A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) Director: Samuel Bayer

Let's clear the main issue up here - Jackie Earle Haley's Freddy Krueger is not a patch on Robert Englund's original. However, in its own existence and without prior knowledge of the 80s version of this movie, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2012 stands up on its own two bloody feet. The remake - and it's quite a faithful adaptation to Wes Craven's classic - is well made and features a pretty cast slightly more intelligent than the usual teen slasher fodder, with some genuine SHOCK moments. The point is - why remake? The answer - easy $$$. Let's not question it - give it a chance and see whether these films stand up on their own merits. Thankfully, this one doesn't suck and features a brutal Freddy and an impending sense of dread which is hard to escape.

If you're not familiar with Freddy's work, he is a child abuser who infiltrates the dreams of a bunch of teenagers on Elm Street and kills them in their sleep. When he kills them in their dreams, they die in real life. Nancy (Rooney Mara in this version) is the main protagonist and plays the part of the increasingly sleep-deprived and freaked out lead well. All of the cast are believable, especially Katie Cassidy as the emotionally drained Kris, and a refreshing change to the idiotic teens in films such as the contemporary versions of My Bloody Valentine and Friday the 13th.

What is particularly pleasing about this version are its firm nods to the original - Kris's death follows that of Tina Gray's (Amanda Wyss) when she is thrashed around the ceiling and knifed; Krueger's glove emerges between Nancy's legs in the bath; the stairs turn to mush, albeit a bloody pond on the landing; there's a homage to Johnny Depp's infamous bed-liquidising scene, and Kris is dragged around school in a bloody body bag. Yes, even the haunting "One, Two, Freddy's gonna get you" chant is still there. The writers, Wesley Strick and Eric Heisserer, originally wanted to create a new storyline, but then stayed with Craven's original and aimed to make it scarier. They succeeded. The gore quota has been upped - Freddy bursts through a victim's chest at one point and then hangs him up and teases him as he drips his bloody mess all over the floor. Forget the stuff of your childhood nightmares - watch this one with fresh eyes and it's an enjoyable modern horror movie with very sinister, adult themes.
4/5 razor sharp claws