Tuesday, 4 May 2010

A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)

At a glance:
New and old: Freddy still loves bathing pussies.
Creator Wes Craven, the man behind the 1984 original that spawned eight further films featurin That Other Guy With A Fedora Who Isn't Indiana Jones, would have good reason not to like this modern take. For him, he can be angry that he wasn't invited to contribute in some way for the new movie. For the rest of us who remember a time before Freddy vs Jason (2003), we can be disappointed that Freddy is now only half as scary and all the definitive ideas that Craven attached to the horror icon is burnt along with Freddy's face.
Bad news on the doorstep:

Speakin about his face, it was probably a good decision to have Freddy look more like a burn victim instead of the leprous miscreant we have come to remember him by throughout the 25-year franchise. What is disappointin is that the theme of abandonment and neglect, something that original Freddy man Robert Englund has always said was what he thought the character was about, is now only a small aspect of Freddy. The problematic teenagers and their recurrent nightmares about Krueger is a manifestation of their abandonment and neglect, even if you count in the in-universe backstory about how he his connected to them. That's why it's important that we see Kris' mum as an air stewardess in the movie. Without riskin a spoiler to those who aren't familiar with Elm Street's troubles, it's safe to say that it was a combination of this theme and the reality-fantasy duality narrative that captured the imagination of so many horror fans and made the franchise a classic. This new compromise makes Freddy suffer and it's incidentally ironic that the makers have gone ahead with the decision to drop all the jokes from Freddy's persona as well.
Katie Cassidy in a curious little see-through number.
Reminds me of:
Robert Englund. Can there ever be another Freddy? The relatively unknown young cast hold their own, but it must be said that Jackie Earle Haley's turn as Freddy, despite being a natural decision since his wonderful Rorschach in Watchmen (2009), is a little underwhelmin. Newcomer Rooney Mara looks (un)comfortable as one of Freddy's victims, Nancy Holbrook, and is delightfully easy to watch. In fact, her part seems to reference Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp) in the original, as a special afflicted who can be key in nailin Freddy.
Most memorable line:
Don't remember any. For an R-rated horror movie however (18 in Malaysia, M18 in Singapore), it does give you decent value. There are several wonderful sequences, all borrowed from the franchise as a whole; and the nightmares are relived with better technology since we have progressed with more impressive CGI since. Freddy's appearances for example, are a mixture of traditional FX (prosthetics desiger Andrew Clement) and also CGI from the team who did Two-Face for The Dark Knight (2008).
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?
To make this sound less like a bitter review from a fanboy writer, this A Nightmare On Elm Street reupdate would probably be enjoyed by a great portion of anyone going to see it anyway. It's just that Freddy isn't so fun anymore for those who know him better. Already you can read that Haley has been contracted for two more movies after this one. Frederick Charles Krueger R.I.P.★★1/2