Thursday, October 29, 2015

Movies That Suck/Franchises: A Nightmare on Elm Street. A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

After Freddy vs. Jason was a huge hit when it was released in 2003, I was expecting, and was hoping for, a follow-up, one that would hopefully throw in another iconic horror character like Michael Myers or even Ash from The Evil Dead, a franchise that I'm not really a fan of. I didn't care, I just wanted a follow-up to that really fun movie. But, little did I know that the success of the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (a movie I really like and will always defend, by the way) that same year would be the nail in the coffin for the original continuities of these various franchises. Once Rob Zombie's remake of Halloween came along, I knew for sure that everything was going to be rebooted, and with the release of the 2009 Friday the 13th and everything else having already been done, I just knew A Nightmare on Elm Street would be next, which it was. Like everything, I was willing to give it a chance. I knew that it would have the same music video look as all of the Platinum Dunes remakes did and that somebody else would be playing Freddy, which meant that this one had a lot more to prove than the previous ones, but all I cared about was how it was pulled off. In the trailers and TV spots, while I didn't like seeing Freddy running from a mob and begging for his life, nor did I particularly care for the voice, I liked that they appeared to be trying to go back to the original dark and scary vision of the character. Even when I finally got a clear look at how Jackie Earle Haley looked as the character, I thought, "Well, that might work." Of course, when the movie came out, I heard very few positives things about it, including from my cousin, who's not even a fan of the Nightmare movies to begin with, but since all of the remakes had been greeted with a lot of hostility, I didn't pay much attention to it and again figured, "I'll wait until I see it for myself." I didn't see it myself until late 2011 when I just happened upon the DVD at Wal-Mart for like ten bucks, said, "What the hey," and picked it up. I remember people telling me that I had made a really bad call by buying that but, again, I told them I had to see for myself (I had tried to watch it for free on cable one night but found out too late that it was on a pay-per-view preview channel and not an actual one, so I only saw a few minutes of the beginning). Well, when I watched it the following day, I wasn't sure what to make of it once it was over but, as I thought about it more and more afterward, I started to grow a burning hatred for it as I realized that I had just seen something with no effort put into it whatsoever. I can say good things about a lot of the remakes that came out throughout the 2000's, even the ones I abhor like Rob Zombie's Halloween, but there is almost nothing good that I can say about this flick. This is one of the most uninspired, unimaginative, by the numbers, boring pieces of crap I have ever seen, with the attitude behind it really feeling like, "Well, everything else has been remade, so let's just go ahead and do A Nightmare on Elm Street." Even Nightmare 5 and Freddy's Dead, my two least favorites of the original continuity, felt like there was some honest to God effort and care put into them, whereas this thing is just another part of a studio assembly line of, despite how they each come out, unnecessary and, frankly, unwanted remakes.

One rainy night at the Springwood Diner, teenager Dean Russell has the latest in a series of disturbing nightmares about a horribly burned man wearing a glove with blades on the fingers, an attack that leaves him with an actual cut on his hand in reality. When his girlfriend, Kris, meets up with him there and he tells her about the dreams, he falls asleep again and is attacked by the man, who cuts his throat with a knife in his own hand, making it look as if he killed himself. At Dean's funeral, Kris sees a photo in the memorial of the two of them as children, even though she can't remember ever having known him before high school. Her ex-boyfriend, Jesse, tries to comfort her but doesn't believe what she tells him about how Dean died and while her friend, Nancy, says that she believes her, hinting that she's been having scary dreams herself, Jesse tells her to not say anything to Kris. Kris begins having nightmares about the same man, which frighten her to the point where she's afraid to go to sleep for fear that she might actually die. When he she's left home alone when her mother goes out of town on business, Jesse, who reveals that he's been dreaming about the man too, stays over with her, but when Kris falls asleep, she's gutted horribly. Covered in her blood, Jesse runs out of the house, tripping the security alarm, and goes to Nancy, telling her that he didn't kill Kris and learning that's she been having the same dreams, which involve a preschool and a nursery rhyme that names the man as Freddy. Jesse is arrested and charged with Kris' murder and, despite his attempts to stay awake, falls asleep and is killed by Freddy. As Nancy begins having nightmares, and suspects that her mother is hiding something, she and another boy, Quentin, look into their past and learn that the two of them, as well as Jesse, Kris, and Dean, all went to the same preschool together. They also learn about Fred Krueger, a gardener at the school who loved the kids, especially Nancy, but was said to have been sexually abusing them. Nancy's mother claims that Krueger skipped town before they could confront him with the allegations and that the nightmares are nothing more than repressed memories but Nancy feels that's not the whole story. While she discovers that all of the other kids from the preschool have been killed recently as well, Quentin has a dream where he sees their parents hunt Krueger down and burn him alive. With there being no concrete evidence that he did abuse the kids other than what they themselves said, Nancy and Quentin feel that they killed an innocent man and that he's getting revenge by killing them. They decide to find the preschool, since the dreams of the other kids involved Freddy trying to lead them down into the basement to find something, but with their insomnia causing them to dream even while they're awake, they're running out of time and might not wake up the next time they sleep.

Every time I hear the people behind Platinum Dunes and others who have remade beloved horror films talk about what their intentions were behind doing them, I just roll my eyes because it's so obvious that they're full of crap. It's always the same stuff: "This is a fresh take that will appeal to both lifelong fans as well as the new generation," "We're trying to honor the original while giving audiences something different," and, "We're updating it for a new generation, with a new spin on the character and story." However you word it, it's always the same and it almost never works. Teeny-bopper kids may get something out of it but it won't appeal to the old-time fans, who will more than likely feel like the movies that they've loved for so long are being butchered. Incidentally, when and why did sequels suddenly become so taboo? One of the producers of this film said something along the lines that in good conscience, he couldn't do a movie that was yet another sequel to the original series, to which I ask, "Why?" Is it because you're going to have someone else playing Freddy? Freddy is an undead character, meaning that he's ageless, so there's nothing stopping you from doing a sequel that just happens to have someone else playing the role. Actors may age and have to be replaced, but characters like this are forever and don't need to be reinvented or have their origin retold unless it's absolutely necessary. They just don't want to come out and give the real reason why these remakes are done: these characters make money and they're too lazy to come up with a new story for them, so they just decide to remake the original movies and take elements from them and some of the sequels to try to placate the fans, which only succeeds in reminding us of other, much better movies that we could be watching instead (I'll have a lot to say about that later). That's probably why Platinum Dunes have very rarely ever done a sequel to their remakes, because then they'd have to come up with something original. As I've said, I do like some of the movies they've made, it's just that their way of side-stepping the real issue in a BS way that they seem to believe people will swallow makes my stomach churn.

