A Nightmare on Elm Street
Cast: Jackie Earle Haley, Rooney Mara
Direction: Samuel Bayer
Rating: * 1/2
An unimaginative update of the horror classic, A Nightmare on Elm Street is so tame that it could easily make us forget how frightening the original 1984 film remains.
Freddy Kreuger, the blood-crazed bogeyman with metallic talons, returns to wreak havoc on unsuspecting teenagers of a suburban neighbourhood.
Unfortunately, debutant director Bayer, a veteran of music videos, has no clue as to what is scary, only what is splatter sensationalism.
There’s no story to speak of, no credible dynamic between the troubled teens and certainly none of the unrelenting suspense that distinguished the first Nightmare film.
What we do get are a couple of youngsters prone to recurring nightmares. With little sense of self-preservation, they (Mara-Kyle Gallner) tend to die under violent circumstances. Throughout, who’s-going-to-be-bumped-off-next scenario is curiously lethargic.
Taking over the role of the malicious maniac, former child actor Jackie Earle Haley (who also appears, albeit briefly, in the week’s other release, Shutter Island) is no match for Robert Englund who originated the part and reprised it in six subsequent sequels.
The been-there-endured-that rehash will at best appeal to diehard gore-geeks.