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....