DIRECTED BY: Samuel Bayer
FEATURING: Clancy Brown, Jackie Earle Haley, Kyle Gallner, Rooney Mara
PLOT: A group of high school students share dreams of a burned, claw-handed man named Fred Krueger. As the students begin to die in dramatic ways, the survivors discover that they share a past of secret abuse at the hands of Krueger. The final survivors take it upon themselves drag Krueger from his dream world and dispatch him once and for all.
WHY IT WON’T MAKE THE LIST: It really isn’t particularly weird. There are no wild grandstanding dream sequences; they’re all very similar in a “Silent Hill Lite” style. Given that the central character is a dead man who haunts people in their dreams and can exact real life revenge on their sleeping bodies, Krueger is lacking in imagination.
COMMENTS: First of all, I should point out that I am not a fan of the Elm St. franchise. I watched the original many years ago, and watched it again recently in light of the 2010 version, and I enjoyed it. To my surprise many aspects of the film stood the test of time quite well. Yes, some of the special effects had aged, but they had a wild, Tex Avery glee in their own madness that was contagious. The fact that they were practical effects added an immediacy that was quite exciting. The teens looked and behaved more or less like teens, making allowances for the nature of the film. It unfolded at a good pace and we had a heroine who stepped up to the plate when called upon.
I didn’t have any objections to someone making a newer version; I was interested to see it. I think this movie is what publicists term a “re-imagining” rather than a remake. The basic idea of the original has been kept. There is a group of teens, they’re having terrible nightmares, they begin to die horribly, and the killer is Fred Krueger. That’s as far as the similarities go however, the new film is darker both in mood and aesthetics. At times it was hard to see where the action was taking place and what was happening. Everything is dark. The school is as dark as the boiler room. The action takes place at night or during some town-wide energy saving drive where everyone seems to be using 20 watt bulbs.
Squinting in the dark has aged the teens a lot; they are a pretty mature bunch of high school Continue reading CAPSULE: A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (2010)