As they often do, Platinum Dunes hired a music video and commercial director to helm the film, with it this time being Samuel Bayer, who's directed music videos for a lot of high-profile artists like Nirvana, David Bowie, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Rolling Stones, Justin Timberlake, and even Michael Jackson and commercials for Nike and Coca-Cola. He didn't exactly endear himself to the fans when he was hired, basically talking crap about the previous movies, calling them campy and cheesy, before he'd even shot a frame of film, and not responding very well when any of his decisions were questioned. In fact, if you read up on it, he turned down the offer to direct the movie twice and only took it when Michael Bay sent him an e-mail, telling him what a great opportunity it would be for him to break into the business (Bayer, at this point, hasn't directed any other actual movies since this film). I've also heard that he's quite a douchebag in general, that he could have directed movies long before A Nightmare on Elm Street and was even being groomed to be the next David Fincher, but he's always been so arrogant and full of himself, treating his crews like garbage, that those opportunities went bye-bye pretty quickly (he doesn't particularly look like the nicest guy on the planet, does he?) Since I'm not a big music video watcher, I can't comment on those, but if this movie is any indication, then he'd better eat a lot of humble pie fast because he has no reason to be so arrogant about his abilities. And as for being compared to David Fincher, that guy has more talent in the fingernail of his pinky than this hack has in his entire body and soul.

Freddy vs. Jason had some pretty bad actors but, as bad as some of those actors got, I would much rather take them over the characters in this movie because at least they felt like human beings and had some semblance of life to them; these teens are some of the blandest, most uninteresting, and boring characters I've ever seen in a horror film. There's no one in this cast I care about, least of all Nancy (Rooney Mara). Heather Langenkamp's acting in the original film may have been rough at points but at least she showed emotion and was a person that I rooted for and cared about; this Nancy may as well be replaced by a cardboard cut-out because I think that might show more emotion than Mara does. She keeps the same, deadpan expression and low, dull, emotionless voice for most of the movie, even when she's at someone's funeral or heard that someone else she knows died. When she tries to act concerned or emotional, it looks like her body is fighting her since it's not used to it. She actually cries and screams so infrequently and unexpectedly that it kind of startles me when it does happen. They try to give her some character points, like how she's socially awkward, which we're mainly just told, and how she draws artwork and often makes drawings based on her nightmares but I so don't care about any of it because she gives me no reason to. And also as a result of her lack of charisma and emotion, I don't care at all whether she lives or dies and I also don't find myself cheering when she slices Freddy's throat open at the end of the movie. When that happens, I'm glad because I know that it won't be much longer before I can shut the damn thing off. I often wonder why she was even Freddy's favorite. She must have been a lot more lively when she was a little girl and puberty sapped all of the emotion out of her. And if you had told me that Mara would go on to be nominated for an Oscar for her role in The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo, I would have laughed in your face. I guess the fact that's the case proves that a great director like David Fincher can pull a performance out of anyone, whereas a hack like Samuel Bayer is screwed from the get-go.

While Nancy has almost no emotion to her, her would-be love interest, Quentin (Kyle Gallner), is one of the mopiest, most miserable-looking kids I've seen in a long time. Every time I saw this guy, I could just smell despair and sadness coming off of him. Even when he tries to smile and sort of flirt with Nancy, he looks like a depressed sack of crap. I don't know if it's just the way Gallner naturally looks or if it's because he's trying to look like he's been awake for a long time or what but I think even emo kids would tell him to lighten up! In any case, like Nancy, because of the way he comes across, I don't care about this character at all. Like her, they try to give him something to play around with, being very knowledgable about insomnia and what it does to people, as well as having had a crush on Nancy for years but not having the guts to really talk to her until just recently, but, as with Nancy, that's not enough to get me to care about this guy. As a result, when he's screaming at his father for having burned Freddy alive with no real proof, yelling in frustration when he and Nancy learn the horrible truth about what really happened at the preschool, and is freaking out when it looks Nancy isn't going to wake up when she's attacked by Freddy in the dream near the climax, it has no impact on me at all. Instead, I often find myself wishing he would go sit in the corner somewhere with his hood pulled over his head and listen to his I-phone because he just looks and feels like the kind of person you would see doing that.

The only character I can say I kind of like is Kris (Katie Cassidy) and I think the reason for that is, unlike Nancy, she's a lead, teenage girl who has some life and personality to her. She comes across as a little more concerned for what's happening to her and her friends than Nancy, talking about what Dean was saying right before he apparently killed himself and realizing with horror that she and Jesse have been dreaming about the same creepy man. What's more, she's the first one to hit upon the notion that there's something being covered up by the adults when she notices a picture of her and Dean when they were little kids even though she doesn't remember meeting him until they were in high school. Plus, she shows fear and dread far better than Nancy ever does. Like the others, she isn't the best in delivering some of the lines she has to speak, like when she's talking about the dreams, and she's ultimately so underdeveloped (the love triangle between her, Jesse, and Dean is not explored as much as it could have been) that when she does get killed, I find myself not caring that much, but if she had been the lead and had gotten more development and stronger as a character as the movie went on, I think it would have been for the better. In fact, instead of doing the same thing that Wes Craven did with Tina, making you think that she's going to be the lead when she gets killed early on, why not do the reverse and actually make her the lead while Nancy gets killed early on? That not only would have been a surprise that nobody, particularly fans of the original, would have seen coming, but you would have also ended up with a lead with more personality to her. But I guess that's not what they were going for.

Okay, let's get back to characters I don't care about at all, namely Jesse (Thomas Dekker), the Rod Lane equivalent of this film. Yet again, they think that simply doing things on the surface, like making him look like a bad boy with his leather jacket and scowling facial expressions, telling us that he's angry that Kris broke up with him some time ago and is now dating Dean, which seems to have caused some friction between the two of them, and him saying that he's been an asshole, is enough to make us care about him but it's far from the case. As a result, that makes them following the original movie beat by beat, with him getting framed for Kris' murder because of their past and because he was the only one in the room with her and then getting killed by Freddy when he falls asleep in jail, even worse because we know what's going to happen but we don't care about Jesse the same way that we did Rod. It's really lazy filmmaking and writing. And even though he's killed in the opening scene, Dean (Kellan Lutz) also gets to provide an example of how bland and emotionless the teenage characters are in this movie. He falls asleep, gets attacked by Freddy, and when he wakes up, he finds a cut on the palm of his hand. It's a pretty bad, bleeding cut too, but this guy does not react to it the way anyone else would at all. Instead of wincing in pain and being like, "Ow! Oh, shit!", he just blankly stares at it and wipes away the blood before anyone else notices. Wow, that was some grade-A acting right there. His conversation minutes later with Kris about the nightmares he's been having and how they may or may not be connected with his "past", as well as a subtle hint that he may have started the whole thing when he tried to think back into his past during therapy (which could have been interesting if elaborated on), is yet another attempt by the filmmakers to make us care about this guy and what he's going through with just the barest of facts but, again, it does... not... work! I know I sound like a broken record but this movie gives me little else to work with when it comes to the characters.

