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Nightmare on Elm Street, A


Stars: Jackie Earle Haley, Rooney Mara, Kyle Gallner, Katie Cassidy, Thomas Dekker, Connie Britton, Clancy Brown

Director: Samuel Bayer

Freddy Krueger revisited, as the teens of Elm St are once again being killed in their dreams in this uninspired re-working of the Wes Craven original from 1984, which introduced Johnny Depp as one of the teens.

Director Bayer, alas, brings little that's new to the formula. There's a brief attempt to parallel the story to that of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, who wrought revenge on a town by taking all its children, but it isn't followed through.

They go to sleep, they die - a bit like Invasion of the Body Snatchers with knives on. Since there are no rules in Freddy's world, however, the director finds it hard to make the bloodshed scary, especially with everything pitched at the same monotonous pace.

Haley does his best to be snarly and frightening as Freddy, but he lacks the gleeful, childlike evil that made Robert Englund famous. Best of the teens is Mara, whose olive complexion, dark hair and haunted eyes are perfect for a horror heroine. At the end, it seems that Freddy is finally vanquished. But no: they have to tack on a coda that makes way for Nightmare on Elm Street 2.

David Quinlan

USA 2010. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers. Technicolor.
95 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 1, Swearing 1.

Review date: 02 May 2010