Guest Post: A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) – An email discussion
Just like with Freddy vs Jason (2003), which my cousin Damo so expertly reviewed last week here, I was not too fussed about reviewing the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010). And why would you want to read my boring old review, when you have this. Eric from Isaacs Picture Conclusions and Zoe from The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger chewing the fat about the film over email. Safe to say Zoe hated it, whilst Eric seems a little hung up on some bloke called Clancy Brown who I can only presume is an Irish folk singer from the 1950s. Not sure of the connection there.
Also, apologies for the craptastic formatting on this. Zoe and Eric sent it to me all pretty like, but I busted it transferring it across to WordPress.
Mar 12 (6 days ago)
So Tim, over at Beer Movie is looking for a piece on the Nightmare reboot – you fucking hated that thing right???
Zoee Mar 12 (6 days ago)
Like the worst fucking thing ever!
Mar 12 (6 days ago)
I didn’t hate it that much but I’ve only ever seen a couple of them. What did you hate so much??? You have to give it up a little for Clancy Brown! No??
Mar 12 (6 days ago)
I hope among that couple that you have seen is the 1984 one, because that one was a solid entry!
First off, the entire film is a travesty. I mean that in the truest sense of the word. It completely desecrated everything that Freddy Krueger represented. Freddy was all wrong. I cannot stress this enough. When I think Krueger I think Robert Englund. Dark comedy (though it wasn’t always so), striped sweater, bad burns, “bitch” being uttered left, right, and centre, crazy dream sequences and not taking himself too seriously. Also, the mythos were completely fucked with. Nobody felt compassion for Freddy when they burned him to death. I swear, nobody was defending him. Let us not even go into the blatant ripping off of the old school scenes, churning them out as if they should be new and awesome and just missing the point completely. It was one of the worst reboots ever, and it still galls me to think about it.
I would love to know why you didn’t hate it… (and don’t hide behind the fact that you hadn’t seen many of the others)?
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2014 12:10:05 -0500
Subject: Re: Nightmare on Elm Street 2010
Mar 12 (6 days ago)
LOL!!! When have I ever hidden from you, JB????
I had only ever seen the first two – in the theaters before your were even born (HAHAHAHAHA #love) – when I saw this one (I’ve since seen the third one with the penis worm we all got a good laugh at). I don’t know – I guess on my blog I watch a lot of very low quality SHIT movies that totally suck butt. I thought this thing looked decent enough, had some good looking actors and decent enough effects. I also liked that it wasn’t filled with a bunch of bullshit corny one-liners that came to be associated with Freddy and……………… –> CLANCY BROWN!!!!
I did NOT like Jackie Earl Haley though. This is the truth.
Also – I am currently getting screamed at on a three hour conference call about Caller ID problems. Have you ever gotten screamed at on a three hour conference call about Caller ID problems. If so, you’d appreciate NoES a little more.
Mar 13 (5 days ago)
Bwahahaha! Yeah alright, true that, I will give you that!
Yeah, yeah, #love. Oh yes, who can ever forget the infamous penis worm? Yeah, you do, but this one is right up there for me. Took itself waaaaaaaaay too seriously and just fucked up a whole lot of good stuff. Meh, it didn’t work for me. You know I bitched more watching this than I did throughout the Potter movies? My other half was shocked! No wait now… Freddy had some hardcore one liners, what are you even on about! 😛 I take it you are a fan?
Hmmmmm… he was not the greatest but certainly not the biggest pitfall of this piece of crap remake.
I have honestly never been screamed at about Caller ID problems on a three hour conference call… that sounds freaking awful… probably still not as painful as this shitty movie. I think.
Can you believe it holds a 5.2 score on IMDB? What the fuck world?!
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2014 12:34:54 -0500
8:41 AM (0 minutes ago)
Sorry I got behind on this!!!! That SHITFEST Social we did wore me clean out!!!
I get that it took itself too seriously – I do hate when movies are like that. Everybody just needs to lighten up, right? What did Cheri Oteri’s character say in SOUTHLAND TALES?? “The world would be a better place if everyone just got more cardio…” I don’t know… I didn’t hate it and I think that’s all I’ve got. You know what I did hate??? That second Rob Zombie HALLOWEEN!! Screw that fucker!!! But we’re not here to talk about that..
