Nightmare on Elm Street

For this review I took a bit of a different approach. I didn’t so much write a flowing kind of review as much as I just took notes while I was watching it, it’s a more “free-flowing” approach if you will. Unfortunately this was just another in a long line of remakes from people that have run out of ideas.

My notes:

Freddy used more as a tool than a personality. Not a good tool though, more like one of those off-brand tools that you get at Wal-Mart. Like instead of Craftsman, it’s Craftyman brand. You use it briefly, find out that it sucks, and try to return it to get the real thing.

Super formulaic – set up, “scary” moment, set up, “scary” moment, wasn’t long that I picked up my laptop and started typing notes. I don’t usually do that, I’d rather watch a movie straight through without interruption but found myself not caring.

Goes straight into it, no back story until a later point when you no longer give a damn, no character development, just cardboard cutout characters I don’t have any vestment in and couldn’t give a rat’s ass less about. Basically your sacrificial sheep devoid of personality.

Too slick looking, scary parts pack no punch and you can see them coming a mile away. Samuel Bayer directs and is known for his slick commercial work. Unfortunately that’s one of the things that plagues this, it looks commercial, not gritty and scary like the original. The original scared the hell out of you with it’s low budget feel and dark intensity. This is way too rich looking for it to convey a sense of fear. Even Jackie Earle Haley can’t save this, a shame, he’s a damn good actor (see him in Watchmen as Rorschach). Here, Freddy looks like an alien who suffered a motorcycle accident where he landed on his face. The lips don’t even move properly when he speaks, it gives the audio the feel of a bad karate movie and just comes off cheap. Robert Englund in the original was terrifying, where Haley’s Freddy is a plastic and rubber distraction.

This movie is like a bad cover band that you see in a hotel night club doing the lounge version of a Led Zeppelin song, you better do a damn good job of it, otherwise it WILL suck and unfortuantely it does. Example: one of the characters falls asleep WHILE SWIMMING. The least they could do would be to put some effort into the formula, this was just lazy and stupid.

The intellectual property of the originals like Nightmare on Elm Street, Psycho, etc., should be locked up in a vault, protected by a guard. The guard’s job is to determine who is worthy of doing a remake of the classic they inquire about. Rob Zombie wants to do Halloween? Sure! Great! Michael Bay wants to produce Nightmare on Elm Street? NAY, KNAVE! YOU are NOT worthy!

Stick with the original, this was awful.

reviewed by Sean McKnight