Ain't It Cool News (www.aintitcool.com)
Movie News

Capone finds A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET tolerable but still hugely disappointing!

Hey, everyone. Capone in Chicago here. I had high hopes, I'll admit that. And I had these high hopes long before I took a visit to the set of this latest horror franchise relaunch from the Platinum Dunes production team (TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE; FRIDAY THE 13TH). The cast of young and older actors seems solid, and, in some cases, inspired. To get Jackie Earl Haley to play one of the screen's legendary forces of evil was a master stroke, and any issue I had with the Platinum Dunes' take on A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET has almost nothing to do with casting. Okay, that's not entirely true. This version of Freddy Krueger (played by the great Jackie Earl Haley, WATCHMEN's Rorschach) is short, thin, and moves like an angry jackal through his nightmare world. But I never found him truly menacing or terrifying. Still, Freddy almost can't help but be an interesting character, and the dissection of the Krueger myth by screenwriters Wesley Strick and Eric Heisserer is solid stuff here. But as for the other characters, they are simply there to be victims, albeit a different kind of victim than we're used to seeing in traditional horror films of late. With the exception of TWILIGHT's Kellan Lutz and "Melrose Place's" Katie Cassidy, few of the victims are what you would classify as strikingly attractive. And even if they were when the film begins, they have lost their looks thanks to lack of sleep by about the film's halfway point. These kids are the outcasts in high school. They don't have a lot of friends, and apparently they all have the ability to suppress memories of a common time in their lives that they all shared a dozen or so years ago. While I'll certainly give points to the writers for stringing together a story that combines well-known Freddy canon with a few nice touches to make Krueger that much more skeevy, I felt this ELM STREET lacked any real suspense or even mystery. And in a film that is relying so heavily on solving the riddle of why Freddy has targeted these specific kids in his atmospheric world, director Samuel Bayer (a long-time music video director whose work I've admired for years) failed to deliver on any real level of tension. What I found more interesting is that the audience I saw the film with barely screamed at what were clearly supposed to be "the scary parts." Perhaps the film's biggest issue lies with the lead character Nancy (Rooney Mara from YOUTH IN REVOLT), a gloomy, Gothy girl whose art work reveals a dark and disturbed condition. I tried very hard not to compare the new film with the original, but I really missed girl-next-door Nancy, who is driven to dark places during the course of her encounters with Freddy. Here, Nancy starts out that way, so the transformation is much less noticeable and her personality much less interesting. Faring slightly better (probably because he's a better actor) is Kyle Gallner's Quentin (it's not really fair or accurate to say that he's taking over the Johnny Depp role from the original). Quentin is the like-minded friend of Nancy's who clearly has a crush on her that he's attempted to move on over the years without success. I'd almost believe that his emo-boy persona was a result of trying to appeal to Nancy over the years by being more like her. Quentin is the best-drawn character in this film outside of Freddy, and Gallner makes it work by staying focused on the task at hand, while protecting Nancy in the process. There's a great scene with him at a pharmacy that was once of the few moments of tension in the film. I guess I was hoping for something more creative out of director Bayer. Instead what we get is a repetition of false deaths via the dream world, music punctuating scary moments, and a squadron of parents acting like idiots who don't even notice or care that their kids are getting ripped to shreds by something they set in motion. Not that the adults have cornered the market on acting dumb. There's a moment in ELM STREET where Nancy and Quentin find a photo of a group of nursery school kids. I don't want to give anything away, but simply showing this photo to an adult, especially after discovering what these kids have in common and their connection to a string of recent deaths, might have made this a very different and far more believable movie. So let's talk about Jackie Earl Haley as Freddy 2.0. He's too good an actor not to add some much-needed depth to the proceedings. Although I tend to loathe when Platinum Dunes insists of giving these long-established horror icons backstories that weren't there in the originals (Does anyone really care why Leatherface is wearing a tie?), since at least a portion of Freddy's rebirth is part of the ELM STREET canon, it's actually kind of cool to see Haley out of makeup and giving life to pre-burn Krueger, who was actually a sweet, middle-aged gardener at the pre-school. Don't see any problems there, nope! This film's Freddy Krueger is a bit more devious and evil, but I'm not sure that makes him any scarier than Robert Englund. And to be honest, I'm a sucker for actually, well-rounded characters. If you're going to remake a classic horror film (or any film), find ways to improve upon the original and not just copy of make random changes. One of the ways to do that is to improve the characters slightly, make us care whether these kids live or die. Doesn't happen here. Bottom line is that I like what has been added to the Freddy lore. They actually leave open the door that Freddy might have been the victim in this scenario. Walk in if you want, dummy. I didn't miss the jokes of Englund's Freddy, and I appreciated the elevated, graphic nature of the violence. I also really liked Freddy's new face, smoothed-over melted skin, the result of intense burns--a meaty, chunk missing from his left cheek to reveal pulsating veins and tendons. If you can, take the time to really stare of this work. There's this great, perhaps better-than-ever version of Freddy at the heart of a very average story, among some decidedly subpar characters. Freddy was one of the only major horror villains in recent decades that we rooted for to get along to the killin'. There's some of that here, but I think the filmmakers wanted us to care more about his intended victims, and that just isn't happening. That said, this is Platinum Dunes best effort in the remake realm, and I actually think that if they continue making ELM STREET films, the next will likely be better. I'm actually pushing for that to happen. But this NIGHTMARE didn't disturb, shock, or excite me.
-- Capone caponeaicn@aintitcool.com Follow Me On Twitter



Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • April 30, 2010, 6:51 a.m. CST

    FIRST MOTHERFUCKERS!

    by SLY_STALLONES_COCK_VEIN

    YEAH BABY!

  • April 30, 2010, 7:08 a.m. CST

    its way too early in the morning for that shit

    by Six Demon Bag

  • April 30, 2010, 7:12 a.m. CST

    Don't pay to see this shit

    by barnaby jones

    Stop their justification for repeatedly doing this to us.

  • April 30, 2010, 7:14 a.m. CST

    So set visit = "Mediocre"

    by GhostDad

    Screening = "Better than the original, best Freddy ever, Freddy shoes!" Nothing = "It fucking sucks."

  • April 30, 2010, 7:16 a.m. CST

    ROFL!!!! Harry.. it's official... yer full of shit LOL

    by LargoJr

    God man.. you REALLY need to stop trying to be 'THE' hit maker.. and start reviewing films honestly again... <p> Guess what? WE don't want to hear yet another partially fabricated anecdote on how "such & such" subject, topic, or genre influenced your childhood, or how you worshiped at yet ANOTHER altar of magnificence. <p> Just tell us i the movies suck or rock, and stop trying to be the hype generating spazmo everyone laughs at instead of with.

  • April 30, 2010, 7:23 a.m. CST

    Um...yeah...

    by bjacobs78

    Capone thank you for getting me into the movie for free and all but yikes what a nightmare this movie was! I'm trying to get my friends to experience it themselves but I feel kind of bad letting them pay full price! It wasn't horrible, but I did love the Friday the 13th remake over this one. It just seemed like the characters where just moving along from one scene to another. And then ending...wow if that wasn't tacked on...yikes.

  • April 30, 2010, 7:23 a.m. CST

    Sounds atrocious

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Poor Harry.

  • April 30, 2010, 7:38 a.m. CST

    It wasn't a master stroke.

    by JackPumpkinhead

    He was cast because they all expected "Watchmen" to be the new "Titanic"...

  • April 30, 2010, 7:39 a.m. CST

    I'll Need to See The 18th AICN Review First

    by Aquatarkusman

    'High hopes'? WHY!?

  • April 30, 2010, 7:41 a.m. CST

    However, The Array of Reviews...

    by Aquatarkusman

    ... has convinced me that Harry has some sort of organic brain damage (as if the sentence structure and Tourette's-like repetition of "That said" wasn't indication enough).

  • April 30, 2010, 7:42 a.m. CST

    "PD's best Remake"

    by thatfilmlover

    if this is PD's best Remake, ahead of Texas and Friday the 13th, then it might just be a good movie after all, I enjoyed Texas and Friday alot, jesus, i so want this to be a good movie...gah...

  • April 30, 2010, 7:43 a.m. CST

    harry is full of shit?

    by Bouncy X

    why? because he doesn't share the opinion of other people? the sheep mentality of the internet is a funny thing to witness. "oh yes be free and love what you will but if i don't agree with you then you're a moron who shouldn't breath." ...very nice. lol

  • April 30, 2010, 7:46 a.m. CST

    Quelle fucking surprise

    by AnalFissure

  • April 30, 2010, 7:55 a.m. CST

    yes... still going to see this.

    by MariusXe

    I really liked (not loved) the chainsaw remakes and found hitcher and friday 13th to be allright but forgettable (never saw the hitcher original, I might add) and since I'm a huge freddy fan I'm still going to see this. To be honest in a Horrormovie I don't care that much about believable characters. I mean, yes, if the movie has some of them its great but I don't think its a requirement for a good horrorflick. don't remember any great characters in the original noe's besides freddy himself. I just hope they didn't remade all the kill scenes of the first one, but judging from the trailers they did probably.

  • April 30, 2010, 7:57 a.m. CST

    Running the gamut

    by JoeD

    A gushing review. An eviscerating review. A mediocre review. AICN covers all the bases!

