Friday, April 30, 2010

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Welcome to My Nightmare

I don't really have much to say about A Nightmare on Elm Street. It's very dull for the most part. The first act is atrocious, in terms of directing, writing, and acting. When Nancy suddenly becomes Nancy Drew, things almost start to get interesting, but they quickly go back to being dull. Because it's a shitty horror movie, it relies on jump scares for all of its scares. Jackie Earle Haley is creepy in the flashback sequences -- oh, there are flashbacks to the why and wherefore of Fred becoming Freddy, but these are oddly effective and neat -- but his burn victim Freddy of the nightmares is just irritating. Either make a new, darker Nightmare or keep the campy Freddy of old...combining the two is creepy and doesn't work.

No big surprise, I know. But I generally like the Platinum Dunes remakes. (I accidentally [?] typed that as mistakes the first time) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and its prequel have some genuinely capable actors, and Friday the 13th is one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. But this one just seemed like no one was trying, which is astounding when you think about how long it is. Or at least so I thought...those 95 minutes fly by like 131. I seriously thought it was over two hours, and it was relatively short. What a boring, stupid movie. My friend tried to go to sleep during it. I repeat: during a film in which the villain murders you in your dreams, my friend tried to take a nap.

I shouldn't have wasted my money. I'm not a fan of the original franchise to begin with. It's one of those ideas that would work better as a short story or novella than as a film. Which is strange, because you'd think they'd be able to do amazing visuals with the dream sequences. But no, some vaseline around the lens is all we get, and every dreamscape is the same. I just don't get it. When did horror movies stop being entertaining?


TomS said...

Walter, I am intrigued by your question as to when horror movies stopped being entertaining. I think the best horror films, and some of the scariest, employ good old-fashioned storytelling and character development. More recent horror flicks put all their chips on realistic gore and effects, and that seems to attract thrill-seekers, but those of us who care about film really expect to take away more, even from a scary film.
In fact, some of my favorite horror films have been old classics with cheesy effects...there is something to be said for the special, delicious chill that can be found from some of these more harmless "fright" films!

Andrew K. said...

I don't like horror movies, so I guess I wouldn't have seen it anyhow...but sorry it was a nightmare.

Walter L. Hollmann said...

TomS: Right? And if they're not over-produced, they take themselves waaaaay too seriously (like this one). I didn't even mention that the effects in this one are worse than the ones in the original. No excuse! It's slipshod!

Andrew: Don't like horror movies?!? Sacrilege! ;)