“Did you know that after the heart stops beating the brain can function for well over seven minutes? We got six more minutes to play.”
– Freddy Krueger
Wow. Just wow. I don’t know what to say about this (I lie, I have a lot that I am going to say about this), except that this was the most desperate attempt to reboot a franchise I have ever seen in my life. I really tried to watch this objectively, as something different, and something new, but no way! I miss Robert Englund!
Freddy Krueger (Jackie Earle Haley) returns (again, but this time theoretically for the first time ever if you could stomach that) to Elm Street. He is intent on catching the kids of the parents that burned him to death all those years ago, the accusers that got him killed. Kids are starting to die off in their sleep, and after watching her friend, Dean (Kellan Lutz), butchered in front of her while he was asleep, Kris Fowles (Katie Cassidy) has to start wondering if there was more substance to Dean’s ravings than she gave him credit for.
At Dean’s funeral, Nancy Holbrook (Rooney Mara) says that she knows something more when Kris sees a photo of her and Dean together when they were small children, although they all supposedly only met in high school. Kris says that he kept saying things before he died. Kris’s boyfriend, Jesse Braun (Thomas Dekker), tells Nancy to shut it, and stalks off. The kids are starting to get afraid, and find out that they have all been sharing the nightmare of a burned man with a bladed glove on, and a striped sweater. Rightfully so they start to freak out a little. Kris is visited by little girls that take her to the attic, where she finds some of her baby photos as well as a slashed dress. None of it makes sense to her.
When exhaustion finally sets in, and Kris’s mother is away, Jesse comes to stay with her so that she is not alone. However, Kris falls asleep, and lo and behold what should happen? She is wrenched from her bed and flung around the room like a ping pong ball and slaughtered against the ceiling, with Jesse screaming for help all the while. Naturally (big shocker), he gets arrested, but not before seeing Nancy and imploring her to help him. Nancy rings her friend, Quentin Smith (Kyle Gallner), who has a major crush on her, and goes to see him to talk about what is going on. Seeing as he offered, it needs to be done. They need to devise a plan of action before they become the latest victims in a tragedy.
Together, they research what is going to happen to them if they do not sleep soon, and it is not good. They could even end up insane if they don’t end up dead, first, and reality and dream world will collide when their brains start shutting down every few seconds for a few seconds of rest. They need to find a way to work this out, and soon. Jesse, too, is killed in prison, and only Nancy and Quentin remain. They piece their separate dreams together, looking for the common thread, and realize that all the dying children were in pre-school together. They are the last two standing. Quentin dreams about Freddy’s death, and confronts his father, Alan Smith (Clancy Brown), about the murder. Quentin does not believe that his father did what he did, and feels the guilt weigh him down that a group of five-year-old may very well have been responsible for an innocent man’s death. However, Freddy is no innocent, and Quentin and Nancy will have to learn this the hard way.
Naturally, as so many times before have shown, the idea is born that one of them will go under and bring Freddy back into the waking realm so that he can be killed on their home turf. Nancy and Quentin drive all the way out to the pre-school where Freddy worked, and where the little kids are that have been warning them. They are now where it all started again, and sure that they have a fighting chance this time. Their plan goes slightly awry, when Quentin, as the sentry that was supposed to wake Nancy, also falls asleep. Who will rouse them both now?
A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010) cannot score higher than a 2/10 for me, and even that is being overly generous. It was absolutely godawful. I don’t think I can moan enough about the experience I underwent this weekend. Will I ever recover? Robert Englund was Freddy Krueger, I am sorry, and this was only confirmed more so than ever by this ridiculous movie. This was a total perversion of everything that makes Freddy Krueger Freddy dammit! It seems as though this Freddy was supposed to present himself as absolutely mean and hardcore, serious and scary. Even his voice was ridiculous! Where was the dark, cheesy humour (as sick as that may sound) that made Freddy appealing? I mean truly now! The new Freddy Krueger looks like an absolute abomination of what the franchise produced. He looked so dreadful it even made Wes Craven’s New Nightmare Freddy look legit and awesome again. I know that the burns were supposed to, in theory, be more realistic like this, but you can’t do that twenty six years later! The creators tried way too hard to make this more successful than it could conceivably have been. Instead of cleverly integrating old Nightmare scenes into it, they just blatantly ripped off and copied scenes (the pinball bounce around the walls scene, the body bag dragging around at school, Freddy’s claws in the tub, the walls ballooning out with Freddy under them, being stuck at a school desk, etc. are just some examples). The character names, too, were pulled from previous Nightmare films. Also, no more “bitch” for Freddy? Puh-lease. And so many ripped off lines from the previous ones! I mean I know it is supposed to be an infusion of new story and old and traditional, but all it looked like to me was the new desperately hankering after the old.
To add insult to the injury, they progressed to screw up the entire back story! Fred Krueger worked at a pre-school as a janitor, no wife, no child, and molested kids and everyone knew? There was no trial, and a lynch mob of parents simply chased him down and burned him in an abandoned factory? Some of them felt pity? I cannot buy into it, I am sorry. There were eight films previously that all followed the same logic, and then this one is different? Pfffff. I have no idea anymore, really, how something could be so completely desecrated. This truly is the worst distortion of a franchise I have ever seen. For me it was as bad as, if not worse, than the Harry Potter films. Robert Englund was Krueger for almost twenty years, and this was a disastrous job at replacing him, really. I don’t know if I could ever have accepted a new actor (maybe, had they not strayed so far from what he was), but really, the difference is appalling. I cannot reiterate enough how they ruined everything that was perfect before. I am starting my grieving process early seeing as I hear there is another new Elm Street in the pipeline. Honestly? Terrible. Avoid.