Saturday, May 1, 2010

Elm Street '10 - Hey, It Could've Been Worse

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I don't think i've ever been so excited for a movie in my life as I was last night. I threw on my Krueger Nike's, my Hot Topic Freddy sweater, and Jen even smuggled in our replica metal glove (which in retrospect was probably quite illegal - but proved quite fun out in the parking lot after the movie). As I sat there in the dark and the famed Elm Street theme began playing over the opening credits, I was right back to being a kid again. I was in heaven. I was seeing my favorite horror icon of all time back on the big screen and I was giddy as a schoolgirl. This feeling did not last very long....

Now the general consensus is that this was an absolutely horrible and dreadful remake and while I don't exactly echo those hardcore hatred filled sentiments about it, they're not unjustified and I certaintly see where those folks are coming from. Truth be told, if I didn't have such an engrained loved for all things Krueger, I probably would be saying the same things about the movie. But the fact of the matter is that my opinion when it comes to Freddy is a bit biased and thus, I will be gentle on his latest outing. That being said, putting my Freddy love aside, Elm Street '10 is not very good at all. I've seen worse remakes (The Fog, Prom Night, Halloween, to name a few), but i've also seen a heck of a lot better (Chainsaw, Hills, Dawn) - Elm Street falls somewhere in between the two. It's totally predictable at every turn, boring most of the time (anyone else take a few micro naps?), brings relatively nothing new to the table, the acting from several of the leads is poor and I cared nothing of their characters, I HATE the new makeup, there was too much CGI and too many jump scares, the new technology of this day and age was not utilized at all to make the dream sequences really special, and the only memorable or cool scenes are ones that were plucked directly from the original. But again, I am biased towards Freddy and so instead of entirely ripping the movie a new asshole, i've decided instead to go the route of listing off the things that I in fact did like about the movie - because there are a few. I feel that due to all the entertainment Freddy has provided me throughout my whole life, he deserves this much. So here goes that.

- I know some of you guys shudder at the idea of Freddy being innocent, but I loved that they proposed this idea in the film. Unfortunately, they spilled the beans way too quickly, before the idea really got a chance to be explored. I personally think it would've been really cool and brought something new to the table if it was proven that Fred Krueger was in fact innocent. At the very least, they should have kept the guessing going for longer or even left us to form our own opinion at the end of the film. Major drop of the ball on that one but gotta give the Dunes kudos for throwing the idea out there at all.

- Along these same lines, given that they went the definitive guilty route, i'm glad they really went for it and played up the child rape aspect of Freddy. This is something that was always hinted at but was never gone so full force into like it was this time around. Again, gotta give the Dunes serious props and respect for making Krueger darker and more disturbing than he's been in a while - perhaps ever.

- I was so happy to see that Freddy still had his wise crack one liners. I was afraid that this new darker vision of Freddy would be sans one liners and i'm so glad they threw a few in there. Ultimately, it's that humorous jokester side that has always drawn me to the character. At one point a girl behind me said to her friend, "ugh, he's so corny!" - this made me smile in my seat. In the world I live in, Freddy's supposed to be corny.

- Jackie Earle Haley was awesome in the role. Thought he did a great job but again, the makeup did not work for me at all. I don't know if it's just that it looks crappy on his face or if the makeup was crappy altogether, but I could not get into it. I know he's supposed to look more like a real burn victim than Englund's Freddy (which he does), but he just didn't look cool or menacing to me - he looked more like a turtle with buck teeth. Also, though he was great, I don't know that Haley was right for the part physically. His body just didn't fit the costume and again, Krueger came off looking kinda silly. As for the flashback scenes of gardener Fred Krueger, Haley was again great and he fit perfectly in the role in those scenes. Those pre-burn scenes ended up being my favorites of the entire film, with the lynch mob burning scene being my hands down favorite moment. Almost wish we got more prequel type stuff like that.

- The unexpected appearance from Aaron Yoo. I love this dude and I think it's awesome that he's in both the Friday and Elm Street remakes. Only a dude as badass as Yoo could upload a video of himself being killed!

- I suppose that's about it....

I guess the bottom line is this - While there are little hints of goodness in the Elm Street redux, they unfortunately get outweighed and buried by the bad, the uninspired, and the downright boring. I was reading the critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and one stood out for me and totally captured exactly how I feel about the movie - "If not for its title, and the memories it conjures up...the film wouldn't have enough of an impact to last through the end of the credits." Sadly, it's the truth. Of all the major horror baddies out there, Freddy has gotten one of the worst remake treatments of them all. This makes me truly sad. But at the end of the day, I got to see Freddy up on the big screen last night and, quality of movie aside, I can't be too dissapointed about that.

I leave you with my favorite audience quote of the night, which I somehow managed to hear over all the other audience chit chat - "Is this the first one where he actually talks?" These are the kinds of people I have to spend my day to day life with - now you know why I love going to horror conventions so much....

15 comments:

Mr. Johnny Sandman said...

I agree with most of what you said. I would rather watch the remake of Nightmare on Elm Street then, say... Halloween 2 or Friday the 13th. I just think that the film was very rushed and I don't think they gave Haley the liberty to create his own interpretation of the Freddy character. If he did, I am sure his performance would be stellar and overshadow the weird makeup.

Fred [The Wolf] said...

Total disappointment, so agreed. As I thought about the film more, the more I seemed to dislike it. I don't think it was the worst remake ever but it had potential to be one of the better ones and it didn't even come close to meeting it. Haley was the best part of the film, and even that was flawed. Michael Bay is definitely the thing that's wrong with horror. He just needs to stop and leave the classics alone if he's not going to bother producing quality remakes. My review for this will be up soon.

