A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (C)
It has been so long since I have seen the 1984 original A Nightmare on Elm Street, the genious of Wes Craven, and I was also very young when I did. That said, this remake was more like a first showing than a refresher. Walking into the movie with that mentality, this movie disappointed me quite a bit by the end.
The remake stars Jackie Earle Haley (Rorschach from Watchmen) as the infamous Freddy Krueger. He infiltrates the dreams of teens who have grown up from when Kruger knew them as children while he was a human working at their daycare.
The film itself is full of intense scenes, especially the terrorizing dream sequences. The intensity pours through the screen during the haunting nightmares as Krueger chases down the teens in their sleeping states. The nightmares were definitely the best feature in this movie.
Despite the movie being full of intensity, it featured little to no suspense. The fear for what could happen next was bland and so similar to how horror movies are played out today; tons of grotesque gore to substitute for actual creative elemental fear.
My heart was never racing while Kruger was actually on the screen, but only when he was hidden in the shadows or stalking his prey. The Krueger close-ups were supposed to impose fear into the audience, but I never felt it.
The scenes between the terrorizing from Krueger in the dream state were mostly boring and did not feature nearly enough substance to spark interest in the teen characters.
The acting from the teenagers was very good for the most part. Their fear was real and helped bolster the intensity on screen while they were being petrified by Krueger. Horror movies are always better when the victims seem genuinely scared, and the supporting cast worked their part well.
Haley did a decent job as Krueger, but it is hard to live up to the legend that is Robert Englund. Haley never struck fear into me like I remember Englund doing. The voice Haley forged was creepy, but not enough to create a freaky Krueger-like persona.
The writing was very good at times and mediocre at others. It was hard to sit through some parts of this film and even harder to sit through the stupidity of some of the characters (i.e. the teen's parents). Some of the dialogue was also so cliche I was seething with disappointment.
Overall, A Nightmare of Elm Street was more grotesque and violent than scary. It featured very little suspense and a lot of jumping flashes of danger with a loud drum blast to try to jerk fear into the audience. This movie felt more like the failure that is most horror movies in Hollywood today than the classic of Wes Craven.
Die hard fans will most likely be disappointed from this remake, but it is worth a view to formulate you own opinion and at least see the impressive visual imagery that is the Krueger-run dream world.