A Nightmare on Elm Street
|A Nightmare on Elm Street is a 2010 American slasher film directed by Samuel Bayer, and written by Wesley Strick and Eric Heisserer. The film stars Jackie Earle Haley, Kyle Gallner, Rooney Mara, Katie Cassidy, Thomas Dekker and Kellan Lutz. It is a remake of Wes Craven’s 1984 film of the same name; produced by Michael Bay and Platinum Dunes, it is designed to reboot the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. The film centers around a group of teenagers being stalked and murdered in their dreams by a man named Freddy Krueger, ultimately discovering they all share a common link from their childhood that is making them targets for Freddy.
A Nightmare on Elm Street was originally going to follow the same design as Platinum Dunes’ other remake, Friday the 13th, with the writers taking what they thought were the best elements from each of the films and creating a single storyline with them. Eventually, they decided to use Craven’s original storyline, and try to create a scarier film. That being, they decided to remove the one-line quipping Freddy, who had become less scary and more comical over the years, and bring him back to a darker nature; this included developing the character as a true child molester, something that Craven wanted to do originally in 1984 but changed to a child killer instead. The decision was also made to bring Freddy’s physical appearance closer to that of an actual burn victim, and the use of computer-generated imagery was used in certain sections of Haley’s face to further assist in that vision. A Nightmare on Elm Street was primarily filmed in Illinois because of the positive experience the producers of Platinum Dunes had when filming other films in the same area.
Robert Englund, who portrayed Freddy in the previous eight films, voiced his support of the remake and the casting of Haley in the role of Freddy. A Nightmare on Elm Street was officially released in North America on April 30, 2010, and later released in foreign markets on May 8, 2010. The film was met with primarily negative reviews from film critics, as well as audience members who scored the film a “C-plus”. Regardless, A Nightmare on Elm Street broke the record for midnight openings for a horror film. The film has brought in over $63 million at the domestic box office, and over $115 million worldwide.
Dean Russell (Kellan Lutz) goes to the Springwood Diner with his girlfriend, Kris Fowles (Katie Cassidy), falls asleep at the table and meets a man covered in burn scars, wearing a red and green sweater and a clawed glove on his hand. The burned man cuts Dean’s throat in the dream, but in reality it appears that Dean is cutting his own throat as waitress Nancy Holbrook (Rooney Mara) looks on with Kris. At Dean’s funeral, Kris sees a photograph of her and Dean as children, but cannot recall ever knowing Dean before high school. Kris begins to dream about the burned man herself and refuses to go to sleep for fear that she will die in her dreams. Jesse Braun (Thomas Dekker), Kris’s ex-boyfriend, shows up at her house to keep her company while she sleeps, but Kris meets the burned man in her dreams and is murdered. Covered in blood, Jesse runs to Nancy’s house to try to explain what happened and he learns that Nancy has been having dreams about the same man: Freddy Krueger (Jackie Earle Haley).
Jesse is apprehended by the police under suspicion of murdering Kris, and is killed by Krueger when he falls asleep in his jail cell. With her friends dying, Nancy begins to question what everyone’s connection is to each other, given that none of them can remember each other before their teenage years. Eventually, Nancy and her friend Quentin Smith (Kyle Gallner) discover that all of them attended the same preschool together. Nancy’s mother, Gwen (Connie Britton), reluctantly tells Nancy and Quentin that there was a gardener at the preschool, Fred Krueger, who abused Nancy and the rest of the kids. Gwen explains that Nancy was his favorite, and came home one day telling her mom about a hidden space in Krueger’s room and the things he did to her there. Gwen claims Krueger skipped town before he was arrested. Nancy does not believe her and attempts to track down the remaining kids from the school. Nancy eventually discovers that all of the other kids have been killed, most of them in their sleep. Meanwhile, Quentin tries to accept that his nightmares are nothing more than repressed memories, but he falls asleep during swim practice and witnesses what really happened to Krueger. Quentin sees everyone’s parents hunt down Krueger, and then burn him alive. Quentin and Nancy confront Quentin’s father, Alan Smith (Clancy Brown), about the reality that they murdered Krueger with no evidence that he had committed any crime. Thus, Nancy and Quentin believe that Krueger wants revenge on them for lying as children. As result of their insomnia, Nancy and Quentin begin sporadically dreaming while they are still awake. To try and stop Krueger, they decide to go to the preschool and learn what they can.
On the way, Nancy falls asleep and is attacked by Krueger, but when Quentin wakes her up they discover she has pulled a piece of Krueger’s sweater out of the dreamworld and into reality. Quentin takes Nancy to the hospital for cuts on her arm; there, he steals some adrenaline and a syringe to help them stay awake. Nancy and Quentin eventually make it to the preschool. Quentin uncovers Krueger’s hidden room and the evidence that proves Krueger was in fact abusing all of the children; they realize that Krueger actually wants revenge on them for telling the truth. Nancy decides the only way to end this is to pull Krueger out of their dreams and kill him in reality. Quentin tries to stay awake long enough to pull Nancy out of her dream when she has Krueger, but he falls asleep and is attacked. Krueger then goes after Nancy, and explains that he intentionally left her for last so she would stay awake long enough that, when she finally fell asleep, she would no longer be able to wake up. While Nancy struggles with Krueger, Quentin uses the adrenaline to wake up Nancy who pulls Krueger into reality. With Krueger distracted by Quentin, Nancy uses a broken paper cutter blade to cut Krueger’s gloved hand off, and then slice his throat. Afterward, Nancy torches the secret room, with Krueger’s body left inside, while she and Quentin leave. Nancy and her mother return home from the hospital; Krueger suddenly appears in a mirror’s reflection and kills Nancy’s mother before pulling her body through the mirror while Nancy screams.