MOVIE: A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

I was expecting the worst from this movie, especially after having seen both the remake of Friday the 13th (terrible!) and the one of My Bloody Valentine (only marginally better!) last year.  Remakes of 80’s slasher classics?  Not going well, my friends.  (Though I did like Rob Zombie’s Halloween, I will confess.)

But while I was on vacation last week (house-sitting for my sister in California), my husband and I rented a stack of movies to watch, and I picked this one up for the early morning hours when I’m awake and he’s not (he’s no fan of the slasher genre, more’s the pity).  I was expecting to just have it playing in the background while I did other stuff around the house, but I ended up getting surprisingly sucked into the story from the beginning.  Go figure!

The plot is essentially the same as the original, with a few minor changes that, in my opinion, actually made it stronger (for example, we aren’t sure until the end, really, whether or not Fred Krugar, before he was Freddy Krugar, was really guilty of the crimes he was accused of, and that added an interesting dynamic to everything that was going on between the kids and their parents).  The acting was decent as well, though I thought Freddy would’ve been a lot scarier had they just left Jackie Earle Haley’s voice alone instead of amplifying it into that weirdly loud, gravely, “scary movie” voice.  Unnecessary, and the less real you make the bad guy sound, the less scary he’s going to end up being (have we learned nothing yet, American filmmakers?  Must I continue to make this point in all its various ways?  Apparently, I must.).

It was nice to finally see Rooney Mara in action as well (she’s been in the news a lot lately as she’s starring as Lisbeth Salander in the American versions of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, and I was having trouble picturing her in that role until I saw her in this).  And, well, Clancy Brown, of course, humina humina. ‘Nuff said.

Overall, not bad.  Not bad at all.  Definitely worth a rental if  you like these sorts of things.  Probably NOT worth the extra buck for Blu-Ray, but then again, most things aren’t, I would imagine.  Hi-def, hi-schmef.

[Netflix it | Buy it from Amazon]

Genre: Horror
Cast:  Jackie Earle Haley, Rooney Mara, Kyle Gallner, Katie Cassidy, Thomas Dekker,  Clancy Brown, Connie Britton

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5 Responses to “MOVIE: A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)”

  1. Alisa Says:

    WHAT, this movie sucked! Freddy talked to much and even then he didn’t have the scary,gravelly voice that the real Freddy has, the new actor is too short, and it soooooo wasn’t scary. Meg, we disagree again, tsch, tsch, tshc, LOL

  2. megwood Says:

    The fake-scary gravelly voice was my biggest beef! Also, when was the last time a slasher movie was actually SCARY? When we were 8? Scary’s just soooo not even on my list of criteria with these. Hoping for scary just seems like self-sabotage.

  3. briantoohey Says:

    I’m with ya, Meg. Saw this in the theatres because of Jackie Earle Haley, and enjoyed it. While it’s true it’s not a reboot on the level of Batman Begins or Casino Royale, is that really what people were expecting? I think we were lucky to get something decent and not as horrible as the recent rash of horror remakes. The adult cast, including Clancy Brown, was thoughtfully assembled, the teen cast was actually pretty good, and Haley was great as Kruger, not including the choice for the voice. I think some of the bad reviews and ill will is the result of people remembering something more fondly through a haze of 20-years-old memories. Certainly the tone of this movie was more along the lines of the original versus the increasingly satirical sequels. And while Englund created a modern horror icon and the third film, Dream Warriors, was probably the pinnacle of the quipping Freddy, as the sequels lumbered on and on, the Nightmare franchise just got ridiculous and the movies became god-awful. For all of the criticisms that the new Nightmare got, I’d put it in the top 3-4 of the series, and above the entire Scream franchise, which has really only ever been Craven’s door prize after the Nightmare films got away from him and took on a life of their own.

  4. Liz Says:

    This doesn’t sound bad at all. JEH (heh! another one) was very effective in “Watchmen” (even tho’ the movie itself was WEIRD!); I bet he makes a good “Freddy” (even tho’ I always like Robt. Englund). And Clancy Brown was the ONLY good/scary part of “Pet Sematary II” (yes, I admit, I saw it).

    Slasher flicks are almost BY NATURE a bit silly … and not super scary. And I was never a big fan of the “Nightmare” franchise anyway. However, I’ll be very interested in seeing what Haley brings to such an “iconic” role. And if the kids aren’t incredibly annoying, it might be good fun. I also liked the Rob Zombie re-make of “Halloween.” However, what happened with his “Halloween II??” I thought it really s***ed!

    I’m waiting, with baited breath, to get the book of “Let the Right One In,” because I think I should read it before trying to watch the Swedish movie. I’m hoping that watching it on my iPad will help me read the subtitles, but I think if I know the story and characters a little better, that will help too.

    We saw a dreadful movie over Thansgiving: “Love and Other Drugs.” When it tried to be funny, it was embarrassing, and when it tried to be touching, it was depressing! Also, “The Back-Up Plan,” which I had expected to be rather harmless, was also dreadful! I wanted to see Alex O’Loughlin, but J-Lo was SO boring, and the movie was rather hateful! Give me zombies any day!

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