Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Nightmare on Remake Street


Hey folks what is more enjoyable than an original horror movie? Why, the remake of course.  Those are always delightful.  1, 2 Freddy’s coming for you. 3, 4 better lock your door. 5, 6 grab a crucifix. 7,8 stay up late. 9, 10 never sleep again.  This is A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Spoilers return from the dead...

Based on Wes Craven’s creation music video director Samuel Bayer (Green Day: Bullet in a Bible, Blink 182: Greatest Hits and Absolute Garbage) must have felt qualified to tackle this character of 20 years of terror and camp and breathe new life in it.   This film was literally shot for shot identical from its predecessor.  Writers Wesley Strick (Final Analysis, Wolf, The Saint and Doom) and Eric Heisserer (Stranger Adventures, The Thing 2011 version and Final Destination 5) hacked Craven’s simplistic creation and my blood went completely cold realizing director/producer Michael Bay (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Amityville Horror, Transformers and Friday the 13th) felt the need to produce this wonderful magnum opus. 

Several teenagers in Springwood Ohio are having reoccurring dreams of a burnt man with a glove with blades attached to the fingers.   Going on the basis of the original concept of making Krueger a pedophile and dragging four kids to his Uncle Touchy’s Naked Puzzle Basement; several parents of these children that he abducted sought him out and burned him to death or did they?  Dun dun dun!!!
The story arc starts up its focus with Kris (Katie Cassidy of Click, Black Christmas, Taken, Harper’s Island and Gossip Girl) with her intense moments and emotions and blah blah blah.  A handful of teenagers Nancy (Rooney Mara of Urban Legends: Bloody Mary, Dream Boy, The Social Network and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and Quentin (Kyle Gallner of Smallville, Veronica Mars, Jennifer’s Body, The Haunting in Connecticut and Red State) discover that memories where lashed together with nightmares.  In essence Freddy is just messing with their heads and admittedly the teens actually don’t even get to bother develop as an archetype of clich├ęs and platitudes.  
A few points of the remake versus the original, the remake had a substantial budget, some great 35mm HD along with a bit of CGI and this version of Freddy is a bit more sadistic, intelligent and warped. The cinematography and the SFX is a vast improvement.    No zany puns and whacky comments. Freddy Krueger (Jackie Earle Haley of Little Children, Watchmen, Shutter Island and Dark Shadows) torments the kids with cruel slow and messier deaths.

Now the effects are a vast improvement of the lack of budget in the original, story is actually scarier but Bayer has never heard of tension or build-up and the proper execution of this.   Every scare is yet another series of timed jump scares that once you catch the rhythm it is predictable as fish on Friday.  Musical cues must have a button on standby to blat out on the film.  Nice try Bayer but no cigar.  I am not stating the original is genius but it was original and clever.  This isn’t.