A group of high school students having dreams of a burned killer named Freddy Krueger (Jackie Earle Haley, Watchmen, Shutter Island)) suddenly start dying. This remake of the 1984 classic keeps many of the same stories of the original while adding new stuff as well. I am going to say right off the bat that I am a huge fan of the original, so my expectations going into this weren’t really high to begin with. What did impress me, however, were some of the death scenes, in particular the first and the final ones. There are also a few moments that make you jump, which is always good. This movie has a few scenes taken directly from the original, with mixed results. The scene of the girl getting thrown about the bedroom is back and is actually better here. On the other hand, the bathtub scene also returns and is not nearly as effective as in the first film. One thing that really drags this movie down is the cast. With the exception of Rooney Mara as Nancy Holbrook (as opposed to Nancy Thompson from the original), the cast is very weak and, for the most part, irritating. This applies especially to Kyle Gallner as Quentin and Thomas Dekker as Jesse. The special effects are hit-or-miss throughout, alternating between really cool and really distracting and poorly done. Finally, there’s Freddy. This movie confirms what I believed going into it: nobody other than Robert Englund should EVER play Freddy. This is not at all a knock on Jackie Earle Haley, who is a good actor in his own right. He did as much as he could do with the role, but it comes off as a Halloween costume of Freddy, not the real thing, and that takes way too much from the movie.
It just never FEELS like Freddy. If you are a youngster and/or you’ve never seen the original, this may not affect you at all. For those of us who grew up with and love the original series of films this will just never feel like a Nightmare On Elm Street movie, though it does have tons of potential. Had they brought Englund back and cast better actors for the supporting roles, this could have been a wonderful movie. Sadly, it’s not--at least I caught the matinee.
On A Scale Of One To Ten: 6