Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Nightmare on Elm Street - DVD Review


Starring Jackie Earle Haley, Rooney Mara, Kyle Gallner, Katie Cassidy, Thomas Dekker, Connie Britton and Clancy Brown.
Directed by Samuel Bayer.

I've seen worse horror movies, but if you're going to remake a classic - any genre of classic - you should at least bring something to the table, some reason to justify the remake's existence beyond cynical brand recognition.

This is worse than the remake of Friday the 13th not because that remake was great, but because there's not much of a bar there. The Friday the 13th movies sucked. There were a couple sequels that were enjoyable on their own level, but really, they were just silly.

Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street is a legitimately scary movie. Good atmosphere, build-up, he really pulled you into the nightmare. This movie ignores whatever made that movie good. This one can't wait to get wise-cracking Freddy on-screen.

There's no real creative flair to the dreams. I remember the haunting of that big house from the original, with the girls jumping rope and chanting "1, 2, Freddy's coming for you..." This one, we get a bunch of poorly-lit rooms and halls where I never forgot the kids were on a set.

I just imagine what I and any random screenwriter friend of mine would do if a studio says "We want you to reboot Nightmare on Elm Street." I know we could do a better job than this. And that's part of what makes it a frustrating experience to watch.

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