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A Nightmare on Elm Street: (2010)
Directed by Samuel Bayer Written by Wesley Strick & Eric Heisserer
Before I even watch the film again let’s think about why exactly someone would berate a film for the simple fact of an actor they like not being in it. Except the simple fact is that the actor pertaining to the series is Robert Englund, a legend. Period. So naturally, I too had been apart of the skeptical side for a bit when I first heard they were going to remake the film. The fact that Wes Craven wasn’t behind it didn’t really help the argument either. That’s already blasphemy twice according to Horror law. I do however strongly dislike being the person who doesn’t at least watch the film before having a reel opinion.
Trendy and new “teen” cast: check. The same feel, appeal and all around deal on good ‘ol Elm Street: check! So then how could this movie cause ruckus if it appears to have the same elements as in the original? My conclusion being that you just don’t touch classics. I know, I feel completely the same way. HOWEVER, and I shall attempt to paraphrase as best as I can from the man himself (Robert Englund in Q & A at Frightmare): *There are only X amount of ideas, ever. As the movie industry continues to grow and with how technology is ever advancing, it becomes difficult to understand why they do remakes or revamp or whatever the case may be.* He talked on about how he thought the new version would have more CGI since in 1984 they didn’t have the same novelties to play with. However, that Jackie Earle Haley (newer Freddie) did a wonderful job and was a fan himself of his work.
***WARNING: Needing to nerd out momentarily***
Okay, strictly me right now, being able to see Robert Englund speak in person was one of the greatest moments in my life. He is so completely humble and must know EVERYONE in the business, I cannot even recall how many names he went through in the hour but he was very modest and revealed story after story that made it easy to see why he’s a fan favorite to us all. I could have sat there and heard stories all day. So I get it, I really do.
***Thank you and reserving right to let happen again***
Back to the movie. While the story-lines are different and the only thing having stayed was the characters names of Freddie and Nancy, this film is sure to pay its dues to the original with scenes occurring in similar manners. Just with that Samuel Bayer twist to make it his own. Being unfamiliar with making films Bayer has worked typically as a director shooting commercials and music videos. But was sought out personally by Michael Bay who ended up having to send a hand written letter sent to Bayer who had declined twice prior.
The first time the camera gets an actual shot of the new Freddy it is rather overwhelming, to say the least. It certainly appears that we have a new Freddy to fear, a more intimidating one to look in the eye, but the new Freddy just didn’t feel right. The CGI wasn’t that great and it could have gone to other shots used throughout the film. Jackie Earle Haley certainly had the voice down however because of the new makeup for Freddie it made it difficult to always hear the expected perverse wordplay. Seeing Haley play the role of an already well-loved character was a rather difficult task. However the lack of stage presence brought towards the character mixed with the off-putting imagery made me not so interested in seeing a sequel ever made.
The first half of the movie doesn’t even follow the character of Nancy Holbrook (changed from Thompson in the original) so that when it finally does you think “who the heck is this chick, I was just starting to root for the other one.” I know, me too. The girl I am referring is Katie Cassidy who I thought would have been a better choice for Nancy. However Nancy’s character, played by Rooney Mara wasn’t necessarily bad in the part. She played an awkward and “emo” version rather well. There could have been a couple of other just as entertaining young actresses chosen and I probably would have been able to believe their performance just the same though. While she is obviously the victim, she played it too well. Well that’s stupid. Well, if you never rise against that limitation for yourself then you usually end up one of the deceased with Freddy’s imprint on you somewhere.
Kyle Gallner, who seems to continue to make appearances in the “teen” type genre having landed roles in Jennifer’s Body and The Haunting in Connecticut prior, was a nice surprise. Definitely an actor I will be looking forward to seeing in the future simply for the fact that his timid/shy ways and sexy eyes that pull me in are rather entrancing. In the most professional way of course…of course. Kellan Lutz played Dean Russel in the film, er really for about 5 minutes. Lutz has surely been a extra favorite in several films and television shows but I think its time for him to start taking on lead roles. From what I have seen he has only gotten better and who knows, he could even be this generations Paul Walker. I could see that.
Wrapping up though, the rebooted Nightmare wasn’t a bad movie. I think we’re just so used to seeing Robert Englund play the character. I mean, he was Freddy for about 20 years! I had also heard people stating that because Michael Bays name was attached to the project that he would ruin it, so why even bother watching? But he didn’t direct or write it so get over it. They are in the business of making money and if there’s one producer who has perfected it, it’s got to be Bay. Different topics arising though so I’ll leave it at that. The new Nightmare had plenty of moments to make you jerk and get scared just like a horror film should. Actually no, a scary film is more appropriate. It feels like in the horror genre the ones that become classics only reserve the right for a Horror title. Either way is still a decent choice for what to watch one dark and stormy night. The movie keeps your attention, is sure to entertain as much as scare you and overall stand as a good film, while having to remind yourself to stop relating it to the original. They should of made it their own completely or changed how the CGI was used throughout. End result: Just stop messing with our classics.