Trailer Terrors: Nightmare of Elm Street (2010)

A solid B+ for Samuel Bayer.

Since its premiere only two days ago, A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) has been lambasted by fans and critics alike who were looking from some sort of epic revitalization of the beloved supernatural slasher franchise. I admit, that initially I too began with the mindset that this film would provide some sort of twisted, gritty genius as promised by the trailers. However, as the reviews came in and the negative criticism mounted I decided to revoke my expectations and go into the frying pan with nothing but an open mind and heartfelt appreciation for their efforts.

To be honest, I was rather surprised by the end result. I think everyone will agree that the film had its flaws and held back when it should have let looses, but overall it was a solid cinematic reboot. Now, before the booing ensues, let me preface by saying that for all intents and purposes the film did what it was supposed to: reintroduce the concept of Freddy Krueger and Elm Street to a new generation of fans. Could there have been more blood and boobs? Sure. Could Freddy have been a little scarier had he not been so short? Of course. That said, I felt the authenticity present in Bayer's effort was clear.

We tend to forget that without Wes Craven there will always be something missing from what we remember. Every notable entry from the series (original, Dream Warriors, New Nightmare) had Craven's hand at work in some noteworthy capacity. Call it what you will (style, talent, a personal touch), but these prequels, sequels and remakes that continue to be churned out will never live up to our memory of the films that inspire them. This comes with a handful of exceptions of course; John Carpenter's The Thing and Cronenberg's The Fly, which in fact exceed their source material by creating something altogether more memorable.

In the end, Bayer's Nightmare doesn't quite achieve this, nor does it even aspire to it, but instead resolves itself to merely remind the kids that Freddy is still alive (both on screen and in their nightmares). The scares are cheap, the acting is stale and the CG bedroom scene is grossly unnecessary, but by the end of the film I found myself genuinely wanting to see it again.


  1. Anonymous said...:

    My reason for liking it has to be because compared to the "Friday the 13th" redo, you got a better mix of victims. 99% of those people in "13th" were doing things that made you want them to be picked off. But in this case, these victims were a mix of delinquents (Jesse), people dealing with trauma (Dean), and average teens (Chris, Marcus). Of course, these were all the same preschool class, so who knew what they'd be in the years to come?

  1. Strange Kid said...:

    I couldn't agree more. The other thing that kind of struck me is that the parents in the new Nightmare film weren't complete and utter assholes. Maybe its because I'm a little older or maybe Bayer didn't feel it was necessary, but the film managed to make Freddy really the only bad guy on screen.

    BTW, thanks for the shout-out on Gravedale High. I ended up watching the entire episode you posted with a big bowl of Frankenberry. Awesome.

  1. Anonymous said...:

    No prob. :)

  1. Geof said...:

    SK - while you wrote a good review and presented a nice case for the remake, but I just didn't like it. And that is not to conform to the masses or anything like that. I simply just didn't like it as much as I really, really wanted to.

  1. Strange Kid said...:

    I can appreciate that. Actually saw today on Bloody-Disgusting where they were mentioning deleted scenes and such, sounds like all the really tasty bits got cut out of the theatrical release.

    Here's hoping that they'll be in the DVD/Blue-Ray releases.

  1. Geof said...:

    I read that as well and am curious to see the deleted scenes. Especially with Kris wearing Freddy's glove. That image looked creepy when I saw it in the TV ad.

    I just tried to DM you something and noticed you weren't following me on Twitter. =p haha.

  1. Strange Kid said...:

    haha, oops. Well then, I'll have to make amends. Let the Twitter be-friending commence.

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