This past weekend there was a test screening for the highly anticipated Platinum Dunes re-imagining of the horror classic, A Nightmare on Elm Street. Lucky for us, someone going by the pseudonym “Skin Peeler”  was in attendance and wrote up an extremely lengthy review of the film for the folks over at Ain’t It Cool News.

What did he think? While I’ve sampled some of the highlights from the review here, I can tell you right now that it appears much work needs to be done before the April 30, 2010, release date. Keep in mind that none of the effects, sound, editing (pretty much everything) are final at this moment.

In an attempt to save space and get right to the review, I shall save my musings and non-sequiturs until the end. I should also note that we tweaked some of the original text from the review – didn’t want you guys blaming us  for some of the spelling decisions he made.

Now, on to the film…

How’s Jackie Earle Haley’s performance as Freddy Krueger in Comparison to the original Freddy, Robert Englund?

Haley’s portrayal will no doubt be compared to Robert Englund’s performance. In my eyes, Englund’s was at times a dark presence of pure anger, at other times a bizarre caricature like an carnival barker or angry drunk and pervy uncle. Haley’s portrayal seems to be no nonsense, to the point, smarmy, ugly, repulsive and just plain vile… what you would expect from a child molester and it fits the story. However, the writers don’t let him playfully toy with his prey as much, he simply twists the screws…

Kruger was never a Pinhead or Hannibal when it came to dialog, and I know they were going for a more serious slant this time, but he (Englund’s Freddy) had a confidence that made you know you were f**ked since he had you in his world and Haley works with what he is given.

Freddy’s Make-Up and the overall look of the film.

The set and makeup departments did an excellent job: Freddy looks like a freakish burn victim, many of the dream and flashback scenes are dark and have that ‘Silent Hill’ feel. It’s like they watched a bunch of great horror films for inspiration… but with the sound muted. ANoES’s story, dialog and acting don’t quite match the imagery.

But is it Scary?

This film is chock-full of heart-stopping jump out and scare you moments… the audience was definitely given some jumps, however it’s overdone and hides the lack of any real horror. The cheap scares become like little Snickers bites in a bag of Halloween candy: a quick jolt but soon forgotten. This would be fine if there were some good psychological horror thrown in, like a juicy steak for a more substantial meal, however all that’s left is a sugar crash.

Possibility of PG-13 rating?

I don’t recall seeing much hard core ‘guro’ besides slashes, blood and Freddy’s hand suddenly appearing through someone’s chest, possibly leaving open the possibility of a PG-13 rating? …no nudity in the film, however Freddy is a brutal killer with themes of child molestation


…the version I saw tonight could have been an excellent remake. At this point it’s at merely ‘mediocre’ status in my mind, but with possible ‘good’ potential. I want for it to be good and I would love to see more of Haley. I don’t know what can be done at this point to fix the actors chosen or the missing elements to raise the horror, but I stay hopeful. The editing still has time to be tightened, as I am already forgetting the entire middle of the film except for the flashbacks.

The story also has some great set ups only to fall short because of characters you could care less about (Apologies to the actors… blame bad casting).

Final Thoughts

Just please figure out do you want a PG-13 movie or R? When you make a film, you shouldn’t give a sh*t about the rating. This is a Nightmare on Elm Street… It should be a given it’s an ‘R’ rating.

Well, there you have it. Overall, I’d have to say that I now have zero excitement for this flick. From what this audience member writes, it sounds like it’s a decent horror film, but I’m not looking for a decent horror film, I want a  Nightmare On Elm Street film. There is a difference.

It’s disappointing that the acting is horrible with someone like Jackie Earle Haley in this film. I have a feeling that whatever I end up thinking of his portrayal of the infamous Freddy Krueger, it would be so much better if he were acting against better talent.

Still, there is an interesting difference between the relationships between the victims and Krueger in this version as compared to the original, and  I’m really curious as to his ultimate guilt or innocence.

Alright, enough of me. Skin Peeler took up so much space that I’ll have to leave my musings and non sequiturs for another time.

… or will I? (Yes, I will)

After reading this, what do you think? Is this the film you hoped it would be? Are you still excited about going to see it? How are you going to feel when they announce the sequel? (Because you know they will!)

A Nightmare On Elm Street is slated to be released on April 30, 2010.

Source: Ain’t It Cool News