Nightmare on Elm Street, A (2010) - Dread Central
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Nightmare on Elm Street, A (2010)




A Nightmare on Elm Street 2010Reviewed by Carmen Potts

Starring Jackie Earle Haley, Rooney Mara, Kyle Gallner, Thomas Dekker, Connie Britton, Clancy Brown, Katie Cassidy, Kellan Lutz

Directed by Samuel Bayer

At the risk of sounding biased or unfair right out of the gate, I have to ask a question that has been on my mind for the last few years: Why do people continue to hold out any hope for these Platinum Dunes remakes? I know brand names are exciting, but after several of these lame assembly line clones, Michael Bay and his posse have consistently proven that they don’t understand a single thing about telling stories or creating characters. Hell, they couldn’t even provide us with basic bloody entertainment in a Friday the 13th movie. That’s the absolute lowest of hurdles! What made anyone think they would fare better with something as imaginative and smart as A Nightmare on Elm Street?

The short answer is they don’t. At this point all of these remakes are pretty much indistinguishable from each other, and this new Nightmare perfectly fits in with the rest as another over-polished, soulless slice of music video stupidity.

If you know anything about Freddy Krueger (which would be everyone reading this site), you know the premise, which is exactly the same this time around: Several kids in the town of Springwood are being killed in their sleep by a burned maniac and must get to the bottom of his revenge quest. If you die in your sleep, you die for real. Great hook, right? It’s too bad all the depth of Wes Craven’s concept has gone waaaaay over the heads of the remake team.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2010

Where to begin? Director Samuel Bayer embodies all the worst traits of the music video guy turned filmmaker. He over-stylizes every shot without any regard to pace, storytelling, characters, or performances. Bayer has even taken jabs at Craven’s original in the press, and many have commented on how he only took the gig to break out of music videos and into features. That complete lack of passion and understanding comes across in spades. But since this is exactly like every other Platinum Dunes movie, maybe we shouldn’t blame him. Maybe we should just level the blame at the producers, who always seem to be the real directors of these movies anyway.

Regardless, for a “creative team” that has displayed a complete indifference to Wes Craven, they sure love imitating him. Most of the original’s classic setpieces have been repeated – this time with a lot of bad CGI. It’s amazing to see all these iconic sequences sucked of all life, and the whole thing further hammers home why the horror genre loses its charm as filmmakers continue to get lazier with technology. The few nightmare sequences or gags they’re able to come up with on their own are largely uninspired. Even with an unlimited concept at their disposal, they do absolutely nothing new or interesting with the dream universe aside from your typical stalk-n-slash. Epic fail, guys.

The casting of the great Jackie Earl Haley was the one token of good faith and the sole reason many have held out hope for the remake. I hate to say it, but his Freddy Krueger is about as intimidating as a burned Martin Short. You can’t blame the man, though. He tries really hard. Had the character been re-envisioned from the ground up, Haley could have really sunk his teeth in and made it his own. But since he’s dressed in the familiar garb and forced to perform the same ol’ song and dance (albeit with the early darker iteration of Freddy), he comes off as a poor man’s Robert Englund. The new make-up (a mixture of prosthetics and CGI) doesn’t help either: The FX department pushes it so far towards the real that Freddy doesn’t look scary in the slightest. How terrified would you be if the scrawniest patient in a burn ward slapped on a razor glove and came at you?

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2010

And let’s talk about the glove, shall we? Remember the complete non-moment in the Friday the 13th remake when Jason randomly finds his hockey mask sitting on some guy’s floor? Well, that same lack of care has been put into Freddy’s origins. Moments that are supposed to be big and signature come off as under-played and limp. I’m still unsure where Freddy’s signature glove came from (he just “has” it in the finished film) aside from one limp visual connection. A lot of this has to do with the big third act twist that re-invents Freddy’s past crimes in a way that is both bold and utterly preposterous.

But what really kills this movie are the characters. There isn’t a single solitary person here to care about. The original Nightmare may be dated in many respects, but it was the intense character dynamics and relationships that kept you on edge just as much as when Freddy Krueger was onscreen. In the remake there’s no sense that anyone knows each other at all. The kids here are as stock as they come, and as a result nothing in this movie carries any weight. Every character is boring and completely one-dimensional, particularly Rooney Mara (who takes on Heather Langenkamp’s iconic role of Nancy). She is quite literally one of the blandest heroines to ever hit the screen, and I could feel myself nod off with each of her line deliveries. Sure, the original wasn’t exactly praised for its acting, but even Ronee Blakley comes off like a master thespian by comparison. Call me crazy, but when a Nightmare movie lulls you to sleep, that’s not a good thing.

While it may not reach Freddy’s Dead levels of suck, this new Nightmare commits a far worse offense: It’s mediocre to the point where it leaves absolutely no impression on you whatsoever. I know Platinum Dunes has been DC’s whipping boy for a long time, and most people will think this review no surprise, but let’s get something straight: Nothing would give us more pleasure than to see a PD film that makes us all eat crow. But the reality is their talents are not suited to the horror genre. And certainly not for Elm Street.

No one’s gonna lose sleep over this one.

2 out of 5

“>A Nightmare On Elm Street by Carmen Potts


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Friends Don’t Let Friends Review – A Haunting Mixture of Psychological Turmoil and Brutal Supernatural Horror



Starring Brittany Anne Woodford, Jenny Curtis, Kanin Guntzelman, Brendan McGowan, Jake White

Directed by James S. Brown

We all like to think of ourselves as being surrounded by friends, but let’s face it, if we were to ever truly hit hard times, there are probably very few, if any, people we could truly rely on. So on some level, Friends Don’t Let Friends is a film we can all relate too, as it deals with this very issue.

