Raz’s Midnight Macabre Horror Review: “A Nightmare On Elm Street”

Serial-killer Freddy Krueger, who wields a glove with four blades embedded in the fingers and kills people in their dreams, resulting in their real death in reality.

I will never forget the day the rumor started spreading about this film, my computer nearly exploded with the hatred from hardcore fans , they didn’t want this remake, if anything was going to be done they wanted a sequel or if not that then nothing at all. I was with the latter, I didn’t want a remake or a sequel.

Despite my opinion I watched it, hey I can’t review a film I haven’t seen. I decided to try and view it as a new film without the originals behind it, but I just couldn’t do it, all I could think of was how bad this was compared to it’s predecessor. I’m not just saying this because of the replacement of Robert Englund, although I will get to that, it was a mixture of things throughout the film that I felt weren’t right. I hope you’re ready for a rant!

Before you read on I must warn you that this may contain spoilers, so if you haven’t seen this then you have been warned. Let’s start with the story, it has it’s similarities to earlier Freddy films, despite a press release from studios saying they wanted this to be a stand alone film for a reboot of the franchise they didn’t really try and separate the film and give us something fresh, this is basically an update of the first film, we have the same kills just redone with new actors and new technology. We also have a new Nancy, this time played by Rooney Mara, who I don’t rate as a Horror actress, some people just aren’t made for the genre.

We also have a new Freddy, this time played by Jackie Earle Haley, who most people know as Rorschach from the “Watchmen” movie. When this was announced I must admit I was FURIOUS, How could anybody replace Robert Englund?! After a few days and thinking about it more I decided to watch some of his past work, I started coming round to the idea that maybe he could pull it off. Now I’m not piling all the blame on Haley here, in my opinion he did quite a good job of taking on a legendary role and I’ll be the first to admit that I would have jumped at the chance if I got asked. The main downfall of this character is his appearance and his story, His face was made to be more like a true burns victim, that I have no problem with, but then to digitally touch it up with C.G.I. is just not acceptable, also the fact that a-lot his scenes were C.G.I.’d, even his voice, just weaken the film and it’s hard to try and be afraid or even take him seriously at all.

Also I’d like to talk about the story of Freddy, I’ve had many arguments when it come to this film versus the original. In the original series we have a child KILLER, in this remake Freddy’s made out to be a child MOLESTER, there is a difference! Plus the fact that the whole storyline is based around the fact he molested these children whilst he worked at their nursery and had a hidden room where he did his business and took photos of them…………AND NONE OF THESE KIDS REMEMBER ANYTHING!?!? REALLY?!?! If there was ever a dramatic event in your life that you wouldn’t be able to forget, that is up there with some of the worst. It makes for very uncomfortable viewing, but not in a way with most Horrors. What we are viewing is a prequel in some ways as we see Freddy before he is found, it just doesn’t work and becomes very boring, very quickly.

I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone! In my opinion green-screens and C.G.I. cannot compete with hands-on creativity.Craven’s original is one of the most loved slasher films ever made, the remake took all that magic away and gave us an awful Freddy and awful effects with an even worse script. It was heartbreaking to watch, but that isn’t a surprise when Michael Bay was attached to the project.

