CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.
‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ Remake Plays Like a Bad Dream
CHICAGO – Samuel Bayer’s remake of Wes Craven’s “A Nightmare on Elm Street” may be about repressed memories coming back in horrific ways, but it ironically ends up one of the least memorable films of 2010 to date. Not as abrasive as the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” remakes and not as dumb as “The Amityville Horror,” “A Nightmare on Elm Street” is merely forgettable; something never said about the influential original.
When Platinum Dunes, the production company behind remakes of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “The Amityville Horror,” “The Hitcher,” and “Friday the 13th” that range from mediocre to awful, announced they were tackling Freddy Krueger and “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” I’ll admit that I was somehow still cautiously optimistic. It’s the way of a horror fan. We’ve sat through so many bad sequels just in the hope that a filmmaker would find what once worked about a character or a concept. And when they hired the great Jackie Earle Haley (“Watchmen”) to play Krueger, I thought that Dunes had a clear chance to improve their critical track record. Clearly, I was dreaming.
|Read Brian Tallerico’s full review of “A Nightmare on Elm Street” in our reviews section.|
Of course, it’s easy to write off a critic who says “see the original” (although the recently-released Blu-ray of the title proves how well the film has held up over the last quarter-century). It’s what we’re “supposed” to say. But let me be clear: Samuel Bayer’s “A Nightmare on Elm Street” wouldn’t work even if the original never existed. In fact, it would probably be even LESS effective as the iconic imagery of Freddy Krueger and the goodwill horror fans for the series is the only way some may overlook this one’s flaws.
So loosely based on the original that it merely has a “characters based on” credit for Wesley Strick and Eric Heisserer’s script, the new “A Nightmare on Elm Street” picks up with Freddy in full kill mode, taking out a sleep-deprived teen (Kellan Lutz of “The Twilight Saga: New Moon”) in a diner that also happens to be populated with the other faces that will soon meet the sharp end of Krueger’s claw - Kris Fowles (Katie Cassidy), Jesse Braun (Thomas Dekker), Quentin Smith (Kyle Gallner), and Nancy Holbrook (Rooney Mara).
A scene from New Line Cinema’s horror film, A Nightmare On Elm Street.
Photo credit: Photo Courtesy of New Line Cinema