top of page
  • Writer's pictureAllan Major

A Nightmare On Elm Street 2010 Reviewed

Featured Image For A Nightmare On Elm Street 2010 Reviewed.   Movie poster for A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) featuring a dark, shadowy figure of Freddy Krueger.
In the 2010 reboot of 'A Nightmare on Elm Street,' Freddy Krueger returns to haunt a new generation of teens, turning their dreams into a waking nightmare.

There’s a delicate art to revisiting the nightmarish playground of our collective subconscious, and few filmmakers dare to tread where Wes Craven once reigned supreme. With the 2010 remake of "A Nightmare on Elm Street," we find ourselves beckoned back into the dark, twisting corridors of Elm Street's haunted dreamscapes. This reimagining, helmed by music video director Samuel Bayer and produced by Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes, attempts to rekindle the horror that Wes Craven’s 1984 classic instilled in a generation. But can a modern take on Freddy Krueger ever truly recapture the grotesque charm of the original?

Key Takeaways After Watching This Film

  • Freddy Krueger Reimagined: Jackie Earle Haley's portrayal of Freddy Krueger offers a darker, more sinister interpretation of the character, emphasizing his history as a child molester and murderer.

  • Visual Style and Direction: Directed by Samuel Bayer, known for his music videos, the film has a slick, stylized look with eerie atmospheric lighting and striking visual effects, particularly in the dream sequences.

  • Deeper Backstory: The film delves more into Freddy's backstory, exploring his life as a janitor accused of molesting children and his subsequent death at the hands of vengeful parents.

  • Modern Effects: The use of CGI enhances the visual representation of Freddy's dream world, making the nightmares more visually impressive, although sometimes at the cost of the practical effects' rawness that characterized the original.

  • Strong Performances: Rooney Mara's Nancy and Kyle Gallner's Quentin bring a fresh perspective to their roles, adding depth and complexity to their characters. Katie Cassidy, Thomas Dekker, and Kellan Lutz also deliver notable performances.

Woman afraid while watching A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010).
Her eyes widen in terror as Freddy's nightmare unfolds on screen, the horror feeling all too real.

From the outset, Bayer’s "A Nightmare on Elm Street" makes it clear that it aims to both honor and innovate. The film opens with a sequence that pays homage to the unsettling atmosphere of the original, immediately pulling us into a world where the boundaries between reality and nightmare blur. Jackie Earle Haley steps into the infamous striped sweater and disfigured visage of Freddy Krueger, a role immortalized by Robert Englund. Haley’s Freddy is a darker, more sinister figure, leaning into the character’s history as a child molester—a fact only hinted at in Craven’s original and fully embraced here to chilling effect.

As the camera weaves through the lives of a new set of teenagers, we encounter Rooney Mara’s Nancy and Kyle Gallner’s Quentin. These characters, while echoing their 1984 counterparts, bring a fresh perspective to the nightmare. Nancy’s journey from a quiet, artistic loner to the resolute final girl feels more grounded and introspective, a reflection of Mara’s nuanced performance. Gallner’s Quentin, too, adds a layer of complexity as he grapples with his own fears and the unraveling mystery of Freddy’s past.

The film’s narrative dives deeper into Freddy’s backstory, exploring his transformation from a simple janitor to a monstrous figure that parents burned alive in a fit of vigilante justice. This reboot doesn’t shy away from the grim reality of Freddy’s crimes, painting him as a child murderer whose evil transcends death itself. The use of CGI to depict Freddy’s dream world is both a blessing and a curse; while it allows for more visually striking nightmares, it sometimes detracts from the raw, practical effects that gave the original its visceral impact.

Samuel Bayer’s direction, influenced by his background in music videos—most notably Nirvana’s "Smells Like Teen Spirit"—brings a slick, stylized approach to the Elm Street lore. Scenes are drenched in eerie, atmospheric lighting, and the pacing maintains a relentless tension. However, this stylistic flair sometimes feels at odds with the gritty, low-budget charm of Wes Craven’s creation. The dream sequences, although visually stunning, occasionally miss the mark in capturing the surreal horror that made the original film so memorable.

Old woman afraid while watching A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010).
Years of life couldn't prepare her for the terror of Freddy's return, each scream echoing in her mind.

Not My Freddy Krueger

The ensemble cast, including Katie Cassidy as Kris and Thomas Dekker as Jesse, delivers commendable performances, navigating the fine line between homage and innovation. Kellan Lutz’s brief but impactful appearance as Dean sets the tone for the film’s unflinching brutality. Yet, despite these strong performances, there’s an undeniable sense that the film is trying to remake something that was perfectly attuned to its time and place—a slasher movie that thrived on its simplicity and ingenuity.

As we navigate through the narrative, we encounter familiar beats from the original film, such as the iconic glove and the ominous nursery rhyme. However, the 2010 remake often feels like it’s ticking boxes rather than reinventing the wheel. The balance between paying tribute to Craven’s vision and forging a new path is a delicate one, and while Bayer’s film succeeds in certain areas, it falters in others. The haunting imagery and nightmarish landscapes are visually arresting, but they sometimes lack the psychological depth that made Wes Craven’s original a masterpiece of horror.

The climax of the film brings us to a showdown that echoes the original’s blend of desperation and ingenuity. Nancy and Quentin’s final confrontation with Freddy is a testament to their growth and determination. Yet, as the credits roll, one can’t help but reflect on what has been gained and what has been lost in this retelling. The 2010 "A Nightmare on Elm Street" is a darker, more polished rendition, but it occasionally loses sight of the raw, unfiltered terror that defined its predecessor.

