‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ is no dream reunion

May 02, 2010 | 12:08 a.m.

The Los Angeles Times review of “A Nightmare on Elm Street” was written by Robert Abele, here’s an excerpt…



Now comes the return of A Nightmare on Elm Street,” thanks in part to producer Michael Bay, who, when he’s not frightening movie snobs as a director, has made something of a profitable side job resurrecting scare brands — “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” The Amityville Horror,”Friday the 13th” — from the pop-culture graveyard. This time around he’s coaxed back the estimably creepy Freddy Krueger from our bloody memories, but it’s hardly what you’d call a dream reunion.

The first “Nightmare” was the brainchild of horrormeister Wes Craven, who looked to embolden the slasher era with a child killer let loose during sleepy time: Reality-bending imagery added to the usual rip-and-bleed gore craft. Although the fedora-sporting, finger-knived Freddy (iconically rendered by Robert Englund) would, over the course of seemingly hundreds of sequels, devolve into a quippy circus act, in the agreeably cheesy 1984 original he was, well, original: a disreputable genre’s very own incubus.

Faced with everyone knowing the drill with Freddy then, the rebooters here — writers Wesley Strick and Eric Heisserer and director Samuel Bayer — seek a little sympathy for their devil.

To that end, actor’s actor Jackie Earle Haley has been cast as Freddy, whose dreamtime terrorizing of a handful of attractive teens — led by Rooney Mara and Kyle Gallner, cast out of the Kristen StewartRobert Pattinson school of pasty, glum adolescence — comes with a fleshed-out back story of how a friendly preschool gardener met a possibly unjust, fiery end at the hands of a parental lynch mob. But Freddy’s genesis just isn’t that helpful to the cause of unnerving moviegoers. Psychoanalyzing a murdering creep didn’t work with Rob Zombie’sHalloween” (poor, abused Michael Myers), and it’s a mostly ludicrous diversion here, despite Haley’s game turn in the burn mask…


— Robert Abele



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3 Responses to ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ is no dream reunion

  1. RyGuy says:

    I could hardly understand what this reviewer was saying. Did he like it? Did he not? What the heck is "a disreputable genre's very own incubus" supposed to mean?

  2. James X says:

    Pretty sure he didn't like it. I think he is saying the movie sucked and was overly complex for no reason at all.

  3. DJ says:

    What a crock! A bunch of pretentious dribble that made little sense. The review, not the film. Michael Bay should have left this one alone. This is the one that outdone any of the originals he's remade thus far.
    I haven't seen the film, but am a big Freddy fan. This would have to do something amazing to light my fire (no pun intended). Considering from the clips I've seen it looks like the cast are rejects from that awful show, Harper's Island, it appears nothing more than another teen-angst screamer that is gore and more gore with little plot or recognition of the genius that is Wes Craven.
    Just sayin'

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