Released in 1984, the original A Nightmare on Elm Street faced mixed reviews before becoming one of the most well known horror movies in the industry. Now, in 2010, the movie has been remade with a new storyline in order to introduce the horror classic to a new generation of viewers. This is not the first famous horror film to remade recently. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was also remade in 2003 as well as Friday the 13th in 2009. Both of these remakes were criticized for being bloodier and less sophisticated copies of the old stories, however they are but two in a long line of remakes that have grossed profits for those involved. This 2010 version of A Nightmare on Elm Street is just the most recent of a long line of horror upgrades.
The plot of A Nightmare on Elm Street is slightly different from the original 1984 classic. In both stories, teenagers’ dreams are being haunted by a burned man with a metal hand, hat, and sweater. When the teenagers are killed by this man in their dreams, they die in real life as well, as they discover when their friends start dying one by one. What the teens don’t know is that this figure, Freddy Kreuger, is a real man who had been lynched by the community just a few years ago, and now he is out for revenge. The new twist on this old story is that Freddy was a child molester who is now exacting his revenge on the abused children (now grown up) who had ratted him out. This new plot line gives the story a certain nasty feel that was never associated with the Kreuger name before. The director even makes the audience gain some sympathy for Freddy as he denies the crime that he is accused of and is burned alive. Though creative, this new direction for character development doesn’t make Freddy Kreuger any scarier; in reality it makes him just weird. A lot of fans have been uneasy with this plot change. This most recent version of the film is set in modern times, so the teens have access to things like the internet and their cell phones. The director thought this was another important change for the film. The kids use caffeine and adrenaline to keep themselves awake (this sounds all to familiar with today’s generation) while they solve the mystery of why this man is hunting them down in their dreams.
The best part of the film is the amazing effects and makeup work. Freddy Kreuger has never looked so disgusting and hideous. His burned, oozing, zombie-like face will certainly make chills go down your spine, but the most impressive part of the whole movie are the scary and bizarre dream flashbacks. The camera work on these is very pleasant (or unpleasant, rather) and it’s this part of the movie that you’ll most likely be thinking of fondly later. The movie has most of the famous deaths from the original, but they took out the goofy being eaten by a bed that Johnny Depp’s character of the original faced.
This movie has gotten pretty low reviews from both fans and critics. This generally isn’t too much of a problem for a horror movie at the end of the day because all they need to be successful is a good cheap thrill, but unfortunately this movie has tried to evolve the character of a villain that millions love to hate. Unfortunately for them, the result is a desire to stop thinking about him. Child molesters are a particularly unpleasant thing to think about and do not mesh particularly well with horror and murder. Still, the movie may be worth it if you are a real fan of A Nightmare on Elm Street. Critics give it an average of about 4/10.
Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Nightmare_on_Elm_Street_%282010_film%29 ; http://www.movies.com/movie-reviews/a-nightmare-on-elm-street-review/jen-yamato/m60369