In conclusion, Samuel Bayer’s "A Nightmare on Elm Street" is a bold attempt to revive a classic horror icon for a new generation. With Jackie Earle Haley’s menacing portrayal of Freddy Krueger and a talented cast bringing depth to their roles, the film offers a fresh take on the nightmare that has haunted our dreams for decades. However, the reliance on CGI and a more explicit backstory for Freddy sometimes detracts from the film’s impact. While it may not surpass the original’s legacy, this remake provides a new lens through which to view the horrors of Elm Street, reminding us that some nightmares never truly fade away. It’s a hauntingly beautiful tribute to Wes Craven’s enduring creation, and a chilling reminder of the darkness that lurks just beyond the veil of sleep.

And that is A Nightmare On Elm Street 2010 Reviewed. A modern horror remake of one of the most famous classic horror movies. 

Stay tuned for more Horror Movie Reviews

If You Liked A Nightmare On Elm Street 2010 You Might Also Like These Films

Friday the 13th (2009)

This remake of the 1980 horror classic was also produced by Platinum Dunes and directed by Marcus Nispel. The film reimagines the origins of Jason Voorhees, the iconic slasher with a hockey mask and a machete, as he terrorizes a group of young adults at Camp Crystal Lake. The movie combines intense scares with modern special effects, offering a fresh take on a beloved horror legend.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

Directed by Marcus Nispel and produced by Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes, this remake of the 1974 classic follows a group of friends who encounter the infamous Leatherface and his cannibalistic family in rural Texas. The film is known for its intense atmosphere, gruesome violence, and a chilling performance by R. Lee Ermey as Sheriff Hoyt. It revitalized the Texas Chainsaw franchise for a new generation.

The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

Alexandre Aja directed this brutal remake of Wes Craven’s 1977 horror film. The story follows a family stranded in the desert, where they are hunted by a group of mutated cannibals. The film is known for its relentless tension, graphic violence, and a harrowing depiction of survival against monstrous adversaries. It retains the gritty, unsettling tone of the original while amplifying the horror with modern effects.

House of Wax (2005)

Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, this horror film is a loose remake of the 1953 classic. It follows a group of friends who stumble upon an abandoned town with a macabre wax museum. As they uncover the museum’s dark secrets, they are hunted by a twisted killer who turns his victims into wax figures. The film combines slasher elements with a creepy, atmospheric setting and features notable performances by Elisha Cuthbert and Chad Michael Murray.

Silent Hill (2006)

Directed by Christophe Gans and based on the popular video game series, "Silent Hill" follows a woman searching for her adopted daughter in a mysterious and fog-shrouded town. The film is known for its eerie atmosphere, disturbing visuals, and complex narrative that delves into themes of guilt and redemption. The nightmarish world of Silent Hill, populated by grotesque creatures and haunted by dark secrets, offers a chilling experience similar to the dreamscapes of Elm Street.

A Nightmare On Elm Street 2010 Reviewed FAQs

Q: Who starred in the 2010 version of A Nightmare On Elm Street?

A: Rooney Mara and Kyle Gallner were among the main cast in the remake. Rooney Mara played the role of Nancy Holbrook, the film’s protagonist, while Kyle Gallner portrayed Quentin Smith, Nancy’s friend and eventual ally. The film also featured Jackie Earle Haley as the iconic Freddy Krueger, Katie Cassidy as Kris Fowles, Thomas Dekker as Jesse Braun, and Kellan Lutz as Dean Russell.

Q: Is there a sequel to the original A Nightmare On Elm Street?

A: Yes, there have been several sequels to the original film. Wes Craven's 1984 classic spawned a franchise including "A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge" (1985), "A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors" (1987), and multiple other sequels, culminating in "Wes Craven's New Nightmare" (1994), which offered a meta take on the series. Additionally, Freddy Krueger appeared in the crossover film "Freddy vs. Jason" (2003).

Q: How is A Nightmare On Elm Street related to Friday the 13th?

A: Both franchises are iconic in the horror genre, featuring legendary characters Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees. They both emerged in the 1980s and significantly influenced the slasher film subgenre. The two series crossed over in the 2003 film "Freddy vs. Jason," where Freddy and Jason face off, combining elements of both franchises into one narrative.

Q: Who directed the horror remake of A Nightmare On Elm Street?

A: The horror remake was directed by Samuel Bayer, known for his work in music videos, including Nirvana’s "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Michael Bay, through his production company Platinum Dunes, produced the film, contributing to its modernized visual style and production value.

Q: Who is the character Tina in A Nightmare On Elm Street?

A: Tina Gray is one of the characters in the original 1984 film. Portrayed by Amanda Wyss, she is Nancy Thompson’s friend and one of Freddy Krueger’s early victims. Tina's terrifying death scene is one of the most memorable and chilling moments in horror film history, showcasing the lethal and surreal nature of Freddy's attacks.

Q: Who wrote the screenplay for A Nightmare On Elm Street?

A: The screenplay for the 2010 horror remake was written by Eric Heisserer and Wesley Strick. Eric Heisserer is known for his work on other horror films like "Final Destination 5" and "Lights Out," as well as the critically acclaimed "Arrival." Wesley Strick has also written for other horror and thriller films, including "Cape Fear" and "Arachnophobia."

Q: What other horror films are connected to A Nightmare On Elm Street?

A: Movies like "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "Friday the 13th" are closely associated with the horror genre alongside "A Nightmare On Elm Street." These films, like the Elm Street series, are seminal works in the slasher subgenre and have inspired numerous sequels, remakes, and a shared cinematic influence that extends across decades of horror filmmaking. Both "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "Friday the 13th" also had remakes produced by Platinum Dunes, the same company behind the 2010 Elm Street remake.


bottom of page