Directed By: Samuel Bayer
“Just don’t fall asleep. If you die in your dreams, you die for real.”
I got about fifteen minutes into this movie before I realised that not only had I seen it before but I’d written about it too. So that should sum up all you really need to know about it. Even if I hadn’t physically watched it, it would feel like I had since it adheres so closely to Wes Craven’s original that I’m not sure if a viewing is really needed.
Lets get this out of the way immediately; I’m not adverse to remakes. The Thing is a both a great movie and a great remake (I am of course referring to the John Carpenter one, not the prequel/remake that was released recently) and there are things I like a lot about the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. This movie is just creatively bankrupt, eschewing its own ideas in favour of shots and scenes from the original film. It’s a pale facsimile of a great work and utterly pointless.
There’s still some mileage to be had from the idea of Freddy Krueger, put it in the hands of an interesting creative team and they could come up with something special. Sadly though we have to contend with Platinum Dunes, the people who brought us remakes of Friday the 13th (Which is actually pretty good), The Hitcher, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Amityville Horror (Which curiously ended in a draw with the original as neither are that interesting). Their remit for this movie seemed to be to take anything that Wes Craven did and do it again, except throw in the occasional touch of CG.
In an effort to make it more gritty or something they make Krueger a peodophile and then fail to explain why he’d need the famous glove for that. It might seem like nitpicking and I suppose you could argue that it is, but it points more towards them adding ideas without really thinking them through. They didn’t think about it, so they hope you don’t as well. It feels increasingly like they had a checklist of things that they should include because it’s a NOES movie (That’s an acronym) but didn’t think about why any of it was there. It just is.
The kids are roughly the same here as well, except they die in order of who’s most interesting until we’re left with two walking husks of characters. Among the adults it’s great to see Connie Britton and Clancy Brown show up, and then despair as they’re utterly wasted. It’s only Jackie Earle Haley, appearing as Freddy this time, who has anything to do. He does a fine job with the more menacing Krueger and the moments that the film does work is when he’s on screen.
This is probably the shortest review I’ve done or will do, short of just saying “Fuck this movie.”. It’s the worst type of remake. It calls itself a ‘re-imagining’ while it steals scenes wholesale instead of thinking up its own. It’s the worst type of cynical, lazy, cash-in that people expect when you say the word “remake”. It’s a remake that’s so bad that it gives remakes a bad name.