A Nightmare On Elm Street 2010 Review

WARNING!!! Here There Be Tygers!!! Heavy Spoiler Review! Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here.

A bunch of kids in sleepy Springwood, OH start having very menacing nightmares featuring a man with a bladed hand. They later drop dead one by one in their sleep. Figuring out it was the menacing man behind the killings, the remaining kids race against time and sleep to figure out who this man is and why he’s hunting them down in their dreams.

If you take the name “Platinum Dunes” off this movie….it still wouldn’t make it better.  It’s just horrible. It’s so horrible, it could be a crime against film. Okay, I might be over exaggerating, but still….who greenlit this? Wait, silly question.  This has got to be the worst Michel Bey has put out.

Before I get ahead of myself, let’s get to what was good about this movie. Jackie Earle Haley did his damned best as Fred Kruger and he succeeds sometimes as well. I wouldn’t mind seeing him take a couple sequels in.  The editing and production was not that bad. It was very slick and some of the effects done were good.

But that is where the good ends.

To call this movie a “cash grab” would be an insult to cash grab movies everywhere. This is an unexpected hotel stay. You paid your money and you slept. There wasn’t any inspiration or inventiveness to this movie at all. It was just filmed and canned. That’s it. Just a paint by numbers mess that has all the classic scenes you remember from the original…but without much of the logic. And when these scenes are done, they are done in such a lazy, dull manner, that you simply go “meh” and look at your watch. It’s sad too because I wanted to see what a Sam Beyer movie looked like. If this was a Sam Beyer movie.

The acting was another negative in this little foray. Especially Rooney Mara as Nancy. In the original movie, Nancy was the lead teen who became proactive and faces Freddy head on after seeing all her friends die around her. She grew balls and took initiative. In this version, nothing happens. Rooney’s Nancy is emasculated wallflower that “doesn’t fit in” and draws a lot. And even Rooney doesn’t get that right. She’s stuck in two modes.

Scream and emote in monotone.

That’s it.

My cats could do better as Nancy then Mara. It’s not like it’s hard for her. Everyone else was stuck on “Emote” through this damn thing. Even Freddy.

I think the biggest throbbin flaw in this shame sandwich is the script. You know that some special scriptwriters were needed for this special property. So you knew the only one who could handle this was none other then Wes Strick, scriptwriter from DOOM.

You can’t see it, but I’m rolling my eyes in disgust.

The whole script has plot holes the size of my head. Really. There’s one scene where Nancy comes upon a classmate’s vlog site and she see his final video when he dies. How the hell does that get posted? Really!? How!?

They then introduce the idea of “micro-naps” to the story. “Micro-naps” are a fail safe our bodies set off when we go a certain time without sleep. We dream while we’re awake to replenish the systems. Cool idea right? Welll…they do nothing with it. You would think they would go the surreal route with it. Play with everyone’s mind on what’s real and what’s not, right? Nope. We get visual cues for the dreamtime. So you know when you’re seeing a dream and when you’re in the real.

Yeah.

Then there’s the overabundance of jump scares, which, if you’ll excuse my French, is just fucking lazy scriptwritting and direction.

The biggest dick move the script does is the origin of  Kruger. What they did was take him from vengeful ghost of a child killer taking down by vigilante parents to a gardener of a preschool who was killed by vigilante parents on the pretense that Kruger may have molested their children. Now, there’s nothing wrong with Kruger in a pedophile angle. Wes Kraven originally intended for Kruger to go that route until the accusation on MacMartin Preschool in California started to flair up, so he made Freddy a child killer.

The way they drop this bit of knowledge is what really screws this whole movie up. They imply that he could or could not be guilty and make  the adults of these kids look like really rotten people. That would have been a nice angle expertly played with. Then again, we thought that ol Wes was a great scriptwriter. Nope, they play around with it a bit and just drop it like an old tattered hat. So now you feel crappy for feeling that the parents were rotten and cruddy that you backed Freddy. This leaves you with no one to care about. The cheap excuse of a swerve in the story killed the movie.

This movie didn’t need to be made. The original is still relevant and scary. The surrealism works. There was no reason to remake this. It’s nothing more then a big swindle which made it big last weekend. Bey’s got his money. The tried true formula for Horror in the US is to just phone it in and watch the money pile up. If things don’t change, we’re gonna see more of this in the future.

*sigh*

1 out of 5 stars.

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