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DVD Review

DVD cover

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)


Starring: Jackie Earle Haley, Kyle Gallner, Rooney Mara, Katie Cassidy, Thomas Dekker and Kellan Lutz
Warner Home Video
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 18
Available 25 October 2010

A group of college teenagers begin experiencing vivid individual dreams involving a dangerous, heavily-scarred killer with razor claws. Very soon they discover the dreams are real, and that any injuries sustained are present in the waking world. A number of teenagers have died in mysterious circumstances, and there is a suppressed memory which links all of these students. Their parents harbour a terrible secret, but the killer seeks retribution. To survive the kids will have to stay awake, and that’s no easy task...

What is this penchant in recent years for re-making classic horror films? Has Hollywood completely run out of ideas? In addition to the plethora of East Asian supernatural ghost stories, there has been retellings of House of Wax, Ghost Ship, House on Haunted Hill, The Fog, and a host of others. The latest trend is for reworkings of groundbreaking slasher movies with iconic fictional killers such as John Carpenter’s Halloween (Michael Myers), Sean Cunningham’s Friday 13th (Jason Voorhees), and now Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street (Freddy Krueger). The two Rob Zombie Halloween remakes possessed none of the style or presence of the original, and the new Friday 13th, whilst a little better, went through the (set piece) motions without ever having the feel of the original or sequels. As far as this new A Nightmare on Elm Street is concerned... well, actually it’s quite good.

What makes this one work is the fact that it’s played straight. Personally, I found the early Michael and Jason characters to be infinitely more eerie than the wise-cracking Freddy, whose puns reached the height of silliness in the sequels. Here we have the recognisable fedora hat, striped jumper and bladed glove, but this badly burned man is a much more solemn and vengeful character. It’s a more fitting persona; after all, Freddy is supposed to be a child molester who has been purposefully trapped in a fire and burnt alive.

The plot is pretty much the same as the original, but has the bonus of being a little more self-explanatory than its predecessor. This is the best re-made horror film I’ve seen in a very long time, but that doesn’t make it all right. New writers with fresh ideas are what is needed, or scriptwriters who can suitably adapt some unsung horror novels.


Ty Power

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