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The Nightmare on Elm Street Remake Really, Really Sucks

A Nightmare on Elm Street
Directed by Samuel Bayer
Written by Wesley Strick and Eric Heisserer based on characters created by Wes Craven
Warner Bros., 2010

The last of the iconic horror movies that had yet to be remade, A Nightmare on Elm Street is one of the worst of its kind, and this is saying something in light of the Rob Zombie Halloween films.  Producer Michael Bay, who has laid waste to all sensibility in films for the past 15 years, has been behind The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th, Amityville Horror, and The Hitcher remakes and I doubt anyone reading this holds those films in high esteem.  Bay’s formula has been simple: make the films look washed out and dark and more brutal, and has shortchanged suspense.  They are obvious cash grabs, not caring whether you like the films or not but just make it interesting-looking enough to get you in on opening weekend before the movie fades to obscurity.

The plot of the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street basically assumes you’ve seen the original movies, and goes right into scares with no context.  Teenagers fall asleep and have nightmares of a burned man with claws known as Freddy Krueger (Jackie Earle Haley, who necessarily because of the material, is no Robert Englund).  After awhile all these nightmares start getting a little too real, and the kids try sleep deprivation, which of course means that there’s no chance in hell they’re staying awake.

All of these kids have something in common, but their parents are not talking.  Seems as though the teenagers, when they were children, have some sort of a past with the burned man, and the parents want to keep it quiet.  But laughably, the parents don’t seem to have any concern that the kids are mysteriously dying in horrible ways, despite all the warnings of nightmares and Freddy.  Seems like a little information might be helpful in these cases, but oh well.

Ultimately where A Nightmare on Elm Street fails miserably is just the fact that it’s not in any way scary.  Some “suspense” scenes take entirely too long, and I just found myself saying, “Go ahead with the scare already.”  It’s boring as hell, which is another sin.  Remember in the older Nightmares, Freddy Krueger was practically a hero in those movies, cracking wise, killing creatively.  Here, Freddy just has an insatiable blood lust, tying into Bay’s bloodier-is-better mantra.

I’m hoping beyond hope hardly anyone sees this.  It would score a victory in the stance against stupidity.

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