Movie Reviews 101 Halloween Midnight Horror – A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

logoDirector: Samuel Bayer

Writer: Wesley Strick, Eric Heisserer (Screenplay) Wesley Strick (Story) Wes Craven (Characters)

Starring: Jackie Earle Haley, Kyle Gallner, Rooney Mara, Katie Cassidy, Thomas Dekker, Kellan Lutz, Clancy Brown, Connie Britton

 

Plot: The spectre of a dead child rapist haunts the children of the parents who murdered him, stalking and killing them in their dreams.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Remake Deserves Better Praise

 

Story: A Nightmare on Elm Street starts by taking us back to Springwood and puts us into a nightmare of Dean Russell (Lutz) where he meets Freddy Krueger (Haley) before waking up and introducing to all the characters, Nancy (Mara) working in the diner Kris (Cassidy), Quentin (Gallner) and Jesse (Dekker). Continuing the opening sequence we see Dean fall back asleep and it is here where Freddy takes his first victim.

We start to see the side effects of the death of Dean as Kris starts to try and learn about why she was in photos as a young girl with Dean and never remembers being friends with him at that age. The friends all start having the nightmares about Freddy and the friends have to try and find a way to stay alive. The truth about who Freddy is takes a different turn this time around which brings the connection to him a lot closer to home for our characters.

A Nightmare on Elm Street is a re-imaging of what can only be put as a classic, people slammed this movie right left and centre. I have gone through all of the Elm Street films in a week and I can safely say this remake deserves higher praise that what it got. The film doesn’t waste too much time explaining about Freddy but instead looks into the idea that the children actually have a connection with Freddy before he is killed. I also liked the idea that the story teases the idea that Freddy could have been innocent. On the negative side of this we lose the serial killer side downgrading Freddy to child molester (which I know is still bad but he doesn’t have the same level of threat). We do end up having a couple of similar deaths which doesn’t seem to fit the idea of the re-creation, we also have re-hashed lines that don’t fit the situation. I also hated the final scene but both films use this to make us question everything we have seen. Overall the story does give us new ideas but it is the ideas of repeating older storylines ruining the idea of a re-imagination. (6/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Jackie Earle Haley: Freddy Krueger is the serial killer from our teenager’s dreams he is darker than previous outing but still possess his sinister laugh. We learn what happened to Freddy but what is much more interesting in this outing is we get teased about his potential innocence. Jackie does a good job in the role bringing a new darker style to the icon. (7/10)

 freddy

Kyle Gallner: Quentin Smith is the fellow student who has a crush on Nancy and as Freddy starts taking his victims he ends up working with her to save themselves before it is too late. Kyle does a solid job in the role but doesn’t really shine to the level required. (5/10)

quentin

Rooney Mara: Nancy Holbrook is our leading lady who works with Quentin to try and save herself from Freddy, she digs into the past to learn the terrifying truth about who Freddy really is. Rooney has openly admitted she did this role for the money and you can see in her performance because we all know the potential she has. (5/10)

 nancy

Katie Cassidy: Kris Fowles is the false lead in the film much like the original had who starts getting visions of Freddy but most importantly starts putting together the connection between her and her friends at a younger age. Katie gives a solid performance continuing her horror trend as a victim. (6/10)

 kris

Thomas Dekker: Jesse Braun is the teenager who is left to be responsible for the killing of Kris even though we see he had nothing to do with it. Jesse helps pass on the message about what is happen to Nancy before being killed. Thomas does a solid job but never really gets enough time on screen to make an impact. (6/10)

 

Support Cast: A Nightmare on Elm Street has a supporting cast that includes the parents that are covering up the secret and for the most part that is all we have as extra cast members.

