Freddy Krueger, a pedophile murdered by the angry parents of Springwood, returns from the dead, exacting his revenge through the dreams of the kids, whose parents burned him alive, in this modern re-telling by director Samuel Bayer.
Jackie Earle Haley's representation of Krueger was okay. His character wasn't on the same level as Robert England’s, but his character was still dark. They gave him the back story originally intended for Krueger, making him a pedophile instead of a 'child murderer.' However, he still seemed to lack something, and that lack of something toned down his character, making it more one-dimensional. He remained on the serious, dark, and evil level but still never rose to the character level I was expecting. I expected more anger and brutality, not so much to the degree of going all "Rob Zombie's Michael Myers'ish" but more. This is a really disturbed man who was burned alive, his spirit is hell-bent on getting even with the people responsible for his death, so it's just a given that an immense amount of revenge-fueled anger and brutality would go along with his character. The updated makeup effects on Krueger were different, but still remained interesting and realistic. It's expected than anyone burned alive would lose most of the features on their face and that’s the direction they decided to go with the makeup. Krueger’s face makes very little screen time without being partially obscured in darkness or shadow, which was surprisingly brilliant, as the 'lurking in the darkness' only added to the creep factor. With this film being a remake, in the year 2010, I expected everything to be elaborate and 'over-the-top,' maybe even too much. In reality this film remained quite tame, not even going half way, let alone overboard.
Nancy's character was more the shy and loner type, which I thought was okay, but she didn't have the depth and strength that made Nancy so great. She was more like Carrie White before she got revenge via her Telekinetic powers. Her Mother was my least favorite character in the entire film. In the original she had more dimension to her character. She cared, and feared for, her daughter, (Put Bars On The Freakin' Windows To Keep Out The Bad) and you saw that in her character, plus she was a major alcoholic with a SECRET, which I loved, lol. In this film, Nancy's Mother seemed more like a distant step-parent, their was some love there, just not enough to show a real Mother-Daughter connection. Quentin (Kyle Gallner) really stole the show. He was the strongest of all the characters and did a fantastic job, which I have grown to expect out of Kyle Gallner, as he's one spectacular actor, IMHO.
The kill scenes were nothing new, fresh, or spectacular. Most all were lifted from the original, just updated a bit. The CGI Krueger behind the bed didn't impress me though, true it was more than a man pressing through some latex wallpaper, but still fell short of being the great effect it could've been. One of my favorite special effects was when all the students in a classroom burst into ash during one of the female characters dream sequences...LOVED that!
In conclusion, the film didn't have the right flow to it. Wes Craven quoted A Nightmare On Elm Street 2 as "Having no unity to it, it just had a bunch of scenes." I think that is the perfect way to label this remake. The original progressed in a way that allowed you to really become interested in the film. It had a flow that worked, characters with dimension, and a uniqueness not seen in a film prior to it.
I hate to even review this film, as I have really wanted to take a more positive route and only write about films I actually like. I mean the film was BARELY okay, and doesn't hold a candle to the original.
RATING: 2.5 out of 5 stars.