Review: A Nightmare On Elm Street

by May 07, 2010

by Omar Mazariego

I’ve always said that my worst nightmare would be to wake up and find that my penis was gone (Just ask John Wayne Bobbit or this guy). But I’d be lying if I said that a white man with razor-sharp knives for fingers wasn’t at the top of the list too. But I’m real, and I’d gun down Edward Scissorhands before he could get close enough to touch a hair on my head.

But I can see how Freddy Krueger would scare a bunch of suburban kids to death. I mean, the wrinkled face, long fingernails, dirty hat and non-matching red and green knit sweater with no Polo or AX logo would surely have the King of the Burbs and his crew sh*tting more bricks than an immigrant in Arizona right now. Meanwhile that’s half the hobos in my neck of the hood.

freddyAny true ‘80s horror fan will tell you the Nightmare on Elm Street series was far superior to the Friday The 13th and Halloween sagas. Not only because the writing was better, but because Fred Krueger had what Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers didn’t: personality. Dude had one-liners for everyone he murdered. The only man with sillier and more outrageous quotes than Freddy ran this country from 2000-2008. And while the 2010 A Nightmare on Elm Street is still better than the Friday The 13th and Halloween revivals, it still falls short of what it could have and should have been.

The reintroduction is almost identical to the original Nightmare as far as the murders and some dreams go. The heroine once again goes by the name Nancy (Rooney Mara), but this Nancy isn’t as jaded as the Nancy of old. Her father isn’t around to doubt her and her mother isn’t a loose as a goose drunk. How Lindsay Lohan must envy this young woman right now. After a few of her friends die in their sleep, she spends her time trying to figure out why she and her friends were dreaming with the same man before dying in their sleep. Is her mind playing tricks on her like Bushwick Bill? Not bloody likely. And this time around Nancy doesn’t have Johnny Depp (21 Juuuump Street!) around to help keep her awake. Instead she has a herb of a man called Quentin (Kyle Gallner) to help her break the case. And while he helps in hopes of finding a way to keep himself from getting killed in his sleep, he really helps her to make his dream of creating the beast with two backs with her come true. How noble and realistic.

Now while the original Freddy Kruger had personality, he didn’t begin to actually show it with the one-liners and sarcasm until Dream Warriors (in my opinion, the best of the Nightmare series), in which he told one of his victims, “This is it, your big break in TV. Welcome to prime time, bitch!” And then he smashed her head into a TV set. It was poetry in horror motion. In the first two films he was just homicidal and straight to the point, which made him that much more creepy.

Instead of a sociopath pedophile, Nancy and Q find themselves being hunted by Dane Cook with butter knives on his glove, talking about, “You shouldn’t fall asleep in class,” and “Now that’s a wet dream” when Nancy falls into a puddle of blood. This Freddy was so predictable and lame with it that he should have quoted some Honeymooners lines. He might as well have done a song and dance number while he was at it too. Just go all out.

Given, there were a few parts that had my future wife/baby mama jump out her seat, but truth is, Jackie Haley’s adaptation of the pedophile turned nightmare demon couldn’t hold a candle to Robert Englund’s version (why didn’t he have a cameo in this movie?). While Jackie had the look down, the voice and expressions were nothing more than Rorschach 2.0. He didn’t seem to relish killing off the Elm Street kids like Englund did. And he sure as hell didn’t breath new or old life into this iconic character and the movie suffered because of it.

While the movie was cool to watch and the story easy to follow, it wasn’t nearly as entertaining as any of the originals. (It was better than Freddy’s Dead, though). So as long as I wake up and see my manhood is still intact, I won’t be losing any sleep over how Jackie can glee, son.

3 Gangstas out of 5