Sunday, May 2, 2010

RUMBLE OF THE REMAKES!!!! Round One- A Nightmare On Elm Street VS. The Stepfather

Yeah I know it is a weird combination, but they just so happened to be the two movies I watched today so here I go.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) Dir. by Samuel Bayer

A re-imagining of the horror icon Freddy Krueger, a serial-killer who wields a glove with four blades embedded in the fingers and kills people in their dreams, resulting in their real death in reality.

Ok, it would be really hard to find someone who had not seen the original Nightmare, and if they hadn't, they might deserve a slap upside the noggin. I am so sick of negative reviews towards this film. I am a fan of the original just as much as the next person, but there are far worse remakes being made out there. They want to talk crap about how the movie doesn't need to be remade, and how the series will be ruined without the legendary Robert Englund. I was just so excited to see the franchise return to its roots, and by that I mean Horror. After the second Nightmare on Elm Street movie, the series just started to go down the road of comedy. Yes, it is ok to have a few one-liners in there, as the new one proved, but it was true horror again. When people go in to see the new one, they should try to open their mind, and try to see the film as an original film, then compare it to the other one later. I was so happy to see that Platinum Dunes was producing it as they have made the other remakes that I have actually liked- Friday the 13th, The Hitcher,and The Ammityville Horror.

The other thing is I love Robert Englund as much as the next person, but Jackie Earl Haley is flipping amazing at about everything he touches, and he generally looks like a Freddy Krueger. He is amazing in the new movie, and he doesn't try to go overboard. He remains his own style of the character, but manages to hold on to all the things we held sacred to Krueger. He did such an amazing job, which I can hardly say about the rest of the cast. The acting was anything but top notch, but it didn't take away from the film. I am also tired of people ripping on Samuel Bayer, and calling him a poor rookie directer. He is not the first music video director turned feature director, and this is not his first film people. He co-directed the amazing short film Max in 2005. He has all the talent and knowledge for directing great movies, as it takes the same ambition in a person to do music videos as it does to make a film. What is with all the people talking about how crappy the CGI is in this movie? I thought it was damn near flawless! That was the last thing I thought about while watching the film. It had a perfect score, solid story (even with the slight changes from the orignal), and perfect pacing. I never once felt bored, and I'd have to say the worse part of the film, was definitely the acting by the 28 year olds playing high schoolers, and maybe the overall design of Freddy. I understood they were going for a more realistic burn victim look, but I thought it could have been better. It was very exciting seeing a remake rather than a re visioning. The point of a remake is to remake the same film, and update it with today's newer technology, and I thought they did a wonderful job of that. They even had a handful of similar kills to the original. I recommend this film to everyone, and I will be buying it on DVD!

Entertainment Value: 8/10 NoDoz
Cinematic Value: 8/10 NoDoz

and now for the second film

The Stepfather (2009) Dir. by Nelson McCormick

Michael returns home from military school to find his mother happily in love and living with her new boyfriend. As the two men get to know each other, he becomes more and more suspicious of the man who is always there with a helpful hand.

This movie has so many similarities to Nightmare as a remake. Dylan Walsh also had some big shoes to fill, stepping in for Terry O'Quinn (John Locke from Lost). Dylan Walsh was actually what I liked most about this film, other than Amber Heard walking around in a bikini like she usually does. McCormick faced the same troubles as Bayer is now with people not feeling that he is established as a director, with Bayer it is music videos, but for McCormick he has directed primary just TV episodes for his whole career, but I felt like this one really could have used some work. The pacing on this film are atrocious. I was getting so bored because the movie was moving so slow! The parts that were tense were done very well, and Walsh actually did an amazing job as the stepfather. He was really creep, and that's for sure.

Just like Nightmare, the original will always be better, but its always nice to see someones take to the same story. I won't be buying this one on DVD, unless its super cheap, but I do think it is worth at least one viewing. All David wants is to be loved.

Entertainment Value: 6/10 America's Most Wanted
Cinematic Value: 5/10 America's Most Wanted

So the final results are in, and The Nightmare on Elm Street remake blows The Stepfather Remake out of the water. The Stepfather had some good things going for it, but it just doesn't match up with Nightmare, and some might say this round might have been a bit unfair, but this was more or less a test run.

If anyone has any suggestions for a round of Rumble of the Remakes, please please please let me know, and I will definitely make them face head to head. I hope you all enjoy the new feature. Might as well do something with all these remakes coming out!


Sarah from Scare Sarah said...

I love to see remakes. They're not always great but sometimes it gives you something new to see in a film you've seen a million times.

Bill (RSR) said...

Wow. You're the first person I've heard say anything positive about the Hitcher remake.

I'm looking forward to seeing the new NOES eventually, I just can't really afford to go to the theater any more. I generally try to take the tack that, regardless of the quality of the remake, it at least (sometimes) brings the original back in to the spotlight.

Simon said...

How about a foreign film-remake duel: The Departed vs Brothers, something like that.

Or, Friday the 13th vs. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre vs. The last House on the Left.

R.D. Penning said...

haha that would be fun ill try those

Carl (ILHM) said...

I didnt go out to see NOES this weekend, but I will try to get in Sunday. I am trying to go in with an open mind, but Im with sarah, I love checking out what new filmmakers do with our favorite classics!

That being said, THE STEPFATHER was extremely bland, and I totally agree there

Emily said...

I disagree with your definition of a remake (I don't think technology alone should be its main inspiration and prefer to see a film bring something new in story or theme) but I'm thrilled to hear someone else like the remake! I enjoyed it for many of the same reasons, but mostly, loved the new backstory for its ickiness.

Jaccstev said...

I think the original Elm Street had a lasting effect on me while this remake simply just another by-the-numbers, forgettable one.