johnlink ranks A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (2010)

I started this  movie while simultaneously asking ‘Why do I do this to myself?’ I mean, the FRIDAY THE 13th remake sucked and the HALLOWEEN remake wasn’t anything good. Why would I think a reboot of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET would be watchable? Oh well, I did it anyway…

I watched A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (2010) on 10.5.11. It was my first viewing of the film. TRAILER HERE

First of all, it could have been a lot worse. This is an imperfect film, though it is one that puts forth an effort (unlike the new FRIDAY THE 13th). It’s errors are numerable, but none are death notices. Here’s a list of some mistakes.

1) The makeup looks great, the practicality of the burns works. So why the insistence on poor CGI at key moments of the film, such as when Freddy is coming out of the wall over the bed. The scene looked better twenty years ago.

2) They buck the trend in script structure here a bit. It is simultaneously a unique device and a downfall of the story. We meet a character, get to know them for 20 minutes or so, and then they die. Rinse and repeat with a new beautiful person in their late 20s playing a teenager. I like that the script tried to buck expectations, but it led to the feeling of going into the climax barely knowing our leads.

3) The acting isn’t particularly good. Jackie Earle Haley is effective as Freddy, but the teens are not good. There is a scene of a girl crying and then being comforted by her ex boyfriend which is historically bad. And the ex is played by John Connor from TV’s decent (though short-lived) THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES. Also, the female lead is a poor woman’s Bella from the TWILIGHT series. And Bella isn’t a good character, so you don’t want to be a low rent version of her.

4) The funeral scene is probably the most cliche filled scene in recent memory. A character dies and we get a pretty person’s funeral complete with rain, a ghost child, and poor actors comforting each other. Weak sauce.

But there is some stuff I genuinely liked. I liked the twists and turns in the parents’ stories, a storyline which is oft forgotten. I appreciated the feel of the dream world, even if the dreams themselves were often predictable. I’d love to see Neil Gaiman take a stab at Freddy’s dreamscape. Freddy himself, is effective in this as well. Not all time great, but we at least get some back story and an attempt at some sort of depth. And, finally, the last moment of the film which is often a horror flick’s most eye-rolling offering, is actually decent without being groundbreaking.

Look, if they made another of these movies I would not be rushing out to see it. But if I was feeling under the weather and looking for a distraction, I’d give it a go. This film could have been much more of a train wreck than it was.





~ by johnlink00 on October 7, 2011.

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