The two main adult characters in this film, Nancy's mother, Gwen (Connie Briton), and Quentin's father, Alan (Clancy Brown), are given little else to do other than act like shady, co-conspirators in a plot to keep their kids from remembering what happened to them and provide exposition about what did happen when they're caught red-handed. In the dream flashback where Quentin sees Freddy being burned alive, Gwen comes across as the most sympathetic person in the lynch mob, trying to make the others, especially Alan, realize that this isn't the way and that they should go to the police, and when Nancy makes her tell the truth, she still comes across as sympathetic, saying that she wanted her to forget so she wouldn't have to go through life with those horrible memories but, while it is refreshing to finally see someone in this movie behave like an actual person, in the end it's not enough to make me care when Freddy pops back up and kills Gwen (not to mention how sad and pathetic that whole thing is, which I'll get to). I feel even more sorry for Brown, who's a really good actor but is given even less to do than Briton. I like that he loves his kid enough to where he was willing to kill someone who had violated him (although in the flashback, he seems shocked when the inside of the building explodes after he threw the lit gas can in, as if he didn't intend to kill Freddy despite what he was saying minutes before) and he's really good in the scene where he tells Quentin about how horrible it is when you learn that you've failed in protecting your child as a parent, but those brief moments are the only major ones he has. Otherwise, he just stands around, very obviously looking like he's hiding something, acts as a shady conspirator, and tells Nancy not to tell anyone about what happened to Freddy. You'd think that, at the very least, his being so bloodthirsty and willing to burn Freddy alive would come back up eventually but nope, it leads to nothing. Why would I expect anything else?

Just about everybody immediately called sacrilege when it was made clear that Robert Englund was going to be replaced as Freddy, with comments like, "Robert is Freddy!" and such. On the one hand, I most definitely agree with that notion. Ever since his original conception, Freddy has been personified and portrayed in every imaginable light by Englund, to the point where it's virtually impossible to separate him from the role, no matter how talented a newcomer to the role is. But, on the other hand, if this series was going to keep going, Englund was going to have to be replaced eventually, like all of the actors who have played James Bond over the years, and since it is a remake, it wouldn't make much sense to recast the same actor. Plus, I think there's always room for interpretation and a new actor might be able to bring a different take to a role that's just as well-done and endearing as the previous one... that is, if you cast someone who's right for the part, which Platinum Dunes seemed to have done when they secured Jackie Earle Haley. At least that major problem was solved, or so it felt at the time. Despite my misgivings about the voice and the ways some of the lines were spoken in the trailers and TV spots, I was willing to give Haley a chance, even though, when I first saw the movie, I got excited when you first see Freddy's glove but that immediately diminished when I thought, "Oh, yeah, it's not Robert Englund." I then felt I had to get used to this new actor and so, I put that out of mind. Unfortunately, whether it be the lackluster script, bad direction, or what, Haley's performance ultimately comes up short. There are some things about his characterization of Freddy that I do enjoy, like how unapologetically sleazy and nasty he is when confronting the kids, especially with Nancy, his tic of constantly wriggling the fingers of his right hand, how there does appear to be some rage in him about how these kids got him burned alive, and he does have some good lines here and there, like when he tells Jesse about how long the brain can function after the heart stops beating and when he asks Nancy what she wants to play and she says, "Fuck you!", he goes, "Ooh, sounds like fun," but other than that, I don't care for how he plays the character. It sucks because, as I've described, I can see a lot of potential in him, but he's never terrifying (which was their goal), the voice is overly deep and growly, reminding me of Christian Bale's Batman voice (when did that type of voice suddenly become the accepted way to go?), and is hard for me to take seriously, especially when he yells, and, worst of all, his portrayal simply isn't strong enough for me to forget about Englund. That latter point isn't helped by the movie constantly reminding you of Englund by stealing shots and lines from the previous films, as well as by having Haley do familiar things like scrape his blades against the wall and pipes and flick his glove to reveal the blades. They should have left those out and focused more on Haley's wriggling fingers; at least that would have made it feel more like this is his interpretation of Freddy.

The most effective thing about Freddy here to me is the backstory. For one, Haley is actually quite good in the flashback scenes where you see him as Freddy before he was burned alive. He comes across as quite benevolent and loving when you see him playing with the kids and interacting with them, which makes it possible to believe that in this interpretation, he was an innocent man who was lynched for something he didn't do. That ultimately makes it more disturbing when you find out that he wasn't innocent after all, that he's killing the kids because they told the truth. That's another thing: it was pretty gutsy for them to go with the original notion that Freddy was a child molester, which was simply subtext in the previous movies. Here, it's right in your face, and when you see him acting all nice with the kids, saying stuff to the young Nancy like, "If you can keep a secret, I'll take you to a special place," and then see the kids with the slashes on their clothes, it's successful in making your skin crawl and adds even more fuel to him being so nasty with them in their dreams, with the notion that he now has no inhibitions and can do the horrible things with them that he always imagined them. The most horrific moment for me is when Nancy and Quentin go to the preschool and find Freddy's secret room, where Quentin comes across a box of nasty photos of Nancy when she was a little girl. They then not only realize that he's after them because they told the truth but that the reason he led them there was because he wanted them to remember what he did to them, no doubt getting sick pleasure out of it and adding an even more sinister vibe to those flashback scenes. I also like that we only get a fleeting glimpse of the photos and that the images are mainly left to our imagination, fueled by Nancy's reaction to them (one of the few times where Rooney Mara's acting feels natural). And finally, I like the idea that the kids have a more personal connection to Freddy, that he's killing them not just out of revenge for what their parents did to him but also that they're the ones who got him killed to begin with. I don't know why the kids have all forgotten about both him and the preschool they went to (I know they were five but I remember a lot of stuff from when I was five and I'm almost 30) but I do like that new angle on it. However, while child molestation is a horrible crime, burning someone alive for it feels very extreme to me. In the original continuity, I totally understood why Freddy was torched, having been a sadistic child-killer who was let go because of a technicality, with the parents feeling that the justice system had failed them and deciding to take care of it themselves, but here, the parents don't even bother going to the police; instead, they just chase Freddy down and roast him. If I was a parent and found out that somebody had done this to my kid, I'd be furious and upset but I'd go to the cops with evidence and have them investigate the guy, not do this. And I know that one parent said that he didn't want the kids to have to testify in court about what Freddy did to them but still, I agree with Gwen, what they're doing instead is just crazy, which is why I wish it was focused on more than it is.

As if the performance wasn't already lackluster, the way Haley looks in the makeup and the way it's designed hurts it even more. I understand that the intention was to go for the look of a real burn victim but this just looks off. He looks more like a hairless cat than anything else to me, and the CGI enhancements to make the damage from the fire look even more severe, with chunks of flesh missing on his cheeks here and there, are very noticeable and distracting. You can just tell that there's digital work involved with how his face moves and this technique in general really hurts the quality of the practical makeup and animatronics that they're applied to (the makeup here wasn't that great to begin with but this bad CGI didn't help matters). Also, did Haley always wear the makeup or did he start out having it applied and then opted for a completely digital mask later on? The reason I ask is because, while looking for images, I've seen a lot of photos where Haley is in scenes as himself but, in the actual movie, he had the Freddy look, and also because there are instances where other parts of his face besides the deep tissue damage feel digital to me. Maybe those are just rehearsal photos (they look exactly like stills from the movie, though) or it could be deleted material, which there seems to be a lot of, like that stuff with Freddy wearing this cloak, but, if what I've described is the case, then I'm like, "Jeez, Haley, you're a wimp!" Everything else about Freddy visually, from the sweater and the hat to the glove, look okay, especially the latter, although its presence here doesn't make much sense. Originally, that was the weapon he used to murder children before he was lynched but if he only molested them here, then why would he have such a wicked murder weapon? The filmmakers have said that they made that a homemade gardening tool that he used in his job but I don't remember seeing him use it for that purpose in the flashbacks, not to mention how much that notion degrades this iconic horror weapon (it's not quite as insulting as Rob Zombie turning the Michael Myers mask into a would-be sex toy in his first Halloween movie, though). And yeah, the idea of him using that thing to molest the kids is twisted but it also wasn't very smart on his part since the aftermath of its use doesn't go unnoticed and neither was the very idea of using something so dangerous for simply that purpose.

