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A Nightmare on Elm Street

Posted by root On May - 7 - 2010
Moral Rating: Extremely Offensive
Moviemaking Quality: 3.5 stars
Primary Audience: Adults
Genre: Fantasy Horror Thriller
Length: 1 hr. 35 min.
Year of Release: 2010
USA Release: April 30, 2010

Twenty five years have passed since the world was first introduced to Freddy Krueger, the psychopath who terrorized the dreams of his victims in the film â??A Nightmare on Elm Street.â? Horror master Wes Cravenâ??s classic thriller brought the Boogey-man back to life as Krueger, who had fashioned a glove with knives for fingers, was able to invade the dreams of sleeping teens; if he killed them in their dreams, they died in real life. Those who saw this film in the 1980s cannot forget this character (masterfully played by Robert Englund)â??his sarcasm, his wicked laugh that sent shivers down the spine, and his comedic sparkâ??all of which made Freddy all the more scary.

In the 2010 remake, that Freddy Krueger is gone. Director Samuel Bayer takes Freddy (this time played by Jackie Earle Haley; most fans would recognize Haley from his teen years as Kelly from â??The Bad News Bearsâ?) in a decidedly nuanced direction. Aside from a few minor scenes reminiscent of the original, Bayer sets up a bit of a prequel to the original where we get the back story of how Krueger became the villain that he is.

A gardener at a local pre-school, Krueger, we learn, is a pedophile who had been abusing several children. When their parents learn about his misdeeds, they chase him into an  abandoned warehouse and set fire to the building, and they make a pact never to speak of the dead man ever again, nor tell the children what he had done to them. With his power to enter their dreams, Krueger hunts down his former victims, one by one. Only Nancy (Rooney Mara) and Quentin (Kyle Gallner) realize Kruegerâ??s planâ??can they stay awake long enough not to be killed?

There is not much here for the Christian viewer. Bad language, violence and murder, pedophilia, and suggestions of rape. Surprisingly, there is no nudity (in one scene, Nancy disrobes to get into a bathtubâ??nothing is shown. While in the tub, Kruegerâ??s knifed hand appears between her legs). One redeeming scene late in the movie shows Quentin hanging a cross around Nancyâ??s neck for protection; when she questions his religiosity, Quentin argues, â??Hey, you gotta believe in something, right?â?

The simple question that begs to be asked is why anyone would want to mess with such a classic film. Admittedly, the remake is much better than the sequels which were made (e.g., â??Freddy vs. Jasonâ?), but the remake is still a bit unnecessary. Remaking Cravenâ??s work is comparable to someone trying to redo Hitchcockâ??s â??Psychoâ?; it just should not be done. Wait, bad exampleâ?¦ someone already did that and failed. How about â??The Texas Chainsaw Massacreâ?? Oops, too late! â??Halloweenâ?? â??Friday the 13thâ?? A message to all would-be-film-remakersâ??â??If it ainâ??t broke, donâ??t fix it!â?

Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Heavy

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