Stephanie is an emotionally unstable young woman who strangles her boyfriend to death after he insults and breaks up with her. She calls her friends to help her dispose the body out in the Joshua Tree National Part area, and instead of reporting her to the police, they reluctantly comply. As their car breaks down, the four friends find themselves alone at night in the Californian wilderness with the rotting corpse in need of disposal. Given their dire circumstances, they begin to become more and more aggressive towards each other, and this was where the film was really at its best. I was on the edge of my seat, wondering how far the limits of their friendship could be stretched, and who would be the first to crack and turn on the others.

Anyway, their body disposal endeavor soon proves to be a mistake, as Stephanie’s ex rises from the grave as vengeful zombie demon thing with claws as long as knives. I’ll admit, I first I thought Friends Don’t Let Friends was going to be a movie purely about the limits of trust, so I was pretty surprised when the supernatural elements came into play. And when they did, the trust and friendship elements of the plot were somewhat downplayed in favor of a more traditional horror approach, and while it was still entertaining, I still would have preferred for the film not to have strayed from its initial path. At least the ending came as a shocker. I won’t go into spoilers, but let’s just say the even the most attentive viewers probably won’t see it coming.

As you can probably guess from a psychologically-driven film of this kind, the performances were top notch, with Brittany Anne Woodford being on particularly top form as the manipulative and unstable Stephanie, a character who revels in the revels in the power she felt when ending another human life.

With its mixture of psychological turmoil and brutal supernatural horror, Friends Don’t Let Friends is a film I would certainly recommend, but keep in mind that it may make you think twice when confiding in people who you think of as being your friends.

8 out of 10.

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Coulrophobia Review – One of the Most Entertaining Killer Clown Films in Quite Some Time



Starring Pete Bennett, Warren Speed, Daniella D’Ville, Roxy Bordeaux

Directed by Warren Speed

The word ‘Coulrophobia’ refers to the fear of clowns, and if you happen to suffer from it, you might want to avoid director Warren Speed’s film of the same name. However, if you can stand the sight of clowns with gaping wounds in their manly parts, then you’re in for one heck of a fun time.

An all-female hockey team get lost deep in the Scottish woods on their way to a match (don’t ask), and are captured and forced to participate in a series of horrific games by the Grock family of clowns. All of the members of said family are absolutely fucking insane, but the one that really stood out was Twitch (Pete Bennett), who wears jester cloths and it said to have a short attention span. He longs to be a violin player and wishes he could blend in with normal society like the other members of his family. And you almost feel sorry for him, even though he’s a mad killer with bells on his head.

Director Warren Speed also appeared as Milo, a grunting mute who had his tongue cut out when he was a boy. As mentioned above, we see a close-up shot of a open wound in his penis being stitched up, which is not an image that will be leaving your mind anytime soon. Speed is clearly fearless when it comes to his art.

Inter-spliced with all the torture and mayhem, we also see documentary-style telling the sad history of the family involved, and this was where the film unfortunately faltered, because these scenes seemed out of place and just didn’t flow with the rest of the plot.

Ultimately, however, Coulrophobia almost seems like a film Rob Zombie might have made before he lost his way and started churning out trash like 31. Comparisons to House of 1000 Corpses are inevitable, and I absolutely mean that as a compliment. This is one of the most entertaining killer clown films in quite some time.

  • Film
User Rating 2.94 (17 votes)
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The Gatehouse Review – What Is Found in the Woods Should Be Left in the Woods



Starring Scarlett Rayner, Simeon Willis, Linal Haft

Directed by Martin Gooch

Now while no one will sneeze at the prospect of bringing up a bit of a rebellious child alone, it’s those damned kids that like to tempt fate by pissing off creatures in the woods…oh kids, they do the funniest things, don’t they?

In Martin Gooch’s moderately spooky presentation, The Gatehouse, a struggling writer named Jack (Willis) finds himself behind the 8-ball following the tragic drowning death of his beloved wife, and if that isn’t enough to torque your drawers, his young daughter, Eternity (Rayner) is becoming quite the salty soul herself. Unfortunately the little one has been finding herself bullied at school, and her recourse of sorts is to simply toss attitude around as if it was pleasantly acceptable. Her pastime has become lonely wanderings in the deep woods, digging for hopeful treasures…and we all know what problems reside in the woods, don’t we, horror fans? Well, Eternity’s father is attempting to re-start his writing career with a frightening backstory – taking the reigns on a novel that was abruptly ended when the author committed suicide, and supposedly the tome is quite the dark piece of literature.

Eternity’s never-ending quest for fortune and glory in the forest leads her to a most interesting (and ultimately) dangerous discovery (don’t sweat it – I won’t spill it for you). Bottom line here is this: the little girl has taken possession of something that should have been left in the friggin’ woods, and now someone (or something) wants it back PRONTO. What follows is a lackluster series of “spooky” events, and far be it from me to say, I’ve seen creepier stuff watching the evening news. Gooch then tries to bombard the audience with a plethora of instances and swerving plot direction – it’s fun at the beginning but can grow a bit tiresome over a duration.

Performance-wise, both Rayner and Willis play the perfect combination of mentally-shot dad and determined-to-be-independent daughter – their scenes are ripe with subtle contempt, and the right amount of indecision. Overall, the film is best suited for those fans of fantasy/fable-like horror, and while it might not scare the pants off of you, it definitely will give us all another reason to stay the hell out of the woods once and for all.

  • Film


Children in a forest-setting don’t always add up to cutesy-pie encounters with furry creatures – this one’s got a few scares to keep fans of coppice-horror appeased.

User Rating 3.56 (18 votes)
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