  • April 30, 2010, 7:58 a.m. CST

    disagreeing with the Boss!

    by Potatino

    Fire him Harry!! Fire them all!!!

  • April 30, 2010, 8 a.m. CST

    I'm still gonna check this out on the weekend

    by Bathman

    I'm a big fan of the NoES films so i was gonna see this eventually, but i think i'm gonna go see it tonight only because of the wide variety of reviews. i mean i know Harry's was probabaly nothing more then a paid advertisement, but even if you ignore his gushing there are still some reviews (like this one) that say theres some good in the movie (capone's "best PD film" comment has me figuring it can't be all that bad). Still other reviews rip the film a new one and that also has me intrigued because sometimes when a film gets a really bad review it makes me wanna check out the film just to see if it really is that bad<P>suffice it to say, i will be paying to see this on the weekend, it's been far too many years since we had a true freddy film and i want this franchise to continue. I have no problems giving up 12 bucks and 2 hours of my time...i mean what else am i gonna do on a friday night?

  • April 30, 2010, 8:07 a.m. CST

    Platinum Dunes.

    by gingerella

    And lo. A production company was born to us of utter cunting tedium.

  • April 30, 2010, 8:09 a.m. CST

    You mean it's NOT "effin' awesome & creepy as all fuck"?

    by SpyGuy

    Inconceivable!

  • April 30, 2010, 8:12 a.m. CST

    Harry is full of Cock

    by Cockofgod

    serious cock , need to say that, The Cock commands me

  • April 30, 2010, 8:16 a.m. CST

    But Harry loves it!

    by coconutgroves

    And everyone else didn't. Makes you question his reviews... wait, I already did. Keeping sucking that corporate cock Harry. How does it taste?

  • April 30, 2010, 8:23 a.m. CST

    1st official thor in costume pic at yahoo

    by EZPZ

  • April 30, 2010, 8:24 a.m. CST

    You said Cornered the Market--nice one, Rod.

    by dead youngling

    I never understood that line (corner the market--Rod to Tina)as a kid.

  • April 30, 2010, 8:29 a.m. CST

    wow,critics disagree? why i never......

    by theDannerDaliel

    I SAW MJØLNIR!!!!!

  • April 30, 2010, 8:30 a.m. CST

    From the Desk of Harry Knowles...

    by Philvis

    Massa, Mr. Beaks, and Capone...YOU'RE FIRED for undermining my integrity!

  • April 30, 2010, 8:31 a.m. CST

    Thor pic

    by Wave Motion Gun

    http://27.media. tumblr.com/tumblr_l1oycrjnr01qaj2n1o1_500.jpg

  • April 30, 2010, 8:31 a.m. CST

    also EMO kids suck cock for eyeliner!!!!!

    by theDannerDaliel

  • April 30, 2010, 8:32 a.m. CST

    Thor Pic

    by Philvis

    It's looking promising so far! Nice!

  • April 30, 2010, 8:34 a.m. CST

    first pic of THOR is totaly up over at CS.net!!!!!!

    by theDannerDaliel

    its not a full body pic but its totaly there!!!! I SAW MJØLNIR AND THOR IN THE SAME WEEK!!!!

  • April 30, 2010, 8:40 a.m. CST

    DVD for sure .. maaaybe matinee?

    by Beniffer

    I think we just all have a hate on for remakes ... Who's going to write new movies? Not me fer fuks sake.

  • April 30, 2010, 8:40 a.m. CST

    THOR

    by eric haislar

    http://www.cinematical.com/2010/04/30/the-first-official-look-at-thor/1#c27533581

  • April 30, 2010, 8:42 a.m. CST

    As I said in Harry's review

    by GodMars

    Harry will have the only positive review of this movie, anywhere.

  • April 30, 2010, 8:42 a.m. CST

    the one from yahoo is bigger......

    by theDannerDaliel

    http://l.yimg.com/k/omg/us/img/82/dc/9415_13238939234.jpg?y=660&x=616&q=75&n=0&sig=2HIAgg.uNW3ic.clIEErRw--

  • April 30, 2010, 9:17 a.m. CST

    Likin' the THOR PIC!

    by RICHARD_GERE_RAPED_MY_GERBIL

    Looks okay!

