Movie Review: 'Nightmare on Elm Street'

You know a movie remake you are watching is not quite working when you keep thinking about the original. And that’s what happens watching producer Michael Bay’s reboot of A Nightmare on Elm Street.  There are some changes, but barely any surprises in the by-the-book film, which you can see coming from so far away you find yourself saying “Boo!” seconds before Freddy does.

The changes: First of all, of course, is Jackie Earle Haley replacing Robert Englund as nightmare dweller Freddy Krueger. Haley turns in a respectable performance but fails to terrify. It may be because he’s on screen a little too much, making him less of a hair-raising boogey man and more of an annoying creep. The original flick hinted at Krueger’s being a child molester, but this one comes right out and says it—a move that strangely makes Krueger less mysterious and powerful and steers the movie into a glum affair you’d see in a mash up of Lifetime and the Syfy channel.

Special effects don’t much for the new flick either. Sure, the movie has some deft scenes in which real-life settings dissolve into dreamscapes, but CGI classic scenes like one in which Freddy seems to stretch out of a bedroom wall—ripped right out of the original flick—don’t look realistic. Remember that scene in which someone gets turned into a gushing geyser of blood? That was visceral. In the new film, the blood turns into gorgeous curlicue crimson waves. Cool to look at? Sure. But scary? Not a chance.

Somehow, none if this really made a difference last weekend as the Nightmare reboot managed to come in number one at the box office.

A Nightmare on Elm Street is playing in theatres nationwide now.

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About this author

Damarys Ocaña Perez,

Damarys Ocaña Perez is Director of Editorial Content at Latina Media Ventures. She leads its magazine, Latina, the pre-eminent beauty, fashion, culture and lifestyle magazine for acculturated U.S. Hispanic women and is responsible for maintaining Latina’s voice, vision and mission across all LMV platforms. Born in Havana and raised in Miami, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.

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