I didn’t see all the Nightmare movies in order.  I didn’t see the original until I was about 20 so it didn’t really scare me but I still found it spooky and understood why it was a classic.  I did, however see the third and fourth parts around 6 or 7 years old.  Sleepless nights became my unwanted best friends.  I, to this day, place the blame on my parents for those nights.  They knew better, no matter how much I begged them to see these movies, to not let me see those movies.  They should have placed me in another room with something like Transformers or G.I. Joe to keep me busy and guarantee a good night sleep.  Another option would have been to at least let me sleep in their bed with them.  They did a couple times, but more times than not I was alone in bed struggling to convince myself that I would not die in my sleep.  To make matters that much worse, we were staying in a friend’s basement at the time.  No, it wasn’t one of those modern, finished basements with carpet and windows and central air.  To me, it was exactly like the warehouse that Freddy Krueger offed his victims in; so the dark, subterranean creepiness certainly did not assist me in my mission of not being scared.  Thanks ma; really appreciate it dad.

            Having said that, me being scared out of my wits meant that those movies did their job.  Their objective of scaring the hell out of people, especially little kids, had been completed.  Fast forwarding to the year 2010 and we have an all new cast of teenagers trying to avoid death at the hand and claw of an all new Freddy Krueger this time played by Jackie Earle Haley.  The first victim to die, which does a great job at opening the film in my opinion, is one Dean Russell (Kellan Lutz).  Awake for about 3 days straight, he finally falls asleep for good after being chased through a diner by our villain.  The next character we follow trying to make sense of what she saw (she was there when Dean died) is Chris Fowles (Katie Cassidy).  Of course no one believes her except for Nancy (Rooney Mara), the self proclaimed outcast of the story.  She was working in the diner when the death occurred but still has issues believing that there is someone or something haunting their dreams. 

As more and more of their small group are brutally killed in their sleep, she and a newly made friend, Quentin (Kyle Gallner) decide to find out how all of them are connected.  In their search, they discover that other teenagers across the world are also being attacked.  As they begin to bridge the gap between Freddy Krueger and them all, they discover how he became who he is during a dream that Quentin has.  They find out that they all went to the same preschool where he worked as a gardener and was accused of committing crimes against them.  Instantly believing he is guilty, their parents take it into their own hands to deal out their own justice.  Now Freddy is back to hand out his revenge through their kids.  After reaching a dead end when they question their parents, Nancy and Quentin decide to seek out the old preschool they once attended and find out a way to try to stop Krueger. 

The best part of this screenplay written by Wesley Strick and Eric Heisserer was the vivid look into Krueger’s origins.  The original installments always touched on them but never explained what exactly what happened to him in detail like this one does.  This film draws you in making you more and more intrigued by Krueger and just why he is so pissed off at these kids.  Another change in the format is the way that Freddy is played.  Robert Englund’s Freddy was more of a jokester, always having something smart and sarcastic to say before killing his victims.  When Wes Craven’s New Nightmare was released, he brought Freddy’s character back to how he envisioned him to originally be, such as in the original film made back in 1984.  This remake takes this vision a step further and makes Freddy an all out sinister killer who has no time for delivering punch lines as it may interfere with his killing.  Jackie Earle Haley plays this part extremely well letting the audience know that Freddy Krueger isn’t up for any fun and games this time around.

The acting from the rest of the cast is really what you would expect in a horror film that revolves around a bunch of teenagers.  Nothing special, but not awful either, the characters are here for one purpose and one purpose only and that is to be exterminated by the clawed figure haunting their dreams.  The direction from Samuel Bayer tries its best to re-imagine what Wes Craven created over two decades ago.  What it does is create a new idea for the generation of today to hopefully appreciate and take an interest in what those of us grew up on.  Including some very well done special effects which are something else that the Nightmare movies have prided themselves on will delight the younger generation being that that is all what some of them know.  Since parts of the story always take place in the dream world, using special effects to create this fantasy atmosphere are needed but aren’t needed to be overdone.  This remake hits a good medium on that subject.

I must confess that I will obviously hold a soft spot for the original in my movie heart as it is part of my childhood and had me literally afraid to go to sleep at night; however this film was well made.  I do think it could have been a little longer, maybe adding more characters in which would give the crew more opportunities to come up with creative ways to kill them off that we haven’t seen before.  Other than that, I give A Nightmare on Elm Street “3.5 reasons to once again be afraid to go to sleep”.

“How’s this for a wet dream?”        

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