FILM REVIEW: A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
A darker and more volatile Freddy Krueger...
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When word got out that A Nightmare on Elm Street was getting a remake and someone other than Robert Englund would be donning the bladed glove and fedora, fans were extremely disappointed and doubtful of the film's success. Being a huge fan of the Nightmare films, I was also extremely skeptical of seeing another actor play the role of the iconic boogeyman. Surprisingly, this new venture on Elm Street does not disappoint. The film retains the darker element that made the original film a success and places them in a modern setting which connect with today's audience.
The film features a few familiar names and some unfamiliar ones as well. Just like in the original film, Nancy (played by Rooney Mara) is the lead character, but this time around she is portrayed as an antisocial and mysterious teen that spends most of her time moonlighting as a waitress at the local diner or locked up in her room drawing surreal scribbles in charcoal. The first female to meet her untimely demise during her slumber is a blonde named Kris (played by Katie Cassidy) whose name was originally Tina in the 1984 film. Several iconic scenes from the original release are infused into this modern nightmare such as Nancy's bath tub scene and several others. Unlike other previous horror remakes, this film stays very faithful to the original story of Freddy and also sheds much needed light on Fred Krueger's and his young victims past. With today's advancement in film technology, I expected a little more creativity in the dream sequences and kills, however the film was still very entertaining.
The main concern that I had about this film was how good a job Jackie Earle Haley would do playing the role of Freddy. Surprisingly, his performance did not disappoint. Many Nightmare purists will probably disagree with me on this subject mainly because they were expecting to see Robert Englund's personality and mannerisms in the film. Jackie's version of Freddy Krueger is dark and volatile with very little comical aspects. Freddy Krueger's burned face looks a lot more realistic in this film as it accurately portrays the scarring and melted flesh of a real burn victim. The traditional Freddy make-up was a lot more accommodating to Robert Englund's facial features which many prefer but the new look looks a lot more believable this time around.
Although there are a handful of scenes from the original that I would have liked to see in this remake, it was thoroughly entertaining and pretty scary at times. With the significant shortage of horror films this year, this new take on A Nightmare on Elm Street may just turn out to be the best horror release this year.
- Jorge Pelaez