starring Jackie Earle Haley, Kyle Gallner, Rooney Mara, Katie Cassidy
screenplay by Wesley Strick and Eric Heisserer
directed by Samuel Bayer
by Walter Chaw Listen, I like remakes. I think that for the same reason no one complains about a new production of "Hamlet", no one should complain about the umpteenth iteration of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. I like the new Dawn of the Dead better than the original, the new The Manchurian Candidate almost as much; I'm not trying to start an argument, I'm simply saying that I don't hate the new A Nightmare on Elm Street on principle. I hate the new A Nightmare on Elm Street because it really sucks. Samuel Bayer's ridiculously amateurish take on the franchise earns the only nod it deserves by going all the way with the loathsomeness of its Freddy Krueger (Jackie Earle Haley). Otherwise, it's strictly jump-scare theatre, a geek leaping from the bushes, clashing cymbals, in the very imitation of a jack-in-the-box for ninety soul-sucking minutes. For what it's worth, it drags its claw along the text of the Wes Craven original pretty faithfully, down to recreating a few of the kills and resurrecting the iconic body-bag sequence, all to drastically diminished returns. To say the movie's not scary in the slightest is both a surprise and not at all a surprise. But it is a shame, considering that Craven's oneiric A Nightmare on Elm Street is an inventive, nasty little low-budget chiller with enough of a thought in its head to germinate a beloved franchise and a proud member of the bogey pantheon.