Archive Review: A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

Horror Remakes can be incredibly Hit or Miss.  I actually really like this remake, even if some of the effects aren’t great. 

Certificate: 18

Director: Samuel Bayer

Screenwriter: Wesley Strick, Eric Heisserer

Starring: Jackie Earle Haley, Rooney Mara, Kyle Gallner

Genre: Horror, Msytery

Runtime: 95 Minutes

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

The ghost of a violent and disfigured man with knives for fingers, is stalking the children of the parents who murdered him and killing them in their sleep.  After they discovered their children were being abused, the parents at a pre-school hunted down the man responsible and burned him alive.  Now only Nancy and Quentin are left alive and it is up to them to stop Freddy and put an end to his reign of terror.

I don’t feel like many people need a summary of what A Nightmare on Elm Street is all about.  Most of us know, even if second hand about Freddy Kruger.  When I heard they were rebooting the film ten years ago I was hesitant at best.  With good reason too.  Very few horror movie remakes are as good as their original source material.  But this one managed to mostly buck the trend and end up being pretty good.  Mostly thanks to some great acting by Rooney Mara and Jackie Earle Haley.  The supporting cast are all relatively well known faces, but have a very minor role, most of them are in the film for so short a time, that they are kind of forgettable, they just serve to rack up the body count early on.

Rooney Mara plays the main character Nancy and while she is still the main focus of Kruger’s campaign of terror, this time round there is a much darker and more sinister back story.  In this reboot Kruger was a paedophile and Nancy was his ‘favourite’.   This version of Freddy may not be as manic or unhinged as the 80s version, but he will definitely make your skin crawl.  The scene where a now grown up Nancy is dressed as her younger self makes me feel particularly uncomfortable.  Mara’s performance as Nancy gets better as the film goes along and is the stand out performance in the film in my opinion.

Some of the CGI in the film though is not so good.  In particular when the form of Freddy comes through the wall while Nancy is sleeping.  Those effects are just terrible, I am sure there were better effects available in 2010 then those. 

Some of the scenes are copied almost shot for shot from the 80s original.  The hand in the bathtub for example.  Of the floor turning into a pool of blood.  The bath tub in particular is a visual that has stuck with me since the first time I saw the film, and although nothing happens wither time, it is the thought of it that makes you squirm.

A fairly decent attempt at a reboot all round really.  If you like the original give this one a try, you shouldn’t be too deeply disappointed.

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