With all the things movie makers have at their disposal to create films today many thought this remake of the 1984 classic could take the character to the next level. Unfortunately it only makes you appreciate the first few films of the franchise even more.
Freddy Krueger (Haley) is back in the nightmares of a group of seemingly normal high school students. As the dreams intensify and one-by-one they begin to die, Nancy (Mara) and Quentin (Gallner) begin to search for clues. They discover that their parents all assisted in the murder of Freddy Krueger many years earlier. Running on no sleep, they must figure out a way to pull Freddy from their dreamworlds and into reality to kill him once and for all.
This remake of the classic horror flick that made Freddy Krueger a household name in 1984 was nothing close to what the original captured. The first film was a dark and sinister horror film with dashes of well placed comedic lines from the glove wearing killer himself. This remake played out more like a teen slasher flick with only the theme of the original. While the set-up of the plot was virtually the same with a group of teenagers haunted in their dreams, this film failed to bring the familiar dark tones, well timed gore, and imagery. It played out more like a generic who-done-it with a group of young adults on the case.
The remaining teens seem to solve the case in rather simplistic fashion which resulted in much less time in the demented dream world of Freddy Krueger, something that made the first few films in the franchise so great. With all the CGI at their disposal the features of Freddy were no where near as scary and fearful as the original character. His voice was not as dramatic in tone, and his twisted sense of humor was no where to be found. Other than a couple of solid lines that actually managed to deliver, the characters charm was nonexistent. In the end; the somber mannerisms of the character made him much less entertaining and vibrant onscreen.
The cast of characters in this one were decent, even with the likes of Johnny Depp the first group of teens in the film didn’t deliver astonishing performances and they didn’t need to, Freddy was the star of those old films and in this one he simply wasn’t. Rooney Mara gave a solid performance with what the script allowed but it didn’t give her much to work with.
Kyle Gallner was also convincing in his performance but once again with a thin script and a very recycled style of wrapping it up the plot, there wasn’t much he could accomplish to make this movie better. Jackie Earle Haley showed some effort in his delivery of the famous horror character but the representation of the look, and actions of Freddy given by the filmmakers, ruined his chances from the beginning.
Rather than using the theme as a base to build a solid film off of, this one seemed to be more like a project trying to cash in on a well-built fan base and throwing a regurgitated version of the original film at them. From the overuse of sparks coming from his clawed glove to an out of place scene showing a the famous body bag in the high school, it clearly played out like a film trying to profit on name recognition, without delivering the true feeling that made the original film so great.
The overuse of CGI also gave the film a lighthearted feel in a way, and did not give the film the dark, creepiness it needed. Overall this was a rather unimpressive remake of a horror classic and managed to take some of the best elements from the original and give them a cliche feel making this movie a complete failure.
Time: 95 min
MPAA Rating: R (For strong bloody horror violence, disturbing images, terror and language)