Early Review of ‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’

Published 5 years ago by , Updated November 11th, 2009 at 4:34 pm,

nightmare elm slim logo Early Review of A Nightmare On Elm Street

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.

nightmare1 Early Review of A Nightmare On Elm Street

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

nightmare bed Early Review of A Nightmare On Elm Street

Conclusion

…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)

nightmare2 Early Review of A Nightmare On Elm Street

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

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  1. I still can’t wait to see this film. Pretty disappointed to hear about Haley’s performance though. I figured he would amazing as Krueger.

  2. I learned my lesson about the “early reviews”. Don’t trust them anymore as they usually turn out to be exaggerated. Not saying this movie will be amazing but I’m still very interested in seeing it.

  3. the one thing i hated from the old elm streets was that he acts to clowny (cracking puns, laughing stupidly etc)
    the other elm streets sisnt have that much blood (except maybe #3 where the guys gets used as a puppet)

    i hope this is at least an MA in australia, friday the 13th was 18+

  4. I kinda wanted to see this, but to be honest, I am so sick of remakes that I will not see one again. There is suck a lack of imagination in Hollywood today that we should all boycott remakes and maybe they will stop making them!!! I remember being terrified of Freddy Kruger when i was a child, but I doubt anyone will be hiding from this watered down version!

  5. It is possible to make a great Scary movie pg-13(Drag me to hell anyone) but I really think Freddy should be R[ This of course doesn’t mean adding a stereotypical nude girl, I want some scary Dialog!

  6. Its not the film I hoped for,
    but its the film I expected.

  7. Was never looking forward to this. Right from the get go you can tell this movie is going to be a good attempt but an ultimate failure in the end of yet another Hollywood remake.

    Sure this is an early review and maybe you should take the early reviews lightly. But at this point all the Hollywood remakes seem to have one thing in common. They are either okay reinterpretations hardly being at the same level of the original or consecutive releases of garbage.

  8. I’m still excited to see Freddy back in action. But what always got me with the whole series was the psychological factor of it. Wes Craven did a decent job of playing that up in the first one and “New Nightmare” but it’s something that isn’t focused on. From what the review says, I shouldn’t be expecting any smarts or good twists but rather C-List actors being killed in their sleeps. It’s a shame because out of all the horror franchises, this one has the potential to be the smartest one. And I don’t think this one will come close to being smart. But yet, I’m still excited for some reason.

  9. I wish people would stop citing Drag Me To Hell as some kind of modern horror classic, it was shockingly bad, no frights, not even any jumps caused by a lurching musical score. It showed Raimi up as someone who has truly lost their knack for storytelling.

  10. I found this article because I literally had just woken up from a nightmare about Freddy a few minutes ago and I’m 25 years old, LOL. Figured maybe it was a sign so I did a Google news for “elm street remake” and ended up here.

    Freddy’s been my boogeyman for about 16 years now after I saw my first NOES. He’s haunted me since that first time I saw him and understood how terrifying it is to have someone come for you when you’re at your most vulnerable. This movie is very important to me. Really I can’t believe there’s even a threat that they could screw up a gem like this. Cheap scares? A loud, thunderous jolt from a cat jumping on someone’s shoulder? That’s what you’re going to do with this excellent story? You must truly be devoid of talent if you can’t make a damn good horror movie out of these ingredients. It’s all right there, man. Wes Craven gave you the blueprint to create a really scary modern classic that’ll leave an impression on a new generation of children.

    I finally understand what the nerds feel like who always get their panties twisted up over a comic book movie.

  11. I’ll give it a go regardless.

  12. No matter the actor…if you tie there hands behind their back they are going to be limited…and it seems like the studio and director have done that. From all the comments and blogs it seems like most fans of NOES series are really only excited about the flashbacks and expanded history of Freddy. Truthfully thats all im looking forward to.

  13. I know it doesnt belong here but that last Angelina jolie movie where her son was abducted by a child murder was really a great example of psychological mind horror…Im still freaked out by the chicken coop scene and its been over a year since i saw that movie. And thats how i want NMOES to be…I really want it to be so horrific that it burns a scary image in my brain for years to come lol.

  14. No matter the actor…if you tie there hands behind their back they are going to be limited…and it seems like the studio and director have done that. From all the comments and blogs it seems like most fans of NOES series are really only excited about the flashbacks and expanded history of Freddy. Truthfully thats all im looking forward to.

  15. I know it doesnt belong here but that last Angelina jolie movie where her son was abducted by a child murder was really a great example of psychological mind horror…Im still freaked out by the chicken coop scene and its been over a year since i saw that movie. And thats how i want NMOES to be…I really want it to be so horrific that it burns a scary image in my brain for years to come lol.

  16. No matter the actor…if you tie there hands behind their back they are going to be limited…and it seems like the studio and director have done that. From all the comments and blogs it seems like most fans of NOES series are really only excited about the flashbacks and expanded history of Freddy. Truthfully thats all im looking forward to.

  17. I know it doesnt belong here but that last Angelina jolie movie where her son was abducted by a child murder was really a great example of psychological mind horror…Im still freaked out by the chicken coop scene and its been over a year since i saw that movie. And thats how i want NMOES to be…I really want it to be so horrific that it burns a scary image in my brain for years to come lol.

  18. Early reviews dont hold much water.
    This film will be the boxoffice champion its 1st week. After that who knows.
    It will take some time to adjust to not having Robert Englund as Freddy, but
    once everyone gets over that I think the film will do fine.
    One thing is for sure this film will be SCARY. Just the way FREDDY was meant to be.
    I know a bunch of folks at my high school planning to all go and see this film on
    opening night. Cant wait. The NIGHTMARES begin April 30th.

  19. Nightmare on Elm Street rated PG13, NOT!!!!!!! its Rated R.
    Jackie Earl Haley performance as Freddy will be great.
    He was awesome as Rorschach and I wasnt really a fan of the
    Watchmen before I saw that movie. But I thought Haleys performance as Rorschach was awesome. He was a total badass. Reminded me of Wolverine.
    I think Haley will win over most of the people who go and see the
    new Nightmare on Elm Street.

  20. I'll still check it out. Judging by this review, it's pretty much what I expected it would be. Jackie Earle Haley will undoubtedly deliver a good performance (has he ever delivered a bad one?) and the rest of the acting will most likely suck. It's most likely going to end up your typical, run-of-the-mill, Michael Bay-produced horror remake.

  21. As far as remakes go, I was very happy with the movie. Yes there were some cheap tricks that would have better been left out, and it doesn't quite have the same feel as the old one, but overall it's good. I never really expect too much when I go to see remakes because most are horrible, but this one was pretty good. I like the different portrayal of Freddy, and I thought Haley's performance was great. Different. But great. Frankly the stupid jokes and puns start annoying me. They could have had a couple more here and there, but I like that they didn't overdo it.

    Possible spoiler warning: One of my only complaints was that the scene where Cris(I believe that's how it's spelled) is getting tossed around like a rag doll. It just wasn't really scary. Most of the people watching just started laughing.