Review: A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)

nightmare on elm street 2010 poster wallpaper

“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.

nightmare on elm street 1984 vs 2010
Playing pinball in 1984 and again in 2010

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.

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The 2010 body bag scene… anyone reminiscing just yet?

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.

nightmareonelmstreet201Naturally, 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?

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The bath scene, 1984 and again in 2010

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.

What is the meaning of this?! It is not even remotely similar, and most definitely not an improvement!
What is the meaning of this?! It is not even remotely similar, and most definitely not an improvement!

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.

Review: Freddy vs. Jason (2003)

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“I’m dying to see what skeletons are hidden in your closet.”
– Freddy Krueger

Oh yeah, you saw that right. I am all over this again, relentlessly. I think it is safe to say we all know I  have a minor Freddy obsession, but this concept was absolutely brilliant for me. Freddy Krueger in a major show down with Jason Voorhees? No ways, get out! But yes, that is exactly what it is! So who in their right minds would avoid it?

Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) cannot prowl Elm Street in Springwood anymore. It seems that the residents finally wised up, and although it was a little unethical, I can completely comprehend why they did what they did. All the children that ever knew Freddy have been sent to Westin Hills, a psychiatric institution, and treated intensely for their dreams. The rest of the town does not even acknowledge his existence, and have erased anything that could link anyone to the history of Freddy. If no one fears him, he cannot do his dirty work, can he?

Freddy misses stalking his Elm Street prey, and is desperate to get a foot in the door again. He devises an almost ingenious plan: awaken Jason Voorhees (Ken Kirzinger) and send him to Springwood. Instilling that fear will give him power again, and with the fear he can roam freely again. Naturally everyone would think it is him, right? Kitted out as Mrs Pamela Voorhees (Paula Shaw), Freddy comes back and coaxes Jason to rise again and hunt in Springwood.

In Springwood, Lori Campbell (Monica Keena) lives on 1428 Elm Street. This makes her the unfortunate yet logical choice of where the brutality will begin. Her friends Kia Waterson (Kelly Rowland) and Gibb (Katherine Isabelle) are staying over, and try to get her to hook up with another guy in hopes that she will finally let go of her ex, Will Rollins (Jason Ritter), who abandoned her and has never made the effort to contact her. Lori is unable to move on, though. Gibb’s boyfriend and friend visit, and her boyfriend gets butchered by Jason. The teenagers runs screaming for help, and run into the all helpful Deputy Scott Stubbs (Lochlyn Munro).

While at the police station, Lori hears hushed chatter about Freddy Krueger, and has no idea who and what he is. The cops are desperately trying to keep it all under wraps, fearing that as soon as people know that someone was slaughtered in the Elm Street house, panic would spread like wildfire. Lori is not prepared to let it go. Neither is the newcomer to town, Deputy Stubbs. He begins his own informal and independent investigation into the machete man who ripped up a party and the history of the Elm Street house.

Will, in the psychiatric hospital, sees that there was a brutal murder in the Elm Street house, and his friend, Mark Davis (Brendan Fletcher), escape to go and see if Lori is alright. The couple reunites, but Mark has made the mistake of spreading the Krueger fear, and in so is giving Freddy more strength.

Freddy vs Jason - Fire Fight

Freddy makes the startling discovery that he has no control over Jason. He brought him back for a purpose, and once it is reached, he has no way to keep Jason in check. Slaughtering the kids and hunting Jason seem to take up equal parts of Freddy’s energy, but the more a pain in the ass that Jason becomes, the more his concentration shifts to eliminating the thorn in his side.

The kids all notice that Freddy is shifting his attention to Jason, and decide to exploit it to the max. Hauling an unconscious Jason Voorhees into their Scooby Van, they set off toward Crystal Lake. Their plan is to put Lori under, and bring Freddy back out of the dream with her, and then leave Jason and Freddy to take care of each other, but wish to shift the odds into Jason’s favour by having him on his home turf. The plan has flaws, but unfortunately it is the only plan that they have. The showdown between Freddy and Jason is awesome, with ridiculous dialogue, but solid effects.

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My geek out to the fusing of the theme songs

Freddy vs. Jason earns a solid 6.5/10 for me. I was overly entertained by the slashing and the rivalry, the cinematography was great and again, the cheese. I loved it, and I know a lot of people bashed the film, but I thought it was a great integration of the two horror cults. Freddy again coins the term “bitch” more times than you can shake a stick at, but I kept on adding “bitch” in mentally when he was talking to Jason. So weird to hear him argue minus the expletive. I will most definitely review this film in more depth when I do a re-run of the Friday the 13th collection. I particularly enjoyed it right at the start when the New Line Cinema logo rolled onto the screen, and there was the perfect production of the Nightmare On Elm Street and Friday the 13th theme songs fusing together. Yep, the inner geek made a small appearance! I thought the way the two stories were merged was great, typical slasher flick, lots of blood, guts, gore and crappy dialogue, and enough cheese to last a lifetime. It is one of those concepts that can either work well for you or go up in flames. I will always appreciate the consistency of Robert Englund returning as the horror master, as well as the fact that they corrected the Freddy costume again after the debacle of the last one, but I see it is not him that returns in the 2010 film. Major damper for me there. I don’t even know if I can bring myself to watch it. Definitely worth the watch, however, it was great fun.

A nightmarish box set

So for Christmas I finally got the A Nightmare On Elm Street collection from my boyfriend, Ricky, and I am thrilled. I love it! This is really old school, B-movie horror. The amount of cheese in it actually tends to just rectify it all and make it brilliant.

Nightmare on Elm Street DVD Box SetSoon, my friends, there will be extensive reviews on all seven of them included in the box set… for now, I am savouring it!