A Nightmare On Elm Street: Oh NoES!

I normally avoid remakes like dimly lit public restrooms, and I avoid giving Michael Bay money like dimly lit public restrooms with piped in Gretchen Wilson music. But sometimes you have to pee, and sometimes you have to see A Nightmare on Elm Street.

You can read a review anywhere to get how boring it is, so instead I will provide my mental notes so you can pretend you‘re in the theater making fun of it with me. HERE BE SPOILERS, I recommend you read anyway instead of seeing this crap movie:

–Before the movie even starts, a woman and her son sit in front of me and my friends. A woman and her son who couldn’t have been older than six.

You should know by now that I’m no fan of kneejerk mollycoddling  of kids. Give your kids credit. I was watching R-rated movies when I was ten. In fact, when I went to see Kick-Ass, I pretended to be the cousin of five strange 14 year old kids who wanted to get in, because c’mon, it‘s Kick-Ass. I’m nice like that.

But you do not take a kid under six to A Nightmare On Elm Street. Come on. Freddy Krueger is the ultimate nightmare fuel for little kids. Even the G-rated parody on Tiny Toons, Freddy Cougar, made me cover my eyes when I was that age. The only exposure to Freddy at that age should be at home, where your child can run out of the room or hide under a pillow and only take in snippets of Mr. Krueger. Not in a theater.

– The credits have me cracking up already. What they did was write the credits in SPOOKY chalk on SPOOKY sidewalk. Which was cool. But some mouth breathing test audience member (or some other meddler, this is Hollywood after all) must have had trouble reading them, so they superimpose normal credits on top of the chalk, which completely ruins the effect. LOL redundant credits.

– The first scene takes place in a diner. Your first scene should not be as tedious as this.

– Now we meet the other boys. I have trouble telling them apart. All I can notice is that they’ve gone all-out on the eye makeup. Normally in movies, it’s the girls you have trouble telling apart; here the two are helpfully color coded for the audience (Kris blonde, Nancy brunette). Regardless of sex, they’re all really, really boring. I would take talking about prom or a big party over “Hey, isn‘t that Kris?” “Hey, you are attracted to Nancy.” “Sorry, that guy just broke up with blonde girl.”

–Even the first death is boring. Slit your own throat, wow. In the original, the first death was a girl being thrown around the room like a rag doll and then getting stripped to ribbons by an invisible assailant. You’re not even trying.

— Cue the crying six year old, as predicted.

– Funeral. God, all these people are boring boring boring. I take it Kris is supposed to be Tina? Maybe we’ll get her tossed around the room after all.

– OMG Kris has an Aussie Shepherd!…that dog had better not die. It’s going to die, isn’t it? I remember it used to be that the dog and the annoying kids never died in horror movies. Apparently the UN lifted the ban on dogs getting killed in horror movies, since now everyone does it.  They could have made it a Yorkie or something, just leave the Aussies alone.

– This movie really abuses the dream fakeout, and it becomes repetitious really quick.

– The scene with Freddy pressing through the wall is rehashed, but it’s done with CGI. I want to spank you, movie. You could have done a practical effect for less money and to greater effect. HATE, HATE , HATE.

– This movie shows Freddy way too much. Less is more, guys!

One of the highlights of this movie is Jackie Earle Haley, who is fantastic in everything. Especially when he’s Flashback Freddy– he just screams “creepy groundskeeper that loves children.” The fact remains that Freddy with Robert Englund just isn’t Freddy. But Jackie tries his best, and his best is pretty darn good.

I don’t like his makeup, though. The snake eyes, the Jonah Hex-style mouth, it’s just not working. He looks like a desiccated baboon with syphilis. I imagine a lot of burn victims look like that, but still.

– They killed the dog. The number of characters I care about are back to zero.

– Aha! They redid Tina’s death! Just as I predicted! It doesn’t have the same oomph, because it should have been the first death. In the original, it was like a roller coaster– the big hill goes first. It’s just rote here.

– …why did that guy run back out again?!? Cops are after him! Doesn’t Nancy have a closet or something?

– The dream in the bookstore was especially pointless. Although I appreciate the plug for Powell’s bookstore.

