A Remake on Elm Street

On Friday night, Beth and I saw the latest in the long line of horror movie remakes, this time of A Nightmare on Elm Street. Based on other such remakes, you’d expect that they really upped the sex, drugs, and gore, right? Well, actually, no. On the other hand, they didn’t exactly add in anything good, either. It felt like a pretty bare-bones reworking of the basic story from the original film. And when they DID try something new, it tended to fail miserably. I’d heard some buzz about how Freddy Krueger might have been innocent in this version. As it turned out, they did suggest this at first, but then promptly and totally discarded it toward the end. The original idea was that Freddy was clearly guilty, but he got off on a technicality, so the neighborhood parents took matters into their own hands and burned him up. In the remake, he’s never even put on trial, and the parents break out the gasoline when they SUSPECT he’s guilty. As it turns out, he IS guilty, and even has pretty clear evidence of his crimes. So why didn’t anyone find this before? The only answer that seems to make sense is that the people of Springwood are idiots. Sure, he hid the incriminating pictures in a secret room underneath the preschool, but it didn’t take the protagonists long to find it when they checked out the building. Besides, unless we’re supposed to believe that Freddy dug it out himself, the room would presumably have been on the floor plan, right? Also, there were hints that Freddy wanted his victims to find the room and the pictures, but if that was the case, why did he kill all but two of them before they had the chance to check it out? I didn’t like the new interpretation of Freddy himself, either. I’m sure part of it is because I think Robert Englund is so iconic in that role that I’d rather not see anyone else play it until he dies or retires. But if they had to use someone else, I’m sure there are actors who could have done the part more convincingly, even with the corny lines they gave the character. Also, in terms of makeup…what the hell? They burned this guy to death, so he looks…reptilian? Did they save money by reusing a costume from some B-movie about lizard men from space?

Other than Freddy, the performances were good, although I think some of the actors looked a little too old to be in high school, especially the girl who played Nancy. For that matter, I’m not entirely sure why they retained her first name from the original, but not her last name or anyone character’s name (except Freddy, obviously). I kind of think it worked, though. The fact that we see a Nancy early on was an island of familiarity in a sea of the unknown, or some bad metaphor like that. Overall, it was unnecessary, but there have been much worse remakes (see Friday the 13th and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, for instance). Fortunately, a lame remake doesn’t destroy our memories of the original.

This entry was posted in VoVat Goes to the Movies and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to A Remake on Elm Street

  1. Pingback: Watching the Watchmen | VoVatia

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