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Review A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010): They keep saying don't fall asleep. Then stop boring me to death!

genre: horror

When it was announced a remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street would be made I was very sceptical. But I thought to myself I ought to give it a fair chance. In order to do that I let some time pass so that whatever bias I might have would be gone. I am very capable of judging films on their own merit and therefore I will try to refrain myself from comparing this to the original which is not that hard to do since it has been a long time ago that I watched the original.

So the film doesn't waste time to introduce us to Freddy and what he is capable of. It seemed like it was atmospheric enough except it wasn't charged with dread. Nor was it creepy. Freddy himself pops up randomly and whenever he is on the screen there is nothing compelling or scary about him. Because no tension or suspense is build up to make him ominous. The fear you are supposed to be feeling comes from jump scares. And that is a very wrong approach. With jump scares you can make everyone and everything "scary" until it loses it's impact. Jump scares are effective when used sparingly. If you overuse them they won't do anything and often will remove the fear. Here we have a killer or monster who can kill you in your dreams. He is able to control your dreams and basically do whatever he likes. But what does this Freddy do? His main tactic is to appear and disappear out of the blue mostly through jump scares which like I said lost their effect real fast.  At times he talks to the victims like they are good pals catching up on old times to then disappear and reappear to strike. There is no rhyme and reason to this. If his tactic was to give them a false sense of safety and then without remorse would abuse the advantage then maybe it would have been scary. As was shown it did nothing to me. Except bore me to death.

Apart from some neat effects I didn't find any of the dream sequences to be interesting. The back story did add something serious and darker to Freddy's character. However it failed to satisfyingly explain why this child molester wanted to kill the children. It simply doesn't make sense. This plot element does give the film a more serious tone however it doesn't really improve on the horror elements. Actually I think the fact that this film takes itself too seriously is what is hurting the viewing experience considerably. Even in the best of horrors where tension and dread is full on you need to balance that out with some sense of wit and humour. It is completely absent in this film.

The acting in this remake was average to decent. None of the characters really stood out to me and Rooney Mara as final girl is as plain as they come. I really don't know what to make of her as an actress. Kyle Gallner is adequate but that is about it.  I like Jackie Earle Haley. I really do. Ever since the Bad News Bears he has been able to compel me with his acting. He was at his best in Watchmen where he stole the show but also in Human Target which got cancelled for no good reason at all. Unfortunately he doesn't impress as Freddy Krueger. He is quite boring as a monster. Funnily enough he was more interesting in the flashback scenes. Perhaps that had to do with his make-up. It just didn't do it for me. He looked like one of those funny sidekicks in a Disney movie.

The ending while cliché was effective but that is all I want to say about it. Overall this whole film was excruciatingly boring. The kills were unimaginative and Freddy Krueger simply is not menacing. If like me you had not seen the remake yet and you want to decide whether this is worth your time or not then I would say avoid this like the plague.

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