Nightmare on Elm Street
I went into this with a positive attitude. Robert Englund put it in perspective for me when he told me “I come from the stage, and every new production is a remake of something that’s gone before”. Yeah this makes sense.
Also, let me be clear, I don’t hate Jackie Earl Haily in the role. I think he’s a brilliant actor and really came to love him during his brief stint on TV’s Human Target. I knew I’d have a hard time accepting anyone in this role other than Robert and Jackie was a good a choice as any, better than most.
So why did this film turn out so terrible?
As much as I like Haily, I do have to say, I just can’t get behind that makeup job. I do understand what they were going for, a more realistic burn victem and it might have worked if this were an original concept, but this is a remake and you have to convince me. Freddy’s face has far more character than this, I’m sorry.
It’s really the least of my worries here though. It’s the rest of the cast we really need to worry about.
Perhaps it’s unintentional, perhaps it was written into the script, but honestly, I don’t LIKE any of these kids. I can’t build any sympathy up for them. I don’t know if the producers were thinking they were just trying to appeal to the goth/emo crowd, but whatever they were trying to do, they failed. The thing is, it’s a stark contrast to Nancy from the original film, who was a very ordinary person that had to reach down and find her inner strength, ultimately becoming a much stronger heroine. The Nancy of this film is depressed, lifeless, and never inspiring. We get an angry beatdown towards the end, but that’s not strength, it’s just rage. Nothing inspiring to see here folks.
And then there’s the CG…
I think Freddy vs. Jason made great use of the CG with the blood drops and the Freddy shadow. Here’s they especially like to use it during homages – the most egregious offender is when Freddy comes out of Nancy’s wall. in the original a pane of spandex looked eerie, it filled us with dark wonder. here, CG Freddy looks like a balloon animal. Not threatening at all.
We get mildly better homage to the stairs scene and an almost shot by shot remake of the bathtub scene, but it’s all just so uninspired. Maybe if I cared about these people but I just don’t and that makes the clever stuff – the misdirection (did Freddy do it or not?), the micro nap theory, the scheme (trap Nancy in dreams) and the great moments like in and out of dreams in the pharmacy, it’s all irrelevant if I just don’t care about these people.
So definitely, if I were to do this again, I’d make my heroes stronger, and probably lose the homages altogether, remembering that it’s not the scenes that make the original great, it’s the concept, the story and the people.