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

Movie Reviews 101 Halloween Midnight Horror – A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

logoDirector: Wes Craven

Writer: Wes Craven (Screenplay)

Starring: Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp, Johnny Depp, John Saxon, Amanda Wyss, Lin Shaye, Jsu Garcia, Ronee Blakely

 

Plot: Several people are hunted by a cruel serial killer who kills his victims in their dreams. When the survivors are trying to find the reason for being chosen, the murderer won’t lose any chance to kill them as soon as they fall asleep.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Defining Slasher Film

 

Story: A Nightmare on Elm Street starts Tina (Wyss) running through a school and basement, but what she is running from even I don’t think she knows, until Freddy Krueger (Englund) the knife glove welding man appears to wake her from this apparent nightmare. Tina has three friends Nancy (Langenkamp), Rod (Garcia) and Glen (Depp) who agree to stay with her in case she has another nightmare only to discover they all had the same dream about the same man.

It is at this point Nightmare on Elm Street takes a turn for us when we see Tina the woman we thought would be the main character due to the opening scene slip into another nightmare being called for by Freddy. Freddy butchers Tina in here sleep leaving her boyfriend Rod on the run and number one suspect. It becomes clear that Nancy is going to be our leading lady and with her Sheriff father (Saxon) who decides to try and keep her safe by having his men follow her.

Nancy continues to get haunted in her nightmares by the disfigured Freddy Krueger as she discovers the rest of her friends continue to be haunted too. When another one of her friends get killed Nancy starts to learn that her parents may in fact know who the mystery man haunting her dreams really is and sets out to discover the truth about Freddy Krueger.

A Nightmare on Elm Street will always go down as a classic but I do feel people will always remember this one for all the wrong reasons. Now hear me out here, people have always seem Freddy as a wise cracking killer which doesn’t happen until the later films and in fact this film he is serious serial killer. I did like another which I did mention in the description but that was the idea of introducing us to a leading lady only to kill them off early which Craven would do again more famously in Scream. I do think this will always get put into the discussion with horror fans in the same league as Halloween and Friday the 13th but as a solo film it would be hard to take out of the serious leagues of horror, before being taken as a lighter horror because of the wise cracking Freddy. The core elements of the story work very well because what would be scarier than being haunted in your dreams where you are meant to be in the safest place? (8/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Robert Englund: Freddy Krueger is the mystery man haunting the children of Elm Streets dreams, he wears knife gloves and has a tendency to stalk his victims before taunting them, but who is he? We do learn the truth about who Freddy is but the truth brings his motives to life. Robert has less than ten minutes screen time but he still manages to create a horror icon we still consider one of the best today. (8/10)

 freddy

Heather Langenkamp: Nancy Thompson becomes the leading lady as the high school student being haunted by Freddy Krueger, she is the Sheriff daughter and it is her friends that become the victims. Nancy tries to learn how to stop Freddy before he ends up taking her life. Heather does give a good performance has the heroine here making her one of the genuine scream queens of the 80’s. (8/10)

nancy

Johnny Depp: Glen Lantz is Nancy’s boyfriend who never seems to believe in the Freddy Krueger character as he seems to be the only one who doesn’t admit having a dream about him. He constantly lets Nancy down while she tries to find out the truth. Johnny first acting role showed that even in a supporting role he had something special about him and to be part of one of the most iconic death scenes in film history isn’t a bad way to start your career. (7/10)

 glen

John Saxon: LT Donald Thompson is trying to figure out who killed Tina but he is only looking into the world of reality even when his own daughter’s life could be at risk. John does give us a typical detective trying to protect his daughter performance but he doesn’t get enough screen time for what he is trying to cover up. (6/10)

 

Ronee Blakely: Marge Thompson is Nancy’s mother who is hiding the secret about who Freddy really is but we have to wait until she spills the beans once and for all about who and why he is after her daughter. Ronee does a solid job as the overprotective mother with a drinking problem. (6/10)

 

Amanda Wyss: Tina is the girl stalked through the opening sequence before going down in history as Freddy’s first on screen victim with one of the most memorable death scenes in Elm Street history. Amanda does give a good performance even if she is only around for the opening quarter of the film. (7/10)

 

Support Cast: A Nightmare on Elm Street has a small supporting cast that includes another victim but mostly the neighbourhood getting on with their lives while covering up the secret.

