Last Sunday I went and saw the remake, re-imagining, re-boot, requel, or whatever one wants to call the new “A Nightmare on Elm Street” movie.  Despite the obvious reservations I had considering all of the other terrible remakes of horror classics within recent years, going into this one I had very high expectations.  I mean, this is Freddy F’N Krueger, man!  True story: as a young boy, (probably six or seven years old), I had this wild fascination for Freddy and his finger knives.  The starting point of said fascination can be traced back to a time when I saw a life-sized standing card board cut-out of this ghoulish man wearing a striped sweater at a local video rental store.  At the time, I had no idea who this scary figure was and it horrified me to the point where I started sleepwalking and having nightmares.  It’s one of my earliest childhood memories, so when it comes to Freddy Krueger, I definitely have something emotionally invested in him.

There's a reason his face isn't shown much in trailers.

When I heard Robert Englund wasn’t returning to the reboot and Jackie Earle Haley was taking his place I was supremely disappointed – but it was a forgivable offense due to the fact that, well, everybody gets old and replaceable at some point.  I also ignored the fact that Wes Craven disapproved of the screenplay for this remake and wanted nothing to do with it.  Hell, I even ignored the rumors that early test screenings of this movie bombed with audiences and instead chose to hold out hope that this film would prove everyone wrong.  Besides, I enjoyed Mr. Haley’s dark and somewhat scary performance in Watchmen as Rorschach, so the transition into something even more dark and sinister as the demon of dream street seemed like a natural progression.  Right?  Yeah, one would think so.

Unfortunately, this movie proved the haters right.  Those that were protesting a remake of Wes Craven’s original and calling it blasphemy have been torpedoing RottenTomatoes and MetaCritic with I told you so’s, and it’s somewhat warranted.  I suppose I shouldn’t be disappointed or all that surprised, but I am.  Dually.  Problem with this incarnation is that Freddy Krueger just wasn’t scary the slightest bit.    I mean, the make-up artists had him looking like a cross between a bug and Lord Voldemort.  His face looked terrible, he didn’t laugh maniacally while chasing people, and through and through it just felt like the director never even bothered to watch saw the 1984 classic, even if there were throwback moments inserted into this remake to placate the dedicated fans.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t as gore-iffic as a lot of the remakes that we’ve seen lately, namely the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Halloween.  That’s not a complaint, either.  Much like the 1984 classic, this one had a few bloody moments, but for the most part remained quite reserved, or at least reserved by 2010’s gore standards.  I was worried that this remake would get lost in an absurd amount of blood and guts, but it never really did that.  It tried to focus on the creepy musical score, making us with jump, and wow us with special effects inside the nightmare sequences… even if it ultimately failed with all of that.

In closing, I will say this; if you’re starving for some Freddy Krueger much like I have been ever since his last appearance in 2003’s Freddy Vs Jason, then just forget what I’ve said and go see this movie anyway.  If you’re at all like me, then it doesn’t matter what any critic or hater has to say about a Freddy Krueger remake and you feel you owe it to yourself as a fan to go see it.  I’m just letting you know that, like me, you’ll probably be disappointed with the results.

Still the best.


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