I never really got into this franchise as much as Halloween or Friday the 13th. I remember I went and saw the first one in the movie theater and I really liked it, then I saw the second there also and it didn’t do anything for me. I think I caught the 4th or 5th one on TV one time and it was filled with a bunch of hokey one liners. Maybe I missed out on some good stuff because this new movie wasn’t reviewed very well and, when it came out, the IMDB post-ers were awfully critical of it, but this is the best one of this franchise I’ve seen, in my opinion. I was very surprised at how gruesome it was, the dream imagery (and the actresses) were pretty good lookin’, but in the end Jackie Earle Haley didn’t do it for me, and neither did the greaseball lead male. Oh – and as we get to the end of the film, we break into those corny one liners that had me rolling my eyes. I think it would have been a lot better without those, but they also drove me away from the series a long time ago; for example: lead actress falls into pool of blood in dream sequence, Krueger: “How about this for a wet dream?” YAWN.
I am sure you know the concept of these films, unless you are an infant or some sort of animal life, so I don’t think I need to get into that. This “reboot” for today’s horny teenage generation finds a group of high schoolers suffering from strange dreams in which the knifey-glove wielding weirdo in the red and green sweater is trying to kill them, and succeeding as the movie goes along. I thought this thing didn’t really click that well, from good looking scene to good looking scene. It kind of goes like this: dream, funeral, dream, dream, dream, whine, whine, dream, dream, dream, whine and cry, dream, dream, dream, dream, figure it out, dream, dream, dream, final battle, set up for sequel. I might reinforce, everything looks real good except for the stupid male lead – oh – and how can you really hate anything with Clancy Brown in it? I mean, really.
So what do we have here? Some really good camera / setting work, some nice dream sequences, some good looking chicks, burned up Freddie and the familiar ending. I have never really cared for Jackie Earle Haley, although I thought he was EXCELLENT in Little Children and should have won that Oscar. As Freddie he just kind of growls a lot “Watchmen-Rorshack-style” but he didn’t evoke anything in me other than, well, nothing. In this version, Fred Krueger is the groundskeeper of a pre-school, who lives in the basement of the school itself, which resembles a medieval dungeon. Since this thing takes place in 2010, and these are supposed to be high schoolers, they must be late teen-ish, which puts him residing in the worst place possible, in 1997. This might have been more believable in the 1930’s, but 1997? I think we had HUD residency by then. I don’t really remember why the parents burned him up the first time (I think he killed one of the neighborhood kids) but in this one, he takes the children down to “the special place” (his basement home) and does unsavory things with them (which is only alluded to, not shown). The parents, in their cars, chase Krueger to the local boiler house and burn him alive. I think the first one gave some thoughts on how he came to invade their dreams, but not this one.
Here’s some trivia – when I saw who directed this thing, I recognized his name, so I looked him up on IMDB. Samuel Bayer is the guy who made a bunch of high profile videos, back in the day when MTV still showed music videos (if you were into that sort of thing back in the day). This might be neat, the main actress, Rooney Mara, who didn’t have much to do but brood in this thing, apparently has been cast as Lisbeth Salander in the American remake of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.