  • April 30, 2010, 9:38 a.m. CST

    Lets protect Wesley Strick/Eric Heisserer/Jackie Earl

    by TheJudger

    the dissection of the Krueger myth by screenwriters Wesley Strick and Eric Heisserer is solid stuff here. ----------------------- BULLSHIT! They didn't do anything special or new with the story or the characters. It's the same damn story you saw in 1984. With the same damn character play out. The Rod type character still takes the blame for Tina's death. Tina still dies the same way. Rod still goes to jail and dies in there and just like the original- This event pulls Nancy and the Glen like character into the game- It's the same goddamn story. We should praise these two hacks over the micro nap shit and the "Did he, Didn't he?" lame mystery they injected. I laugh at his origin tale play out for this film. He's Ground Keeper Willie now. <P> The parents are barely there. They are only used to show us the fire that made Krueger who he is and the hidden information about what happened to the kids, outside of that they just do not exist- A real writing team would have used them throughout. The parents in all of the previous films were more involved and around. The victims are a joke. The scene replays are a joke. Enough of this "I really like these people, so I have to protect them" crap. AICN backed F13 because Derek Mears was cast as Jason and the FvsJ scripters were behind it. AICN had already been chummy with those guys- Yes there are circles and people tend to protect friends and powerful allies. <P> I was in the chat room ages back and I remember the conversation revolving around these three people with a AICN staffer and Spymunk13. <P> This "but, we kinda like each other and we have a history of sorts, so it's hard to call it shit. When we know it is what it is" has to stop. JEH is an exceptional actor. He will survive and make plenty of other films with better scripts and talents behind them, and he will overcome this mistake. Don't cry for him. He'll be just fine. <P> Those scribes. Fuck them fuck them right in the ass and then the mouth and then the ass again. Done with em. <P> The problem for the film began with that script. Tons of people spoke up in volumes about it fuckuppery before the film began shooting. They should have listened to the fans and fixed it then. My biggest gripe is that they never really tried to actually do something different something original with the property. Something that didn't need to borrow anything outside of the elements of the characters. <P>The only people I see who really tried to do anything different was the practical FX people and JEH. <P> The powers and the writers lifted as much of the original films plot as they could and that was a fucking stupid idea. <P> I still say Rob Zombie's Halloween 2 understood how to do it. It might have failed the fans, but at least Rob tried to tell his own version of those characters at least he tried to make it an original film with an all new original plot play out. That's same type of mentality and creative nature should have been applied to the nightmare remake. <P> There's hardly any Horror icons left for rape now. Candyman, Pinhead, Chucky and the Leprechaun. It's over. Thank god- I could care less what they do with these leftovers. <P> Maybe in 20 years time when this trend starts back up again. Maybe the people who go after this Franchise will care enough to make a statement with the privilege to do so, and maybe they'll really try to explore a way to tell an original tale that only reuses the character element. One that doesn't rely on homages, scene replay/reworkings and reused plot points from the other films. Nolan made his own joker his own batman. It can be done, but you have to have talent to do it right.

  • April 30, 2010, 9:59 a.m. CST

    Backstories are not the issue either

    by TheJudger

    Poorly crafted ones are. I know you can give the Krueger a decent background origins tale. That wouldn't make him a sympathetic monster or bore the audience out of their skulls. He should have been just as cat and mousy as a living entity as he was as a dream demon. Toying with the families of the victims he killed, and the law that tried to prosecute him. <P> It could have been done right with the right creative minds behind it. The original movie tells us that he played the system and got away with his crimes. I personally would have loved to have seen that. You don't have to divulge the drive or events that shaped him to commit those crimes. That part of the backstory doesn't need any play. <P> Showing us the kidnappings the rapes and murders the games he played against the system like max caddy. That would have been a smart path to follow. The law failed to punish him, so a vigilante group did it and they tried to hide it. That could have been shown in a way more realistic fashion than what was decided for use in this remake, and it could have expanded the pallet and disturbing nature of the character with the audience. I'm tired of people waxing out and telling us that origin tales suck. They suck when they try to explain the reasons behind the crimes, not when they actually show the devil at play. If you show the monster at work toying with and beating the things that should bring him down. I'm pretty sure it would resonate and increase the threat factor.

  • April 30, 2010, 10:14 a.m. CST

    13% on RottenTomatos...

    by paviod

    That's got to be a good sign right Harry?

  • April 30, 2010, 10:21 a.m. CST

    Yeah, I think this will be decent...

    by Mrhazard

    but nothing more, nothing less...<p> And seriously, who thought this was REALLY going to be as good as the original, which might be my favorite horror flick from the 80s/slasher era...

  • April 30, 2010, 10:47 a.m. CST

    Although I thought the sequels bastardized Freddy's backstory...

    by Rob0729

    I think the backstory didn't need to be changed. The fact that the new Freddy may be an innocent victim seeking revenge ruins it for me. What made Freddie such a great villian (at least in the first movie and some of the better sequels) was he was evil to the core and always was. He wasn't happy with just killing his victims, but he enjoyed toying and torturing them like cat does with a mouse before he kills them. With Freddie being a potentially innocent victim, it makes him no different than Charles Brosnon in Death Wish. <br><br> I always thought Freddie's backstory got ridiculous with us finding out his mother was actually a nun who was raped by a 100 criminally insane inmates. It was passable in Nightmare 3, but got sillier and sillier in subsequent sequels (much like Freddie's comedic turn).