 

Director Review: Wes Craven – Wes has to go down as one of the greatest horror directors of all time and this is just one of his franchises he started with the icon of Freddy Krueger. (9/10)

 

Horror: A Nightmare on Elm Street creates a serial killer that haunts dreams making him nearly impossible to escape when he becomes powerful enough. (10/10)

Settings: A Nightmare on Elm Street keeps the settings feeling like an everyday street making the horror seem like it could happen to anyone. (8/10)
Special Effects
: A Nightmare on Elm Street has great specials that have hardly aged at all. (9/10)

Suggestion: A Nightmare on Elm Street is one that has to be watched no matter whether you like horror of not. (Must Watch)

 

Best Part: Opening Kill not holing surprises us.

Worst Part: Last scene.

Kill Of The Film: Tina

Scariest Scene: School scene.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Start of a franchise.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $26.5 Million

Budget: $1.8 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

Tagline:  A scream that wakes you up, might be your own.

Trivia: New Line Cinema was saved from bankruptcy by the success of the film, and was jokingly nicknamed “the house that Freddy built”.

 

Overall: A true classic in the horror genre that will always be popular with the horror fans.

Rating 90

Original v Remake – A Nightmare on Elm Street

Over the years we have seen Hollywood run out of ideas and hit the remake/reboot button on some of the best known films. I have created this scoring system to look at how good or bad the comparisons between the original and remakes are. I haven’t gone for just quality I have looked at a range of subjects.

Today I am going to look at both ‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’ Filmslogo

1 – Stars

With this category I will be looking at which has the bigger names involved. I will be picking 5 main characters and one wild card on each film.

Original – Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon, Johnny Depp, Ronee Blakey and Amanda Wyss

Robert Englund – is one of the biggest icons in horror and would be anybody’s pick for favourite Freddy, but it would be fair to say the love for his performance comes from the one liners including ‘I’m your boyfriend now Nancy’ ‘I beat my high score’ ‘welcome to wonderland, Alice’ ‘How’s this for a wet dream?’ and many more. Who can forget his laugh after each of his kills too?

Heather Langenkamp –was brand new on the scene when she appeared in what was only her second feature film and over the 30 plus years she has never managed to make as big an impact on the industry she could have, with the highlights being her appearances in the sequels.

Johnny Depp – this was his debut feature film and 74 credits later, 3 Oscar nomination he is one of the biggest stars in the Hollywood land now.

Amanda Wyss – Amanda is the actress who has the iconic first death in the film and she went on to become a serial guest star on a range of television shows but kept them going for her whole career up to now.

Ronne Blakey – brings an Oscar nomination to the table but stepped away from acting in the 90’s.

John Saxon – has an amazing list of films to his name working with the biggest names in the business and could easily be the biggest star to appear in this film at the time.

Remake – Rooney Mara, Kyle Gallner, Thomas Dekker, Jackie Earl Haley, Katie Cassidy and Kellan Lutz

Jackie Earle Haley – A former child star who actually auditioned for a role in the original gets the role as replacing the icon Englund. He had 13 years away from acting before returning in 2006 and got nominated for an Oscar, he bought a darker side to Freddy lost the witty lines.

Rooney Mara – Rooney took the lead role and even though she admits she only did it for the money just look how far she has gone since that performance where she was nominated for an Oscar in another remake ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ and followed it up with critical acclaimed performances.

Katie Cassidy – Katie wasn’t a stranger to horror remakes with this being her third all of which have been heavily criticised too. Katie has forged out a successful television career becoming a main character in ‘Arrow’.

Thomas Dekker – was John Connor in the Terminator television show as well as appearing in plenty of horrors.

Kyler Gallner – hasn’t gone onto being able to be a leading man yet but has continued to a supporting actor for many different types of films.

Kellan Lutz – Appeared in the Twilight franchise and is mostly known for his body which lead him to get the role in the legend of Hercules film.

Conclussion – How can you really pick who had the bigger stars Englund is an icon of horror, Depp is now one of the biggest names in Hollywood, but when it comes to the remake Mara is now one of the most sort after actresses and Jackie Earle Haley can creep anyone out with his performance. Dekker and Saxon both come off as great low budget actors who appear in anything, out of the remaining stars I am going to lean towards the remake having an overall bigger star appeal.

