'a nightmare on elm street'For some, the very idea of 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' without Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger is sacrilegious. After all, the actor terrified at least two generations of moviegoers as the infamous serial killer in eight 'Nightmare'-related films, from the 1984 Wes Craven original to 'Nightmare'/'Friday the 13th' mash-up 'Freddy vs. Jason' in 2003.

Other folks, however, are ready for a new nightmare and, yes, even a new Freddy. (A third group are just tired of horror movie remakes in general and have no interest whatsoever.)

Well, ready or not, a new, re-imagined 'A Nightmare on Elm Street,' directed by Samuel Bayer -- known mainly for music videos -- hits theaters Friday (courtesy of Michael Bay's company, Platinum Dunes, also responsible for 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' and 'Friday the 13th' remakes). The excellent Jackie Earle Haley ('Little Children,' 'Watchmen'), who's proved quite capable of creeping us out, stars as Freddy, the disfigured, fedora-wearing fiend with the knife-bladed glove who kills teens in their dreams.

It's been 26 years since the original 'Nightmare,' the start of one of the most successful horror franchises in history. Does the newfangled reboot stand up to the classic?

Most critics don't seem to think so. Read what they have to say after the jump. 'a nightmare on elm street'For some, the very idea of 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' without Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger is sacrilegious. After all, the actor terrified at least two generations of moviegoers as the infamous serial killer in eight 'Nightmare'-related films, from the 1984 Wes Craven original to 'Nightmare'/'Friday the 13th' mash-up 'Freddy vs. Jason' in 2003.

Other folks, however, are ready for a new nightmare and, yes, even a new Freddy. (A third group are just tired of horror movie remakes in general and have no interest whatsoever.)

Well, ready or not, a new, re-imagined 'A Nightmare on Elm Street,' directed by Samuel Bayer -- known mainly for music videos -- hits theaters Friday (courtesy of Michael Bay's company, Platinum Dunes, also responsible for 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' and 'Friday the 13th' remakes). The excellent Jackie Earle Haley ('Little Children,' 'Watchmen'), who's proved quite capable of creeping us out, stars as Freddy, the disfigured, fedora-wearing fiend with the knife-bladed glove who kills teens in their dreams.

It's been 26 years since the original 'Nightmare,' the start of one of the most successful horror franchises in history. Does the newfangled reboot stand up to the classic?

Most critics don't seem to think so.

The Hollywood Reporter: "Given how so much of the new 'Nightmare' relies on dutifully duplicating so many visual cues and effects sequences from the 1984 Wes Craven version, it can't help but draw comparisons. But, in nearly every case, those once-potent sequences have been replicated to seriously diminished effect. In the hands of Samuel Bayer, director of the music video for the Nirvana grunge anthem 'Smells Like Teen Spirit,' and screenwriters Wesley Strick ('Cape Fear') and newcomer Eric Heisserer, everything is pitched at the same monotonous note."

Roger Ebert: "I stared at 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' with weary resignation. The movie consists of a series of teenagers who are introduced, haunted by nightmares and then slashed to death by Freddy. So what? Are we supposed to be scared? Is the sudden clanging chord supposed to evoke a fearful Pavlovian response? For Rufus, maybe, but not for me. Here, boy."

Chicago Tribune
: "As the 'Nightmare' remake's dour, sleep-deprived teens attempt to fend off the worst and keep their throats intact, the movie settles for less and less, though occasionally you get an image to remember. The last 10 seconds, for example, bring the gore and gallons plus a certain precision missing from the previous hour and a half. I've seen far worse horror remakes, but let's not grade on too much of a curve: This 'Nightmare' offers dutifully grinding thrills of a routine sort."

'A Nightmare on Elm Street' trailer

'A Nightmare on Elm Street' showtimes and tickets

Orlando Sentinel: "Jackie Earle Haley, the fans' choice to take on the role of Freddy Krueger in the remake of the 1984 boogeyman blockbuster 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' proves stunningly, rousingly ... adequate ... for the job. A fine actor who barely registers through the more realistic burn mask and hoarse, processed voice, Haley handles the few passable jokes and imitative finger-knives shtick in the manner we'd hope and expect. But as to putting his mark on the character Wes Craven created and Robert Englund made his own? Not so much."

Associated Press
: "But there's not much in the way of genuine suspense. If one of Bayer's characters is experiencing a quiet moment alone -- in a car, in bed, in front of the bathroom mirror -- you know we're only seconds away from a loud, screechy shock cut. It's obvious, and it's repetitive."

Miami Herald
: "'A Nightmare on Elm Street' isn't offensively bad, the way 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' remake was, but it is redundant and uninvolving, because the movie doesn't add any new wrinkles to the Krueger mythos: This is pretty much the same movie as the original, only with better production values. Worst of all, there isn't a single good fright in the entire picture, an unforgivable sin for a supposedly scary movie."

Kansas City Star: "Beware the 'jump cut,' that cheap scare tactic that involves the sudden appearance of a person or object in the frame, usually accompanied by a loud, startling screech on the soundtrack. In horror movies, this device is the first and last refuge of the desperate; it's the means by which a director who has no idea how to build tension attempts to fool an audience into thinking that's he's scaring them. But when the same tactic is hauled out 10, 15, even 20 times -- as it is in the mechanical new remake of Wes Craven's classic 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' -- it ceases being startling and soon turns laughable."

Chicago Reader: "Using blasts of shrill, high-decibel noise in place of actual scares has become a common horror-movie tactic, the cinematic equivalent of botox, silicone, and penile-enhancement surgery. Producer Michael Bay ('Transformers') and director Samuel Bayer (making his big-screen debut after a career in music video) deploy the tactic so regularly in this remake of Wes Craven's 1984 classic that after a while I just plugged my ears."

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