Sunday, May 02, 2010

A Nightmare on Elm Street

As I remember it was a bitter cold and snowy day in November when I was outside a cinema in Halifax, Nova Scotia waiting to see what Wes Craven had come up with and, a little under two hours later walked out thinking "Well, this is the start of something new." It was. Unless you lived through the '80s it's hard to understand just what the Freddy phenomenon was. I was having this conversation with a film critic (one who gets paid....BASTARD!) the other day and he was of the mind it was just the whole youth in revolt thing playing out. I'm of the school of thought, it was much darker. Aside from another "pop' icon who I shan't mention for fear of a true horror show law suit (try mentioning a certan day-time talk show icon and you end up in the same shark tank). What other child molesting psycho ended up on the t-shirts of millions and had his own TV show? This isn't a slight against Robert Englund, a truly wonderful man, and one must remember the sexual abuse element of The Krueger character was never explored, perhaps implied but never brought out in the open. Not sure Englund would have stayed on as long if they had. Just the same, I always suspected the counter culture success of Freddy was in fact why so many children of that generaton WERE abused, for real, and this was a severe in the face up yours to the older folks and a bloody damn good way of saying "Hey, we SEE you....turn blue ya fawkin' creeps".
I may be wrong, just the same, it's 2010, there is a new nightmare happening on ol' Elm St. and that skeletal abuse cat is well out of the proverbial body bag.
The critics at large (even my buddy) took their own razor blades to this need...a cash grab... boring...what's the point etc.
Uh........32 big large million so far on opening weekend should answer part of the "what's the point" question and back up the cash grab aspect. Question is, was it worth it...answer....yes. While the original holds up amazingly well ( does) this update works just a bit better for the modern age. I won't ruin the good stuff for you but, they flush out the motivation behind the events in a way we didn't see in the series before. Samuel Bayer's work in the music video world is evident in some parts but not so much so that you get a headache from the rapid editiing style so many others make when they switch from the tube to the big screen. What struck me most about the new nightmare was casting. I thought Rooney Mara was fantastic as the new Nancy and she has a great partner in Kyle Gallner. Ah yes, Kyle Gallner. Despite having seen him in numerous TV shows (short stint on CSI: NEW YORK) I still can't look at him without thinking I'm watching Wil Wheaton but, he does a great job with his part so I must confess the big treat for me was Katie Cassidy. I don't care if she's David's little girl or not, she is SMOKIN' hot and will no doubt be causing a "different" type of night dreams for the teenagers in the weeks to come.
Of course, the big issue is Jacke Earle Haley as Freddy. I liked him for the most part but I am not overly fond of the new makeup design. It's not the face, though had he been using Mont Source Unique Shaving Solution he might not look so bad, but the eyes! They have this alien/cat like quality that for some reason seem out of place. A small point I know, but it's my job to tell you.
To wrap this all up, the new one is worth your money. Hard to say if it will reboot the franchise as such but, it is certainly a fine stand-alone.
I walked in opening day as I had done 26 years ago and I felt old and when I left, well, I didn't think it was the start of something new but it wasn't a bad beginning to a new future.


Blogger Dubz said...

Thank you Sir. I wanted to take this movie ... now I'll be able to take it with confidence.

9:00 AM  

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