Miscellaneous facts about the film:
  • Amanda Crew auditioned for the role of Nancy Thompson.
  • Billy Bob Thornton was considered to play Freddy Krueger.
  • Katie Cassidy was last to be cast.
  • At his audition Kyle Gallner impressed everyone so much that he got the role the same day.
  • Around 15 different drafts of the script were written. The final film is a hybrid of 4 of them.
  • Jackie Earle Haley would often improvise his lines on the set, feeling this might help unease his other cast members if they didn’t know what line he was going to say.
  • John Saxon was offered a cameo but refused.
  • The casting of Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy originally started as a rumor. During multiple interviews, Jackie acknowledged the rumors, stating that he would enjoy playing the character. He was eventually cast as Freddy.
  • Wes Craven was reportedly not approached about this remake. He has however publicly spoken against it.
  • To provoke a response from the actors in the scene in “Freddy’s Cave”, the photographs they found were Polaroids of little girls mixed with real Polaroids taken from medical surgeries.
  • Jackie Earle Haley scratched his corneas with the contact lenses he wore delaying production for a short time. He also had the whites of his eyes turn blood red for two weeks because of this.
  • The Freddy gloves were the most protected props on the set. Previous films had issues with the gloves being stolen. Most notorious was a glove was stolen from one of the films and appeared in Evil Dead II hanging in a shed.
  • Kyle Gallner suffered a cut to his abdomen when the glove Jackie Earle Haley had been wearing failed to bend back down, leaving one of the knives still extended.
  • Most of the other kids’ names listed on the back of the preschool photo are of the film’s crew members: costumers Sukari McGill and Lizzie Cook, researcher Nancy Lumb, set production assistant Carrie Bush, art director Craig Jackson and graphic artist Bret August Tanzer.
  • Promotional material for this movie was shipped with under the title “Back Scratch”.
  • Johnny Depp accompanied his friend Jackie Earle Haley to auditions for the original A Nightmare on Elm Street. Instead of Haley being chosen for a role, it was Depp who was spotted by director Wes Craven, who asked him if he would like to read for a part. Depp got a part in that film, Haley didn’t, but Haley would go on to play Freddy in this remake 26 years later.
  • As he had on Friday the 13th, producer Michael Bay insisted that the film be shot in Panavision anamorphic. This is the first film in the “Nightmare” franchise to be shot in the format.
  • Freddy Krueger and Nancy are the only character names that reflect the original A Nightmare on Elm Street. In the remake, however, Nancy’s surname has changed from Thompson to Holbrook. Also, in the remake, whether coincidental or intentional, the characters of Kris and Jesse seem to be references of “Kristen Parker” (from A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors and A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master) and “Jesse Walsh” (from A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge).
  • As part of the Freddy makeup, ‘Jackie Earle Hayley’ had half of his face covered in a green appliance so it could be digitally altered in post production via green screen technology.
  • Director Samuel Bayer began pursuing Jackie Earle Hayley to play Freddy after he viewed the screen test he did for the movie Watchmen, stating “it blew my mind”.
  • When filming first began, it took the make-up team six hours to apply the Freddy make up to Jackie Earle Hayley. After a while the team was able to shorten the process down to approximately three hours.
  • Freddy’s voice was digitally altered in post production in an effort to give his voice a “supernatural quality”.
  • The School Board President of one of the two high schools the movie was filmed at allowed the movie to be filmed there under the condition no death scenes were being filmed inside of the school.
  • Warner Brothers Pictures wanted the movie to be converted to 3D in post production a few weeks before the movies release, but the producers of the film augured the film wasn’t shot with 3D cameras and the 3D wouldn’t be good enough. After a heated debate, the producers and Warner Brothers came to the agreement the movie wouldn’t be converted to 3D.
  • The make up team wanted to make Freddy look more like an actual burn victim, and the crew had many reference photos of actual victims, which detailed how white the skin would appear after healing. They did not want the audience to “turn away in disgust” whenever Freddy appeared on screen, so they opted to take away some of the realism.
  • Jackie Earle Hayley was initially apprehensive about taking on the role of Freddy Kruger, but changed his mind very quickly.
  • When Kris is looking at the obituaries, one of the names visible is David J. Chamerski. David worked in the prop department on the film.
  • In the film, Freddy says that the human brain will still function well over seven minutes after death. This is actually true, the human brain will function nearly ten minutes after death.
  • The “Elm Street” sign is seen twice during the film, but Elm Street is never mentioned.
  • When the prop department was designing the glove, they built dozens of models, some of which had claws on all five fingers.
  • When Jackie Earle Haley was asked what put him in the right mindset to play Freddy Krueger, he said “sitting in the makeup chair for three hours. After that, you feel like you could kill someone.”
  • Samuel Bayer’s feature debut.
  • The second time Wesley Strick has written a remake of a classic horror film. The first was Cape Fear.
  • Director Samuel Bayer turned down the directing gig twice. He relented when Michael Bay personally wrote to him saying it would really open up his career opportunities.
  • Wesley Strick was hired to write the script, largely on the basis of a prequel to Se7en he had written in 1995 that had never been produced.
  • The design for Freddy’s iconic Fedora hat wasn’t finalized until the film was a month into shooting.
  • For his big scene in the opening sequence, Kellan Lutz chose not to sleep for a few days to get himself into character.
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Author: Raz

Some of you may know me from my site 'Raz's Midnight Macabre'. It was 'SomeWhatNerdy' that gave me my first break in writing for another site other than my own and it's a site you'll hopefully never see me leave! I have an obsession with all things Horror and it's an honour to share my passion with you all. If you like what I do here then please visit my site - http://razsmidnightmacabre.blogspot.com/ and if you like what you see then please sign up and share :)

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