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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    ‘Nightmare’ horror of remake

    Samuel Bayer

    A Nightmare on Elm Street

    Warner Bros. Pictures

    Released April 30, 2010



    No horror movie junkie could fail to recognize the burned flesh and flicking knives belonging to the star of director Samuel Bayer’s feature film debut. The iconic horror villain Freddy Krueger makes his reappearance in the retooling of the 1984 “”A Nightmare on Elm Street.””

    This time around, Krueger is brought to life by Jackie Earle Haley of “”Watchmen.”” The vile, rasping voice with which he threatens the small town high schoolers in the film is creepy, grating and spot-on. Unfortunately, that single feature is the only thing that creates enough discomfort to consider this a “”horror”” film.

    Twenty-six years have passed since the first “”Nightmare,”” but the big budget and special effects are the only improvement. The fear factor of the original is lost completely, along with all of the charm and the likability of the characters. Suspense, tension and surprise make scary movies scary. In the 1984 version, these elements were achieved with subtle transitions between reality and dreams. Bayer manages to remove them entirely. The dream sequences are clearly defined and delineated with such painful transparence that there is no room for surprise.

    However, the film allows plenty of room for exposition. The audience spends most of the 95-minute film is watching the characters unfold Krueger’s story for him. The problem here is that it’s a story that everyone already knows. There’s something to be said for keeping integrity in a remake, but this film goes so far as to rehash the story of a villain with whom the audience is plenty familiar. The one meager attempt to add a twist to his character further hinders the film. A darker, perverse photographer-gone-torturer take on Krueger adds to the darkness of the film without adding anything else.

    Fans like the Freddy Krueger franchise for different reasons; the classic ’80s feel, the familiarity, the sheer creepiness or the camp. However, the newest “”Nightmare”” has none of these things. If you grew up watching the man with knives on his hands, or simply love all things horror, you will be sorely disappointed with this flat, unimaginative remake.

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