Sunday, May 2, 2010

...Not Scary At All

Review: Nightmare on Elm Street (the 2010 Michael Bay remake)

Allow me to hop on the "screw the new Nightmare on Elm Street movie" bandwagon. I remember watching the original as a kid and I was actually frightened by it. Everyone always says you can't beat the original, and sometimes that mentality is proven wrong, but in this case it's the truth. Actually, it's pretty much the truth for a lot of horror movie remakes. Sure, they look nice with better special effects, but I swear the writers get worse as time moves on. To get things started on my very biased-towards-the-original review, I wanna say this... I wasn't scared, nor was I interested. I went to see this out of curiosity, knowing that I'd be disappointed.

I realize this is all gonna come out to be more complaint than praise, so I wanna at least say something good. I liked the "new" Freddy. His commentary was sick & funny (the original was like that too), and I think this form of the burnt-face look appeared more genuine. Also, I would like to thank Michael Bay for not including robots, explosions, or massive amount of military in this movie. Also, there is a Quentin in the movie, so uh, maybe that's the only character I felt like I could connect with whatsoever. Also, because it's newer, the visual effects & gore were more intense and certainly looked cool. The acting was decent (except for the teens' mothers - god it was like they said something first, then expressed their concern in a facial expression moments later - "Hi"... *frown*...). The actors/actresses they chose for the main group of teens experiencing the same nightmares were pretty good for what they were supposed to do and Freddy's acting was a fresh take. So... I'll draw the line there.

I think the movie assumes that we've all seen the original, or at least get the concept of what happens when you fall asleep in Freddy's world. Hell, even after the first scene (just 1 death in the movie), it seemed like all of the actors had magical mind meld powers and knew what would happen if they fell asleep from the get go. I swear that's the fastest I can ever remember hearing "If you die in your sleep you die in real life" in any Nightmare iteration. The story skips from character to character, assuming we already care about these people to begin with. It might have had some people hooked but I didn't feel the connection. And now lets start with the dreams... oh boy. This was literally 90% of the movie. I understand that the producers wanted it to seem like you don't really know if they were dreaming or actually awake, but the dream sequences were so layered and overused I got tired of it (oh look, another dream, within a dream inside of a dream). I swear it was like the dream person was also dreaming that they were dreaming. They really tried too hard on the dream sequences, but I guess that's what they were going for. The story change now places Freddy as merely a child molester (and the actors in the movie are portraying the all-grown-up children who forgot) instead of a murderer, but in an attempt to get to explaining that, they literally just start killing characters off from one deadly dream scene to the next before you ever start to feel a connection with the first 3 people that experience getting finger-clawed. By the end, it was too predictable and I didn't feel like anything interesting or new was going to happen.

If you want me to give it a sort of rating, like out of 5 stars or something, I'll give it a 3/5. It wasn't terrible, but it just fucked up something that should have been left alone. It mucked up more than it improved. I thought the point of a horror movie was to be scared by it?