A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
I hope that my bias against the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise hasn’t clouded my judgment, but the movie that I just watched was awful. I blame it on me expecting too much after suffering through the metamorphosis of the scary Freddie Kruger into the jokingly horrible shadow of himself in the later movies. I expected this reboot to bring about a better story of the Elm Street burning, a darker, bloodier, and scarier Freddy. I hoped that perhaps just once, I could get a cast of teens who were likeable enough for us (the audience) to give a damn when they fell asleep and unto the finger blades of the vengeful Freddie Kruger.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2010 is the same movie from the past that spawned a host of horrid sequels and sales of Freddie Kruger costumes. Robert Englund was the original Freddie Kruger and his personal take on the ghost of nightmares was endearing to fans as the series went along; even though he moved from absolutely scary to a campy clown with jokes. In the new Nightmare, Freddie Kruger is played by Jackie Earle Haley who most will remember from his awesome role as Rorschach in The Watchmen. Jackie Earle is a no-nonsense Freddie, making small jokes on encounters only to have it end in a disemboweling rip or a slit throat.
While I enjoyed the new cat-eyed Freddie Kruger the few times that he was on screen A Nightmare on Elm Street was missing everything else that made the original great. You got no sense of fear from the horribly acted host of teenagers dying off one by one, you get no sense of Elm Street and the anger that the parents had when they murdered the child abusing Kruger. It was a hollow movie that was horribly acted, lazily written and lacking in substance. Plot holes were abundant and things that made sense at first began to get confusing near the end. How could a kid, hopped up on shots of Adrenaline, Red Bull and pills pass out mid stroke while swimming in a pool during P.E.? How was Kruger, who only kills from your Nightmares able to come into the real world to off a parent? Things like this had me rolling my eyes as I got up to leave the theater.
The one bright point of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2010 is Freddie Kruger himself. Throughout the course of the movie there lies the mystery of why this supposedly sweet gardener who loved kids was eventually chased and burned to death by a town of parents. It isn’t clear as to whether a child lied or whether Kruger was guilty of it all. This made the big reveal near the end one of the better parts of the movie. Kyle Gallner and Rooney Mara worked extremely well together as the surviving teens but unfortunately for them their fellow cast members and the awful script will make you forget their efforts as a whole.