Course, more often than not, being a horror fan involves watching a lot of terrible horror films. And, more often than not, those terrible films are sequels or remakes. It was with this in mind that I sat down to watch the remake/reboot of A Nightmare on Elm Street courtesy of Phantom 105.2′s preview screening competition (Thanks guys!).
As I’m sure you’re aware, Nightmare on Elm Street is an old and esteemed horror franchise. It started in 1984 with… believe it or not, the original A Nightmare on Elm Street. Seven films later, in 2003, Freddy was still going strong in the battle of the legends – Freddy vs. Jason. What an awesome battle it was. The two best slasher franchises had come together for a rollicking good time.
I, for one, was happy with the way both the Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees stories had gone. Particularly with the last real Friday the 13th film, Jason X… Jason in space. It was brilliant. Then some muppet decided to remake/reboot the original Friday the 13th. Here’s a link was to my review. I did not like that film.
Given that disaster, I’m sure you can understand why I was pretty skeptical when I heard they were rebooting Freddy. With a new Freddy no less. Hmmm… Then again, I’m generally willing to give a film a chance and while I don’t really know that much about Jackie Earle Haley, I had nothing against him. I really liked Watchmen so I figured he was probably pretty cool. Besides, the legend Robert Englund seemed to approve so… I was game for it.
So the scene was set. New Freddy, New Nightmare.
The first 10-15 mins or so of the film really disturbed me. I really thought it was going down the same route as the new Friday. Last thing I wanted. Another ruined horror franchise. Luckily it moved away from that. Not really far away enough but AWAY… that’s what’s important.
I actually ended up liking the film. The problem was, however, that it seemed a bit pointless. I had to keep reminding myself to try to forget other slasher films I’d seem. After all, it was films like Nightmare that really established the slasher genre. To try and go back to the beginning of the franchise is like trying to forget the last 15 years of horror. Difficult when horror, and particularly recent horror, tries so hard to make itself memorable by throwing so much at us. I do find it hard to be shocked any more. Even the ol’ jump scenes pass me by these days…
… well they did in this film anyway. I’m tired of them and I wasn’t in the mood for the cheap tricks. Fortunately that wasn’t all this film had and definitely in the last 10-15 mins or so I really thought it had found a groove, good tension and all. Pity it was just finishing.
The gist of it is that I thought A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) was alright. I can’t say that it added anything to the franchise. I certainly don’t think it breathed new life into the genre but in a way I’m not really qualified to answer that. I’m not part of the new audience that they are undoubtedly trying to bring in.
I felt like the film was trying to bring in the kids who have been reared on the Final Destination side of horror, trying to show them something a little more disturbing, a little more horrific, a little smarter. That was really the overriding thought for me. I thought that if I had never seen a Freddy film (or classics like The Exorcist for that matter) I would have thought it was really good.
I’d love to hear what anyone else thought of it. Are you an old school horror fan who hated it? Or are you a new horror watcher who loved it? Or maybe you all just hated it. Let me know.
Oh, to mark this new Nightmare on Elm Street film I was thinking of having a little competition. How does a box set of the first 7 Nightmare films sound? The competition will be open to everyone however bear in mind that it will be a region 2 DVD so if you can’t watch them then I guess there’s no point in entering. Details will be on the facebook page over the coming days so become a fan or as they say now – “like” the page – to get the update on it.