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A Nightmare on Elm Street

Never sleep again. 

Year: 2010 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 18 Cert – Not suitable for under 18s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Samuel Bayer 
Starring: Jackie Earle Hayley, Kyle Gallner, Rooney Mara, Thomas Dekker, Kellan Lutz  
An image from A Nightmare on Elm Street

A group of suburban teenagers who are all experiencing vivid and terrifying nightmares realise that each of them individually dreams about being pursued by the same burnt, Fedora-wearing maniac with knives for fingers, Freddy Krueger (Hayley). As dreams encroach on reality and their friends begin to be killed one by one, Nancy (Mara) and Quentin (Gallner) try to work out who this man is, why he is after them, what their parents are hiding, and how they might fight and defeat this evil once and for all. Now if they can just stay awake...

If the above sounds oddly familiar, then you've probably seen one of the eight Nightmare on Elm Street films which have been splattered across our cinema screens since 1984. This remake (or "re-imagining") updates the action to 2010, and recasts Freddy Kruger not as the wisecracking pantomime villain of old, but as the genuinely unsettling and malevolent presence which he had ceased to represent by the sixth film. Jackie Earle Hayley deserves particular mention for his portrayal of Freddy, emerging out of the shadows of previous incumbent Robert Englund to deliver a suitably nasty performance. Aside from Krueger, Nightmare on Elm Street is a solid, nuts and bolts slasher movie which never confounds your expectations, delivering exactly what you would expect from a film of this ilk - a creepy atmosphere, delightfully gory death scenes, and teenagers who behave so stupidly that they deserve exactly what's coming to them. If you're a fan of the Nightmare series, or horror in general, or are just looking to laugh and scream simultaneously, then you should check this out.

Greg Frame

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Screenings of this film:

2010/2011 Autumn Term (35mm)
2013/2014 Spring Term (digital)