– Nancy remarks on Quentin’s crucifix, he says you have to believe in something. The crucifix, or the topic of faith, is never mentioned again. Somebody needs to get out their Syd Field books.

– A scene with the be-Speedoed boy’s swim team. THANK YOU MOVIE. Finally, something pleasing to the eye. Also, Quentin standing around in Nightware Flashback World in his Speedo while Flashback Mob runs around him made me LOL. He’s the Ghost of Speedos Past!

– “Let me just slip my coat off while I’M DYING IN A FIRE.” Also, where’s the hat? And glove? How do you get those items if you don’t die while wearing them? Come to think of it, why do ghosts wear clothes anyway? Stupid movie metaphysics.

– While watching I thought “Gigablast” was a fake movie search engine, like 555 area codes. Then I found out it was real. They should make a fake search engine for movies, though. It’d be cool.

– The video blog by that kid just made me groan. It would have been more effective if they just stuck with the headlines. So, so fake.

– The bodybag standing up is an effect that actually works. About time.

– At the hospital. Hey! I just realized that this movie passes the Bechdel Test! Now, if it just doesn’t suck so much. And there’s adrenaline in an unguarded, unlocked cart? Oh I can see how thaWHAAAAAAAAT?


– I’m going to tackle the pedophilia plotline in one big note…

A big difference between this and the original is that it goes into what happened to Freddy that made him a goofy hypnagogic serial killer. In the original, it was just “Freddy killed kids, so the town burned him, now he’s killing teens in dreams,” and that’s that. In this one, he’s not a child killer but a child molester, and we get flashbacks and tidbits as to what he actually did.

For most of the movie it was implied he was an innocent victim of mob mentality. Oh, he wasn’t a bad person, society made him that way. Barf. This works in some movies, and often in real life. But it doesn’t work if you want to make a horror movie monster.

Examples: Take Silence of the Lambs. Buffalo Bill and Hannibal Lecter don’t get flashbacks explaining their motives. Buffalo Bill doesn’t skin fat chicks because Beth Ditto pantsed him in front of the school assembly. You don’t know why he does it, he just does. That’s what makes him scary.

Now compare that to the prequel Red Dragon. The killer (I can’t even remember his name) is introduced with a sob story right off: we pan through his house with a voiceover of his grandmother abusing him. Poor dearie. You just want to be loved. We’re not scared of him anymore; at best we pity him and at worst we resent him for being such a weak villain.

It looked like NoES 2010 was going to do the same thing. But we get to the end, and it turns out he wasn’t the innocent victim of mob mentality. He actually was a messed up pedophile. It’s one of the few unsettling moments in the movie.

One review for this movie said that they should have stuck with the mob mentality hyptohesis to “give it depth” or something. Bullcrap. That would have made it a million times worse. Give the movie credit, it’s one of the few things it gets right.

I still don’t know if fleshing him out like that is an improvement over the original. They said they wanted a less campy Freddy, and they got it. I just prefer the old one I guess.

— Speaking of humor and camp, I just realized that there were no  jokes in this movie. I just realized what an aberration that is. Nearly all movies, even “serious” (cough) ones, have at least some attempts at humor. Without humor, a movie is lifeless.

– CGI blood coming through the ceiling makes me pine for the practical effects of the original again.

–Nancy in this one is a whole lot more useless than the first. She only gets one kick ass moment.

— The jump ending is the most aggravating thing of all. We see it coming, yet we also don’t see how it ties in with anything. At least this dumb movie is over.

I’m going to watch the unrated version of The Descent to cleanse my palate. Now THAT’S a good horror movie.


1 Response to “A Nightmare On Elm Street: Oh NoES!”

  1. 1 Whitney B. Fair
    May 8, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    I am a huge fan of the original film, it itself is perfect. When I heard they were doing a remake, I was excited, thought that it would be great, but then I thought ‘how can it compare to the original?’ Then I saw the preview and that gave me hope again, but then realized that it would be crap served on a ‘big-budget stick.’ I’ll wait till it goes to the $1.00 shelf at the video rental to see it.

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