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411mania » The 411 » Jeremy Thomas
Name:Jeremy Thomas
Current Roles:Film and DVD Reviewer, The Hush-Hush News Report, The Movie Zone Roundtable, The 4 R's of Raw & SmackDown, Wrestling Fact or Fiction, TNA Monthly Roundtable and Wrestler of the Week Organizer
Past Roles:Multi-Time Participant in Movies and Wrestling Fact or Fiction; Guest Host for 411 Movie Fact or Fiction for August 2008
Other credits:Contributer to the Monthly Movie Roundtable, WWE PPV Roundtables, the Movie & Wrestling Zone Top 5's, and The Watcher Chronicles and Angel Investigated
Quote:"Yeah. That makes sense."
History:Written by the victors
Movie Review: A Nightmare on Elm Street - 05.05.2010

When I was at work the day after I saw A Nightmare on Elm Street, one of my co-workers asked me how it was. My response was that it looked kinda like a duck, and it quacked like a duck (if that duck's amp was set to 11), but it was no freakin' duck.

What I mean by that is that this is a film that does exactly what Platinum Dunes does best. They can copy the form of a film, and they can throw in a whole crap load of jump scares to appeal to the modern horror crowd, but they don't know how to take a film and remake it into something scary and worthwhile.

We talked last week--and for years, really--about Platinum Dunes' legacy with horror remakes. They've remade The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and a sequel, The Amityville Horror, The Hitcher and Friday the 13th, and produced the original horror films The Unborn and the straight-to-video Horsemen. Outside of Amityville, none of them have been worth their salt and they've all followed the same formulaic problems.

You see that here with Elm Street. They know the story, they know what scenes in the original film are most well-received, and they know what elements made it work so well. But somehow, they are unable to translate the experience to the new film. I think that part of this is because the film has two separate goals. The first is to satisfy fans of the original by including elements they loved, and the second is to take it in a new direction.

The problem is that the original elements they included don't really work that well, and the new direction they took didn't work either. And that's sad because there was a lot of potential in the early moments and even in some of the later stuff, but it just doesn't translate as a whole.

Part of the problem is in the casting of the lead. Rooney Mara plays Nancy, and my immediate impression was that the casting director wanted Emily Blunt but couldn't get her because she was too old. Mara seems like Blunt's younger clone with about half the personality. She seems just bored throughout much of it.

I did enjoy some of the other kids, and they seemed to have it better including Thomas Dekker as Jesse and Katie Cassidy as Kris. Jackie Earle Haley plays Freddy of course, and he does what he can but he's working under more prohibitive make-up and more voice modulation than Robert Englund was.

Then, there's the back story. There was no need for this, and while I see what they were getting at it just doesn't work. The reason it doesn't work is because of all the plot holes. I have an list here of things that occurred to me.

Why do the parents erase all possible history of the kids going to school together, but Nancy's mother keep that photo with ALL the required evidence Nancy and Glen need?

How do the parents manage to get the preschool shut down after they kill Freddy and tell everyone he just ran away?

Why are the kids so god damned stupid? I mean, when Glen and Nancy stop off so Glen can get his anti-ADHD medication--which is something I enjoyed--why did Nancy decide to stay in the car? Seriously, I get that people are stupid in horror movies, but that's new levels of dumb.

Why do we need to have an entire subplot based on whether Freddy is innocent or not when we all know that he's not, and that ultimately this is just going to make the kids look that much stupider for going out into the middle of nowhere so they can be alone?

Now, like I said there's things I enjoyed. The opening murder was nicely done and I appreciated Freddy being creative and hiding his kill there as a suicide. I also very much liked the scene with Freddy and Nancy in the dream zone at the school. It was creepy in a very skeevy kind of way, but I didn't think it went over the top. But the rest of it is bathed in stupidity and a lack of creativity and I just didn't buy into it.

Final Rating: 2.5 out of 10
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