 

Director Review: Samuel Bayer – Samuel does a solid job directing bringing a new approach to a much loved film which works in places but not in others. (6/10)

 

Horror: A Nightmare on Elm Street brings a creepy darker side to the story but struggles to reach any real scare levels. (7/10)

Mystery: A Nightmare on Elm Street adds in a mystery angle about the connection between the children and Freddy. (9/10)

Thriller: A Nightmare on Elm Street keeps you guessing to what the connection is because it goes in a different direction that we have seen previously. (7/10)

Settings: A Nightmare on Elm Street keeps the settings similar to what we would expect to see and have seen before adding to the horror levels. (7/10)
Special Effects
: A Nightmare on Elm Street uses good effects to create the nightmare sequences and Freddy make up. (8/10)

Suggestion: A Nightmare on Elm Street is one to try, I know people love the original and will always compare it but as a stand-alone movie this is actually a solid horror film. (Horror Fans Try)

 

Best Part: Teasing the idea of the innocent Freddy.

Worst Part: Showing us he wasn’t innocent.

Kill Of The Film: Dean because it is the only original one.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $115 Million

Budget: $27 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

Tagline: Never Sleep Again.

Trivia: Johnny Depp accompanied his friend Jackie Earle Haley to auditions for A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). Instead of Haley being chosen for a role, it was Depp who was spotted by director Wes Craven, who asked him if he would like to read for a part. Depp got a part in that film, Haley didn’t, but Haley would go on to play Freddy in this remake 26 years later.

 

Overall: A brave re-imagination that brings new ideas to the franchise while still using the older ones, better than people give it credit for but no classic.

Rating 75

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Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

logoDirector: Tommy Lee Wallace

Writer: Tommy Lee Wallace (Screenplay)

Starring: Tom Atkins, Stacey Nelkin, Dan O’Herlihy, Michael Currie, Ralph Strait, Jadeen Barbor

Plot: A large Halloween mask-making company has plans to kill millions of American children with something sinister hidden in Halloween masks.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Slow start, but Great Finish

Story: Halloween III Season of the Witch starts with a man running for his life and a group of suited man chasing him down. The man ends up in hospital giving us a chance to meet our leading man Doctor Daniel Challis (Atkins) who treats the man before he finally get killed with the killer committing suicide afterwards.

For some reason we have one scene telling us next to nothing to show each day passing towards Halloween, before Daniel teams up with Ellie (Nelkin) the deceased man’s daughter to look into his obsession with a new line of Halloween masks being released.

Daniel and Ellie’s investigation takes them to the small town with the factory in, it has strict rules and the mysterious toy maker Cochran (O’Herlihy) keeps everything involved with outside people and if anyone bad mouths the copy the usual end up dead. When Daniel and Ellie finally learn the truth the race against time to stop the evil toy makers plan from happening.

Halloween III Season of the Witch is the follow on the to Halloween, without the Halloween major character from the original idea, yes, NO MICHAEL MYERS, but still the film actually works out well by the end. I was hugely disappointed and bored during the first half and very confused about the lack of witch inclusion. In the end it was a twisted version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with a very good twisted idea of trying to take over the world. I was surprised with the end that fully pulled me in even after the slow start. (7/10)

Actor Review

Tom Atkins: Daniel Challis is a doctor whose patient is murdered under his care, he starts to investigate with the man’s daughter only to find himself in the middle of a cult like community manufacturing Halloween masks. Tom does a solid job in the leading role. (6/10)

Stacey Nelkin: Ellie Grimbridge is the daughter of the first victim who wants to know the truth but when she ends up learning the truth she must fight to survive the evil toy maker. Stacey makes for a good partner in investigating. (6/10)

Dan O’Herlihy: Conal Cochran is the evil toy maker planning to use his new Halloween masks to control the children of the world, he is calm and calculated with his plan which has devastating effects. Dan does a good job as the evil toy maker. (7/10)

Support Cast: Halloween III Season of the Witch ha your trademark disposable character for a horror film.