Just as disappointing as Freddy is how utterly unimaginative and lame the dream sequences are. Robert Englund talked about how cool it would be to really explore the possibilities of the dreamscape with CGI and while that is true, Samuel Bayer and his crew didn't take that to heart at all. All the dream sequences consist of are an empty preschool, the interiors of the various houses and other buildings, and the boiler room, the latter of which doesn't even make sense in this context given that a boiler room was never a part of the backstory (like the glove, it's just there because it's Freddy Krueger). They don't do much to warp the environments and make them look really nightmarish other than other show some animal parts cooking on a stove in the back of the Springwood Diner, have it snowing in Nancy's room, leading to a snowy exterior of the preschool, and have her fall into a pool of blood in a hallway in her house. I know that the nightmare sequences in the original movie were very low-key and simple and that the filmmakers wanted to go more for that feeling rather than the really outlandish dreams in the later sequels but at least take advantage of what you're working with and get a little more imaginative. Wes Craven and company weren't able to do much because they had a tiny budget and didn't have the luxury of CGI, which makes what they were able to pull off even more impressive; these filmmakers had $35 million and advanced digital technology and makeup and animatronic effects, so there's no excuse for why the dreams couldn't be more striking and creative. The preschool does look kind of creepy with its long, empty halls and the low lighting but do something with the other environments, like maybe have books in the library scene that have pages made of flesh and blood, more insane stuff in that kitchen in the diner, and such. I know there were some dead bodies hanging in the boiler room but they weren't that impressive and neither was the room itself, which looked like a music video with that overdone, yellow-amber lighting and how the place looked too polish and shiny overall. That's another thing that gets tiresome about the Platinum Dunes movies: the overly slick, music video look to them (which applies even to real-world scenes here, further diminishing the impact of the dreams). When the 2003 Texas Chainsaw Massacre had that bleach-bypass look to it, it felt unique and interesting, like somebody that hadn't been seen that much before, but by the time you get to this movie, the luster had wore off a long time ago. This and the 2009 Friday the 13th may have more color to them than The Texas Chainsaw Massacre but it's still that same, washed out look, which is not something they should have done for every single movie they made because it quickly became generic (which is to say nothing of when just about every movie under the sun started adopting this look). It's okay for your movie to actually look like a movie rather than raw dailies, you know?

As Brad Jones and others have said, a huge mistake that a bad movie can make is to reference other, much better movies and this movie makes that mistake in spades. The filmmakers say that they're going for their own vision of Freddy Krueger and yet throughout the movie, they keep reminding you of the previous movies, especially the original. They say that these were meant as homages to Wes Craven's film to make it as faithful possible but all they're doing is replicating iconic moments from it in a less effective way and making the movie even more predictable. You've got Freddy's glove emerging from the bathtub when Nancy falls asleep in there, Kris appearing in a bloody body bag and being dragged down the hall of the high school like Tina, her death being similar to Tina's, only without even a modicum of the frightening, visceral impact it had, but the one that made me drop my jaw when I first saw it is that horrible CGI-recreation of Freddy coming through the wall above Nancy's bed. Even though I still think that this movie should have made more use of the technology to exploit the dreamscape, this right here, on the other hand, is a perfect example of how something that was done practically before is not improved through CGI. I'll go more in depth about that when we talk about the effects next but still, that is just pathetic. And the film even ends with a horrible and unncessary jump scare that involves Nancy's mother getting killed and pulled through something (a mirror in this instance rather than a door). So, they even felt compelled to copy the original movie's mistakes rather than improve upon them. Real smart. In addition, they also have Jackie Earle Haley say a number of lines from the previous films, like, "I'm your boyfriend, now," from the original and, "How's this for a wet dream?" from Nightmare 4. They even steal or tweak some lines from Freddy vs. Jason, like, "Your mouth says no, but your body says yes," and in the final dream, he tells Nancy, "This is my world," which is followed up on right before she kills him with, "You're in my world now, bitch!" In fact, the way she slices his throat open is very, very close to how Lori decapitated Freddy with Jason's machete at the end of that movie. When the film was in development, producer Brad Fuller said that they were going to do what they did with the 2009 Friday the 13th and take the best elements from the previous films and put them in the remake, a statement they later retracted, saying instead that the movie would be more of a "reimagining" (don't you just hate that word?) Well, except for the death of Tina, they didn't completely replicate character deaths from the previous movies like they originally said they were going but they still took a whole lot from them and made it hard to forget that you could be watching much better stuff instead of this dreck.

The gore effects in the film are fair enough. None of the deaths are that memorable or creative but at least the blood looks decent, even though it's that really dark blood that Platinum Dunes and other people like Rob Zombie like to use. And the actual makeup effects for some of the scenes, like Dean and Freddy's throats slicing open, Kris getting gutted, and the cuts that Nancy and the others, including Kris' dog, receive from Freddy, as well as that big pool of blood she falls into near the end, also look good enough. That's more than I can say for the majority of the digital effects that are used in the movie. I still think that CGI can be effective in dealing with dreams but the way they use it here is just half-assed and, what's more, downright lazy at points. For example, let's go back to the recreation of Freddy coming through the wall. That was done in the original film simply by stretching some spandex and having someone push their face and hands through it. It was as cheap as you can get and yet, it still looks very effective. Here, they probably spent a lot of money and time on a computer effect that looked like garbage back in 2010, still looks like garbage now, and will always look like garbage. I know they wanted to go further with it by having Freddy come around her side and threaten her but couldn't they have used some other technique like animatronics or come up with a really stretchy material that could work? Or better yet, how about do your own thing and not try to copy something from the original movie? The close-up shot of Freddy's burning face as he runs at Quentin the flashback/dream sequence looks even worse to me, really coming across like something out of a Playstation 2 game. The mixture of CGI and practical effects for shots of Freddy impaling somebody from behind, like Jesse and through Gwen's eyes at the end, does look decent, (although the latter is ruined a bit by some very apparent and obvious CGI blood) but the same can't be said for the shot when everyone in the classroom around Kris evaporates into ash when she falls asleep and when Nancy falls through the ceiling out of a bunch of CGI blood during the final dream sequence. Those effects are very cartoonish in how they look and they just add to the frustration and boredom of watching this movie.

