Comments Off on Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)
Welcome to another review, folks! Now, it’s no secret I have a soft spot for remakes, but that doesn’t mean I won’t judge them accordingly. Plus, I feel for the filmmakers trying to walk the tightrope and balance doing too much to change the story, or not enough. Also, no matter how good a remake, or reboot, is, it will get a fair amount of negativity; such as the incredibly done Evil Dead remake. The movie we’re talking about today is a remake of the first horror movie I ever saw, as a kid. Let’s just say my babysitter, at the time, thought it’d make a great bedtime story. Let’s get to Nightmare On Elm Street.
The film opens up in a diner with a teen, who looks more like he’s in his late 20’s, sitting alone, chugging coffee. Someone should’ve told him caffeine only takes you so far, after that stop you’re gonna need a taser. The waitress bypasses him, holding his sweet nectar of consciousness, and he follows, giving us our first look at the new Freddy Kruger. Well, it’s more like a glimpse through really dirty glasses. The guy wakes up, nursing his newly cut hand, and talking to a friend, who’s purpose for being there was already forgotten. The coffee spills, and he knocks out, again, finding himself fighting the dream. We cut back to reality, he’s asleep, and in serious danger of getting a hickey from a steak knife. With confirmation that this is the thing Kruger needs we watch as the teen cuts his own neck, starting the movie off with a great bit of gore, and a good introduction to a favorite movie monster of many.
We attend the dead teen’s funeral, and, per usual get into some long exposition about….wait…is that another dream sequence? By Krom, it is! The movie is not letting up on the Freddy, at all, they’re laying it on thick, and I’m loving it. The next day the blonde girl is in school, thinking about the mysterious man with the clawed hand, only to fall asleep, again! Has she not figured out this is where she’s vulnerable? This girls seems to be the type to stick the fork in the socket twice, just to make sure it worked. Freddy scares her, she screams, and WHAT a scream, she wakes up, and we move on. Her boyfriend comes over, and pays homage to Wes Craven, via Scream reference, and tries to help her, in a way that I never figured out. Him being there is pretty pointless, except, maybe, to set up a patsy, and witness the horror that comes for them in their sleep. Called it! Blonde is ripped to shreds, gives the room, and her boyfriend, a new coat of red paint, and he’s arrested wearing her like a shine job.
Now, this is where I’d start talking about the differences in the original versus the remake. So. I’m gonna. Let’s start with the tone of the movie. While the original was made to be a horror movie, it used humor to stymie the darkness. Meanwhile, the remake revels in it. Do I like one more than the other? Yes. I like the darker tone, namely because Kruger, himself, as of later years, and movies, has become more hardy-har-har than horror, and I like this return to form. The filmmakers understood they had to pay homage, while innovating, so we have wonderful shots of distorted reality, gory images, and even classic shots reappearing. Lastly, let’s talk Freddy. Robert Englund was iconic, immortalized in this role, and rightfully so. Jackie Earle Haley, however, is just as remarkable. Englund’s portrayal was over the top, even cartoonish at times, while still being scary. While Haley’s take is a lot darker, adding ticks, subtracting the smile, and it works just as well. Classic Freddy will always have a special place in my heart, but, I want to see more of the new Kruger.
Back in the movie, boyfriend boy runs to Nancy’s house. Can’t have a Nightmare movie without her! And tries to tell her what’s going on, only to be arrested shortly after. With each progressing dream sequence we start to learn a little more about the demon haunting the kids’ dreams. Boyfriend guy is in jail, now, trying to stay awake, and…wait for it…fails miserably! Freddy toys with him, displaying the filleted friends like gory trophies. After some teasing Kruger turns the guy into a screaming meat puppet, plunging claws first through the chest. I don’t think he’s going to be okay. And this is another point in favor of the remake: The gore is much more visceral, much more real feeling, I think it has to do with taking the darker tone, and leaving the fantastical behind. Nancy calls another friend, who’s being haunted by the same nightmares, and they try to come up with a plan. And this is something new to the Nightmare movies, as well: The science of sleep. It seems micro-naps will get you killed, even if you’re not aware you’re doing it, like answering your phone while pumping gas. Now that Nancy has entered the mix, things ought to go full steam ahead.
The classic bathtub scene rears it’s awesome head, and little Nancy is sent to Krugerville. He tries to jog her memory of him via face lick, but her alarm goes off and thwarts any further reminding. My question is this: Why would you take a relaxing bath when you’re being hunted by a murderer in your dreams?!? I’d be taking an ice cube shower and doing shots of espresso while blasting the most annoying synth pop I could get my hands on! Moving on. Nancy’s mom is acting suspicious, so Nancy goes on a hunt for information. Mom spills the beans that there was a man named Fred Kruger, who worked at the preschool that all the kids who’ve been murdered attended. This is the beginning of that turn into the seriously dark tone, by implying that the children were molested, but Kruger left town before there were any consequences. Nancy doesn’t buy it, but Scruffy McTeenGuy does. Now our heroes are divided, and we have two very interesting paths this movie is taking.
Next day at swim class, while in the pool, Scruffy McTeenGuy falls asleep in the pool. That’s right, in the middle of the pool! Good gravy almighty! You could take these kids out with some well placed velcro! In the dream Scruffy learns about what really happened to Kruger, a tale we know, but with a twist: It seems that Freddy might’ve been innocent. While he coughs up six gallons of pool water we join Nancy in watching a video series of another teen, posted online, confirming not only the preschool, but Freddy, himself. Scruffy shows up and they go confront his father, the principal, only to get further confirmation that they had no evidence for what Kruger was accused of, but they burnt him, anyways. Oh, hello, old classic shot of dead girl in body bag. It’s still so creepy, even after all these years. Scruffy goes to get more pills so Nancy and him can continue-JUMPING JUPITER JONES! Thanks for the jump scare, Freddy! She falls asleep, is chased into the pharmacy, and gets sliced. Luckily they’re in a pharmacy. But, she also discovers that Kruger can be brought to the real world by holding on to him when she wakes up. That’s a bull I don’t wanna try to ride, thank you!
An epinephrine shot later Scruffy finds out that even with chemical help he can’t escape those pesky micro-naps. Two, count ’em, two jump scares later we head into the final scenes of the movie. No spoilers, here folks! So is this movie better than the original? No, it is completely different, telling the same story with a different narrative. Is this Freddy better than the original? Same answer. Should you give this movie a shot? Abso-friggin’-lutely! Without the nostalgia goggles on, and without trying to compare minutes of the past and the new, this movie stands well enough, on it’s own. And I, personally, hope they make more. Thanks for reading, folks! Stay Tuned!
Watch the trailer for Nightmare On Elm Street