While scouring reviews for “Nightmare,” I read a comment online that suggested the reason why Samuel Bayer’s absolutely lethargic lazy remake of the horror classic is so bad is because he wasn’t recruited by Platinum Dunes to re-imagine this world, but to simply lens it for them. And that’s an apt observation when you’ve managed to sit down and actually watch Platinum Dunes latest cinematic slap to the face of movie goers and horror lovers everywhere. “A Nightmare on Elm Street” 2010 is possibly one of the worst remakes of all time, it’s a lazy, unimaginative, nonsensical, and absolutely tedious piece of hogwash that doesn’t try to do anything new with the material before it, nor does it re- invent much, but instead merely goes through the motions as a routine horror affair focused on squeezing in as much shocks as possible and moving on to the next scene.
“Nightmare” 2010 was coming whether we liked it or not, because studios like Platinum Dunes go where the money and name recognition is, and from the bowels of their brain trust specializing in only acquiring and remaking established franchises, there’s no hope of ever garnering a new horror icon any time soon. Director Samuel Bayer is a hasty and sloppy director who simply does not understand tension or suspense, and it shows with this retread that is much more boring than it is awful, and tosses about as much head scratching plot holes and lapses in logic to the audience that it possibly can in the room of ninety minutes. Take for example one instance where main character Nancy is watching online video diaries of a young man suffering from nightmares involving Freddy.
Aaron Yoo provides an uncredited guest role (in a career slowly suffering from Hollywood’s refusal to let Asian Americans be anything but clichés) as Marcus Yeun who is slowly deteriorating from the dreams and in his last video has his head smashed in to the camera by Freddy in his dreams ending his life. So… if he died, who posted the video online? Who archived and titled it? Is Freddy on Youtube now? And what do the undead children represent if Freddy never actually killed a child in this version? And why doesn’t Freddy kill the parents too? As for Jackie Earle Haley, he is absolutely wasted in what could have been an iconic role for him, mugging for the camera often looking absolutely bored with this material providing a barely memorable take on a character who should be approached with a new angle in modern times. Save for a neat bit where he scrapes his claw together, 2010 Freddy is a monstrous bore.
Krueger (who is now just a child molester and not a child murderer, just in case) is reduced to being a one-dimensional horror prop now, lumbering toward his buxom thirty year old victims (all of whom we’re told are still in the beginning of high school), garnering no real perversion toward his acts of evil, and providing some ridiculously pointless deaths including a prologue in an oddly dark diner, and a set piece involving a boiler room (which in the grand scheme of the movie makes zero sense considering this new Freddy was a gardener). There are no explorations in to the subconscious, no dabbling with the potential for psychosis playing a role in this horror film, no symbology, no intelligence, it’s merely a superficial absolutely horrid re-tooling of a stellar horror film, and an absolutely embarrassing one at that.
The DVD/Blu-Ray combo pack features a DVD, Blu-Ray, and Digital Copy for all folks looking to bask in the dreck with as many options as possible, while the DVD features only a few featurettes. There’s nothing here remotely entertaining about the movie or the creative process, sadly. Probably because there was no creative process. There are looks in to the alternate openings and endings for the film as well as an additional scene and a small look at “Freddy Reborn.”
When I wanted to lose sleep I undeniably turned to Freddy Krueger to haunt me with the potential to turn me in to dream filet mignon, but director Samuel Bayer has achieved the impossible and turned the once beloved Freddy Krueger in to an antidote for insomnia. So much could have been done with a remake, but they chose instead to market on a quick cash-in. And congratulations, it worked. Never Sleep again? Never watch again.