Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Directed by Samuel Bayer.

Dean (Kellan Lutz) falls asleep at a diner and experiences a nightmare where a badly burned man with sharp blades on his fingers cuts him. Dean’s girlfriend, Kris (Katie Cassidy), witnesses him killing himself, but little does she know that the sadistic serial killer from his nightmare is pushing Dean’s hand as it holds the knife, thereby forcing him to slash his own throat. The same killer begins to terrorize Kris in her nightmares and, eventually, terrorizes her ex-boyfriend, Jesse (Thomas Dekker), Jesse’s friend, Quentin (Kyle Gallner), and Quentin’s classmate, Nancy (Rooney Mara), as well. Upon discovering some old photos, Nancy and Quentin discover the connection between them and the rest of the nightmare—plagued victims. They also learn that sadistic killer’s name is Freddy Krueger (Jackie Earle Haley) and find out how he got burned-to-death to begin with. While the screenplay co-written by Wesley Strick and Eric Hesserer doesn’t offer anything particularly surprising or refreshing for that matter, at least its characters aren’t annoying to the extent that you’d want them to be killed. Sure, neither of them seems realistic or truly relatable, but they’re likeable and somewhat more intelligent than your average clueless horror victims. Director Samuel Bayer keeps the pace moving along briskly and includes stylish, slick cinematography and nifty special effects. Don’t expect a lot of gore, though. The real question is whether or not Jackie Earle Haley makes a good substitute for Robert Englund as the notorious Freddy Krueger. Krueger comes across as less horrifying this time around, although he’s still undeniably creepy and has some witty one-liners every now and then. A decent horror film should have some sort of an interesting backstory and not resort to just one kill after another with no rhyme or reason. Fortunately, this remake has a moderately intriguing backstory albeit one that’s far from profound or imaginative. Most scenes, such as one that takes place in a bathtub, bedroom and another in a school hallway, will please fans of the original film. At a running time of 1 hour and 35 minutes, A Nightmare on Elmstreet is mindlessly entertaining, slick and stylishly creepy albeit deficient in real surprises and visceral scares. It’s a cut above the recent slew of horror remakes.
Number of times I checked my watch: 2
Released by Warner Bros. Pictures.
Opens nationwide.

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