Bryce Wilson said...

I don't know Johnny this review reads like "Well she gave me herpes but at least it wasn't syphilis"

The thing that bothered me is that the plot really makes no sense, in away the original Nightmare didn't. People accept Freddy when they have no reason to, and doubt him when they have evidence to believe.

Even Freddy coming back didn't make sense the way it did in the original. I mean he's just some mildly retarded gardener who decides he likes killing?

(Spoilers)

The one (1) clever thing this movie did was give Krueger a master plan for keeping Nancy awake that long. But even that bothered me. I mean how the fuck would he know? Was he going to Night school between gardening and molesting kids? What the fuck.

Johnny said...

Bryce - Like I said, I am biased towards Freddy and so I was looking for the good in it rather than just entirely bashing it like everyone seems to be doing. Yes, it did kinda suck, but it could've sucked a whole lot more!

Elvis said...

I always enjoy your reviews as you take the time to focus on the things a lot of bloggers/reviews wouldnt.I havent seen many people focus on some of the positives so far.
I went into the movie with no hope.I was like I just want to see it to rake it over the coals,but after it was over I just felt it coulda been way worse.On the other hand it coulda been alot better too.

Regarding the make-up, I felt it kinda looked like Mason Virger in Hannibal with a hint of puma or some sort of wildcat thrown in.

I would have liked to seen more practical effects than the cgi blood. I guess I'm old school.

Anonymous said...

I might be the only one who thinks this, but did anyone else feel a J-horror vibe. After the flick, I felt like I had seen the American remake of the Japanese remake of Elm Street.

Morphine said...

I was so glad that they got the one liners in, it made the film for me, but agree that there were too many jump scares, actually there should have been more Freddy. The movie went bye quickly with a lot of stop and go. You were either bored or jumped (not because of Freddy, but because of the sudden loud noise) But I am always entertained when he starts talking, and they turned the creepy factor way up. I just wish he didn't look like a snake creature, actually with how the face was formed nearly reminded me of Davy Jones from Pirates.

kaiyn said...

It definitely could have been worse. I have a feeling that I'm going to be in the minority, but I actually enjoyed it. It will never be or live up to the Freddy that I know and love, but I was able to like it for what it was. Without thinking too much of what it wasn't.
I'm still not sure what I think about the new makeup. Haven't decided between liking it or downright hating it.

Cat said...

Kaiyn you and I are in the same boat. That's exactly how I feel.

Jay Amabile said...

I wanted to leave the theater. It vomited in the face of the original. Not good at all. You and Paradise of Horror were being nice by giving it at least some props, but I just couldn't take anything positive away from it. The performances, the bad cgi, the altered plot...all very bland. I rate Rob Zombie's Halloween reboot much better than this. The F13 remake is my favorite of the remakes so far and now we find out that the sequel to that got shitcanned! booo!

Jay Amabile said...

The makeup sucked, and he didn't look at all scary to me. His voice was more of a distraction also because we all know him as Rorshach. Didn't that bother people? It wasn't Freddy. And the fact that they went in a ridiculously realistic direction, it made it kinda silly. Freddy is a DEMON! A demon is basically a character of fantasy, so let it be a fantasy horror. For instance, when fanboys like me go to see a comic book movie I want to see exactly that...not something that is so based in reality, that is the opposite of what I'm seeking. If I wanted to see a movie about a child molester I would watch Dateline. This is precisely the reason why the originals tried to veer away from the molester aspect...it's a downer...it's heavy...and for those effected by a pedophile or molester...it can be very disturbing. If I want an escapist horror movie, I'm not looking to be depressed at the thought that little innocent pre schoolers are getting molested by creeps who work at their school. Sure, I know stuff like that happens but I don't associate that with Freddy. Plus, the original films seemed like Freddy had more of a vendetta against the kids parents, almost as if he kills their kids he will get back at the parents. In the original series it's way more possible to believe that he could be innocent. This one not so much.

Too Many Zombies said...

Not hugely surprising. I'm going to give it a miss, as I do all remakes these days. Yes, people can churn out lists of good remakes but all but around one of those are over twenty years old and weren't made during a time when the film industry is creatively bankrupt.

Modern remakes are a cynical exercise in marketing. Little more.

Still, can't possibly have been as bad as Freddy's Dead, eh? Could it?

A.Jaye said...

I was suprised that the almost subplot of Freddy's innocence worked. I too thought that was the way to take the reboot. It would certainly seperate it from the original: An innocent man is burned alive and comes back as a demon to wreck revenge. It sounds like CandyMan but that worked didn't it?

As for your favourite audience quote - can'y they have cinemas for stupid people? Where they can show them stupid films... oh.

Multiplexes.

Oh and well said Jay. I for another protest against using paedophilia for entertainment.

Sith Hunter said...

It's been a few months now and I wanted to make sure everyone had seen it before mentioning this one, but there was one line in this movie that really upped the ante in regards to creepy and evil. This is one scene and line that really stuck with me and added a new layer to Freddy for me, who has always been my hands-down favorite horror icon btw.

Just after he kills John Connor (sorry but after watching the Sarah Connor Chronicles that's the only way I see him) it goes back into the dream world where the kid is still "hanging in there" though his body is dead. Freddy then drops the bomb "The brain can live for up to 7 minutes after the heart stops beating. We still have 6 more minutes to play." How f'd up is that? He already killed the poor bastard and now he's going to torture him some more?? That was seriously f'd up and I loved it!

Johnny said...

I did dig that line, i'll give the movie that much credit!