  • April 30, 2010, 11:06 a.m. CST

    ...The most positive thing i heard about this movie is .

    by yourSTEPDADDY

    ...The kids arent that attractive and looks tired... seriously guys, this makes movies better? by seein less attractive people? are the tbers here that ugly? i thought we watched movies for escapism, but i guess people dont wanna escape to prettyville

  • April 30, 2010, 1:28 p.m. CST

    OMG the kids look tired! What an amazing film!

    by MattmanReturns

    Cuz I've never seen anyone look tired in a movie before. It's so fucking hard to paint bags under an actor's eyes and tell them to stumble around using some strange method called "acting."

  • April 30, 2010, 1:56 p.m. CST

    The studio posted harrys respose and link on twitter just now,

    by theDannerDaliel

    i was nice enough to reply with a link to this review, and the one Mr. Beaks wrote. There is no bad PR right:)

  • April 30, 2010, 3:10 p.m. CST

    Why do directors obesses over backstory?

    by RPLocke

    We don't need all this backstory. Just concentrate on creating a decent character. Why do we want to root for Freddy? He's a fucking killer.

  • April 30, 2010, 3:14 p.m. CST

    Platnum dunes blows

    by Seagalsburger

    Seriously. JEH does what he can with a shit script. They waste Clancy Brown, there are no creative kills, almost no real tension at all. Avoid this like Heidi Fliess's diseased sweat box.

  • April 30, 2010, 3:36 p.m. CST

    Capone, you are so fucking predictable.

    by reflecto

    Once again you end a weakly negative review of a movie AICN pimped hard by begging for us to give it a chance so a sequel with Actor X or Cast Y can "REALLY shine with a good script." STOP ENDING THESE WEAK-ASS REVIEWS BY PROMISING IT WILL ALL BE BETTER IN A SEQUEL. LIVE IN THE NOW. IT FAILED.

  • April 30, 2010, 4:50 p.m. CST

    Sequel

    by KHjLL

    I can't wait for a sequel

  • April 30, 2010, 4:59 p.m. CST

    Its not bad

    by Pop_aristocrat

    First act is weak, but back acts are pretty good. Yes, the parents are dumb, and that's one of the weaknesses of the story. It compiles with the lack of a frame-up story from the first film. Hints of it are there, but the ball is dropped early. However, once disposable kids are disposed of, the film finds a life of its own. I enjoyed it.

  • April 30, 2010, 5:57 p.m. CST

    My review

    by Bramton1

    Saw the movie at a midnight showing last night. To call myself a fan of the Nightmare series is an understatement. I was Freddy for Halloween twice growing up. I owned all seven movies on VHS, eventually traded up for the DVD Box Set, and added Freddy vs. Jason on DVD as well. One of these days, when a Nightmare box set is available on Blu-ray, I'll probably get that too. To some degree, I enjoyed the movie. It's got Freddy in it, so that fact alone makes me want to like it. And this new version was definitely better than of the weakest sequels of the series. But regardless, I think even the bad sequels were more fun. This movie was just missing something. I liked Jackie Earl Haley as Freddy 2.0. The voice was creepy, and he had a great Freddy laugh (nailed the Robert Englund Freddy cackle), and played the role as very sinister. When they pulled a one-liner directly from Part 4, I found the execution to be vastly better than the Englund version. But I'm just not nuts with the makeup. I know they were going for the realist approach, but I'd never looked at pictures of burn victims and thought "That's scary." I've instead thought "That's unnerving," "That's horrible" or "Eww..." I think they bathed Freddy in a little too much light at times, which made it look worse. The makeup worked when it was in low-light, but in brighter lights, it was just "Eww..." This version relied way too much on the "Freddy appears out of nowhere" bit. The cliche "moments of silence and the monster jumps out and scares you" works in moderation, but the filmmakers used that bit constantly. Being that it was almost 2am when the movie ended, my eyes started fluttering a little as the movie neared its climax. Every time I would be drifting off for a few seconds, still able to hear everything, and then be snapped back to attention when Freddy jumped out and said "Boo" (figuratively) AGAIN. The teenagers weren't all that interesting in this one. The filmmakers tried to make them engaging, but I don't think they succeeded too well. For the more part, I looked forward to Freddy ending it with them. Rooney Mara as Nancy and Kyle Gallner as Quentin were the exceptions, but weren't on par with Heather Langenkamp as girl next door Nancy and Johnny Depp as boyfriend Glen. I liked the concept of micro-naps, which is an accurate effect of sleep deprivation. In the original series, the idea was as long as you're asleep, you're safe from Freddy. But in this one, you're told that your own body is ultimately going to betray you, and sooner than you would think. The music wasn't anything to write home about. I think the Freddy theme was part of the charm of the original series, but it only presented itself for a few brief seconds when the title flashed on the screen (there were a few teases in the music as well, but nothing more). The movie was trying to capture the essence of the original, which a few bits from the original series sprinkled in. There was the "Freddy protruded from the wall" shown in the trailer. But while the original latex wall version was terrifying, the new version was a little too CGI. The glove coming out from the bathtub was fun, and in the climax we saw a version of Nancy's legs sinking into the ground (similar to Nancy struggling to run up the stairs in the original), followed by the afore-mentioned one-liner and a tease of Glen's gruesome death scene. There was also one bit that looked to be a carbon copy from Nightmare 3, but then veered into a new approach. The adults were utterly useless. For some reason, there wasn't a single two-parent household in the movie that I could tell. Their only real purpose was to play dumb, and then finally confess when caught in their lie. But there was no panic from them at all as their kids started dying. No self-destructive parent whose life was utterly destroyed by her vigilante actions. I wouldn't mind seeing a sequel, cause (a) it's Freddy, and (b) I think a sequel could be better. The movie was entertaining, it didn't suck, but it doesn't hold a candle to the original.