Winner – REMAKE

Who is the creepy Freddy Krueger?

Who is the creepy Freddy Krueger?

2 – Story

As the remake should look to use aspects of the original the question here is does the remake build on the original idea enough to make it worth bringing the story back.

Original – I am keeping this basic, we have a group of four friends who all have the same nightmare about a burnt man with a knife glove only when he hurts them in the dreams they die in real life. we hear who he is and how he ended up dead we also see how they fight him off and out of their dreams. All of this was very simple and all you needed in a 80’s slasher film, it was the sequels that looked further into his origin story so anything else you know can’t be used in the conversation against the remake.

Remake – In the remake we have Freddy haunting the dreams of the children because of what the parents did, but where this one stands out is Freddy never killed anyone as a human, he also knew the children when they were young and allegedly molested them. on paper that actually sounds better because it shows that Freddy could have been innocent, where this ends up falling short is the fact he did it and by doing this ruins the fresh idea.

Conclusion – This will come off controversial but I was very close to picking the remake and if the final reveal about Freddy actually committing the crimes didn’t happen it would have one, I have to pick the original here because it bought us an icon that still lives on strong with us 30 years on.

Winner – ORIGINAL

3 – Special Effects

When it comes to a lot of films being remade we get to see different technologies to create special effects, we end up having the clash between practical effects and CGI but which look most effective?

Original – The effects used here in 1984 were brilliant making everything work for a slasher film.

Remake – Has a bigger budget and CGI which helps let the film get to the modern level, the school scene stands out as something very good but otherwise it is standard what you would expect.

Conclusion – I think the original achieves a lot more with the effects available because the remake has such a big budget you would expect it to be almost flawless.

Winner – ORGINAL

4 – Memorable Scenes

Most films always have iconic scenes and with this category I will be picking 3 from each film and looking which will be remembered as the ones everyone goes to about horror scenes.

Original –

  • First it would have to be Tina’s death scenes brutal and will always be remembered as Freddy’s first.
  • Second it would have to be another death scene and this time it will be Glen’s because of how shocking it was in a place you are meant to feel safe.
  • Third will be the school scene where Nancy gets a visit from Tina’s ghost with Freddy waiting for her.

Remake –

  • School scene, which this time we have Kris seeing the visions but the flash between people being there and being gone is the highlight of the film.
  • Actually seeing what happened to Freddy being chased and burnt alive
  • I liked the opening sequences because it was the only original kill.

Conclusion – When you look back in horror film history I think the original will have two iconic moments that everyone still talks about today, I don’t think the remake brings enough new to the table.

Winner – ORIGINAL

5 – Box Office

We all know that Box Office seems to be all that matters in Hollywood but which film made the most money on its budget?

Original – made 14x its budget

Remake – made 3.3x its budget

Winner – ORIGINAL

6 – Awards

We as critics can talk and talk about films, we all have our own opinions but when a film gets nominated for awards it shows how we have come together to praise a film or criticise one. Which film got the most positive awards?

Original – Won 2 Awards and nominated for another 3.

Remake – Won 2 awards and nominated for a further 9, only one award it won was Worst Horror Film. It was nominated for best horror in Empire Awards and won People’s Choice Award but they only pick the commercial films not the real horrors of the year.

Winner – ORIGINAL

7 – My Rating

How do I rate the film, this one is easy to work out but do you agree with my scores?

Original – 90%

Remake – 75%

Winner – ORGINAL

8 – Audience Rating

For this section I am going to look at the scores each film got on IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes with the points going to the highest scoring film.

Original – 7.5 IMBD 94% Rotten Tomatoes

Remake – 5.2 IMDB 15% Rotten Tomatoes

Winner – ORIGINAL

Winner – Original 7 – 1 Remake

In the past I have stuck up for the remake because I do think it did try to change elements from the original, if you take out the Robert Englund factor I do think the remake would get a lot more credit but just too many of the original fans wanted to see the same old Freddy. I also think the remake brings the serious side back to the Krueger character. In the end you will never beat the original but when you compare the two films as individuals you might find that the remake is a lot better than you think, even if it doesn’t quite reach the same levels the original had.