The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: New Line/Warner - 2010
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 95 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English/French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Jackie Earle Haley, Kyle Gallner, Rooney Mara, Katie Cassidy, Thomas Dekker, Kellan Lutz
Directed by: Samuel Bayer
Music by: Steve Jablonski
Written by: Wesley Strick & Eric Heisserer
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 5, 2010
"Welcome to Your new nightmare"
Five teenage friends living on one street all dream of a sinister man with a disfigured face, a frightening voice and a gardener's glove with knives for fingers. But when one among them dies, they soon realize that what happens in their dreams happens for real and the only way to stay alive is to stay awake. Buried in their past is a debt that has just come due. To save themselves, they must plunge into the mind of the most twisted nightmare of all: Freddy Krueger.
I saw the original A nightmare on Elm Street during its theatrical run back in the mid 1980's and can clearly recall the impact it had at the time. I loved its originality and Robert Englund's portrayal reinvented the term the boogeyman. When I saw that this remake was coming out I had serious reservations about trying to re-imagine an iconic figure like Freddy Krueger. I loved Jackie Earle Haley in Watchmen and figured that his presence might make the film worth the effort. Unfortunately this remake doesn't have the depth, freshness or intrigue to put it in the same class as the original. I appreciated the attempt at faithfulness but here it comes off more like an imitation. Quite honestly I really didn't care about the characters and didn't like the depiction of Freddy's past with respect to the children. It was an unnecessarily deviate element that added nothing of value. Jackie Earle Haley turned out to be a poor fit in the role and I just couldn't take him seriously which negatively impacted the film's frightening moments for me. I liked the special effects and appreciated a few of the throwback sequences but otherwise found the movie underwhelming. I think that the purpose of a remake is to expound/improve upon or perhaps reinvent the original work. In my opinion this film does neither. Besides, who says that the original film needed remaking anyway?
The rating is for strong bloody horror violence, disturbing images, terror and language.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
This is a dark film both in tone and visual design and this video presentation capably conveys that. The use of muted secondary colors gives the film a stark visual aesthetic that coincides with the dreary subject matter. When brighter elements such as shades of red, blue or yellow are present, they have a vivid and pleasing quality. More often than not fleshtones lean toward lighter/pale looking complexions however I noticed livelier tonality during several sequences that utilized warmer accent lighting and deeper color emphasis. Detail in dark areas and low lighting is above average which provides discernible but limited visibility within backgrounds. Blacks are respectable but not definitively rich in contrast. High definition resolution is satisfying as close ups are well delineated and long range visuals are reasonably sharp. While not among the best high definition offerings on Blu-ray I found little to complain about with the overall quality of this video presentation.
Films like this rely heavily on their soundtracks to help add to the build up of suspense and to enhance the intensity of jump scares. This is done primarily through the use of music and sound effects that correspond with its frightening moments. This DTS-HD Master Audio sound mix handles this very well through the use of potent dynamics, deep bass extension, and high level detail. This is a crystal clear encoding that renders excellent reproduction of the soundtrack's elements. This augments the eerie presence of low level off camera sounds as well as punctuating those that are meant to be in your face. The music is coupled along with low frequency effects to heighten jump scares and frightful images with room filling sound and ultra deep extension that resonates with palpable authority. Dialogue is appreciably textured with discernible tonal character and good room penetration. The surrounds are actively engaged to create an immersive 360 degree sound field that heightened the scary experience. This doesn't apply solely to those segments though as there is plenty of atmospheric ambience and directional cues that provide realistic envelopment. This is a great sounding mix that complimented the film.
- (HD) Freddy Krueger reborn - 14 minute featurette
- (HD) Warner Bros. Maniacal Mode: An Interactive Bonusview PiP feature that runs over the course of the movie and provides an in depth look at the film and production.
- (HD) Focus Points (totaling 18 minutes):
- Make-up makes the character
- The Hat
- Practical fire
- The sweater
- The glove
- The victims
- (HD) Additional Footage - 3 segments including an alternate ending
- Warner Bros. BD-Live access
- Bonus DVD/Digital Copy of A nightmare on Elm Street
A nightmare on Elm Street is a bland and uninspired remake of the original 1984 Wes Craven classic. It isn't completely without merit but comes up short with its lackluster characters, unoriginal narrative and miscast lead in Jackie Earle Haley. I was more than satisfied with its high definition presentation on Blu-ray from Warner as it delivers respectable video quality and excellent lossless surround sound. The above average bonus features are highlighted by Warner's exclusive Maniacal Mode interactive experience which takes viewers behind the scenes for an in depth look at the production as told by the cast and crew. If you're a curious genre fan this is probably worth a rental but be sure to keep expectations in check.
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