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Take us home, Freddy! A Nightmare on Elm Street 2010 finishes Nightmare Week!

 
A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010),Bitter Balcony, review, movie revieww, movie, bitter
A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

Well, folks, we have finally arrived at the summit of our Nightmare Week special. As much fun as it was to revisit those 1980’s horror flicks, Bitter Balcony is also relived to put a lot of the goofiness the “ Elm Street ” series had behind. Now, without further ado, Bitter Balcony’s review of Samuel Bayer’s “A Nightmare on Elm Street ” (note: some spoilers ahead).

In this reboot of Wes Craven’s original, Robert Englund and his array of cheesy one-liners are gone. Academy Award nominee Jackie Earl Haley takes over the title role, armed with the trademark glove, a 1940’s gangster goon voice, and the most questionable makeup job in recent memory. Even heroine Nancy Thompson gets a new surname (Holbrook) and newcomer Rooney Mara puts a gothed-out spin on Heather Langenkamp’s girl next door. So, is this sinister repaving of Elm Street worth the nap?

The Good: Samuel Bayer delivers on his end, never letting go of the film’s intensity. Genuine uneasiness develops; one that is seldom in the original movies. Performances from young cast are good, never coming across like the incompetent and dumb youths from earlier fare. Jackie Earl Haley doesn’t trump Englund, but he approaches Freddy with chilling integrity.

The Bad: Enough with the praises – here’s where Bitter Balcony steps in. Why did screenwriters Wesley Strick and Eric Heisserer strip Freddy of the one thing integral to him? Is it the ridiculously humorous snippets of dialogue? Nah, we can live with that. The one thing that makes Krueger is the source of his power. The fear he feeds from is what makes his mythology unique. Here, he feeds off the memories of his victims. Mind you, his victims don’t remember who he is until he shows up in their dreams.

Krueger is THE bogeyman, Elm street's horrific cautionary tale. But letting him haunt a specific group of teens makes his motive revenge and the malevolent folk tale is lost for the worse (in fairness, Freddy did go after the kids of the parents that burned him alive in the original story, but avenging his death wasn't imperative). Back to the kids: anybody who is five years old and was molested by a creepy man will remember it. When the film’s main revelation involves these two shortcomings, we lost interest.

The Ugly: It’s hard to overlook Freddy’s burns and not take them seriously. The more we see of Freddy, the more he looks like Ralph Fiennes’ destitute lover from “The English Patient” (and we only remember having pity for that guy). A more demonic makeup job, like Freddy’s look in “New Nightmare,” would have done the trick.

The Verdict: The “Nightmare” remake is worth a look since it’s a better revision than “Friday the 13” or “Halloween.” However, what plagues these remakes is humanizing the lead ghouls. Jason Voorhees is not smart nor does he have Green Beret skills. Michael Myers isn’t a tragic trailer-park kid with bad parents. And Freddy Krueger is not a diabolical Count of Monte Cristo. Some characters are simply evil – and we’re OK with this. These are B-movies rooted in the preposterous, and by adding a human element to the monster takes the mystery and fun away. Next time another '80s monster is brought back, think about this, Hollywood: one wears a hockey mask, the second makes silly jokes and the third one goes around killing people with William Shatner’s face. None of that spells serious.

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Trailer:

Official Site:
A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

Credits:

Directed by: Samuel Bayer
Written by: Wesley Strick, Eric Heisserer
Based on Previous Work by: Wes Craven
Starring: Jackie Earl Haley, Rooney Mara





Source of the Bitter: John Rojas

Comments, rants and other stuffs below
JAS on Sun, 05/02/2010 - 10:56am

So, is this sinister repaving of Elm Street worth the nap? <--- Love it!

John Rojas on Sun, 05/02/2010 - 11:56pm

I make love to words.

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