x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

A Nightmare on Elm Street

This remake of a classic horror disappoints.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Director: Samuel Bayer

Starring: Rooney Mara, Kyle Gallner, Jackie Earle Haley

*

Who could forget the all-consuming horror of watching Freddy Krueger - with his trademark fedora, striped jumper, and deliciously macabre bladed glove - stalk and murder his victims in their dreams? Directed by the horror auteur, Wes Craven, the original Nightmare was a critical and commercial smash hit when it was released in 1984, paving the way for a generation of slasher films. Given the size of its legacy, it would have been hard for this glossy remake, directed by Samuel Bayer, to do anything other than fall very, very short of the mark.

Gone are the majority of genius death scenes (Johnny Depp, his bed, and a whole lot of blood), replaced instead with a series of near-identikit murders, most of them disappointingly sterile, thanks to overuse of CGI. And although Rooney Mara may currently be the name on everyone's lips - having recently secured the hotly contested role of Lisbeth Salander in the English-language remake of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - here, as the protagonist Nancy, she is about as entertaining as watching beige paint dry.

To cap it all, Jackie Earle Haley is a poor replacement for Robert Englund. The Krueger of 2010 is devoid of all of the characteristics that made the original the classic film it is still seen as today. Freddy's back? You'll wish he hadn't bothered.