  • April 30, 2010, 5:59 p.m. CST

    My Review (with paragraph breaks!)

    by Bramton1

    Saw the movie at a midnight showing last night. To call myself a fan of the Nightmare series is an understatement. I was Freddy for Halloween twice growing up. I owned all seven movies on VHS, eventually traded up for the DVD Box Set, and added Freddy vs. Jason on DVD as well. One of these days, when a Nightmare box set is available on Blu-ray, I'll probably get that too.<p>To some degree, I enjoyed the movie. It's got Freddy in it, so that fact alone makes me want to like it. And this new version was definitely better than of the weakest sequels of the series. But regardless, I think even the bad sequels were more fun. This movie was just missing something.<p>I liked Jackie Earl Haley as Freddy 2.0. The voice was creepy, and he had a great Freddy laugh (nailed the Robert Englund Freddy cackle), and played the role as very sinister. When they pulled a one-liner directly from Part 4, I found the execution to be vastly better than the Englund version.<p>But I'm just not nuts with the makeup. I know they were going for the realist approach, but I'd never looked at pictures of burn victims and thought "That's scary." I've instead thought "That's unnerving," "That's horrible" or "Eww..." I think they bathed Freddy in a little too much light at times, which made it look worse. The makeup worked when it was in low-light, but in brighter lights, it was just "Eww..."<p>This version relied way too much on the "Freddy appears out of nowhere" bit. The cliche "moments of silence and the monster jumps out and scares you" works in moderation, but the filmmakers used that bit constantly. Being that it was almost 2am when the movie ended, my eyes started fluttering a little as the movie neared its climax. Every time I would be drifting off for a few seconds, still able to hear everything, and then be snapped back to attention when Freddy jumped out and said "Boo" (figuratively) AGAIN.<p>The teenagers weren't all that interesting in this one. The filmmakers tried to make them engaging, but I don't think they succeeded too well. For the more part, I looked forward to Freddy ending it with them. Rooney Mara as Nancy and Kyle Gallner as Quentin were the exceptions, but weren't on par with Heather Langenkamp as girl next door Nancy and Johnny Depp as boyfriend Glen.<p>I liked the concept of micro-naps, which is an accurate effect of sleep deprivation. In the original series, the idea was as long as you're asleep, you're safe from Freddy. But in this one, you're told that your own body is ultimately going to betray you, and sooner than you would think.<p>The music wasn't anything to write home about. I think the Freddy theme was part of the charm of the original series, but it only presented itself for a few brief seconds when the title flashed on the screen (there were a few teases in the music as well, but nothing more).<p>The movie was trying to capture the essence of the original, which a few bits from the original series sprinkled in. There was the "Freddy protruded from the wall" shown in the trailer. But while the original latex wall version was terrifying, the new version was a little too CGI. The glove coming out from the bathtub was fun, and in the climax we saw a version of Nancy's legs sinking into the ground (similar to Nancy struggling to run up the stairs in the original), followed by the afore-mentioned one-liner and a tease of Glen's gruesome death scene. There was also one bit that looked to be a carbon copy from Nightmare 3, but then veered into a new approach.<p>The adults were utterly useless. For some reason, there wasn't a single two-parent household in the movie that I could tell. Their only real purpose was to play dumb, and then finally confess when caught in their lie. But there was no panic from them at all as their kids started dying. No self-destructive parent whose life was utterly destroyed by her vigilante actions.<p>I wouldn't mind seeing a sequel, cause (a) it's Freddy, and (b) I think a sequel could be better. The movie was entertaining, it didn't suck, but it doesn't hold a candle to the original.

