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One, two, Freddy's coming for you...
Three, four, better lock your door...
Five, six, grab your crucifix...
Seven, eight, gonna stay up late...
Nine, ten, never sleep again.

As much as I like and admire the work of Jackie Earle Haley, is he, or anyone else for that mater ever really going to be able to replace Robert Englund in the hearts and minds of fans as that horror movie icon Freddy Krueger? Off the bat, I would have to say no. Certainly the re-imagining of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET ($36) brings some interesting things to the table- a fleshed out Freddy Krueger back story and Haley’s performance in said back story are really the strengths of this re-make. However, things tend to fall flat in terms of the pedestrian nightmare horror and the casting of Freddy’s "teen" victims, who are an unsympathetic and uninteresting lot at best. Considering the film’s respectable box office receipts, a sequel should be forthcoming. However, I hope it will build on this film’s strengths and become more visually inventive when entering Freddy’s nightmare world.

This re-imagined A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET keeps many of the plot elements contained in the original Wes Craven classic, with the fleshed out Freddy Krueger back story serving as the only major addition and improvement. The plot of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET follows a group of teenagers, who share a similar nightmare about being stalked by a horribly disfigured madman that menaces them with a glove of razor sharp, talon-like metal claws. Afraid to go to sleep, the teens try to stay awake as long as they can. Unfortunately, sleep is unavoidable and the teens begin to die at the hands of their nightmare killer, with the deaths looking like suicides to those in the waking world. Nancy (Rooney Mara) is the teen, who wants to know why she is a victim of the nightmares, but all the parents feign ignorance of the events that tie the nightmare plagued teens together. With the help of another nightmare plagued teen, Quentin Smith (Kyle Gallner), Nancy begins digging into the past and discovers a connection- a pre-school that they all attended as children, and a place that Freddy Krueger worked as a gardener. I’m sure you’ll be able to guess what happened all those years ago at the pre-school… and to its gardener. The cast of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET also includes Katie Cassidy, Thomas Dekker, Kellan Lutz, Clancy Brown, Connie Britton, Lia D. Mortensen, Julianna Damm and Christian Stolte.

Warner Home Video/New Line Home Entertainment has made A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET available on Blu-ray Disc in 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentations that have been encoded onto the disc with the VC-1 codec. The 1080p presentation is really quite good for a horror outing. Image sharpness, dimensionality and detail are usually very strong performers. Some bits of softness creep in from time to time, but it holds together very well. Colors are rendered at a good level of saturation and are generally quite warm. Flesh tones are usually quite attractive. Blacks are deep, whites are crisp and contrast is smooth. Shadow detail is rather good. The elements from which A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET has been transferred are virtually perfect. There is some modest grain in the image, which keeps the presentation film like.

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This is a well-designed and implemented horror movie soundtrack. All the discrete channels are utilized for sound effects placement, plus the effects move around the sound field in a transparent manner. There are also plenty of creepy sound effects, not to mention, heaps of atmosphere. Thanks to the lossless encode, fidelity is pretty terrific. The musical component sounds great, with instrumentation sounding clean and precise. The bottom end of the track delivers an effective amount of percussive force. Voices are cleanly reproduced and the film’s dialogue is always completely understandable. French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc, as are English, French and Spanish subtitles.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the supplements. The primary supplement to the Blu-ray is Warner Brothers Maniacal Movie Mode, that offers viewers an enhanced version of the film, which includes picture-in-picture pop up window that contain scene relevant ancillary programs, behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with cast members and other errata (requires a Profile 1.1 player). Totaling twenty minutes, the programs from the Maniacal Movie Mode are also available to view independently as a series of Focus Points: Make-Up Makes The Character, Micronaps, The Hat, Practical Fire, The Sweater, The Glove and The Victims. Also featured on the disc is Freddy Krueger Reborn, a fourteen-minute program that looks at the re-imagined horror movie icon. A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET is also BD-Live enabled (requires a Profile 2.0 player). A DVD and Digital Copy of the film are also provided, with both being housed on the second disc of this set.

2010’s A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET isn’t going to unseat the original Wes Craven classic in the hearts and minds of fans, but is a serviceable entry with some interesting aspects. The Blu-ray presentation is quite good and eager to please.


A Nightmare on Elm Street [Blu-ray] (2010)


DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2010 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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