A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)
Plot: The spectre of a dead child rapist haunts the children of the parents who murdered him, stalking and killing them in their dreams.
It's kind of interesting how we got here, because the same year Freddy vs. Jason was released, Platinum Dunes released a remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The success of TCM would lead to an explosion of horror remakes, ending up with Platinum Dunes producing this movie after the series had laid dormant for 7 years. And they'd release a Friday The 13th reboot shortly after this. That means FvJ was so shitty it killed both franchises. Incredible.
The movie begins in a diner. A diner with a lot of green and red lights. A dude wants some more coffee, but the waitress ignores him. He follows her into the kitchen, which is full of pig heads and carcasses. Some breh with knives for fingers slices his hand. He wakes up, and his waitress, Nancy, tells him they're going to kick him out if he keeps falling asleep. But his hand is cut in the same place it was cut in the dream. His name is Dean, and his girlfriend, Kris comes in to check on him. Elsewhere in the diner, we meet Jesse, Kris' ex, and Quentin, who seems to have a crush on Nancy. Dean has been in therapy, which started his nightmares. And then Freddy makes him cut his own throat with a steak knife. SWERVE! Shout out to them actually using the classic musical motif in the credits.
At the funeral, Kris sees a little blonde girl with a ripped dress, then a burned hand grabbing her leg. She sees the little girl in a picture with Dean, and Jesse didn't know that she and Dean had gone back that far. But she didn't meet Dean until high school. HMM. Quentin doesn't believe what Kris saw in the dinner, but Nancy does. And at Nancy's house, she briefly nods off, and we get a recreation of Freddy pushing his head out of the wall, but here it is done in CGI and looks like absolute dog shit. Can't believe how much worse it looks than what they did in 1984 with some spandex. Kris goes through an old scrap book only to find photos from around kindergarten are all missing. Mom does not give a very straight answer on why the pictures are missing. Later that night, Kris goes up to the attic and finds boxes from those years...and a little blue dress with claw marks. Oh shit, it's Freddy! OUTTA NOWHERE. "Remember me?"
This movie sure is fond of the jump scare. In fact, it kind of seems like the script having micro naps allowing Freddy to immediately pop up seems kind of built specifically to have jump scares. Which, I guess since jump scares are so important for modern horror movies, is kind of clever. Kris falls asleep in class, which then transforms into a post-apocalyptic version with Freddy as the teacher. She's just as beautiful as he remembered. How creepy. How cryptic. Freddy doesn't seem to be trying to kill her, instead just messing with her for fun.
Kris' mom is a flight attendant and has to fly to London. This leaves Kris all alone. I guess there is no father in the picture. Jesse climbs in her window, JUST LIKE GLENN AND NANCY OMG. She tells him about Freddy, and she realizes he's having dreams about Freddy as well. What do you know, she has another nightmare about Freddy. This time, he killed her fucking dog, then she ended up back at preschool. She wakes up and goes to bathroom, then comes back to her bed to find that Freddy is in it! SWERVE! "Found you." She then gets the updated version of Tina's death, but this time, she gets just slammed all around the walls and ceiling instead of simply dragged. It somehow also looked less convincing than in the original. This very obviously is a person just swinging around on a wire, sometimes very blatantly. ANOES 1 version seemed truly bizarre and not possible. And just like Rod, Jesse is splattered with her blood, then runs away. He has the Rod/Nancy scene, but in Nancy's bedroom this instead of out around town. Don't worry, the cops catch him pretty much the second he leaves Nancy's house. I don't know how they knew he was there. He freaks out in jail trying to stay awake, which does not please his cellmate.
Quentin and Nancy's relationship grows closer out of necessity, and Quentin begins researching sleep deprivation. He does this in a book store, which seems weird to me for multiple reasons. Dude couldn't do that at home or at school? Teenagers going to book stores in 2010? What a surprise, he ever so briefly falls asleep and sees Freddy. Jesse's parents posted bail for him, which seems pretty fucking weird. He's the only suspect in a gruesome murder. Just...out on bail just like that? Oh shit, SWERVE, IT WAS ALL A DREAM I USED TO READ FANGORIA MAGAZINE. He's in the boiler room. With a lot of kiddos. Freddy chases him around the boiler room. "Oh god." "No. Just me." Sweet call back, brehs. "Why are you screaming? I haven't even cut you yet." Freddy disappears, then straight up stabs Jesse in the heart from behind. "Did you know that after the heart stops being, the brain keeps function for well over 7 minutes? We got 6 more minutes to play." At least Freddy is genuinely mean and cruel again.
Quentin tries to give Nancy Zoneal, which is basically speed, to stay awake. Then they discuss The Pied Piper of Hamelin, which, in case you're a complete philistine and don't know, is the story of a rat-catcher who promised to clean up the city of its rat infestation. The mayor promised to pay him, but then refused to pay the full amount. The Pied Piper sought his revenge by attracting the town's children in the same manner he attracted rats, then lured them to a cave, where they were never seen again. Are...are they setting up that Freddy was a good man done wrong by the town, then came back for revenge? Jesse explains the concept of micro-naps, which happens to insomniacs after around 70 hours of being awake. The brain will shut down for seconds at a time, but the person will not realize it, meaning they can dream while thinking they are awake.
