A Nightmare on Elm Street

14 Jul

Title: A Nightmare on Elm Street
Year: 2010
Director: Samuel Bayer
Writers: Wesley Strick and Eric Heisserer, based on the original characters by Wes Craven
Starring: Jackie Earle Haley, Kyle Gallner, Rooney Mara, Katie Cassidy, Thomas Dekker, Kellan Lutz
MPAA Rating: R, strong bloody horror violence, disturbing images, terror and language
Runtime: 95 min
Major Awards:
IMDb Rating: 5.4
Rotten Tomatoes: 13%

This is the first Nightmare on Elm Street not to star Robert Englund as Freddy Kruegger, instead Jackie Earle Haley was cast, and I didn’t have that much of a problem with that, sure Englund has been Freddy in every single Nightmare-related film or TV entry in the franchise, but as cool as he is the actors aren’t why we watch these films, and even if that is the case Jackie Earle Haley was pretty good in this one, the script did him no favors, though, and made him sound pretty dumb. As for the teenage-victims, well, all they really have to do is look pretty while they’re being slaughtered, I mean, it’s not like any of the ones in this one will have a Johnny Depp career even if Depp did get his start in one of these films, though I did like Katie Cassidy being in this one, she was pretty cool. But the thing that put me off in this latest entry in the franchise is that, while it is actually faithful to the original’s style it didn’t have the twists and scares of the original, or maybe the scares aren’t that scary anymore.

This one does what they all did, we get a handful of teenagers, they are haunted by nightmares and then Freddy finds them and slashes them to death. The thing is, though, that while in the original Freddy was indeed frightening as hell, during every single one since, or at least the ones over the last decade or so, Freddy is just a guy we know all to well, his presence doesn’t really scare us that much anymore, the fact that Wes Craven has nothing to do with this one, and worse still, that Michael Bay does, doesn’t help the cause either, Craven is the one who invented the characters so his hand would have obviously been a good thing, and Bay, well he just knows a thing or to about lacking sensitivity when making movies, even as a producer, and he knew that he could get money out of another one of these so he decided to make one, and, while I’m no fan of Bay, the guy really does know how to make a shitload of money.

But yeah, I hope that this is the last outing for Freddy, he’s a beloved character in the pop culture pantheon, but he’s just not so haunting any more, he’s been at this nearly ten times now and always with the same formulae so it doesn’t feel as scary-good as it did before, worse still, the use of special effects in this one make the scenes with them look silly, while the lack of them in the originals made them look scarier, I like the irony in that.

Bayer, the director in this one (it’s not lost in me that his last name stars with the last name of the aforementioned producer of the film) is a guy who had made a couple of pretty cool music videos before this one, and I haven’t lost my faith in him just because of this, I think that the sucky part of this one can be attributed to Bay, and no, he’s not my escape-goat, I just think that his trademark is all over this one. But oh well, he’ll continue to make money, and he’s currently shooting Transformers 3 and by that I mean he gets to spend time with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, who am I to complain about him?

Grade: C-

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