"Nightmare On Elm Street"

by on Mar.22, 2011, under Horror Show Hosts

On Saturday afternoon, I took Young Master Gregory to see the movie he’s been waiting for since he first saw the trailer for it months ago – “A Nightmare On Elm Street.”
Greggy’s always been a Freddy fan, much moreso than I have been. I’m all about the Michael Myers. In my book, the original “Halloween,” and “Halloween II,” are perfect, and, while I did enjoy both of the Rob Zombie remakes, like many, I am firmly of the opinion that there was no need for either of them. The same can be said of the Wes Craven’s “Nightmare On Elm Street.” However, Hollywood, seemingly bankrupt of ideas, has chosen to remake the 1984 classic, and, whether anyone agrees with this, or not, they own the rights to the franchise, not the fans.
I want to the theater on Saturday with an open mind, despite reading many a 1, and 2, star review of the picture. Greggy, well, he just wanted to see Freddy tear it up. As we entered the box office area, it was obvious that most of the people in line ahead of us were there to see the same movie as we were. It was also obvious that some of these people knew who we were, despite our best attempts at blending in with the mortals. As we approached the ticket counter, we were greeted by yet another Bone Jangler fan, and were promptly granted free admission. No matter how bad this remake might be, the price was certainly right. Next up was the ticket taker, still another Bone Jangler fan. After exchanging pleasantries, Greggy & I made our way to the concession stand. One free bucket of hot buttered popcorn, and 2 Cokes, later, we headed towards our seats, and settled in for a seemingly endless barrage of television commercials. At least the one for ABC’s “Castle” (a show I do enjoy, their Halloween episode was waaay cool) featured the stunning Stana Katic. Anyway…
Finally, the movie began, and, all eyes were glued to the screen, let me tell you. No one got up to go to the bathroom. No one left to get a refill. No one texted their friends. The movie held the audience’s attention, through, and through. While this remake doesn’t have the luxury of a Johnny Depp starring role, it does have an attractive young cast of taleneted young actors, and actresses. The ever impressive Kyle Gallner (he played “Colin” in the much maligned guilty pleasure, and Megan Fox vehicle “Jennifer’s Body”) is particularly effective as Quentin O’Grady. Rooney Mara does an outstanding job as “Nancy Holbrook,” originally portrayed by Heather Langenkamp, and gorgeous Katie Cassidy cranks the T & A volume to 11, as “Kris.” Cooler still is the casting of Clancy Brown, “Brother Justin Crowe” of the beloved, and dearly missed, “Carnivale.”
Of course, the controversy here is that Robert Englund is no longer “Freddy Krueger.” Yes, Robert Englund owned the character, having instantly made it his own. However, the character became overtly campy, nearly, if not completely, to the point of self parody. Besides, in Englund’s estimatation, he doubts that he could pull off the character at this point, and has happily handed the baton to Jackie Earle Haley, a capable actor, to say the very least, and one adept at playing just this sort of character, as evidenced by his role as “Ronnie J. McGorvey” in “Little Children.”

In this movie, Freddy’s origin, of sorts, or, at least the story of how he came to be burnt to a crisp is much more thoroughly explored than in the original movie. It has been written that this is “the most unnecessary back story ever seen in any movie.” I heartily disagree, and these scenes are amongst the ones I enjoyed the most, watching Fred Krueger, friend to all children, before the kids began to tell their parents about his “secret cave.” These scenes do a lot to flesh out the character’s origin, without being so graphic as to be inappropriate for Young Master Gregory’s eyes. Yes, in this day of gore, and spectacle, there is still plenty left to your imagination in this picture, believe it, or not.

The film is full of scares, some recreated from the original, and the finale is top notch, and memorable. Don’t listen to the critics. Most of them don’t care for this sort of film in the first place. “A Nightmare On Elm Street” is must see viewing for true Horror fans everywhere, at least the ones under the age of, say, 50 years old.


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