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A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)
Don't Fall Asleep!
Don't you dare fall asleep, as this serial killing monster stalks and preys on you in the one place you can never hide.......in your dreams! In the tradition of remakes in this era of movies such as "Friday the 13th" and "Halloween", it seems only fitting that someone would eventually try to take a stab at remaking "Nightmare on Elm Street." No pun intended of course. Let me start off by saying that, I've never been a huge fan of the slasher horror genre, as most of them are basically the same in terms of the story. Sure, it has different scenarios, and the names are different along with the alleged killer. However, the events are typically the same. You have a bunch of stupid teenagers hanging around areas they're not supposed to and instead of calling the police or seeking help, they choose to investigate the scene. Gee, and I thought I lacked real common sense sometimes. However, to be fair, I thought the original "Nightmare on Elm Street" had a unique spin on the genre, where this killer didn't just slash, kill, mutilate, and terrorize his victims; he did it in the one place they couldn't hide or suspect.....in their dreams!
In the case of the "Nightmare on Elm Street" movies if you die in your dreams, then you die in real life. One would think that if you were only in danger when you go to sleep, then you'd have nothing to worry about as long as you stay awake. Unfortunately, the body needs rest in order for you to live, and it doesn't matter how much caffeine or pills you take.....eventually your body will start to shut down on you. Ranging from passing out to hallucinating (otherwise known as micro-naps in the remake), to where you'll be dreaming, but you won't realize it. This is also where Freddy can strike you when your most vulnerable......and kill you. Hence, why I firmly believe that's one of the reasons why Freddy Krueger has become such a iconic figure within the genre, and our modern pop culture today. How do I feel about the remake some of you may ask? Well, let's go over the basics here.
The remake tends to follow the original film quite closely, with the notable exceptions of a few scenario changes and dialogue. The story starts off about these four everyday high school teenagers, who discover that they're all being stalked and tormented by the same illusive dream every night. A dream that seems so real that all of them are immediately convinced that a paranormal being is maliciously stalking them in their sleep. Naturally, one would presume that if one of your buddies told you that their girlfriend died, due to a nightmare, as they watched some invisible entity slice them in half, then you'd probably assume they were freaking crazy, right? Or that he was making it up to cover up the fact that he murdered his own girlfriend? Well, not these kids. No, it seems these kids seem to have no problem accepting the fact too quickly that an invisible boogey man type figure is tormenting them in their dreams. It was almost like the writers could have easily had one of the characters say something like:
"Wait, your dreaming about some dude name Freddy Krueger stalking and trying to kill you in your dreams too? Wow, what a freaking coincidence, I've been having the same dream too! Gee, that must mean Freddy is freaking real? Whoa!"
Granted, none of the characters said anything like that, but they might as well considering how quickly the four main protagonists immediately accept the fact that Freddy Krueger was real......in about ten minutes going into the movie. Seriously, at least the original made it more realistic to where the kids didn't buy into the whole dream killer aspect until around the middle of the film, to make it more believable. Making it even more harder to believe when these kids don't buy into the connection of what Freddy did to them in the past that could easily happen to any child in real life, but they're able to grasp the concept of a dream killer? Oh well. I won't say what Freddy did to these kids before he was burned alive by their parents, as I wouldn't want to ruin the movie. However, lets just say that it's very disturbing and holds true to Wes Craven's original vision of Freddy Krueger. Which leads me to my other gripe about this film.
I thought Samuel Bayer did a terrible job setting up the tone for this movie. As it seems, every other scene in this freaking remake had Freddy Krueger in it terrorizing these kids, and attacking them. I know this is a slasher horror film, but I always found horror movies to be at their best when they build up slowly towards the gory and violent parts. Making the horror scenes unexpected. Where as this remake, you could practically see the gory and violent scenes coming from a mile away. Taking away any of the suspense build up that most true horror stories tend to do, as the new version of "A Nightmare On Elm Street" relies solely on shock value alone. Sure, I'll admit shock value in any horror film can be pretty scary but when it's used in every other scene throughout the entire movie, it just becomes boring and redundant.
Although I have been bashing this movie quite a bit, I will admit it does have one thing I liked about it. I actually liked Jackie Earle Haley's performance and portrayal of the iconic dream monster, Freddy Krueger. Even though I did like Robert Englund's portrayal as well, when I watched the original before writing a review on this remake, as I thought Robert brought a dark twisted sense of humor to the iconic horror figure. Something that very few horror icons have, which made Freddy unique in the original movies. However, for true horror story purposes, I just found Jackie Earle Haley's portrayal to be a lot better. Toning down the campy and twisted humor of Robert's portrayal, to a more dark and sinister presence that creates horror as he slowly taunts his victims. Don't get me wrong, I thought both actors portrayed Freddy quite well; just in different ways. Kind of like how I feel about Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger portraying the Joker in the Batman movies. Both were great in their own unique ways. Granted, Heath played a far more sinister and deeply disturbed Joker, but Jack brought a warped twisted sense of humor to the character that Heath couldn't duplicate. Needless to say, I felt exactly the same way about Jackie's performance. Sure, Robert brought the traditional dark warped sense of humor to the character, but Jackie brought the much darker and sinister presence.
Unfortunately, as good as Jackie was playing the sinister Freddy Krueger, the sinister presence he brings quickly becomes too overly redundant as the writers conveniently have him show up in every other scene. Taking away any kind of build up or tension that would've complimented Jackie's performance.
Overall, "A Nightmare On Elm Street" isn't as scary as advertised. Like "Saw VI" from last year, this film relies too much on shock value and gore to create any kind of real suspense, rather than allow for the tension and story build up towards them. I can't see why though. I mean it's not like creating a horror story that slowly builds up tension didn't work for such movies like "The Exorcist" or "The Shining", for instance. Nah, I guess Samuel Bayer and his team of writers assumed that instant gore equals instant horror. Sadly, that's not the case. Sure, you might scare a few young preteens and under age teenagers, who sneak into the theaters to see films like this, but it does little for the true horror and/or movie fans in general, who know what a horror movie is supposed to be. And the new remake of "A Nightmare On Elm Street" fails to deliver.
Links to check out that suggest Freddy Krueger.......MIGHT BE REAL!
- Is Freddy Krueger Real? The True Story Which Inspired A Nightmare Before Elm Street
With razor sharp claws and singed flesh, Freddy Krueger is set to terrorize a new generation of audiences as Michael Bay's remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street slashes its way across movie screens April 30. ...
- Cinematic Haunts: The Facts Behind A Nightmare on Elm Street | Brutal As Hell
Bangungot ~The Facts Behind A Nightmare On Elm Street~ ~Article by Annie Riordan~ Wes Craven had come across a few articles about some teenagers