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A Nightmare On Elm Street

A Nightmare on Elm Street: Freddy Got Fingers

  • Jackie Earle HaleyKyle Gallner...
  • FantasyHorror...
  • Samuel Bayer
reviewed by
Haisam Abu-Samra
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A Nightmare on Elm Street: Freddy Got Fingers

Horror is a very frustrating film genre. Take it
seriously and you’ll be missing the point. Take it on its own terms and you
won’t know quite what to make of it. Our theory is that the best horror films
are the first you ever see, after which they all start to feel like the
cinematic equivalent of musical chairs: everything is the same, just
rearranged. So for some odd reason, producers just repackage old ideas for the
new generation that already lives in a 2.0-friendly world. The latest classic
to get the remake (or reboot) treatment is A
Nightmare on Elm Street
, aka the Freddy franchise.

Freddy is a sinister and repressed burn victim who strikes when
you’re at your most vulnerable; during your sleep. Armed with sharp blades
attached to his glove, he hunts down a group of school students and causes hellish
nightmares.

Why did he pick these kids, who actually look like
they are in their mid- to late- twenties? Is it because they look like members of
an emo band, or because they are obviously too old to be in high school? Or
maybe, in an age-old slasher tradition, their parents know something that we
don’t? Like, perhaps they killed Freddy, and now he’s taking revenge by
killing off their adolescent children?

Now to the meat of the matter; are these killing
sequences any good? They are nothing you haven’t seen before. People oozing
gallons of pomegranate syrup, young girls humming while morbidly staring at
dead air, sepia-toned, abandoned schools…The only novel concept here is the
cutely named micro-naps, which allows the film to flash the Freddy card
whenever it wants.

Haley’s portrayal of Freddy is admirable. He’s more of
a creep than a menace, more talk than show. His casting seems like one of those
ideas that sound better on paper than in practice. While Haley does give some
depth to the character, he could have camped it up for a gorier, more fun
performance.

A Nightmare
on Elm Street
is the kind of film you know if you’re going to
love or hate just by looking at the poster. It won’t convert you into a slasher
fan; on the contrary, it will probably solidify your bias. But if you’re one of
the people who like buckets of blood splattered, then Elm Street will give you a taste of that on the big screen. 

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The film is rated PG 13; meaning it’s not gory enough to need to be censored.

360 Tip

Friday the 13th, Halloween, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

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