2010’s A Nightmare on Elm Street is from producer Michael Bay (Transformers) and director Samuel Bayer. Bayer, best known for directing the music video of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit, sets out to remake the 1984 horror classic of the same name. Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen) is Freddy Krueger, and he brings a much darker and more serious twist to this horror icon.
If you are new to this franchise, Freddy is a burn victim who after a certain event possesses the power to appear in your dreams and interact with you. His wardrobe includes a hat, a stripped sweater and a glove with claws. The makeup / CGI used to create this new version of Freddy is quite good, and is definitely a more realistic take on his appearance.
In this reboot/reboot/whatever, the origin of Freddy is revealed in an interesting manner although it was way too deep into the film when Freddy’s past was finally shown. So for most of the earlier portion of the film, you may be wondering what was the deal with this guy. Nevertheless, some backstory to the monster is always welcome.
The purpose of Freddy hunting down these teenagers was not very clear, and left me questioning the point of the story itself. However, the film manages to escalate into a fairly exciting climax in which the protagonists (somewhat) use their brains. The group of kids here and good-looking people, and their performances are not as bad as you would expect.
I usually associate “slasher” films with lots of violence and gore, but to my surprise, the amount of gore that one would expect from a slasher is not present here. You get the standard blood flying everywhere, but there wasn’t anything in this film that I would consider extremely disturbing.
The style of this film is slick and contains some throwbacks to the original ANOES, although this remake did not do a very good job in building a scary atmosphere. However, the lack of horror is made up for by Jackie Earle Haley’s impressive portrayal of Freddy. I wish Freddy had been given more dialogue because the actor’s delivery of his lines was the best part of the film.