Nancy asks her mom about the connection between the kids, and if they knew someone named Freddy. In typical ANOES fashion, mama gives a weird, clearly lying answer. Oh, looky there. The bath tub scene returns. This time, after the glove pops out of the water, Nancy doesn't get pulled under, but ends up in her bedroom, where it is snowing. And then she ends up at the preschool. Freddy shows up and reveals that Nancy was his favorite. "You smell different." Creepy as fuck, tbh. The alarm that she set was just in her dream, but luckily, Quentin calls and wakes her up to tell her about Jesse. Together, they search and find a picture of the whole class in preschool. Mom walks in on them, and Nancy calls her out for lying. "I didn't want you to remember! I wanted you to forget!" She explains that there was a gardener at the school named Fred Krueger who lived in the basement. But then the parents started noticing weird things with their kids. He left town before the parents could confront him. FKIN LIER. Nancy doesn't believe her and wants to find the other kids. Quentin is a swimmer, and the coach really needs him to get his shit together, as it seems like he's probably one of the school's best. Nancy looks up the remaining kids from the picture. SWERVE! Most of them are dead. Quentin has a micro-nap in the pool and finds himself seeing Freddy being chased by the parents of Springwood. He ends up at a facility that looks very much like the one from Freddy's Revenge, where the parents burn his ass alive. Why would Freddy show that to Quentin? One of the kids from the picture made a vlog, where he detailed all of his nightmares and his increasingly deteriorating mental state as he tried to not sleep. His last video shows him apparently dying on screen.
Quentin confronts his dad about the parents killing Freddy. His dad admits they never found the "cave" he took the kids to, or had any actual proof he was molesting them. So in the minds of the two main characters, Freddy was an innocent man. What the fuck? We've already seen that Freddy was a molester and abuser, yet the movie is still trying to run with the "innocent man done wrong" story? Fucking bizarre. It's not like the audience knows, but the characters don't. The movie is trying to convince you that the kids were too young and didn't know what they were saying. Which is super fucking weird. Even the idea of casting that doubt seems downright bizarre to me. Luckily, Quentin's dad is a teacher, so Nancy can micro-nap and see Kris' body doing the Tina in a body-bag thing.
Nancy and Quieten go to a drug store to get a refill of Zoneal. SWERVE! He's out of refills! Nancy can't stay awake, even after burning herself with a cigarette lighter. She ends up seeing every other second as being between the real world and the dream world, but ends up accidentally pulling a piece of Freddy's sweater back with her. Perhaps this can play into the last scene! She's taken to the hospital because she got all cut up. Quentin steals some kind of...something. She escapes before she can be sedated. Quentin stole adrenaline. Lol. QUENTIN. ADRENALINE. I SEE YOU, PLATINUM DUNES. Thinking you're cute making a Pulp Fiction reference like that. You ain't shit. Even with the adrenaline, Quentin still micro-sleeps and sees Freddy in the road, which causes him to swerve off into a corn field. And they just...leave the car there and walk. Lol. What? What a coincidence, they ended up right near the preschool. Which they break into. There, they find Freddy's hidden room where he took the kids. And actually find pictures that Freddy took of Nancy. They're obviously pictures of him abusing her. They realize that they're not guilty for Freddy, and then Nancy realizes that she has to pull Freddy out into the real world. Well, hopefully Quentin doesn't fall asleep, too. Which of course he immediately does, because both of them are micro-napping every few minutes. Nancy joins the same dream. Freddy makes sure Nancy knows he's 4REAL. He then chases her around...a house. I don't know if it is hers, his or 1428 Elm. It's just a house. But they redo the "can't walk through this shit " gag, and Freddy drops "How's this for a wet dream" completely removed from any of the context of the line in part 4. I guess it's Nancy's house. Or at least she ends up back in her house. In a dress that a 5 year old would wear. Which was Freddy's favorite dress. "Your mouth says no, but your body says yes." Well, that's not creepy at all. Freddy reveals that he hasn't killed her yet because he was making sure she'd stay up long enough so that when she finally did sleep, she'd never wake up. "I'm your boyfriend now." But Quentin has an idea: Stabbing Nancy in the chest with adrenaline. SWEET REFERENCE, BRO! It happens to wake her up at the same time that Freddy was stabbing her, so Freddy is brought into the real world.
Almost immediately after being dragged into the real world, Nancy cuts off both Freddy's glove hand and then partially decapitates him. "It hurts, doesn't it? That's 'cuz you're in my world now, bitch." Of all the ANOES movies to reference in the final moments, you pick Freddy vs. Jason? The fuck? Nancy sets the building on fire, and she and Quentin escape.
But the movie ends with Nancy forgiving her mom, then Freddy busting out of a mirror to kill her mom. SWERVE!
Meh. That's pretty much the only reaction I have to this. It's not terrible. It's not good. It's just kind of there. It exists. It's a shame at how uncreative this was, though. The ANOES series is pretty much free reign for the craziest thing you can come up with, and with modern CGI effects, it could have been crazy. In the end, they mostly just re-did various kills from the series, usually looking not as good as the original versions. But it is competently shot and acted. There is certainly a lot more artistry and skill in this than Freddy vs. Jason. I don't know why it needed to be a full remake instead of a soft reboot, because there was really no reason Robert Englund couldn't have played Freddy again. Just have a new group of kids and don't make references to the other movies. That said, Jackie Earl Haley was pretty good as Freddy. Wasn't just doing an Englund impression, and brought back the creepy and cruel aspect of the Freddy character.