Director Review: Tommy Lee Wallace – Tommy does an interesting job with this film giving us a slow start but great ending. (7/10)

Horror: Halloween III Season of the Witch doesn’t really give us enough horror early on but in the final act we get some true terror. (7/10)

Settings: Halloween III Season of the Witch brings us into a new town where everyone works for the toy company. (7/10)
Special Effects: Halloween III Season of the Witch has good special effects used for the kills. (8/10)

Suggestion: Halloween III Season of the Witch is one film that many people criticise but by the end people will enjoy. (Horror Fans Try)

Best Part: Testing.

Worst Part: First half.

Kill Of The Film: Test room

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: The Halloween franchise did continue.

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $14.4 Million

Budget: $2.5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

Tagline: Witchcraft enters the computer age, and a different terror begins.

Trivia: After Michael Myers died at the end of Halloween II (1981), the plan by John Carpenter was to make a new “Halloween” movie each year, each telling a different Halloween-related story. After this movie underperformed at the box office, the film-makers decided to bring Michael back to life for future sequels.

Overall: A surprisingly good horror film because of the final act of the film.

Rating 65

 

Halloween Kingathon – The Shining (1980)

Banner-2logoDirector: Stanley Kubrick

Writer: Stanley Kubrick, Diane Johnson (Screenplay) Stephen King (Novel)

Starring: Jack Nicholson, Shelly Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers, Barry Nelson

Plot: A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: A True Classic

Story: The Shining starts with the Jack Torrance (Nicholson) going to the isolated hotel for an interview for the new caretaker during the off season. Jack has a family with wife Wendy (Duvall) and son Danny (Lloyd) who has the ability to see into the future with his finger named Tony. With the family moving into the Overlook Hotel they get the grand tour from Dick Hallorann (Crothers) who has a connection with Danny through mind reading known as The Shining.

The family now alone in the hotel Jack starts to write his novel and as the days go past we start to see a change in Jack as he becomes more hostile toward his family before going over the edge with the help from the ghosts haunting the hotel.

The Shining will always go down as a true classic and what can I really say that hasn’t been said already? The film uses the isolation idea to a new level that rarely gets used anymore, with brilliant shots throughout and with the horror moments being measured perfectly. Nothing more to be said than the perfect horror thriller. (10/10)

Actor Review

Jack Nicholson: Jack Torrance is the writer who takes the job as the caretaker in an isolated hotel with his family for the winter, it seems like the perfect job but when he starts getting haunted by the hotels ghosts he becomes dangerous to his family as he wants to keep these ghosts happy. Jack gives one of his best performances of his career in this film that will always be remembered for Here’s Johnny. (10/10)jack

Shelley Duvall: Wendy Torrance is the wife of Jack and mother of Danny, she likes the idea of the job which gives the family time to spend away from the busy world, but once she finds out what is happening to Jack she has to fight to save her own and Danny’s lives. While Shelley could be considered to over play this role I think it works great opposite Nicholson’s performance. (8/10)wendy nd danny

Danny Lloyd: Danny is the son of the family who has the ability to talk through minds known as the shining as well as having an imaginary friend Tony that warns him of things happening. Danny does a good job in this early role for the young actor. (7/10)

Support Cast: The Shining doesn’t have much a supporting cast with most being the ghosts haunting the hotel and the cook who connections with Danny.

Director Review: Stanley KubrickStanley brings us one film that could easily be his masterpiece and a stand out for horror. (10/10)

Horror: The Shining builds on every side of horror throughout the film, with wonderful suspense and no need for jump scares. (10/10)

Settings: The Shining keeps nearly the whole film in the hotel creating a real sense of isolation from start to finish. (10/10)

Suggestion: The Shining is one that every single horror fan and film fan in general should see at least once. (Must Watch)

Best Part: Jack coming after family.

Worst Part: There isn’t one.

Favourite Quote: JackHere’s Johnny

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $19 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 24 Minutes

Tagline: The Horror is driving him crazy

Overall: A true masterpiece in the horror genre

Rating 95