After the opening credits, which play over images of a playground with chalk drawings on the pavement, the inside of a preschool, school photos, newspaper headlines, and shots of a burning room, as well as the sounds and brief glimpses of kids playing (which is something of an effective, haunting opening, I must admit), the film opens on the Springwood Diner on a rainy, stormy night. According to the clock on the wall, it's after 5:30 in the morning and Dean, who's sitting at a booth, asks the waitress for another cup of coffee. The woman completely ignores him and walks back into the kitchen, much to Dean's irritation. After quietly calling her a bitch, he walks behind the counter and then in front of it, towards the other end of the restaurant, to find that the place is apparently deserted, with nobody answering when yells, "Hello?" Walking into the kitchen, he sees the waitress at the other end of the room but she, again, completely ignores him when he calls for her and walks into the back. Following her back there, he finds pots filled with the body parts of pigs sitting on the flaming stove-eyes and sees more butchered parts across from them, making him mumble, "What the fuck?" Hearing something behind him, he turns around and we get our first glimpse of Freddy when he flicks the blades of his glove into view and begins slowly following Dean as he walks back to the front of the diner. Dean turns back around but sees nothing behind him and then turns back to where he was going, seeing the door he came through slowly close. After peeking around the corner at that, he pulls back around and is slashed at by Freddy. He manages to put his hand in front of his face for protection when Nancy, who's a waitress there, wakes him up, telling him that he's going to be kicked out if he falls asleep again. When she takes away the plate he was eating on (which has a rather bloody steak on it), Dean notices a bleeding cut on the palm of his right hand and uses a napkin to clean up the blood, glancing at the clock to see that it's actually just past 11:15 P.M. Kris arrives and sits down with Dean and following bit of character stuff, he tells her about the nightmares and that he's afraid to go to sleep. When he accidentally spills coffee all over the table and onto Kris, she gets up to go clean herself up, leaving him at the booth alone. He twirls a steak-knife around on the table before dozing off, with the lighting growing dark and red and green flashing on him. Before he knows what hit him, he's attacked and grabbed by Freddy. He grabs the knife for protection but Freddy manages to grab his arm and get behind him, pushing the knife towards his throat. Dean keeps saying, "You're not real!", to which Freddy says, "I am now." In reality, Kris comes back to find Dean seemingly holding the knife to his neck while, at the same time, trying to hold back his other arm and saying, "You're not real." As Kris watches in horror, Dean seems to commit suicide by slicing his throat open, which is when we finally get the movie's title.

There are several small incidents that follow. At Dean's funeral, Kris sees a vision of a little girl standing in front of his grave, holding some roses. She tosses them into the grave and then turns to face Kris, allowing her to see that there are bloody slashes on the front of her dress, as well as that nobody else seems to notice her. Freddy's hand then reaches out from the grave and grabs the girl's leg, which is when Kris wakes up as the minister finishes his prayers. That night, Nancy is sitting in bed, listening to her I-Pod, when she falls asleep, leading to a shot of the drops on the inside of the glass of water she has on the dresser next to the bed running upwards and then, we get that awful recreation of Freddy's face and hand pushing through the wall. He comes down and angles himself around her right towards, brandishing his blades and growling at her, when she wakes up and glances at the glass of water. Meanwhile, Kris, who can sense that her mother is hiding something when she asks her where all of the photos of her as a little girl are, apparently waits until her mother goes to bed to sneak into the garage and climb up the ladder into the attic there to search for them. Taking a flashlight and looking around the dark attic, she finds some boxes hidden in the back and inside one of them, she finds a picture of herself when she was a little girl as well as an old doll and a small dresses with slashes on the front, exactly like the one the girl at the funeral was wearing. Suddenly, the overhead light that she had turned on goes out and she gets up and turns around, shining her flashlight into the dark as she slowly walks back to the stairs. Hearing a creak behind her, she turns around and Freddy jumps out of the darkness at her. He pushes her down to the floor and gets on top of her, grabbing her struggling arms as he growls, "Remember me?" Kris then wakes up screaming back in her bed, with her mother coming in to check on her.

At school the next day, Kris is looking very fatigued in history class and when she turns the pages in her history book to page 84 like the teacher tells them to, she finds gruesome drawings of hanging before coming across a drawing of Freddy's glove and dried drops of blood on the opposite page. Now, frightened, she notices that the movements of everyone around her are slowing down, as is the sound of the teacher's lecture and, realizing that she's dreaming, Kris tells herself to wake up when everyone around her dissipates into ash. Now in a dark, rundown classroom, Kris sees Freddy standing in front of the blackboard at the front of the room. He tells her that she shouldn't fall asleep in class, prompting her to get up and run for it into the next room, only to come face-to-face with Freddy again in another classroom, this one with a couple of inches of water on the floor. Saying, "Hi, Kris," and ignoring her question of who he is by adding, "You're just as beautiful as ever," he slowly approaches, backing her up to the wall. Taking out his glove and causing her to slump down to the floor, trapped, he tells her, "This won't hurt... one... little... bit!" He flicks his blades and Kris then wakes up screaming back in history class, causing everybody else to jump. She apologizes and notices a lock of her hair laying on the book in front of her as the bill rings. She very quickly gets out of the room and runs down the hall, ignoring Jesse when he calls to her.

That night, Kris is left home alone when her mother goes out of town on business and we get a false scare when Jesse pops up at her bedroom window, having climbed up the trellis (where have we seen that before?) When she learns from Jesse that he's dreaming about Freddy as well, she becomes doubly frightened and he agrees to stay with her so she won't be alone. That night, the two of them have fallen asleep together when Kris is awoken by the sound of her dog, Rufus, barking crazily outside. Going outside herself, Kris calls for Rufus but when he doesn't show up, she walks out into the yard, continually calling for him. The whole time she's outside, she gets the feeling that she's being watched and she eventually finds Rufus dead, with deep slash marks down his side. Freddy then peeks around the corner, blood on his blades, and says, "I was just petting him." As he laughs, Kris runs back into the house, calling for Jesse, when she winds up inside an old, delapidated preschool. Walking into a nearby hall, Kris sees a little girl, the same one she saw at the funeral, at the other end. She walks up to her, takes her hand, and leads her down the hall, saying that they have to hide. Passing by a classroom, she sees other kids in there playing jump-rope and singing the Freddy nursery rhyme, and as she's led down the hall, she hears Freddy counting down from four. When she gets to another classroom, she sees him hiding his eyes on a chalkboard and after he finishes counting, he says, "Ready or not, here I come." Kris then appears to wake up back in bed with Jesse and, after trying to wake him up with no success, she goes into the bathroom and splashes water on her face. When the camera panned down from the mirror as she bent down, I was like, "He's going to be behind her. He's going to be behind her." He wasn't, but when the next shot started with Jesse in bed and then panned over to her as she came out of the bedroom, I was like, "It's going to be him instead of Jesse when she gets back into bed." This time, I was right. When she lays back down, Freddy is the one lying there. He says, "Found you!" and jumps on top of her. In reality, Kris starts screaming in her sleep, waking up Jesse, who holds her down as she begins thrashing while screaming and tries to wake her up. He gets knocked off the bed and Kris is then levitated into the air, flung around the air, slamming into the walls and the ceiling, before four slash marks slice down her front, spraying Jesse with blood, and she falls back on the bed, blood pouring out of the slashes and onto the bed. Horrified, Jesse learns for sure that Kris is dead (does she look like she could have survived that, genius?) and then panics and runs out of the house, tripping the burglar alarm. He runs down the street and then stops to catch his breath, only for someone in the house there to say that he's calling the cops. He goes to Nancy's house and, in his brief time there, learns that she's dreaming about Freddy too and warns her to stay awake, telling her what happened to Kris. He climbs out of the window but runs into the police and is immediately arrested for Kris' murder, yelling at Nancy from the back of the squad car that she knows the truth.