  • April 30, 2010, 6:06 p.m. CST

    Not terrible...

    by ClayG

    It's not terrible, but it seems as though the filmmakers treated this as a story the audience already knows, and so there's not much front end development. That's fine if it's a sequel or even a franchise restart...but not a remake. I think in all horror films, there should be a point in the beginning when things are NOT fucked up, allowing us time to know the characters, so we care when their world goes to hell. By the end, I cared about both Quentin and Nancy--and I liked the film's new Nancy a lot. I don't think the new film is as smart as *any* of the old films--okay, it may be as smart as Freddy's Dead. And I think it lacks imagination, something you can't say about even the weakest of the originals. The new Freddy is scary, but he's scary in the same way Cujo is in that film and novel--he's scary like a big, dumb, persistent, rabid dog. Robert Englund's Freddy was a wolf. Take that for what you will; it's not as bad--or as good--as some have said.

  • April 30, 2010, 6:41 p.m. CST

    Well, of course it SUCKS

    by spud mcspud

    Does anyone seriously think it wouldn't?? Jeebus...

  • April 30, 2010, 6:41 p.m. CST

    A Nightmare on no-name street..

    by The Dark Nolan

    Could have been worse, but it could have been a lot better had it been thought out a lot more. I wish someone could convince a great screenwriter to take a crack at a film like this. The whole film seemed thrown together and the the world within the film seemed centered only on the teens thereby making it hard to distinguish between the real world and the dreamworld. No, that doesn't make it work either. Everything seemed artificial. I've read some posts about "realism." There's none of that in it except maybe Freddy's burnt look. I didn't like the flashbacks telling his story either. Would have preferred a chronological/linear story. The other main problem with the film is that it's made for people who already know everything about the film. There's ZERO character or story development. Anyone who 's new to the series wouldn't have the slightest fucking clue what was going on or who anybody was. The film sludges around at times because the filmmakers were so eager to get to Freddy and the killing. It felt long even though it was only an hour and thirty six minutes, YEESH! I liked Jackie Earle, but he wasn't given enough to do. Ultimately it was another missed opportunity on a potentially cool idea that was spoiled by no namers being handed the keys to the kingdom. FUCK!

  • April 30, 2010, 10:50 p.m. CST

    It's at 15% now...

    by AndoSoundsLikeAMong

    But Harry still might be able to celebrate - the movie he hoped Nightmare would beat in order to get a sequel, Furry Vengeance, sits at only 02%! Can a 02% original movie beat a 15% remake? Answers on Monday!

  • May 1, 2010, 12:17 a.m. CST

    "They failed, but if they do it again, they'll do better"

    by kevred

    That's how I'm reading this. Offhand I can't remember any good sequels to poor films.<p>This review does hint at something that bugs me - all the reboots have very little original content. Mostly just reshoots of old stuff, with a few things twiddled with here and there.<p>Oh, maybe Freddy was a victim - well, you can write fan fiction online if you think that. A full Hollywood film should require more than that.

  • May 1, 2010, 1:57 a.m. CST

    Not Awful But Not Good

    by tallsy

    I really felt the Second Act betrayed the movie. I was surprisingly engaged over the last twenty minutes (considering what went before) and I agree that Mara and Gallner were strong. <p> Not to sound like a perv. But what happened to the sex scene? Maybe they felt they couldn't top a line like "you're tits are stupendous."

  • May 1, 2010, 2:18 a.m. CST

    Yeah...I agree

    by hike499

    I too got on this site before I saw the film - even after seeing all of the trailers and thinking it was going to be terrible. And it was. I honestly don't know why I read reviews on this site anymore. Yeah, it had some OK gore moments (the finale especially), but overall - no reason for it to be remade. Although I wasn't a huge fan of Halloween 2 (Zombie), I will say I was pleased what he did with the story - making it his own. Glad there aren't any horror icons left to really butcher.

  • May 1, 2010, 2:18 a.m. CST

    Since you mentioned it Capone...

    by Ronald Raygun

    What was the reason given behind Leatherface wearing a tie in the remake? I only saw the film once when it first came out, and have completely forgotten most of it.

  • May 1, 2010, 6:10 a.m. CST

    Quints review?

    by TheJudger

    No, yeah? He was real vocal about avoiding spoilers and the screenplay in hope to be virginal for his first viewing. So wheres his 2 cents?????? I purchased a ticket to a different film so I could see this with out supporting it. It sucked so fucking bad.

