Aug 31, 2012

Review: A Nightmare on Elm Street - 2010




A Nightmare on Elm Street
Director: Samuel Bayer

2010

Horror


A burned man with a striped sweater, a glove with razor sharp knives and a hat haunts some teenagers in their dreams. The dreams turns out to be more real all the time and if you’re hurt in them, then you’re hurt for real. One by one, the teenagers die violently in their sleep without having an obvious connection between each other. They’re found torn by Freddy Krueger’s knife glove and no one can explain why. The youth’s parents have some of the answers however. They know who the scary man is, why he haunts the kids and what he’s avenging.
                     
I think that the above synopsis is rather unnecessary really. If you read this review you already know what this movie is all about. I think its common knowledge that this is a remake of a classic horror movie from 1984. Very few characters are so iconized as Fred Krueger and its all Robert Englunds doing. And the fact is that even long before this movie was made reality it was rejected by a whole world of horror film communities. All because that Freddy wasn’t portrayed by Robert Englund and that there was no way in hell it would be possible to remake such a classic masterpiece.

I won’t deny that I had my own doubts about it, but I’m so experienced these days that I realize you shouldn’t have preconceptions about these things. You can never know until you’ve actually seen it! To judge a film, or something else for that matter, before you’ve experienced it is plain idiocy! I would place this film in the category of movies that aren’t as bad as everyone who hasn’t seen it claims it to be. I’d say it’s rather good actually! Perhaps comparisons with the original are a stupid thing to do, but some things just can’t be helped. I think that the strength I this movie lies somewhat in the small variations that are made from the original. There are subtle hints to the original that is quite entertaining too.

So it has more strength as a new interpretation of the original story than standalone feature, at least that’s my view about it. Obviously it’s a sign of weakness that you need pre knowledge about it to really enjoy the movie to its fullest, as it’s a sign of weakness that you need to be familiar with short stories and novels to reach an optimal viewing experience. It’s a totally different film than the original films, or at least what the original films came to be after a few sequels. There isn’t very much of the humor from the latter movies of the original series, but there are a few one-liners a couple of times.

The new Freddy, which is played by Jackie Earle Haley (Probably best known from Watchmen), looks rather good through my eyes. There is a difference in makeup but on the other hand it’s more realistic too. It looks as if he was burned and it’s quite creepy actually. There are quite a few surprise effects in it and I for one don’t tend to like them very much. I think they’ve done a great job here though! The effects are nice looking and even if there are some cgi here and there it’s barely noticeable. It looks good more or less. The death scenes are successful and the hints to the original films make it all worthwhile watching. I say films since it’s not all about the first film but about several of them. I think it’s pretty thought through!

Something that I also like about this, something that I not necessarily like when it comes to other remakes (Halloween for example) is that you get a little more background to the story. Freddy isn't just a boogeyman and a killer, you get a little more motivation to the story. What it is that drives him to do what he does and so on. The other characters aren’t very interesting but there’s nothing to distinguish them in a negative way either.

Bottom line is that this was a good and positive acquaintance for me. I wish that all fans of horror could se it without prejudice because if there is something that will ruin it, there you have it! In either case I have a dilemma, I don’t know if I dare to watch the original again, this is so good that I’m worried that my nostalgic memories regarding the original are just that – nostalgic…