The 1984 version of A Nightmare on Elm Street is considered a contemporary classic among horror fans. It’s the vehicle that made Robert Englund a cult star and brought us one of the most terrifying movie villains of all time. Even though the original has so much going for it Michael Bay and his production company Platinum Dunes decided to give it a face-lift (literally). But after watching the remake, we’ve realized that it was completely unnecessary…

The Players:

The Plot:

Sticking to the premise of the original, the film follows Freddy Krueger as he’s hunted down by the parents of a small town and burned alive for his heinous crimes against children. As his final act of revenge he decides to continue his killing spree but inside the subconscious of kids where no one can save them.

The Good:

  • Jackie Earle Haley: Haley was the perfect actor to take over the reigns of Freddy Krueger from Robert Englund. He poured his heart and soul into this performance by giving the character a new voice and a scarier vibe. He has made this version of Freddy his own.
  • The Direction: Samuel Bayer made his feature directorial debut with this film and did an amazing job. His background as a rock music video director really came into play with some of the more dark and graphic scenes.
  • The Make Up: Freddy was given a new look that slightly altered the previous design. Instead of him having pizza face he looks like a genuine burn victim. He has scabs, sheer skin, and practically no eyelids. It’s a lot more realistic.

The Bad:

  • The Script: The dialogue in this movie was beyond cliche. Every line sounded like it was taken directly out of the previous Nightmare films. You constantly hear phrases like, “If you die in your sleep, you die in real life,” and “When I sleep I dream, If I dream I’m dead.” After we heard it the first time we got the point but the constant repetition makes it lose its meaning.
  • The Acting: With the exception of Haley, everyone else in this film was horrible, especially Katie Cassidy. It felt like everyone was phoning in their performances.
  • Nancy: She was the only character from the original (besides Krueger) who made an appearance in this film and she was nothing like the Nancy we saw in 1984. Rooney Mara’s version is more of a loner and kind of Gothic. They gave her a new last name, changed her mother, and got rid of her father. If they were going to alter the character that much, they shouldn’t have put her in the movie.


A Nightmare on Elm Street makes a strong attempt to stand on its own two feet but ends up being a shadow of its former self. It depends too much on the original material. There are 5 or 6 scenes in this film taken directly out of the 1984 version. There are some genuine scares and Jackie Earle Haley is amazing but that’s not enough to make this a great movie. It’s very mediocre.

Rating: 6/10

A Nightmare on Elm Street opens in theaters nationwide on April 30, 2010.



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Will you go and see A Nightmare on Elm Street this weekend?