I had almost forgotten this remake existed and after watching it again, I wish I had. I know this was technically directed by Samuel Bayer (mostly known for directing music videos), but can we all just be honest and call this Michael Bay’s Nightmare on Elm Street? There were several points at which I thought to myself, “wow, this is Michael Bay as fuck,” which is fitting since that word was used way more in this than in the original. I’m not normally one to shy away from cursing (I love Seven, of course), but it seemed so…unnecessary in this.
Then again, much of the dialogue seemed unnecessary — this Freddy talks too damn much.
I think they were going for a dark and disturbing vibe here, but it misses the mark. I respect Jackie Earle Haley as an actor, but the makeup and the dialogue he was given for this film meant this was never going to be a breakout role for him. While Wes Craven and Robert Englund’s Freddy Krueger haunted my dreams for months after watching, the 2010 Freddy Krueger barely kept my attention while the movie was still playing. He didn’t look like he had ever been human (after the fire, at least), I didn’t believe the additional responsibility this film put on the kids, and the over the top effects were too distracting to be scary.
Interestingly, it already felt dated (Gigablast search engine hunting…at a bookstore?) in a way the original hasn’t yet. I think the original built its fear from the familiar, while this remake tries to shock the fear into you with special effects and jump scares. And the homage to my favorite line from the original (“This is God”)…doesn’t quite do it justice in this one.
All that said, if you’re looking for (Michael Bay style) action-packed blood and gore from a decent cast (I do love Rooney Mara and Connie Britton), this might keep you entertained.