The wife isn’t a huge horror movie fan, but she’ll indulge me once a year on Halloween. Last year we watched Psycho and the previous year we checked out the original Halloween. I’d had the remake of A Nightmare On Elm Street sitting on my shelf for quite a few months now and I figured Halloween night was a good opportunity to check it out.
In a word… meh.
First off, the flick starts in the middle of a dream which is fine cause it’s keeping in the tone of the original (which incidentally, is one of my favorite horror flicks of all time). The problem here is there’s no character development, no reason for us to care about the characters… nothing.
After we get the first kill the movie about 10 minutes in (which I have to admit was pretty decent) the film REALLY slows down. While we have the character of “Nancy” returning, she’s Nancy in name only. There are very few similarities between this rendition and the original played brilliantly by Heather Langenkamp.
The general plot is the same: Kids are dying in their sleep being hunted by a dream demon (Freddy) who’s pissed off cause the kids’ parents killed him.
However… we’re not even given the name “Freddy” until about 50 minutes into the film. That’s WAY too long in my opinion for such an iconic character that we’re CLEARLY here to see. Jackie Earle Haley does a more than suitable job donning the red and green sweater, but is still overshadowed by Robert England’s version of Freddy. I will say that this version of both Freddy and the film is has quite a bit more gore than the original but unfortunately gore does not a successful horror movie make.
Missing here are two iconic scenes from the original.
- Where dude (Glenn played by Johnny Depp) is pulled into the bed only to spew blood all over the room and
- The most important “Rambo” showdown between Nancy and Freddy
I’m just not sure how you can remake this movie without those two scenes. There were modifications in the reboot of Friday the 13th, but at least that flick had the sense of hitting all the high spots. I do have to say that I loved the fact that they included a scene where the Elm Street parents caught and killed Freddy. Would have liked to have seen that in the original.
This is a decent horror movie at best. However, I can’t even really recommend it. It seems to me as if the film makers said, “Let’s do an amped up, bloodier version of a great movie.” Unfortunately they forgot what made it great… story. If you’re looking for a Nightmare on Elm Street fix go get the original. And tell em Freddy sent ya.