Saturday, September 21, 2013

MR A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

Movie: A Nightmare on Elm Street 
Directed by Samuel Bayer
Release date 2010
Genre Slasher film
Country USA

Here is the Nightmare on Elm Street remake!

Produced by Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes company, already responsible for the Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Friday the 13th remakes, this reboot was this time directed by music videos director Samuel Bayer in 2010.

It is at its simplest form a pretty straightforward remake of the 1984 Wes Craven classic, reimagined for a new generation.

Instead of compacting several aspects of the entire franchise into a single episode like they did with Friday the 13th, they simply went for an update of the film.

Now, since Freddy's become such a huge horror icon over the years, you knew changing any single aspect from it - like recasting Robert Englund's character - would be met with a lot of hostility on the part of the audience.

So let's take a look at the film for what it is... A modern take on the slasher genre.

The story begins in a diner in the fictional town of Springwood.

A kid falls asleep while waiting for his girlfriend. He's been having some pretty strange dreams about a mysterious man in a sweater and fedora. Probably some distant memories from his childhood. But this is no ordinary dream! The man kills him with his glove armed with four blades... and he actually dies in real life!

People think it was a suicide. But this was only the beginning!

Later at the funeral, other teenagers find out they knew each other as a child. Although they don't have any memories of that time.

They start digging into who that mysterious burned man was... Memories seem to resurface.

But slowly, more people succumb to those nightmares that appear more real that reality.

They end up covered in blood once they fall asleep.

They suffer insomnia voluntary, fearing to die asleep.

That strange man from their dreams is discovered to be a certain Freddy Krueger they all knew as children. He was a gardener at their preschool.

Parents found out he touched their children and took justice upon their own hands by killing him in a fire.

The kids had repressed their memories. The parents had hidden the truth...

They learn the truth. But soon, tired by all this, they start to take micro-naps unconsciously. Are they still awake or in a dream? Reality blurs slowly away.

Freddy's coming for them. One. By. One...

The crew decided to go back to the original storyline. And go back to a scarier Freddy Krueger for this remake.

It is true Freddy had became less scary over the years.

The film also decided to focus more on reality and try to get as realistic as possible - dream serial killer aside.

But the problem lies in that the film doesn't try much past the strict minimum. And all in all, everything never comes to full potential and all we are left is a lot of missed opportunities.

This 2010 take on Freddy see Watchmen's Rorsach Jackie Earle Haley take on the iconic role. I think he did a pretty decent job given the circumstances. But he simply doesn't have much presence past the special effects, despite a solid voice. In the role of the victims we get a decent cast from Kyle Gallner, Rooney Mara, Katie Cassidy, Thomas Dekker (John Connor) and Kellan Lutz.

After a great start, it only goes downhill from there.

The film attempts to give a new explanation for the parents' killing of the living Freddy Krueger. I think that worked out decently this time.

Freddy still jokes, but given the new context it gives those a more horrific tone this time, and even works.

The film has a lot of nods, references and even scenes remade shot for shot from the original. They borrowed some deaths/dream sequences from past films of the franchise.

The main issue with this Nightmare on Elm Street version 2010 is that... it simply get really boring really fast.

The entire film feels dull. There is no imagination or attempt at making kills spectacular special effects-wise.

They started toying with the idea of what is reality or nightmare, this concept was briefly touched upon at the beginning and played a bit with the idea of micro-naps near the end. But it was kinda forgotten by the second act in the long run.

There's a serious lack of fun, which comes usually with this kind of film, teenagers being teenagers thus why they end up getting killed... It felt like a simple straightforward Hollywood-produced bland remake.

What made Freddy so unique in the genre, was how he used to manipulate people in his own world, at his mercy. But now he simply cuts them.

In the end we are left with a Freddy given so much more screentime, taking him out of the shadows, and yet he also ends up talking much more than you'd expect from a non-joking non-sarcastic Freddy.

The makeup was awful. Strangely for a film that praised its realistic approach, Freddy's face didn't look neither realistic nor like an actual burn victim as intended. Simply a dull generic demon-ysh design.

Most of the best and most original scenes all actually come from classic scenes from the first film. They kept some similar shots such as Freddy's hand in between the legs, some of the sexual imagery. Only, well, this time he was made more blatantly a child molester (which was only alluded in the originals).

Too much CGi was involved, lacking a good practical impact.

Everything is explained, there is no more mystery left from Freddy's origin to his obsession with the character of Nancy ("his favorite!").

They employed too many stupid "jump scares" only depending on loud musical cues.

Sure. Gone were Freddy's bad puns and over the top humor. But the old Freddy always had that as well being yet an evil despicable person.

And it simply feels like they missed the entire theme of the film. The original was about Freddy killing the innocence, the future, represented by the children. But this 2010 movie is simply quick copy-paste job without much thought put into it.

The music did manage to do its job. It's the only aspect of the entire film that is able to bring the original atmosphere back. The score was composed by Steve Jablonsky, he actually already did The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake and the new Friday the 13th.

Overall, it's a film that had so much potential... only wasted and diluted in a dull script and a soulless inferior copy of the original.

At the end of the day, we are left with a film that is seriously lacking its own identity or lasting aspect. (I can already imagine a reboot coming up in the next decade)

And for the problem most fans seem to complain either way of the argument, Freddy's always been a child molester AND killer. At least that's how Wes Craven imagined him, which had been toned down in the original film due to a scandal at the time. Some fans tend to try rationalizing or sanitizing Freddy Krueger due to a childhood "crush" on the killer.. but that is ignoring the main issue here with this film.

What the problem is with this film is that... it's simply boring.

There's no subtlety be it in the film itself or regarding Freddy's backstory.

An interesting alternative take on this remake would have been giving some doubt regarding Freddy Krueger's innocence when the families burnt him for example. But no, they didn't even try any original or slightly interesting creative idea regarding this film.

I give it:
1 / 3 Necronomicons!

No comments:

Post a Comment