A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

July 28, 2011

I didn’t have any nightmares…so disappointing. I was looking forward to waking up screaming in terror, as opposed to how I usually wake up screaming on a Sunday morning…screaming at my kids for trying to kill each other over the kitchen play set.

I’m NOT the type to get nightmares from scary movies, at least as an adult. But when I was a kid, commercials for the original Nightmare on Elm Street were my number one source of nightmares for quite a while. (Even though my dad let us watch fucked up horror movies on network TV – edited for content, but still scary as shit – my mom at least had enough sense to not let us rent the real thing until we were teenagers. In any case, I was grown before I saw the original, edited or uncut.) Freddy and Carrie kept me up for nights on end. I don’t even recall ever having a nightmare with Freddy in it, it was usually nightmares about the floors turning to goop and sinking into the floor. Or falling into the AC vents in the floor. I still shudder just thinking about nightmares I had over 25 years ago. That being said, the goopy floors ARE back for the remake, but they are not nearly as nightmare inducing.

The basic plot is the same as the original, except Freddy Krueger isn’t a child killer – he’s a child molestor. That makes him way creepier than a garden-variety murderer. The new Freddy make-up was also creepier – Jackie Earle Haley looked like a real burn victim. The original Freddy had Robert England’s very distinctive nose, so giving the new Freddy no nose was an easy was to differentiate the two. I didn’t mind those two changes, but I did mind the change to Freddy’s personality. They got rid of his sense of humor! The old Freddy would drown you in a waterbed and make a ‘wet dreams’ joke – or turn you into a cockroach. The new Freddy doesn’t have time for that shit, he just sneaks up on you and licks your ear. Scary? I guess so. Fun? Not hardly. Freddy didn’t have much of his trademark humor in the original film, but eliminating that aspect of his character entirely disappointed me. I like Freddy because he is a smart trickster, not a dumb,
shambling death machine like Jason and Michael.

I liked the new Nancy. She was vulnerable, but still tough. Trying to picture her as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo…maybe I should read the book first.

So they’ve remade all the greats. I’ve seen Chainsaw, but I have not yet seen Halloween or Friday the 13th. I’ll have to check them out soon to verify whether they’re as mediocre as I expect them to be. The problem with all these remakes – and many of the original horror movies released these days – is that they’ve amped up the gore with computer effects, but there has been less effort to improve the emotional impact of these horror films. Cabin Fever and Jeepers Creepers had a high gore factor, but still had high emotional impact…for me anyway. Then again, those films are 9-10 years old now and I’m having a hard time thinking of a more recent horror film that provides the whole package. I’m holding out hope for Human Centipede though…


Year – 2010
Rating – R
Runtime – 95 minutes
Genre – Freddy Krueger
Director(s) – Samuel Bayer
Writer(s) – Wesley Strick, Eric Heisserer
Actor(s) – Jackie Earle Haley, Kyle Gallner, Rooney Mara, Clancy Brown, Connie Britton
BOB Rating – Two BOBs
Favorite Quote – "Did you know that after the heart stops beating the brain can function for well over seven minutes? We got six more minutes to play." - Freddy Krueger (Jackie Earle Haley)