Director: 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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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.