Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Director: Samuel Bayer

Featuring Jackie Haley, Rooney Mara, and Kyle Gallner

Greetings Film Watchers! I wish a tremendous day to you whichever it is! My name is Ulysses Ashburn, one of your wonderful new contributors. This is my first review on here. I have a take, and I definitely hope it doesn’t suck. So Here we go…

Usually I like to start my reviews with a quote from the film:

“Remember me?”

“A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)” opened in Theaters nationwide on April 30, 2010.

Hey, What are you complaining about? I haven’t even written my review yet… (Inside joke once you see the movie…)

The Story… Freddy Krueger (played by Jackie Earle Haley), a former gardener and alleged pedophile, appears in a group of teenagers’ dreams to terrorize and murder them as part of an ongoing afterlife vengeance spree. In case you were born yesterday, Freddy is one of America’s infamous fictitious serial killers along with Jason, Michael Myers, Chucky, Leatherface, etc. Freddy is mostly known for his shiny glove with knives at the end of the fingers, his badly burned face, his red & green Christmas sweater, and his wanna be Indiana Jones Hat. His rise to fame came through his sense of humor to die for (literally) and his priceless taglines a la “Welcome to Prime-time B*tch!”

The lead character in this remake, Nancy (played by Rooney Mara) and her love interest of the film, Quentin (played by Kyle Gallner) attempt to stay awake/alive and in the meantime investigate why Freddy exists. In the mist of their tired-some journey they witness other teenagers getting “unexplainably” murdered before their very eyes. Will Nancy and Quentin learn the truth and destroy Freddy so they can sleep or will they stay asleep & be stuck in Neverland Ranch with the gloved one who likes children. Whoops sorry, wrong guy… Can’t say I’m far off though, MJ did wear a famous glove, loved children, and was a scary figure at one point. (This joke is a little ruthless coming from me, but if you know me, you’ll understand that I’m big time Michael Jackson fan)

Anyway, let’s look at this film from a technical standpoint. A Freddy film, like any other slasher film, is usually dark as far as lighting. This film will be no exception to the rule. As a matter of fact the dark tone did help give this film a push for what the director was probably trying to do which was make every scene a possible dream scenario for every character which means we could almost see Freddy at anytime. This was also done in the original but only to a certain extent. In this new film it’s too obvious! Anyone would be able to tell when a “Freddy Moment” would occur because every dream, even day dreams are too dramatic and overplayed. I’ll admit they got some cheap “jumps” out of me but that wasn’t until the end of the film and they were very predictable. In the original they were at least a little more clever, unpredictable, and in some cases more elaborate. The sound of this film was ok meaning I wouldn’t buy this film to test an elaborate sound system anytime soon but they made it respectable for a modern day slasher film. As far as cinematography, most scenes were medium to intimate shots which work for Freddy films because he is a very passionate intimate dark character.

Storyline is where I believe most individuals would have the most problems. I’ll admit I’m very bias towards the original because it was a very good film. By very good I mean there is an argument for it being one of top ten, maybe even top 5 horror films of all time. For the majority, the new film follows the structure of the old film. In my opinion the new film should have stayed closer to the structure of its original.
For example (minor spoiler alert)

**Spoiler Alert**

**Nancy’s father is not in the new film. If all you Freddy fans like me can remember right, Nancy’s father plays a key role in both the original film and part 3 of the series (the real sequel to the original).

**End Spoiler**

But this film takes a daring route mostly at the end of this film which I have to respect because it is one of those “would have been good to maybe add in the original” type routes. I’m gonna save that part of the debate for those of you who may have seen it already. There are also different dreams as part as that route that pretty much take the “Rob Zombie” approach with Halloween and actually show Freddy’s origins on how he became so evil looking. We didn’t get to see that until the 6th installment in the Freddy series (well at least that was in 3-D right). All in all, I would say good risks to take, some them worked, but it fell victim to the slasher formula of today which is really this film’s main downfall.

The script wasn’t done to well either with this remake. The original’s script wasn’t much better but the cast had more talent a la Johnny Depp’s first film. Plus the actors and actresses just didn’t over act in the original, which made it work. In this new film it’s so obvious the film almost seems like its making fun of the original in some roles. But like I said, the modern day slasher formula is very evident in this film which is its major downfall.

Now let’s talk about Rorschach (Jackie Haley) as Freddy Krueger. Robert England will always be Freddy Krueger. Just like the late Christopher Reeve will always be Superman, Daniel Radcliffe will always be Harry Potter, Arnold will always be The Terminator, etc. So Jackie being Freddy is like accepting Brandon Routh as Superman, there are going to be those who like it and those who hate. I happen to like it in both cases. Routh had the upper hand because his movie is a sequel and really doesn’t have that much to lose, plus there have been other guys who have played Superman. Jackie Haley has it tougher because he’s the only other one to have played Freddy. He did make it sort of his own, he was a little darker than to what Freddy has become later in the series. However, I don’t believe he matched Mr. England in this original. I would be more scared of England’s Freddy mostly because of his eyes. England’s eyes sell the character a lot in the first 2 films although the 2nd film deserves nothing more than being a drink holder for my favorite beverage. They gave Haley beady eyes which is ok, because they make up in his make-up for his face. He has kind of that Two-Face look from “The Dark Knight” which worked well in the film. Haley’s humor was simple and worked well for what they seemed to approach for this film. I did like the new one-liners and will be using them on my dog (since I’m his worst nightmare now). If the torch is officially passed then I think Jackie Haley would be ok because he didn’t ruin it for me and he was a likeable villain. I would also like to say that he brought some evil innocence (since his character is a pedophile) to that role which helped this film from becoming a possible sinking ship.

So did I like it or not? From my standpoint it’s a 6 out of 10, 2 stars out of 4, a marginal thumbs up that could have been a thumbs down on a bad day. It’s a very average slasher movie. I do believe its one of the better of the remakes but in the end, it’s just a remake.

But either way I’m not going to worry; besides I know I won’t be losing any sleep over it…

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