Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2010

So I finally got a chance to see the new A Nightmare on Elm Street last night and I was very impressed. Of course I had no expectations due to some lousy reviews I read online, but I don’t think my preconceived notions had much to do with the enjoyment I got out of this film. I was a little bored during the first twenty minutes or so, and a few of the script’s one-liners along with some of the effects had my eyes rolling, but by the time the end credits rolled I found myself loving the film. First of all, one could easily feel a sense of desperation throughout the movie. The young actors had me convinced they hadn’t slept for days but were too afraid to close their eyes. I was especially impressed with the heaviness the two leads conveyed. Secondly, Freddy looked great! I heard that some silly critics were disappointed because the new make-up rendered Freddy expressionless, but that’s nonsense. This new Freddy is evil, and this evil wasn’t just evident in his actions, but in his facial expressions as well. The Freddy Krueger played by Robert Englund became such a cultural icon that he stopped being scary. He became funny, and audiences began to root for him. In the theater I was in, by the time the movie’s heroes defeated Freddy at the end, people were cheering. The new Freddy was definitely not liked by the crowd, mainly because this new version of the story really emphasized that Freddy was a pedophile. Jackie Earle Haley’s performance and suggestive dialogue about molesting his victims when they were children made the viewer feel uncomfortable. This new Freddy isn’t a joke. He’s not a cartoon character and he won’t be the antihero he was in the 80s. It’s easy to tell that I obviously enjoyed this remake. The film offered new twists, good performances, mostly impressive eye candy, and a Freddy that will actually give the audience nightmares.


  1. Here was my issue with the film, and the reason I gave it a thumbs-down in Indianapolis:

    With the technology and effects we have available today, the nightmare scenes should have been epic. Instead, each time the characters slip into a dream sequence we see them taken back to the same basement, to the same daycare where these incidents apparently happened.

    The image of Freddy as a pedophile is an interesting addition to the character, which does create a new dimension of repulsion, but I'm not shocked by it because of the social tenor that has dominated contemporary dialog. (And how were the children discovered to have huge SCARS on their bodies? Not scratches, actual scars. What kind of horrible daycare was this, and how did the parents not know sooner? Poorly thought-out plot devices)

    What really disappoints me is that this was a low-budget horror film that affixed itself to the coattails of a well-known franchise with the expectation of making money. If they expect me to attend the second film (if they continue the series) then I expect the writers / director / producers to meet my expectations.

    Keep it up, Pappy Joe.

  2. I actually liked this one a lot more than I thought I would, not my favorite movie ever but certainly worth watching if you have any interest in the series.

  3. Mort, I wasn't planning on responding to your post, but I can't get over your issues with the film.

    First, you mention your disappointment with the nightmare scenes, but how epic should they have been? What were you expecting? Should these scenes have taken place in space, the desert, in the ocean? The boiler room--the basement--is Freddy's lair. If I recall, the original films began to take Freddy out of his element (like to the beach) before the series became silly (though they were still lots of fun). I guess I'm not sure what you mean by "epic."

    And your argument with the "SCARS" is nit picking don't you think? I don't remember if there were scars on their bodies or scabs, but I do know that kids that age can get dressed and bathe themselves. Children are masters at keeping secrets from their parents and teachers, so I can see why it might have taken a little while for the adults to catch on, which they eventually did anyway. Did it mention in the film how long it took for them to discover the wounds? Trivial.

    And finally, I don't see what your problem is with the film being low budget, with an attempt to capatalize on a famous character. The makers revisited a popular (dead) franchise, and I'm sure those involved were hoping to make money from it. Film is no different than any other form of entertainment, such as politics or religion. Capitalizing will always be part of it. That doesn't mean the producers just threw something together to make a quick buck. Those who were involved did their best to make an updated and entertaining film for a new generation of Freddy fans as well as the old fans, and in my book they succeeded.

    Kiss, kiss, I love you. It was good seeing you again in Indy. Thanks for coming out. Do well at Harvard and take care.