Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 18
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
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For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

WHY IS IT SNOWING IN MY BEDROOM?: Nancy Holbrook (Rooney Mara) can’t understand why it seems to be snowing in her bedroom. Is this reality, or a dream? Is the fearsome Freddy Kreuger visiting her in a dream or is she awake? To find out, see the film.

A Nightmare on Elm Street: Remake of Classic Horror Film Presents Violence as Entertainment

Kam Williams

I must have missed something, because I don’t remember the eighties being the Golden Age of Entertainment. Nonetheless, Hollywood has decided to revisit a number of (what were mostly underwhelming) films from the eighties as a source of cinematic inspiration. Consequently, 2010 is likely to be remembered as the year-of-the-eighties remakes, with Clash of the Titans already in theaters and new versions of The A-Team, The Karate Kid, Red Dawn, Tron and Wall Street coming soon.

In 1984, Wes Craven introduced Freddy Krueger in A Nightmare on Elm Street. The grisly slasher film spawned seven sequels and petered out in 2003. Now, award-wining music video director Samuel Bayer has revived the series, making his feature film debut with this dreadful remake that is loosely based on the 1984 movie.

The film stars Jackie Earle Haley as Krueger, the infamous horror villain with a badly-disfigured face, striped sweater, brown fedora, and a lethal glove that is equipped with long, razor-sharp blades that are used to hack the victims to death. The script’s fatal flaw is that Freddy Kreuger launches into a bloody murder spree without any explanation of why he is killing his victims nor devoting any attention to his character. Consequently, because the audience hasn’t invested emotionally in Kreuger’s young prey, it’s difficult to care that the teens are being killed one by one.

Apparently the filmmaker is depending on the audience’s familiarity with the plot of the original series, which, unfortunately, is only revealed in a piecemeal fashion. Briefly, Krueger is not human, but is a disembodied ghost of the man who was burned alive a dozen years ago by a mob of parents whose preschoolers had accused him of sexual molestation. Today, Freddy seeks revenge by slaying each of the now teenage children twice: once by frightening them in their sleep, and then actually killing them when they’re awake.

Hence, the audience never knows whether what they’re watching is actually transpiring or just a dream sequence. Unfortunately, this plot device is repeated ad nauseam. So that someone might appear to be murdered by Kreuger, only to have him (or her) sit bolt upright in bed in a cold sweat.

Worse, the cast has too many teenagers to keep track of. Horror film fans might argue that keeping score is besides the point, since the idea here is simply to delight in the messy, senseless vivisections.

To each his own.

Poor (0 stars). Rated R for profanity, terror, disturbing images, and graphic bloody violence. Running time: 96 Minutes Distributor: New Line Cinema.

For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

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