Warning:- This review contains some spoilers. I suggest you to watch the movie first before reading this review. Thank you.
In 1984, the release of A Nightmare on Elm Street was my first scariest film ever that changes the way I want to sleep and refuse to dream. I only manage to watch the first in 1986 on TV and it was a night I remember his name. Of course, years later I secretly watched every single sequel I can grab my hands on and love every bit of it. But the scares are tone down and the frights just isn’t good anymore. It became quite silly and sometimes ridiculous. Even killing off Freddy was kind of stupid. An alternate take on the nightmare series and a spin-off exploits more of the franchise and finally it ends… until a remake version directed by Samuel Bayer changes all that. But does the remake lives up to the original film and the love of the character where fans always remember of? In some ways… sort of.
It starts off like any other horror movie you have seen – the eerie images of death and decay with a slice of scariness that either spook you or just trying to. Then a diner scene which you have seen in the trailer and reveals a tormented teenager named Dean (played by Kellan Lutz) meeting his girlfriend Kris (played by Katie Cassidy) before what looks like him killing himself. The title role appears and like everything else fades into a funeral scene.
Quite typical from most horror films in this decade. Soon we will see one by one how the teenagers start to die under the fingers of Krueger (with his knives of course) and how each of them dies ghastly. But wait! There is a reason why the kids are connected and why Freddy is aftering them. Unlike the original, there is a solid story that really explains why the kids whom known each other during their teens somehow already knew each other way longer than before.The original somehow miss that and focus on the horror and the scares while the remake makes it worth more but sadly, lacks the presence of what we came to know about the franchise – scary, memorable and fun.
Do not get me wrong, I do enjoy this remake version but looking back to the original – this remake was what Wes Craven, the director of the original Nightmare intended. Freddy Krueger was originally a paedophile and perverted gardener. It was never fully realized due to constrains of able to reign creativity as intended and ended up with nothing more than a character that has layers of depth while the remake ended up as a typical dream killer with nothing to lose. Yet still, realism is the intention and the adaptation of today’s teenagers does makes it feel like you are watching Beverly Hills 90210 remake with a killer on the loose.
The gore and blood is typical – some scenes aren’t really disgusting like the original and the sequels and the special effects is quite a nice touch up. There are some scenes you might feel a little familiariaty if you had watched the original. Though it maybe predictable and nothing new to offer, what works is the plot. Other than that, it is just like any other horror film you have watch – not that scary and not that frightening.
Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy Krueger – well, he lives up to the character except he is rather more dull and uninteresting but on the other hand, he makes it work. Of course, Robert Englund does it wonderfully and fill it with fun and humor. For Haley, he is like any serial paedophile person out there with the same signature that just makes it plain. The protagonist of the film who played Nancy, Rooney Mara did not live up like how Heather Langenkamp did – she plays it too plain and throughout the film, its like there is no fear (blame it on the script writers) to show that she is scared and only towards the end, she finally screams just puzzles me. Kyle Gallner as Nancy’s love interest just feels out of place. The rest of the actors are nothing more typical than just your typical guy/gal waiting to be cut up by Freddy and dies unmemorable in their acting.
The remake actually is more of an updated version of the original that works in today’s generation.The fans might not enjoy what they love about the series but the new generation may enjoy the film as it will be if they did not watch the original. For me, this version works because of the solid plot that works but besides that, it’s not really scary at all.