There's a brief moment the next day when Quentin, while waiting to meet up with Nancy at a book store, dozes off while looking up sleep disorders on the computer. The screen, which was showing an image of Goya's notorious Saturn painting, goes black and then shows an image of a dead tree full of crows in the middle of a field. Rubbing his eyes, Quentin looks off to his right and sees a little girl standing in the aisle there. Not sure what's going on, he gets up and walks towards her, when she disappears in an instant. Walking to the spot where she was, he finds no one there and then notices that the store looks like it's deserted and in disarray. Eventually, Quentin finds himself drawn to a rather creepy room where kids are sitting at a table, covering their eyes, with a man sitting at the front of the table with his back to Quentin. Predictably, he turns around to reveal himself to be Freddy, which is when Quentin is woken up by Nancy.

At the jail, Jesse, who's been fighting to stay awake all night, is surprised when the door to his cell opens and a guard tells him that his parents posted his bail. Jumping off the top bunk of the bed, Jesse is led down the hall but when he gets to the end of it, he turns around to find that the hallway he just walked down is no longer there, replaced by a brick wall. All of the lights go out and when they come back on, Jesse finds himself in a boiler room, with the wall now replaced by a stairway that goes down. He hears the sound of Kris calling for him, asking him to help her, and follows the sound downstairs, finding a room with kids trapped behind pipes. He walks down the hall, then stops and turns around, gasping when he sees Freddy at the other end. Freddy approaches him, wriggling his blades and then scraping them along the side of the rusted, metal machinery to his right, sending sparks flying. Jesse turns and runs down a walkway, another flight of stairs, and rounds a corner, all the while pursued by Freddy. He runs until he comes to a dead end where Kris and Dean's bodies are hanging upside down like slabs of meat. Freddy appears behind him and when he says, "Oh, God," he responds, "No... just me." (That's actually a really cool, memorable line.) Jesse turns around and asks Freddy what he wants from him, which makes Freddy quite angry to where he, while pointing a blade at him, yells, "You think you can turn back time? Answer me! You think you can bring the dead back to life?!" When Jesse says no, Freddy grabs him by the front of his prison suit and pushes him against the wall, between his two dead friends, saying, "Well, I didn't fuckin' think so." Jesse starts yelling, "No!", and Freddy pushes him to the floor, asking, "Why are you screamin'? I haven't even cut you yet." Freddy laughs and then seems to disappear when Jesse looks back up. Confused, Jesse looks around, stands back up, and then cautiously walks to the center of the room. Freddy's arm then punches right through his torso and he pulls it right back out, dropping Jesse to the floor. The same thing happens back in the jail cell in reality, with Jesse's cellmate panicking and yelling that he didn't do it, demanding to be let out as blood pools out from under the corpse. Back in the dream, Freddy has Jesse hanging upside down with his friends, telling, "Did you know that after the heart stops beating, the brain keeps functioning for well over seven minutes? We got six more minutes to play." Jesse then screams on his dying breath.

That night, Nancy goes to take a bath, setting her cellphone's ringtone to the sound of an alarm clock and putting it on the rim of the tub. That's when we get the moment when Freddy's glove emerges from the water between her legs when she falls asleep and then slips back under when her mother knocks on the door. Gwen tells Nancy that she's going to bed and in the next cut, Nancy is out of the tub and drying her face off in the mirror. She heads into her bedroom, to find snow falling in there, with the floor and bed covered in a layer of it. Walking on in, Nancy finds herself in front of a preschool called Badham according to the sign out front. She walks on up to the door, when Freddy pops up behind her, saying, "Hey, little Nancy. All grown up." Nancy turns around to face him and tells him that he's just a nightmare, to which he says, "That's right. No one can prove I was ever here." He slowly approaches Nancy, backing her against the wall, and when she asks who he is, he chuckles and says, "You don't remember? You must. You're my number one." He fiddles with her hair with ones of his blades, creepily adding, "You're my... little Nancy," and licks the side of her face. He takes her hand in his right one, telling her when she says she set her alarm, "Yes, you did... in your dreams." (I guess that means that she was dreaming when she thought she did that.) He also tells her that she smells differen, when her phone rings, waking her up back in the bathtub. It's Quentin, who tells her what happened to Jesse and when she tells that she just dreamed about Freddy, he says that he's coming over. While I do give them credit for not ripping off the scene in the original where Freddy drags Nancy down into the tub and she struggles to escape, they still shouldn't have copied that shot of his glove coming out of the water or, at the very least, make it look like it's going to happen and then surprise you by not doing it.

After Nancy's mother tells her and Quentin about Badham Preschool, Fred Krueger, and what supposedly happened, Quentin, who wants to believe that the nightmares are repressed memories like Gwen said, is at swimming practice when, while swimming laps, he gets pulled underwater. When he manages to get back to the surface, he's now in a pool outside in a large, abandoned industrial district on a cold, overcast day. He climbs out of the water and turns to see Fred Krueger being chased down the road by a number of cars. They go right past him and he chases after them. Krueger runs into an abandoned building and closes and locks the door, while the town's parents, led by Quentin's father, Alan, step out of the cars and try to break the door down. Holding the door's handle from the inside, Krueger yells that he didn't do anything, while some of the parents go around back to make sure he can't escape that way. After Alan tries to break the door down again, Krueger lets go of the handle and runs back into the depths of the place to make sure that the other doors are secure. Outside, Alan pulls a can of gasoline out of the trunk of his car, ignoring Gwen's pleas to do this some other way and telling her that this ends tonight. Krueger peeks out the door and then ducks back in when he sees the parents approaching. Stuffing a napkin into the can of gasoline and lighting it, Alan throws it through the window, yelling, "This is for my son!" Within seconds, the inside of the building is engulfed in flames and Krueger is surrounded. Alan yells for him to come out, as Krueger rips his coat off, revealing the red and green sweater underneath. The parents, as well as Quentin, watch from outside as a small explosion rips out the windows, with Krueger being swallowed by the fire. The parents are shocked, not expecting that to happen (even though seemed very bloodthirsty just minutes ago), and when it goes quiet, they take a step towards the building. Krueger then storms out the door, burning from head to toe, and runs right at Quentin, who then wakes up back at the pool, with CPR being administered since he almost drowned.

