Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Nightmare on Elm Street - Zero Stars

About a half hour into A Nightmare on Elm Street, I was bored into considering the logic behind the premise. Things like if you're merely slashed by Fred in your dream, but not killed, should you get a tetanus shot when you wake up? Or why is the solution in this scenario always to just try to stay awake? What will that do besides delay death by an unenjoyable two or three days? And can these characters actually hear that cliche shrill horror suspense music that was added in post-production to every scene? They must, because why else would they be terrified to go into their backyards to bring the dog inside? I suppose in a film like this you should just take it wherever you can get it, because Nightmare is about as scary as an untied shoe or riding a bike without a helmet. Fred looks like a drowsy scarecrow whose head is a stretched-out ball-sack with a mouth, and he is shown in the very first scene, a rookie mistake which, though I'm not an expert on the horror genre, I'm pretty sure breaks an unwritten rule, even if it's only a slasher film. Even worse is the scene that comes about twenty minutes later when one of the characters describes him to her friend, who also sees Fred in his dreams. Why go through an "eerie" two-minute description of a character, who has already been shown onscreen, to another character who already knows what he looks like? But that's the kind of thing this movie does best: dragging out scenes with obvious results.

Of all the perplexingly nonsensical plot twists or poor character decisions, the most confusing thing about the film is why someone picked this film to remake. As cultish or kitschy as the original film is, I think even some of its biggest fans would admit that it really isn't very good. But what it lacks in actual quality it makes up for with cheap thrills and genre conventions, and I mean that in an endearing way. This new update leaves those things out, opting instead to attempt to take the story and character seriously, without doing anything to make anyone care. It's a movie in which the characters are obnoxiously stupid and one-dimensional, with parents who are ignorant to the point of insanity who spew out boringly outrageous dialogue, a movie in which you don't revel in the fact that characters make poor decisions which prompt you to say things like "Don't go in there!" with pleasure, but instead you literally wonder why the Hell they would actually consider going in there in the first place, because once they're in there, it's not nearly as exciting, by means of kitsch or genuine thrill, as it should be.

1 comment:

  1. All I can think of when I look at that picture is that she is in the middle of an open-book exam, and she is FIGHTING to force down a turd the size of a 20 oz. Pepsi bottle.