A Nightmare on Elm Street relies on predictable scare tactics



Jackie Earle Haley stalks the dreams of high school students as razor-gloved killer Freddy Krueger in A Nightmare on Elm Street. Haley takes on the role made famous by Robert Englund in the 1984 low-budget horror film of the same name and its many sequels, and his performance here is excellent, bringing back a real sense of menace and sadism to a character that had grown increasingly silly over time. That’s about it for the positives, though. Everything else about this new Nightmare is just mediocre. In terms of plot, there’s very little difference/ The film offers the usual tendencies to sacrifice character development in favor of action. Aside from Freddy, none of the characters are even remotely interesting. Rooney Mara’s Nancy mumbles and stumbles her way through the movie, never once rising to the level of an engaging heroine, and the rest of the cast is just as forgettable. Director Samuel Bayer is competent enough as a visual stylist, but he’s got no feel for the rhythm of this kind of film, throwing one loud scare after another at the audience to the point that it just becomes annoying. As for the stuff real nightmares are made of, you won’t find it here. **

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.