A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (2010)

http://www.nightmareonelmstreet.com/

USA 2010  Directed by: Samuel Bayer Written by: Wesley Strick, Eric Heisserer  Original Characters: Wes Craven Produced by: Michael Bay, Andrew Form, Brad Fuller Cinematography by: Jeff Cutter  Editing: Glen Scantlebury  Music: Steve Jablosnky, Charles Bernstein Cast: Jackie Earle Haley, Rooney Mara, Kyle Gallner, Thomas Dekker, Katie Cassidy, Kellan Lutz

I guess by now everyone pretty much knows the story of Freddy Krueger killing teenagers in their sleep, thus causing their deaths in reality. It was just a matter of time until the recent horror classics remake wave would also reach A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, the only question was if it would be Michael Bay or Rob Zombie doing NIGHTMARE 2010. So it’s Bay, appointing another music video / commercial director to helm NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2010, and he chose Samuel Bayer who actually did Nirvana’s SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT video (which is a really lousy video in my opinion that doesn’t do the song justice).

Now those who grew up with all the original horror flicks hardly need any remakes, but looking at films like NIGHTMARE 2010 it becomes instantly clear that most of the kids watching these remakes have probably never ever heard about any of the originals. Also, their expectation towards pace of editing and visual language are entirely different – I assume today’s kids couldn’t concentrate for more than 10 minutes if watching the original HALLOWEEN, FRIDAY THE 13th or A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET.

Most of the latest remakes look and feel pretty much the same: the directors hardly have any signature style, the movies no trademark character. Well why would they, the originals already had all that, so why bother. They just have to fit the taste of a multiplex audience, and that’s probably the main difference here: the originals were made with a story in mind, the remakes are tailor-made to fit someone’s expectations, and it goes without saying that you can’t create an original by meeting the mass audience’s expectation.

Rob Zombie did a great job though with is first two movies, his remakes however are in no way better than Bay’s franchises. Zombie’s HALLOWEEN being a big disappointment I can’t say I’m too sad seeing Bay doing NIGHTMARE 2010. What’s the difference anyway.

NIGHTMARE 2010 has been slammed for being nothing but a kill-after-kill slasher. Strange. The original may be the original, but just like most slashers from the 80s it’s also hardly more than exactly that in the first place. Seeing NIGHTMARE as a Freudian shocker dealing with teenagers’ life conditions in American society most certainly overrates it. NIGHTMARE now and then is probably just a good story, something the Brothers Grimm could have come up with at some point, and it certainly does a great job toying with the audience blurring the line between dream and reality.

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2010 is not all that bad, the script, direction and acting far better than many have written. I liked the slightly different take it took on the Krueger story and how he relates to the teenagers. It’s one thing I consider better if directly compared to the original. Otherwise it boasts many slasher movie clichés, just like the original, and hence is hardly surprising, but it’s still very effective and nightmarish enough to entertain. Its dream sequence transition technique is repetitive and too simple, but it works well towards the end of the movie when it helps revealing the past, which again I found more interesting than how it’s done in the original.

Watching A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2010 doesn’t harm, it may even kill some time. Was it necessary? No. It doesn’t add anything to the horror movie genre. Once you decide to watch it you’ll have to accept it’s a remake that doesn’t innovate but imitate, doing a decent job with the latter. A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2010 might not be a nightmare of a movie. But it’s like a dream that’s forgotten the very moment you wake up.

J.


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