Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Side By Side: A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984 vs. 2010)

Welcome to another installment of SIDE BY SIDE, where we dissect the similarities and differences between two films, be it a remake/reboot with its original, a sequel with its original, or two similar films. This week, I'll be comparing 1984's A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET with its 2010 remake.

Doing remakes of beloved films can get tricky and Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street is definitely beloved by horror fans. However, sometimes remakes are an awesome way of introducing great stories and characters to new generations. This was the plan in 2010 with the remake written by Eric Heisserer and Wesley Strick.

With a new Freddy and a plot that deviated from the original storyline, the remake had mixed reviews. It received an overall approval rating (or disapproval rating in this case) of 15% on Rotten Tomatoes. The remake seemed darker to me and the character of Freddy seemed all too real. In the original, Freddy was more of a boogyman that haunted our imaginations.

After watching the remake, I have to say, I still prefer the original, but I did enjoy watching it. Jackie Earle Haley is a great actor, but Robert Englund will always be Freddy to me and to most fans of the franchise.

Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street introduced us to a whole new monster unlike anything we'd really seen; one that attacked through our dreams, making it dangerous to go to sleep. The monster introduced to us was Freddy Krueger and actor Robert Englund played him wonderfully. He is one of the main reasons I love this horror classic so much.

2010's A Nightmare on Elm Street was the first movie in the franchise not to star Robert Englund as the big baddie, Fredd Krueger. That was significant to me, and many horror fans, as Englund has always been synonymous with the child-murdering monster of nightmares. Jackie Earle Haley gave a solid performance as Freddy, but sometimes it's best not to mess with the original.

The storylines of both films center around teenagers who are dealing with a monster that haunts their dreams. However, in the 1984 version the origin of Fredd Kruger was less obscure. In the remake, the teenagers seemed melancholy the entire time, but in the 1984 version hey were happy and upbeat, that is, before Freddy arrived.

Samuel Bayer wanted to take the remake in a different direction than Wes Craven did with  the original. The 1984 version had more of a campy and over the top tone to it, whereas, in the 2010 remake, the characters are of a darker nature and the storyline is more realistic.

Both films had an interesting storyline and a great cast. However, it's never easy to replace a well-known character with a different actor. I love Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street, mainly for its originality and nostalgia, but the 2010 version has an interesting and gritty storyline coupled with some great casting.

Lisa's Scores:

1984: 9/10
2010: 8/10

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