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A Nightmare on Elm Street

Year: 2010
Production Co: Platinum Dunes
Studio: New Line Cinema
Director: Samuel Bayer
Producer: Michael Bay
Writer: Wesley Strick/Eric Heisserer
Cast: Jackie Earle Haley

It looked like it was going to be another of these so-so remakes from the video nasty era, maybe with a few scares and some cool scenes. There was even an expanded glimpse at the back story we heard from Nancy's mother in the first film, bought to life as the parents of Elm Street track Freddy (Haley) down and doom him to his fate.

The result was worse than dire. It's got to be close to the worst movie of 2010. What went wrong during the production isn't so obvious from the final product, except to say that nothing works even close to the way you expect for a film of this calibre.

The performances are beyond wooden. The script beyond lame. The various scenes of gore and bloodletting completely devoid of shock value. The scares are cheap, sudden jumps that have nothing to do with the story instead or true horror. The problems even extend to the make-up. Way back in 1984 Wes Craven made Robert Englund look exactly like a guy whose flesh had half burned off his bones. Jackie Earl Haley looks like he's wearing an oversized carnival horror mask, the face rubbery, the lipsbarely moving while he talks.

It shouldn't have gone so wrong with the same premise as the original - years after a group of vigilante parents kill a local child molester and murderer, his vengeful spirit appears in the dreams of their now-teenaged kids, killing them in their sleep until the plucky one among them figures out what's going on and determines to stop him.

But where Craven crafted a classic modern horror film with an unforgettable villain to rival the likes of Dracula, Jaws or Godzilla, music video director Samuel Bayer takes too many cues from the directorial career of his producer, Michael Bay, mistaking the narrative pitch of the film (over the top, I this case) for quality in the story.

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