One, two, Freddy’s coming for you… in this remake of the first Nightmare on Elm Street movie.
Some teenagers start having nightmares that feel too real, where they are being stalked by a creeper with knife fingers. When several start dying gruesome deaths, two of the kids dig up some painful history to learn the knifey burn victim is Freddy Krueger, a pedophile gardener at the preschool they used to attend who was burned to death by their parents.
While the original 1984 movie was very enjoyable, I can see how there might be some urge to update to a more modern look and feel. This is a mistake, because they need to do more than just poop out better visuals. Jackie Earle Haley plays Freddy in a manner consistent with Robert Englund’s menacing playfulness, but more gritty and less playful.
The problem is that the suspense feels forced and the cast of youthful teenagers just aren’t that memorable or worthy of our compassion. The plot relies too heavily on filling in the backstory about Freddy’s disgusting child molesting tendencies. Knowing about that makes me cringe a little and gag a lot, but I can’t say it improves the whole movie-watching experience.