Meanwhile, in the school library, Nancy has been trying to find the whereabouts of the other kids she went to preschool with and has learned that all of them have died in various ways recently. She comes to the last one, Marcus Yeon (Aaron Yoo, who played the likable character of Chewie in the 2009 Friday the 13th), who had a personal blog, which she goes to. Looking up videos that he made about bad dreams he was having, she watches several of them, with Marcus describing how he ended up at a preschool in one dream and was chased down into the basement in the next one, which feels like where Freddy wants him to go. Marcus looks increasingly ragged and fatigued in the videos, coming across as particularly bad in the last video, where he mentions that he hasn't slept in three days and that he's beginning to dream now while he's awake (micro-naps). He desperately asks if there's anyone else who's going through this when he nods off in front of his camera and his face is suddenly smashed into it, causing the video to go static. Quentin then appears and tells Nancy that he knows what happened to Freddy. A little bit of this scene was shown in some of the TV spots and when I saw it, it grabbed my attention because of the fact that the guy was Asian, making me wonder if they were trying to make a more concrete connection to the real cases that inspired Wes Craven to create this story. I could be giving them more credit than they deserve but if that is the case, I must admit that I thought it was kind of inspired (one of the few inspiring things about this damn movie). I don't how or why that last video where the guy died on-camera got uploaded, unless Freddy had something to do with it, but I do like this idea, a lot more than their feeble attempt to be literary like Craven earlier in the film by making a throw-away connection to Freddy and the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

Following the tense meeting with Alan about what happened to Freddy, Nancy and Quentin leave to find the preschool when Nancy sees a vision of Kris being dragged down a nearby hall in a bloody bag by an unseen force. As she continues watching, Kris appears again, this time standing up in the bag, asking, "Don't you want to hang out, Nancy?" and then laughing like Freddy. When Nancy tells Quentin what she just saw, he tells her that she's having micro-naps and the two of them head out. In the next scene, they stop at a drug store so Quentin can get a refill on pills to keep himself awake. While Quentin is inside, Nancy has a brief dream of Freddy ripping the door open and throwing her out onto the concrete. This prompts her to use the car's lighter to burn herself to keep herself awake. She then goes into the store, where she begins drifting in and out of micro-naps in one of the aisles, seeing a vision of Freddy walking towards her down a corridor in the boiler room, scraping his blades against some pipes to his right. He gets up to her, grabs her by the throat, and pushes her down, her grabbing the underside of his sweater's arm and ripping off a piece of it. She scuttles backwards on the floor, as Freddy approaches her, wriggling his fingers and slicing down the right wall, knocking drugs off the shelves in reality. He slices at her, hitting her left arm and spraying blood on the drugs. He yells, "Wake up! You're bleedin'." Nancy finds herself back in reality after screaming on the floor, with Quentin running up to her. Seeing the deep, bleeding slashes on her arm, Quentin helps her up and takes her to the hospital, with Nancy realizing that she pulled the piece of Freddy's sweater out of the dream with her. At the hospital, Nancy has another brief episode when one of the doctors tries to put her out, her right hand briefly becoming Freddy's glove, which panics Nancy even more. Her mother then has to sign something that gives the doctor authority to sedate her but after she does, they find that Nancy is gone, Quentin having gotten her out of there.

In the next scene, as they're driving to the preschool, Quentin talks to Nancy to keep her awake when he suddenly sees Freddy in the road ahead of them and swerves the car, sending it into a marsh off to the right. Getting out unharmed, the two of them walk on down the road, with Quentin hearing Freddy laughing behind them, when they come upon the preschool. Breaking inside, they begin searching the dark halls, with Quentin having a brief vision of Freddy killing Nancy, slashing her in the face and sending her down to the floor, but she turns out to be perfectly fine in the next shot. They go through a door marked, MAINTENANCE, and find the very rundown, cluttered room where Freddy lived. After looking around, Nancy spots a bulletin board leaning against the wall and sees that one of the pictures on it is being blown by a draft from behind. Quentin moves it out of the way and they find the small, sliding door to a hidden room behind it. Inside, Nancy begins to remember having played with Freddy in there, while Quentin comes upon a small box filled with some pictures that are obviously very disturbing. Nancy asks what they are and he says that they're all photos of her. He tries to keep her from seeing them but she takes them from him and when she sees them, she's horrified and begins crying (Rooney Mara shows some actual emotion here). They realize that he's trying to kill them for telling the truth and that he brought them there so they would remember everything that happened. With it all seeming absolutely hopeless, Nancy looks down at the piece of his sweater and comes up with an idea of what to do.

Nancy decides to fall asleep and attempt to pull Freddy out into the real world, despite Quentin saying that he doesn't want her to for fear that she won't wake up. She lays down on Freddy's old bed while Quentin tears off the blade from a paper-cutting device to use as a weapon. Sitting down in the chair across from the bed, Quentin nods off and finds himself in the boiler room. Frightened, he slowly walks through the place when he's grabbed from behind by Freddy and slammed face-first into a pipe, which Freddy follows up with several more slams, yelling, "You can't save her!" (He really sounds like Christian Bale doing Batman there.) He then turns Quentin around and tells him, "Tag. You're it," before slicing him across the chest and dropping him to the floor. Nancy calls for Freddy from another part of the place, prompting him to tell Quentin, "Your girlfriend's here. I'll be right back," as he walks off to find her. Elsewhere, Nancy walks down a corridor, hearing Freddy sign, "One, two, guess who's coming for you," when he appears to her. He asks her what she wants to play now and that's when you get the, "Fuck you," "Ooh, sounds like fun," exchange between them. He then says, "It's a little fast for me. How about we hang first?" and grabs her and turns her to make her see the bodies of her friends hanging. She tells herself that it isn't real, with Freddy turning her back around to face him and saying, "It's real. I'm real." Nancy pushes him away and tries to run when she suddenly finds herself in the living room of her own house (at least, I think it's supposed to be her house). Hearing footsteps on the nearby stairs and seeing Freddy's shadow coming down, Nancy tries to run out the door but is unable to open it, forcing her to duck into the closet. Through the slatted door, she watches Freddy enter the living room, when he slowly turns and looks right at the closet. To Nancy's horror, he stomps towards it and she backs away from the door, waiting for him to break it down, when everything goes quiet. Looking back through the door, Nancy sees no sign of Freddy, when he suddenly appears right next to her in the closet and says, "Boo." She runs out the door, screaming, as Freddy smashes his arm through it, trying to get her, but misses. She runs up the stairs and down the hallway up top when she blunders into and falls into a big, thick pool of blood. Appearing behind her, Freddy asks, "How's this for a wet dream?" as he walks towards her, wriggling his fingers and laughing, as she futilely tries to swim through the blood to make it to the door at the other end when she gets sucked down into it.

