Since 1984, Freddy Krueger has haunted the dreams of movie fans worldwide. The “Nightmare on Elm Street” franchise was the cash cow of New Line Cinema for quite some time and Robert Englund was the big star. The Springwood Slasher tore through the box office with 8 films and 2 television programs (though 1, a reality show, was never aired) up until 2003. For the past 7 years, horror fans have slept easy, but have wondered when, or if, there would be another Nightmare On Elm Street film.
The remake of “A Nightmare On Elm Street” opened this past Friday, taking in a whopping $32.2 million & staking the claim of the #1 movie in America. As a HUGE fan of the original franchise & someone who absolutely despises most remakes or horror films, I went into this one with an open mind & absolutely loved it. It is a much darker & more disturbing film than other entries in the series. One thing is for sure, this is NOT your daddy’s Freddy Krueger. If you haven’t seen it, you’re probably wondering how the story differs:
[adinserter block=”1″]Original – The small town of Springwood, Ohio is terrorized by child murderer Fred Krueger. Krueger is arrested & put on trial, but a technicality sets him free. The parents of the town decide to take justice into their own hands & burn Krueger to death. Some time later, Krueger returns for the children he has yet to claim & begins haunting their nightmares. If Krueger killed you in your dream, you died in the real world. Scary enough plot.
Remake – After being burned alive by a mob of angry parents, a pre-school gardener/caretaker named Freddy returns for revenge against the children, now 18 years old, that accused him of sexual abuse. But was Freddy a child molester or was he falsely accused? This is the central question and main addition to the film’s plot. I found this to be an interesting twist in a classic story simply because of how messed up today’s society is. There are those out there who make these false accusations & it’s absolutely sickening.
Clocking in at a little over 90 minutes, the film felt like it should have went 2 hours. In my opinion, the lack of character development of the Elm Street kids is the main thing that hurt it. Jump scares were used quite a bit & a little bit too much was borrowed from “Freddy Vs Jason” (I love FVJ, but see the new NOES & you’ll know what I mean). The movie had enough nods to the original films to pay homage & didn’t go about bastardizing the story. In fact, it gives new life to it & makes it interesting again. There’s even a line from “The Dream Master” that you won’t be able to look at in the same way again after seeing this.
***SPOILER ALERT…STOP READING IF YOU DON’T WANT IT RUINED!!!***
[adinserter block=”2″]Jackie Earle Haley’s portrayal of Freddy Krueger is downright disturbing. Once you find out what in fact Krueger is through flashback scenes, he easily reminds you of after school specials & the talks your parents had with you when you were younger about strangers. It is very chilling & he pulls it off so well. Unlike Robert Englund’s character, there’s really nothing funny about this Freddy Krueger. He is a sick, twisted individual who deserved the wrath of the townspeople. What he did to the kids is presented in a manner that’s, dare I say, tasteful & not too graphic. It was done very well & drove the point home in a way that wasn’t over the top.
Given the high opening weekend & the fact that Jackie Earle Haley and Rooney Mara (Nancy) are signed on for 2 sequels, it doesn’t come as any surprise that part 2 in 3D has been greenlit. As for how I’d rate the film, easily an 8/10. A classic story from unarguably the most successful horror movie franchise has been resurrected; it’s going to be interesting to see where it goes from here.
Check out the entire A Nightmare On Elm Street collection on Amazon.com.