

  4. which is my point really, the first film would through things out like sheep for no discernable reason.