When I found out that I was going to an advance screening of Nightmare on Elm St., I was damn excited. Unlike some of my friends, I was looking forward to this, I was ready to rock out my open mind and I thought as long as I’m entertained, I have nothing to worry about.
Sheesh. Where do I begin….
At first it was hard for me to break the comparison of the original film from this remake. The remake is a lot different so the plot and flow veered off in another direction but most importantly the main characters Freddy and Nancy had to be strong and effective for this movie to work. They were not.
I have to give Jackie Earle Haley some credit, he knew that Freddy is iconic. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never seen a Nightmare movie, you’ve heard his name, you know what he looks like. Everyone knows Freddy. Haley had big knives to fill and not much to work with. Between his bad mix of a “Batman/I holding in the fact I need to poop really bad and hard” voice, he wasn’t selling me as Freddy. I am a loyal Englund fan but I was still willing to be open to a new view. I didn’t like what I saw.
Nancy is also a pivotal character in this story. We know her as a normal, every day girl that decides to fight back once Freddy starts wiping out her friends. Remake Nancy is a shy, nerdy type that doesn’t quite fit the title of “Survivor Girl.” She’s a piece to a puzzle in Freddy’s history which does make her important but for the first part of the movie, Nancy almost comes off as secondary instead of the lead and her performance throughout the movie was stale.
I’m big on back stories so I was looking for more on Freddy as a person before his down fall. From the original movies, we know that Freddy was a child murderer and he was set free on a technicality. The parents of the neighborhood took it upon themselves to hunt him down and kill him. The plan back fired when Freddy started killing their kids in their dreams. The remake back story puts Freddy in a different light. Instead of a murderer, he was a Chester the Molester.
I’m aware that Craven originally wanted the character to have a molesty background but the idea was dropped and changed to murderer. Knowing that beforehand, I tried very hard just to go with it as if it was the way Freddy should be. It was a mess and I was quite uncomfortable with the turn of events once Freddy’s overall intentions were revealed.
The remake does not hold up to the original nor does it do much as a stand alone Nightmare movie.
So should you go out and see it? Meh, why not? I do give the movie some props for having some awesome kills. All the kills were fantastic and made the price of admission worth it. Oh wait, I got in for free, nevermind. I think this is enjoyable on a level where you’re in the theater with people who jump, scream and clap.
I know my fellow horror fans are going to see this regardless so rock on and enjoy it for what it is. (Let’s talk afterwards)
For the normal movie goers, if you go in thinking you’re going to hate it, then you will. If you think “Man, this movie is going to suck.” It’s going to suck times a billion for you, so best to gather some friends, watch the blood splash and get a kick out of the bad acting and strange twist on Freddy.