A Nightmare on Elm Street
In Attendance- Me, James, Chris and Susie. (The rest of us were MIA for this one... punks.)
Cast Members of Note- Jackie Earle Haley, Rooney Mara, Katie Cassidy, Kyle Gallner, Thomas Dekker, Clancy Brown, and Connie Britton.
What's it About?- Dirty fedora, red and green striped sweater, burnt face and the finger knives... who in the world doesn't know and love Freddy Krueger to some degree? Freddy makes up one third of the holy trinity (Jason and Michael), whom are so iconic that they are recognized by first name alone. Freddy is the only one of them that really requires an actor to play them, and not just a stunt man in a mask. I guess what I'm saying is that he's the man.
As horror fans, we all know this story though some of the details have changed since the 1984 version; A creepy Gardner molests/(possibly kills?) some kids, the local parents hunt him down and set him on fire, and he comes back years later, haunting the dreams of those same children, in search of some good old fashioned get back.
There's really nothing else to say in this section, as it's a remake and we all know what's going on. There are some questions to be answered though, like can Tina and her friends stay awake long enough to stop Freddy? Wills staying awake even keep them safe? Does anyone else remember how bad of an actress Ronee Blakley was?
The Good- A surprised as I was when I found my self excited by the trailer to this movie many months ago, I'm even more surprised that I liked the finished product better. The main reason that this movie even comes close to working, is the brilliance of Jackie Earle Haley's Freddy; that guy has been on a tear since returning to Hollywood a few years ago, and his version of Freddy is just superb. He feels more "real" than "monster" in the remake, which serves to makes him a bit more ominous than the original character. The new Freddy is more of a molester than child killer, and he's actually killing the kids that ratted him out rather than just the kids of the parents who burned him alive. they are his "special friends", and the whole thing is just creepy.
The melding of the real and dream worlds was handled in an interesting way here too, blurring in and out when the characters are merely sleepy/sleep deprived and not just fully asleep, which makes Freddy that much more menacing. He can get you while you're half awake! Freddy also has the ability to pull you into a dream to "show" you something, or keep you there even after you die in the waking world. the small changes added to the overall effect, which was a good thing.
Rooney Mara and Katie Cassidy did a nice job here too. Besides looking hot, they actually know how to act, especially Katie. And what can you say about Clancy Brown? The guy is hands down one of the best character guys in the business, and he does his thing here just as well. A great cast overall.
In my opinion, the original NOES series lost it's way when it became more about Freddy's one-liners and jokes than blood and mayhem. The original NOES, Dream Warriors and New Nightmare were about the only great ones in the series. The rest made me cringe more often than not. This remake brings back the coolness, the blood, and the menace. Nice job.
The Bad- Jackie Earle Haley played Freddy as well as Robert Englund did. Yeah, I just went there. I want to smack myself in the mouth for even saying that, but it's true. Both performances are a bit different, but both are also effective and fantastic in their own way. Sorry Robert, I never thought I would utter such horror blasphemy. We still love you too.
The Downright Horrendous- As good as this movie was, Hollywood needs to scale back on the remakes. Keep a few here and there, like this one or The Crazies, but we need new stories, new ideas and new directions. Hell, make more sequels, or maybe start remaking crappy old horror flicks like C.H.U.D. or Don't Go in the Basement or something. There aren't many horror holy grails left to remake after this one, and soon there will come a day when no classic genre movie will ever truly stand alone. Please stop the madness.
The Gory- Freddy got pretty bloody in this one, which surprised me. Of course there's no bed-geyser of blood in the remake, but the gloves definitely get a work out.
The Naked- Rooney Mara's naked upper back is all that we get here. Connie Britton's boobs did an awesome job here too, even though it was from behind her shirt... the same with Katie Cassidy's ass/pants.
Best Line- "Wake up! ... You're bleedin'"
What did we learn?- Freddy's still comin' for you. Also, Don't let the janitor play with your kids.
The Master Says- A- (9.5/10) Sure it's a remake of a film that didn't need to be remade in any way, shape or form, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a great flick in it's own right. Jackie Earle Haley did Robert Englund's legacy proud and gave us a realistic, creepy Freddy. Remakes tend to suck, but some of them can be worthwhile, and this is one of them. Don't be biased. Check it out, and you may just have another Elm Street film to love alongside of the classic ones that you already do.
Final Thoughts- Let us not forget the bevy of beauties that starred in this movie. In fact, check below for some very attractive pics of the female cast members...