Rabid Movie Review: A Nightmare on Elm Street remake, starring Jackie Earle Haley (with trailer video)

The Rabid One is not afraid to tell you that you'll (unfortunately) be sleeping comfortably for foreseeable future. 2010’s A Nightmare on Elm Street is a barely re-polished facsimile of the original horror juggernaut. For your convenience I’ll break it down into three easy “sleep aids” to ensure you’ll have no nightmares tonight.

The Film:

On its own, the new A Nightmare on Elm Street is an adequate film at best. Little more than your typical slasher flick, it has an interesting story, leads that are semi-competent and excellent cinematography/set design. But that’s about the end of it. The film relies on overused jump scares throughout, and most of the kills are boring and rehashed. Even if you’ve never seen the original, I guarantee you that even a blind monkey bat would see the ending coming as soon as it misguidedly swooped into the theater.



The new Nightmare, much like the original, succeeds or fails on the Freddy character alone. Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen, Shutter Island) is the claw-handed demon this go round, and even someone like me (who’s never even seen the original) was longing for Robert Englund. I love Haley, and he does his best here, but sadly it just doesn’t produce anything that will stick with you. Mostly vanished is the original Freddy’s sick, twisted sense of humor that lulled characters and the audience into a false sense of security. Haley's Freddy is just a villain — a sick, haunting pedophile hell bent on killing his former victims.

Vs. the Original:

Comparing a remake to the original is unavoidable. As I said, I have never seen the source material, but knew I had a expert who could help. The lovely Stella, a hardcore Nightmare fan, was on hand and willing to risk being infected by the Rabid One for a chance to cuddle up with the new Freddy. As a longtime fan of the series, she said that anyone who’s seen the original is going to feel like they’ve already seen the remake. Stella thoroughly disliked Haley’s Freddy and longed for the original dream master. We both agreed that the new Freddy makeup restricted Haley's ability to emote, removing a lot from the experience in the process. And finally, Stella opined that the kills were typical and boring, and that she was left waiting for something new, creative and fresh to jump out at her and leave her panting for more. Since Freddy didn’t do the job, the Rabid One will have to take care of that himself.

[image-2]A Nightmare on Elm Street is not fresh or new; the movie is akin to a fake Prada bag being sold in Times Square. The movie could sort of pass for the original — but not if you stare too long or look too close. What’s the point of remaking something if you’re not going to update it or add something fresh? After all, even last night’s filet mignon is dog food one day later. The new Nightmare will leave you day dreaming of something better — like the original version that was made 25 years ago and was, you know, actually good. (Allegedly.)


Remake, reboot, redo, recombobulate. This unfortunate jargon is all the rage in the movie industry’s lexicon. Why create something new when you can simply take a tried and true hit from the past and resell it in a new package? As such, demented murderer Freddy Krueger is back for another Nightmare On Elm Street — the latest in a long line of flicks that Hollywood has hit Control-Alt-Delete on. But will this new Nightmare be fresh, or just the same old dream you’ve had before that no longer scares you?

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