A little over a year ago, horror icon Jason Voorhees returned to the big screen in a remake of “Friday the 13th.” This year, Freddy Krueger gets his revenge with his own new film, “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” Unfortunately, like 2009’s “Friday the 13th,” the 2010 version of “Nightmare” is a great disappointment that fails to fulfill the interesting premise of the original.
The premise is a familiar one if you’re familiar with the original series. A group of teenagers is haunted by a disfigured man with knives for fingers. In their dreams, he attacks and tries to kill them. Unlike other serial killers, Mr. Krueger attacks people in their dreams but if he kills a person in their dreams they are dead in the real world as well.
According to the remake’s website, the new “Nightmare” is a “contemporary re-imagining of the seminal horror classic.” I have not seen the original in several years, but from what I remember this film heavily borrows from its predecessor, but this one’s not likely be remembered as fondly.
In the new “Nightmare,” the action starts quickly as teenagers start getting attacked by Krueger after they fall asleep. These teenagers have no idea who this mysterious figure is and no one in the town seems willing to tell them. Slowly, these young characters start to delve into the past to find out who this man is and why he has come after them so viciously. At the same time, other teens are being killed one by one.
Unfortunately, there is very little character development or growth. Viewers will likely not care who gets attacked next or what happens next because there is nothing really interesting about any of the characters. For most of the movie, they do not even know who’s attacking them so they’re unaware of the logic behind the murders. The movie just drifts from scene to scene without any real purpose, other than to show teens falling asleep and getting violently attacked.
The trailer, which was released several months ago, seemed pretty promising. It showed a man being chased by a crowd of townspeople into an abandoned building. In a dramatic sequence, the townspeople light the building on fire and the man is seen inside the building ripping off his coat revealing a distinct Freddy Krueger sweater as he cries out in pain. Unfortunately, that is one of the few background sequences shown. Instead of dwelling on what made Freddy Krueger Freddy Krueger, the story focuses more on the typical serial killer stuff.
If you think about the story’s concept, it’s a solid one. A disfigured man attacks, not in the dead of night, but in nightmares. How can people defeat a man who only attacks you in your sleep? How long can you stay awake before your body shuts down? It sounds like an interesting concept–a man who attacks people in their dreams.
Unfortunately, this movie is just a nightmare.