Friday, May 7, 2010

The Verdict: Nightmare on Elm Street

Welcome to an all-new feature on this site called The Verdict. The Verdict will contain reviews and comparisons from as many as 1-4 people. In this edition, a crew of four people will be comparing the original “A Nightmare on Elm Street” 1984 movie by Wes Craven to the recently released “A Nightmare on Elm Street” 2010 movie by Samuel Bayer. Who made the better Freddy Krueger: Robert Englund or Jack Earl Hayley? What movie had better kills? These questions and more will be answered by the four following people:

STVO (CrossTopix Founder)

CharlieCat (occasional contributor)
Nick Smith (movie director/site contributor)Matt McCollum (previous guest and friend of CrossTopix.)

Whatever movie gets the most staff preference will be named the better movie. Let’s Begin!

STVO: I enjoy the original Nightmare series as it has some entertaining kills, a unique story about Freddy Krueger: a former child killer haunting the dreams of teenagers in Springwood. I even enjoyed the occasionally goofy scenes at times. I understand that with the new Nightmare, they wanted to update it by giving a darker tone and straying away from Freddy’s wacky antics (turning victims into pizza toppings, murdering via skateboard, etc.) The problem is, that it doesn’t work out as well I was hoping and this movie is not nearly as memorable as the original Nightmare on Elm Street.
In fact, this movie is very re-hashed and feels like an impostor. Most of the murders are directly like the original movie which isn’t as entertaining because I saw this movie because I wanted a new outlook on the series, not a complete flashback. It should have followed the models of Friday the 13th (2009), Clash of the Titans (2010), and My Bloody Valentine 3D (2009), all movies that had the same general ideas as their original counterparts but didn’t direct their movies exactly like them and in return, were superior movies in my opinion to the predecessors. I like Jack Early Hayley (he saved me from completely disliking The Watchmen) but he stunk as Freddy Krueger. Everything from the attempt to looking like a burn victim (this look just isn’t as iconic as the original) to his voice. His voice sounds more like a tired elderly man as opposed to creepy. The only things I enjoyed in the movie were Freddy’s back story (it was entertaining) and the new ending. Other than that, I highly recommend people just watch the original 1984 classic and stay away from the 2010 movie. I’m likely to stay away from the 3D-sequel if it gets made. Final Note: Before Freddy Krueger got burned alive in the 2010 movie, he looked like an older pedophile version of Shaggy from Scooby Doo.


Matt: I don’t think it takes that much time to flat-out say that the new Nightmare on Elm Street sucked. That's right; it was bad, very bad. I know that they were trying to have a more serious tone. I respect that and the goofiness used to be why I didn’t like the original movies in the series, but they grew on me. This Freddy looked lame: Having been burnt up they could have made him look so cool, instead they made him look like Mr. Six without his glasses on. He was so boring; he could have at least had some humor. I also thought being a child killer was better than being a child molester.

The flashbacks were so cheesy. What gardener gets that involved with the kids without wanting to molest them? Nothing in this movie was original: Coming out of the walls, appearing in the bathtub, saying things like "How's that for a wet dream" all came from older Freddy movies. I actually thought the goofy Robert Englund “Freddy” was scarier than the new one as Jack Earl Hayley took himself way too seriously. I admit, dressing in drag and riding on skateboards is a little much but I even missed that after watching this movie. Why Robert Englund approved of this Freddy is beyond me. I do have to say that the victims weren’t as annoying as they usually are in newer horror movies. I did like Michael Bay's Friday the 13th remake a lot more than the Nightmare on Elm Street one. It wasn’t great, just better. While Friday the 13th fixed some stuff from the original three movies, Nightmare (2010) didn’t fix anything and brought nothing new to the table. I wouldn't recommend it.


Charlie Cat: Another remake has hit theaters recently, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and it's a trend that is here to stay. Although it is infuriating, all we can do is watch the movies and judge them as they are. The original Nightmare was about a creepy child murderer who comes back to kill the kids of the people who burnt him alive. The remake is about a child abuser coming back to kill his former victims, whose parents murdered him, in their dreams. I like the premise of the remake better. No explanation was given in the original, nor was there any rhyme or reason to it, the remake had Freddy Kreuger (the child killer/torturer) come back to his victims as they started to remember the personal horrors he inflicted on them. He had a connection to them. I liked that better than no explanation at all as to why Freddy was back, killing kids he had nothing to do with. Yes, their parents killed him, but... Anyways, the remake had a theme to it with this premise: Repressing traumatic childhood memories instead of getting help will eventually come back to hurt the person later in life. It was more intriguing than the first.

In the original, I liked that Freddy was hidden in the shadows more, making our imaginations create this monster more than the make-up and prosthetics. Although, he looked more like a demon than a burnt corpse as opposed to the remake, in which I felt we saw him too much. Hands down, Jackie Earl Haley was much better at being disturbingly creepy. Haley did a much better performance. Robert Englund is great, but in the original he was nothing special, it could have been anybody in the fedora and red and olive green striped sweater. Both endings were terrible (not the showdowns with Freddy, although in the remake it was much better how he lured them back to a special place [shudder]) especially the original. If you've seen it, you know what I mean. The Freddy-mobile! C'mon! In all fairness, the remake was a pretty good movie on its own and far surpassed its predecessor, which is an overrated movie I felt to begin with. 1, 2 this was CharlieCat's review...

Nick Smith: My thoughts on the brand new remake of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" can be summed up quite simply. The movie shouldn't have been called "A Nightmare on Elm Street"… it should have been called "A Nightmare on the Street where the Kids went to Pre-school." Seriously, for those that have seen the movie, Did they even mention Elm Street? Now for those that think that this is a nitpicky point, it's not! It's the entire F**KING problem with the movie. The original movie's premise was rather simple: a child murderer who lived on Elm Street killed a bunch of the children ON Elm Street. He was burned alive by the parents because he got off on trial on a technicality; a stretch but I'll buy it. Now this remake wants me to believe that a guy, a gardener (who happens to be a pedophile) molested a bunch of kids gets chased down to some random manufacturing plant, the parents burn him alive, and now he's back to torment the kids he used to molest. Why now? What's he been waiting for: For them to reach a certain age?
Look, I'm not bashing this movie or giving it ZERO stars because Robert Englund isn't in it but GOD D*MN Robert Englund couldn't have saved this movie. So, the boyfriend watches his girlfriend get cracked in half by Freddy; he escapes out the window (understandable) and in about 4 seconds he's arrested by 30 cops… who called the police? Also, Nancy rips a piece of Freddy's sweater off from the dream world and brings it back to the real world… and (with nobody around her) the first thing she says is "Freddy's Sweater…." NO S**T! You know that. We know that. You wouldn't' say that! I F’N DARE anybody to tell me this was a good movie. Think about this… if you actually think you liked the movie, if you were to watch this movie having known NOTHING about the previous movies… would you even have understood ANY of the movie?


And with that said, the jury awards The Verdict of better movie to…


I hope you enjoyed this new feature, look for it to make a return in the future.
For the meantime, tune in Wednesday for CrossTopix #10 as STVO and Nicole D. discuss American Idol, the top 5 TV shows of the Fall 2009-2010 Season, music video games, and our anticipated movies of the summer.

In the meantime, follow CrossTopix on Facebook, Twitter, or Myspace today! E-mail STVO at to talk directly.

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