Switched on Netflix last night and checked out their horror films, clapped my hands with joy when I saw A Nightmare on Elm Street. I’d only just been discussing this movie with Andrew Froening on a podcast – great, I thought, and switched it on. Damn! it was the remake from 2010. However, I decided to persevere.
The remake scores 5.2/10 on IMDb, the original 1984 version scoring a justified 7.5/10. Lets not forget the original had John Saxon (a Mighty Dragon favourite) plus a young Johnny Depp (who can forget his scene on the bed with his cut off tee). Not to mention the terrifying Freddie Krueger portrayed by Robert Englund.
The idea in itself as a horror film is great. In this situation, its very hard to escape the bad guy when he preys on us in something that we all naturally have to do, sleep. So really, the odds of surviving for these characters are low to zero. Unless of course, they become experts in lucid dreaming but as the time is ticking and the body count stacking up, then really its them against the bad guy, Freddie Krueger.
SPOILER ALERT! Do not read further if you want to watch this version, and as usual, this is my own opinion. Also, I wanted to document this in a observational style rather than film review as such.
While watching this film, I wanted to pick out the scenes in which I think were particularly done well. I liked the funeral scene at the start of the film as the character Kris, sees an young version of herself with a torn dress standing by the graveside. Freddie’s hand creeps up to snatch her.
Another theme I liked later in the film were the micro-naps that the character Nancy encountered, like a cat teasing its prey, this gave Freddie the chance to terrorise in short bursts. Surely this is more frightening than the entire dream state.
We have more of the cat and mouse game with Freddie and two of the characters, we see how dark he really is as he draws them back into the past and their first encounter with him in the basement at pre-school.
The character I liked, Jesse, who was wrongfully banged up with his suspected involvement in one of Krueger murders. The scenes in the prison were excellent, trying to keep himself awake and the reactions of his cellmate. Also, a shout out to the scene with Nancy falling through the bloodied ceiling, that was very well done and I felt one of the best scenes visually.
Krueger was referred to as the Pied Piper of Hamlin, it was a reminder to me that stories are just regurgitated over time in different ways. I think it was an appropriate reference as the film touches on paedophilia, parental revenge and the terrifying ‘stranger luring kids away’ theme.
As the remaining characters find a way to stay awake via pills (which of course are running out) and away from Freddie, they then have to decide whether to confront him and learn about their past, or remember it, and also his.
I enjoyed the moment the tables were turned on Freddy, finally being pulled into the real world where they had a chance to fight him. But as well know, bad guys don’t stay down for long.
All in all, did I enjoy this as much as the original. No. Why? Well, I was more terrified as a kid watching the original so that may have added to the fear factor and I truly believe there is only one Freddie Krueger and that’s Robert Englund.
I’m glad I watched it though and it can’t be an easy job to appear in a remake let alone shoot another classic. The fans of the original will be baying for blood themselves….