A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) Is It Better Than We Remember? – Retro Review

Ten years ago on April 30, 2010, a remake of a Wes Craven’s masterpiece, A Nightmare on Elm Street, released. Most people were anxious to see if someone else could carry the charm that Robert Englund brought to the character of Freddy Krueger. With a new director, Samuel Bayer (Alpha Dog 2006), and a new actor, Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen 2009), as the new Freddy, fans of the franchise couldn’t help but wonder if they could recreate the magic that Craven once cast. I personally hated every second of it. As I watched it in the theater, I felt like this new A Nightmare On Elm Street was just a knock off of the original. After a decade, have I changed my mind? What is the general consensus of it now? Let’s dive in as we revisit A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010).

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Although A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) is the highest grossing movie of the franchise earning $115.6 million at the box office, it did not go over well with fans of the series. Disappointment spread over the whole horror community. Sure, there were some that found it to be enjoyable. If you liked it, you were certainly in the minority. Whenever I see this film being discussed, I notice that, more often then not, horror fans claim this film to be the WORST remake of all time.

Although I completely hated it in the theater, every time I go back to give it another watch, I have hope that, maybe this time, I will find something redeemable in it. I recently gave it another chance, and sadly, I disliked it even more. Being its 10 year anniversary, I was hoping to celebrate it. Sigh… I just don’t have the heart to do that. So instead, let’s dive into the changes in 1984 version and 2010 version. 

A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)

In my humble opinion, if you are going to try to replicate something, you should at least aspire to do it better. In 1984, Tina’s death is iconic. Her body is whipped around the room, dragged across the ceiling and slammed into Rod. People are screaming – it’s a high tension scene. In 2010, Kris/Tina dies after flying around a room for two seconds before she’s cut open and gently is laid down on the bed. Need I say more? Seriously, why even try to recreate those scene? It’s an embarrassment and downright disrespectful. Every other death is this film was even more lackluster then the last. 

Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)

I have other major qualms with A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010). If you are going to keep Nancy’s name the same, why not keep everyone else’s? If you are going to go darker with Freddy’s background, why not make it even bloodier? I’m sorry, but anyone who does not see that this is a cheap ripoff of one of the most iconic horror films of all times might just be crazy. In 1984, Nancy was a total bad ass. In 2010, they made her so unlikable that no one gave two shits what happened to her. Also, Nancy’s mother, played by Connie Britton (American Horror Story: Murder House TV series), is basically just playing herself. When she dies at that end, it really doesn’t even make any sense. Sure, we can speculate and say Freddy’s soul is still in the dreamworld, but then what was the damn point of her bringing him out? Heather Langenkamp would kick Rooney Mara’s ass all over town if both Nancy’s ever went head to head. 

Finally, let’s move on to the one we call Freddy Kreuger. Sure, Jackie did a decent job as a mock up version. I realize that, throughout the sequels, Robert made the character more comedic. However, in the original, he was absolutely terrifying. Freddy is known for his one liners and Haley delivered some spooky ones of his own. I have to give credit where credit is due. Lines like, “Why are you screaming, I haven’t even cut you yet?” Probably the best damn line of the movie, although followed by a pretty lackluster death. I hated the sympathetic arc they were trying to direct us in. They also made Freddy a wimp. We ALL know Freddy is a BAD guy. Maybe, had they stuck with that concept, the film might have worked. 

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) | A nightmare on elm street ...


Final Thoughts

When I posed the question, is A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) better a decade later, the answer is a simple no. The only way I could ever even consider liking this film is if it took place in a universe where the original did not exist. I have tried rewatching several times, and I just can’t get behind this poorly made remake. There was no onset chemistry between any of the cast. Deaths and gore were atrocious. We were given a castrated Fred Krueger. The subplot was convoluted and a disgrace to Wes Craven’s story. So, instead of celebrating the remake, I think I’m going to go pop in the masterpiece that is A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984).

About Lacylou1122

Lacy Lou has had a love for horror movies pretty much since birth! If you ever need a horror trivia question answered she's your girl!!! She is obsessed with the movie Scream and even has a Ghostface tattoo to prove it! She loves to write and make new friends that share the same interest.

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