  • May 1, 2010, 6:12 a.m. CST

    Leactherface was a collector in the original film

    by TheJudger

    He wore Pam braclet after he killed her. Who gives a shit why he wears a nearly impossible to find tie. That has nothing to do with him as a devil at play.

  • May 1, 2010, 2:45 p.m. CST

    The 3rd act saved the movie for me

    by JackSlater4

    I got Freddy, I got puns, and it finally strayed far enough away from the original.

  • May 2, 2010, 12:12 a.m. CST

    But was it as bad as the Squeakquel?

    by killianx

    and are people douches for for going to see it?

  • May 2, 2010, 12:35 a.m. CST

    I heard Harry has an iPad.

    by AzzyAzzy

    Couldn't you have mentioned it at least once?

  • May 2, 2010, 11:58 a.m. CST

    iPad. Such an unfortunate name.

    by Hint_of_Smegma

    Sounds like a sanitary product for 'hip' females. Meanwhile the Nightmare remake is still upsetting me.....like Capone I was truly hoping it'd work, would at least stand alone as a good film. Not even close. Harry's been catching a lot of shit for his review.....a little odd based on the fact it's his personal opinion - but that said, I do wonder how he liked it at all. Mind you there's plenty of films I like that admittedly are a pile of shit so I've answered my own question. Clever me. Haley was great though and the crew put a lot of effort into it. Shame they were fucked over by the writers, the director and the rest of the cast.

  • May 3, 2010, 8:03 a.m. CST

    Giant Almost

    by BeyondStatic

    This movie was Almost descent. Jackie Earl Haley Almost pulled off a creepy Kreuger. The story was Almost descent and the writing Almost not crap. The directing was Almost ok, the best part being Freddie's scissor finger twittle, but that could have been a character bit. This movie was Almost worth the time and money to see. Almost. C'mon. Michael Bay. Produce Better shit!

  • May 3, 2010, 8:48 a.m. CST

    I dug the shit out of this movie

    by Bathman

    work of art - not even close, and it's no better then one of the numororus sequels (well not true - it's much better then nightmare 2, 5 and 6) but holy crap if i didn't enjoy the shit out of this movie. It's fun and has a few jump scares if i had to give it a rating out of 10 it would get a solid 7.5 (in terms of comparriosn the chainsaw remake would get a 7 and the friday 13th remake would get a 6). I think this film is going to split fans and odds are it will dissapear in a week when iron man 2 rapes the box office, but if your a fan of the series i'd say check it out, if not in theaters then on the eventual bluray, you might find you enjoy it if you can manage to seperate your attachment from the original. <P>the only real issue i had in terms of the films logic was <P>*SPOILER*<P>How the hell did the web blogger manage to upload his last video, did he have it timed to upload itself, did someone do it for him, was freddy's "the brain still fucntions after the heart stops" comment meant to convey that freddy puppertierd the dude to hit upload in the last seconds of his life. I don't know, i try not to question logic in movies like this but that little part really took me out of the moment, and thats a bad thing because it was a genuine jump scare that got me but then like a second later I was like "WTF how did he upload that video?"

  • May 5, 2010, 11:03 a.m. CST

    50%off ca,ed hardy t-shirt$15

    by gulugulu

    P90X Extreme Fitness System ONLY ONLY 42$$$$$$$ sorry to disturb u. just take u a little time. If you are in need, welcome to : http:www.uspsfashions.com 50%off ca,ed hardy t-shirt$15 jeans,coach handbag$33,air max90,dunk,polo t-shirt$13,,lacoste t-shirt $13 air jordan for sale,l nba jersy for sale sale,$35,nfl nba jersy for sale free shipping accept paypal credit card lower price fast shippment with higher quality BEST QUALITY GUARANTEE!! SAFTY & HONESTY GUARANTEE!! FAST & PROMPT DELIVERY GUARANTEE!! Packing: All the products are packed with original boxes and tags also retro cards/ code numder Features: AAA QUALITY, COMPETITIVE PRICE AND SERVICE 1) The goods are shipping by air express, such as EMS,the shipping time is in 5-7 business days 2) They are in stock now; 3) Various styles and color for clients’ choice 4) The Products are fit for most people, because of our wholesale price puma gucci$35,nike jordans six ring,yeezy$%5!! new era caps$13 gucci handbags jeans,t-shirts sunglass,caps true religion jeans$35,ca,ed hardy jeans$35 LV,CHANAL,HANDBAGS$35 NIKE SHOX+AIR MAX+TL3+OZ+NZ ONLY $35 UGG TIMBLAND+LACOSTE SHOES+ED HARDY SHOES$35 DIESEL T-SHIRT,GSTAR T-SHIRT,CA T-SHIRT,50% OFF FOR SALE $15 DIOR SUNGLASS,DG SUNGLASS$15 our website: http:www.uspsfashions.com