She falls through the ceiling of a bedroom and out of the blood, landing right on the bed. Seeing that she's now in a child's dress, Nancy sits up on the bed when she's pulled back onto it and unable to move. Freddy comes in, taps on the door of the closet in the room, and then walks towards Nancy, pointing at her dress as he tells her, "This dress... was always one of my favorites." He walks around to the left side of the bed, telling her that she remembers everything now and that is what fuels him. She says, "No," and that's when we get the refurbishing of the line he said to Lori in Freddy vs. Jason. When she looks away from him, he angrily yells at her to look at him, to, "Look what you did to me." He grabs her, holds her up, and tells her that it's time to play before throwing her across the room, smashing her into the wall and dresser. He stalks up to her, asks her if she's having fun, and grabs her shoulder and turns her around, when she stabs him right in the eye with a pair of scissors. He stumbles backwards and is initially shocked by this, but then just laughs, calling her a naughty girl, and pulls the scissors out of his eye. He tells her, "You can't hurt me. You're in my world," and when she tries to run out the door, it closes on her, him adding, "And you can't ever leave." She's levitated and flung back on the bed, screaming helplessly, which wakes Quentin up in reality. Freddy then hovers over her, saying that her screams are music to his ears, and when she says she wants to wake up, he tells her that he kept her awake long enough to where, when she finally did fall asleep, she'd never wake up again. While Quentin futilely tries to awaken her, Freddy tells her that they're going to be in there a long time and that he's her boyfriend now. As Freddy is just about to kill Nancy, Quentin injects her with some adrenaline he took from the hospital, giving her the strength to grab onto Freddy as she wakes up, pulling them both out of the dream.

Once they're in reality, Nancy flings Freddy off of her and onto the floor, knocking Quentin off as well. She yells for Quentin to get him and he grabs the blade and slices Freddy in the forearm when he lunges at Nancy. When he goes for another swing, Freddy knocks the blade out of his hand and then stabs him in the shoulder before swinging him around and slamming him against the wall. Nancy then jumps on Freddy and stabs him repeatedly in the face with the syringe but he manages to flip her over off of him and onto the floor. Flexing his blades, he approaches her, saying, "Nice try, Nancy. Now let me take a stab," as she backs up against the wall. She manages to block his blades with a small chalkboard, which he easily tosses away, preparing to stab her again. Quentin grabs a sharp piece of broken glass, crawls up to Freddy, and stabs him in the leg with it, causing him to yell in pain and then swing around and knock him on the chin, sending him flying onto his back. Thoroughly angry, Freddy snarls at him, "Now why don't you just fucking die?!", closes in on him, and swings his arm, when his gloved hand suddenly goes flying onto the floor, severed from his arm. Shocked, Freddy looks at the stump where his hand used to be when Nancy says, "It hurts, doesn't it?" When he turns to look at her, she's holding the blade and says, "That's because you're in my world now, bitch." She swings the blade and slices Freddy's throat open, blood spurting and pouring out as he falls backwards onto the floor, dead. Nancy and Quentin then prepare to leave when she throws the lantern she'd found earlier, setting the room on fire along with Freddy's body. The film wraps up with them getting out of the burning preschool, the fire department showing up, and Nancy riding with Quentin to the hospital, assuring him that it's over. And then, the movie finally ends on Nancy returning home with her mother when Freddy appears in the mirror behind Gwen, stabs her through the back of the head and out her eyes, and pulls her through the mirror as Nancy screams, a pointless and thoroughly uncreative shock ending.

Like all of the Platinum Dunes remakes, the score is by Steve Jablonsky, who contributes what has to be some of his blandest work ever. I really like his score for the 2003 Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the prequel to that film, both of which I can easily think of in my head, and the same goes for the majority of his score for the 2009 Friday the 13th, but I can barely remember anything he did for A Nightmare on Elm Street. For one, he never uses any semblance of the melody that Charles Bernstein created and you hear only a little bit of the opening music from the original movie when you see the title. The nursery rhyme is used but not very much (you only heard it actually sung by the kids twice in the original, though), meaning that 99.5% of it is all original material that Jablonsky came up and it's mainly very generic and forgettable, often little more than dreary, droning underscoring, with occasional loud pieces to make you jump and to accompany some of the more "exciting" moments. I remember bits of the kind of eerie, childlike them that plays over the opening credits but I'll be damned if I can remember anything else, even the music that you hear when they find the photos and when it's wrapping up at the end that, when I was rewatching the movie, I didn't think sounded that bad. The only really memorable musical part of the movie for me is the use of All I Have to Do is Dream by the Everly Brothers, a song that I'm surprised was never used in any of the previous movies. It's interesting how, as sweet and romantic as that song is, the lyrics can easily be applied to the concept of Freddy Krueger, making it surprisingly effective. Too bad it couldn't have been one of the really good movies because it's wasted on this trash.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2010 is one of the most uninspired and, what's more, unnecessary horror remakes that has ever been made. Aside from a gutsy, more depraved take on Freddy's backstory, some okay effects, and some passable acting here and there, as well as some other interesting and minute parts, there's nothing for me to like about this movie. The story is an insipid rehash of the original movie with very little of the intelligence, the actors are either downright bland and awful or underused, Jackie Earle Haley could have been a great successor to Robert Englund but he's hampered by lackluster direction and makeup, the film constantly reminds you of the past films, especially the original, when it should be trying hard to create its own vision of Freddy, the dream scenes have no imagination to them at all, the murky, music video look is really tired, most of the digital effects are distractingly bad, the music is forgettable, and, worst of all, the film is made by a first-time director who had no interest in or even respect for the original movies. That leads to the film ultimately lacking what made all of the previous films, even the bad ones like Nightmare 5 and Freddy's Dead, special: effort. All of the other movies were made by people who loved what they were doing and the story they were trying to tell and that inspired them to be as creative as possible. Even Ronny Yu, who knew nothing about A Nightmare on Elm Street when he took on Freddy vs. Jason, at least had respect for it and tried to be as creative and inventive as the people who came before him. This movie was just thrown together for no other reason than because this franchise makes money and because it could have led to some career opportunities for Samuel Bayer, which didn't really happen for him. I know that this movie has some fans, including Brad Jones, who feels that this is one of the better remakes, and if any of them read this, I want it to be known that I respect your opinion. I just don't get how anyone, especially fans of the franchise, could like this movie and I never will.

As for what the future holds for Freddy, there were supposed to be at least two sequels to this movie, both with Jackie Earle Haley returning, but even though this film did make money (according to Wikipedia, if you count worldwide gross, it's the most successful film in the franchise, just above Freddy vs. Jason), the negative reception from both critics and fans made them scrap that idea. It probably wasn't helped when Rooney Mara, who was supposed to be in at least one of the sequels, said that she hated being in this movie so much that she almost quit acting altogether. Recently, there have been rumors of another remake, this time with a completely CGI Freddy (oh, goody) and Robert Englund has also said that he might put on the glove again for a crossover with the Halloween franchise. Honestly, though, if this is the best they can do nowadays, then maybe it's better if the series is just laid to rest. Unless they can give a new actor a really good breakthrough movie in the role and offer more respect for what Wes Craven created, we should probably just move on and stop trying to relive this franchise's glory days, which have long since passed. The movies will always be there to watch and I'm personally content to settle for it being that way rather than have the name be dragged through the mud any more than this movie already has. But, as always, we'll just have to see. For now, take care everyone. Have a happy Halloween and, of course, sleep tight and pleasant dreams.

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