Though the violence may have kept some audience members jumping or cheering in their seats, the revamped “Nightmare on Elm Street” consisted mainly of unsurprising twists, redundancy, and over the top pedophilia.
In comparison to the 26-year-old original, however, the plotline became much clearer and the death scenes more entertaining.
The film opened up with Kellan Lutz’s character needing sleep and some happy pills. The Twilight star’s scene is very reminiscent of the original’s opening, with a hallucination that seeps back into reality when the dreamer wakes up. Unlike the original however, the shock factor of this scene’s closing already had some audience members cheering that director Samuel Bayer did not let them down in the gore category.
As the movie continues though, the sudden “twists” and hallucinations become extraordinarily redundant. The movie was an outrageous, continuing circle of the characters slipping back and forth from semi-consciousness to sleep so fast that the auduence didn’t even get a chance to enjoy the thrills.
It seemed like Bayer, along with screenwriters Wesley Strick and Eric Heisserer, tried way too hard to keep the audience on their toes, and succeeded only in making them tired of constantly jumping in their seats for no real substance.
As for acting, the casting director did an excellent job, all except for Freddy. Jackie Earle Haley, (previously starring in “Watchmen”, “Little Children”, and many others as a teen star,) is a wonderful actor, and the publicity of this movie will do wonders on his acting career, but he was unfortunately no Robert Englund. Once the make-up burns were added, his face was so different from the original that it just seemed too bizarre.
Where the original film launched Johnny Depp’s career, Rooney Mara may very well get her well-deserved advance in the acting world from her endeavor as one of the leads. Other stars more familiar with the horror genre, such as Kyle Gallner (“The Haunting in Connecticut”, “Jennifer’s Body”) and Katie Cassidy (“Black Christmas”, “When a Stranger Calls”), also filled the roles of the terrified teenagers superbly.
In the roles that allowed it, the character development was superb, but most characters that you’re sure will be the next leads die off before you’re even given a chance to root for them during their death scene.
With the new century also came a torrent of gutsy, pedophilic tones that were merely hinted towards in the original. Though this line has been crossed in many other films, and the disturbing manner only led you to hate the villain more, it felt like an unnecessary, drastic change in comparison.
Overall, lovers of blood will enjoy the movie for the shock and gore factors, but a successful remake of the acclaimed 1984 film was far off par. One audience member even announced while exiting, “I’ll have to remember not to suggest that movie to anyone.”