Visually-stunning horror remake divides reviewers
May 7, 2010
One thing that definitely can be said about the remake of “Nightmare on Elm Street” is that it’s visually stunning. The film uses the new technology to its advantage in updating the 1984 classic. This film delivers visually stunning thrills and chills that leave you on the edge of your seat. Like most horror movies the acting wasn’t too special, but it isn’t expected to be.
This movie definitely gave me a flashback to the times of Jason, the old Freddy, and even the “Scream” movies. Back then the premise was pretty simple. There was one killer, brutally and violently killing victims without mercy. Lately there have been a lot more complex horror films and psychological thrillers, so this kind of a film seemed a little out of place, but was well updated.
The camaraderie between the characters made me think of the “Final Destination” films. The film was centered on a group of teens with a forgotten past that connects them to Freddy himself. I liked the mystery of the film as the characters tried to piece together their past and make the connection.
The violence and gore is brought to a whole new level in the remake that would’ve never been possible in the original. Victims being tossed through the air and brutally chopped to pieces seem a lot more real with the new technology and special effects. The transitions between the real and dream worlds are helped by this as well.
I find it strange that this movie got such bad reviews, when it did exactly what a remake is supposed to do. It updated the classic for the current time and added some new, but not transformative elements to keep things interesting. It was clear that this film was directed at today’s teenagers and not so much the former teens that enjoyed the original, although I doubt they would be too bothered by this remake.
Faithful viewers of the original might have a hard time adjusting to a new and slightly less grotesque Freddy. The new Freddy, Jackie Earle Haley, looks like an actual burn victim and less like a fictional monster. Haley’s deep throaty voice haunts viewers as he makes snide comments like, “Why are you screaming? I haven’t even cut you yet!” The new Freddy has a few funny one-liners, but isn’t quite as savagely funny as the original. This film is the rebirth of a classic for the sake of a new generation that would be more likely to laugh at the ancient special effects of the original than to scream. In the new film, the teens have cell phones and use video blogs and the internet to figure out why they’re being tormented by a vengeful burn victim. The teens in the original certainly wouldn’t have had access to that kind of technology.
There weren’t many significant flaws in what the film was trying to do. The remake simply takes the original and updates it for a new generation that needs to be impressed by the special effects that new technology allows. The acting wasn’t great, but then again, this is a horror movie. This is the nightmare to frighten a new generation.
Natalie Conrad is a junior journalism and marketing communications major and French minor. She enjoys running,reading, writing, playing guitar, and traveling.