The latest re-imagining of the horror film A Nightmare on Elm Street is a perfect example why classic cult films should not be re-made for the latest generation of moviegoers.
The film’s plot is the same as the original, where several teens are visited in their dreams by an evil entity called Freddy Krueger (Jackie Earle Haley). Freddy is out on a revenge mission to kill the children of the parents that burned him alive several years back, after they accused him of tormenting their children. Freddy uses his signature knives-for-hand weapon to kill off the children (now teens) one by one.
The problem with this film is that there is that only about the last 15 minutes are watchable – Probably because viewers know that the film will end soon. There is no character development at all in the first three quarters of the film; rather only several of the film’s plastic teen characters are killed off in a way to fill time – and not even in a horrific fashion.
The landscape the filmmakers have to work with regarding the deaths in this film is extremely broad, however no consideration is made to this and the deaths do not really shock nor make the audience cringe (or even laugh – that would’ve been preferable considering what we are given) like a good horror should. The dreamscape element was completely under-utilised in the creativity of each teen’s murder.
The look of the latest Freddy was also quite disappointing. The original Freddy Krueger had a monstrous element to him, however this latest Freddy looks like a severe burn victim survivor (the way filmmakers specifically intended him to look) and is more off-putting then scary.
Credit can be given to Jackie Earle Hayley (Watchmen, Little Children) playing the new Freddy, as he is not overly terrible and does what he can with the poor script in front of him. The other two teenage leads in this film, Rooney Mara (Tanner Hall, Youth in Revolt) and Kyle Gallner (Cherry, Jennifer’s Body) also barely do enough to keep their characters completely lifeless and un-interesting.
This was not a re-make that had to be made. Director Samuel Bayer (formerly a music video director) should stick to what he does best, as film is obviously not the correct format for his talents. The latest Nightmare on Elm Street has slightly tarnished the reputation of the original horror classic that defined a genre and should be avoided at all costs.
For his big scene in the opening sequence, Kellan Lutz chose not to sleep for a few days to get himself into character.