8:56 AM (0 minutes ago)
Phew! Totally don’t blame you there! That was just way too much fun considering the source material!
More cardio… maybe that is what this needed. Hahahaha. Yeah, I see that you don’t hate it, and that I despise it and that I can bitch about it endlessly but let us not go into it too much here some more. It is crap, it messed with decades worth of material, it defiled everything that it was and was a completely reboot. Screw it. I will just be quiet. If people want to read more extensively on what I had to say, they can check out my Shitfest entry here or the review I wrote on my blog over here.
No, we’re not… but I can see that that is a series we should maybe get involved with together… from the beginning all the way through!
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2014 08:41:13 -0500
8:59 AM (0 minutes ago)
WE TOTALLY SHOULD!!!!!
There you have it folks. Thanks so much to Zoe and Eric for reviewing the film for me. I am sure you already read their stuff, but on the off chance you don’t, hit up Zoe’s site The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger and Eric’s refined musings at Isaacs Picture Conclusions.
If you haven’t read them yet, check out my thoughts on all of the canon Elm Street films. Here they are in my order of preference:
1. A Nightmare on Elm Street
2. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
3. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare
4. A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child
5. Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare
6. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge
7. A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master.
Guest Review: Freddy vs Jason
As you will probably know, I just finished reviewing the Nightmare on Elm Street films. I was not too keen on reviewing the couple of non-canon films that followed featuring Freddy Krueger though. But I got some awesome volunteers when I put the call out there.
First up is my cousin Damo with this review of Freddy vs Jason (2003), the much maligned team up film, which does actually have a few defenders. Here are Damo’s thoughts.
Freddy vs Jason, a quick rundown before we begin.
Freddy Krueger is a serial killer, he attacks people in their dreams and if they die in the dream world, they die in real life too apparently. Krueger is from the Nightmare on Elm Street series.
Jason Voorhees kills serially also; he hails from the well known Friday the 13th horror film series. This guy automatically scores extra points because he wears a bad ass ice hockey mask, because he’s legit. And I like Ice Hockey…
Anyway, this movie is all about Krueger’s mission to return to Elm Street (where he enjoys killing people) after an extended hiatus of not being powerful enough to enter people’s dreams. Or something. This is all explained by Kruger himself; in addition to his plan to get Jason Voorhees to kill Elm Street locals so he can make a re-entry to the dream world. Unfortunately for Freddy though, Jason’s refusal to help him and instead continue killing for himself throws a spanner in the works. A spanner that obviously can’t be taken out like a normal person, its got to be solved by a big showdown between the two blokes. Sounds cool. Not really. Its crap.
So a storyline that’s so totally unique I hear you say; no its not. Haha.
But guess what? The characters are completely new and original. The lead girl, naïve and beautiful; the love interest who never wants to leave her side; the girl’s best friend who has low self esteem and that random pothead who is high all the time. What an outstanding film. Just joking. This is horrible.
Criticism aside, the fights and kills in the film are okay. After realizing that Jason Voorhees is overtaking him on the kill scale; Krueger initiates his fight back (cue the Freddy Vs Jason fight that took them an hour and fifteen minutes to get to). A combo of cool ways of stabbing each other coupled with hitting one another with various industrial material and/or machinery provides a somewhat okay series of moments in an absolutely horrendous film. It just isn’t that good.
Look, as far as slasher films go, this movie isn’t too bad but in every other department, this is pretty bloody terrible.
I was able to do one thing constructive during my viewing of Freddy vs Jason which was add the question “Is the writer of Freddy vs Jason dead yet?”
This film is the first in many years that has left me with my head in my hands wanting to cry in a corner.
I wish I could tell you to watch this movie, to share it with your friends and to enjoy your 97minutes of bliss, instead I will tell you to burn it in bucket that’s fireproof just in case the fire spreads. Its good to be fire-smart.
Verdict: Schooner of Tooheys New
Damo now has his own blog over at The Horenco Effort where he is publishing his movie reviews and will also be featuring other gnarly stuff such as his tunes.
POV: The Loneliest Planet
Welcome to a new feature for the site. Hopefully a semi-regular one but it could just drift out into the blogging ether, joining other great features of the past such as The Bergman Files and Bondfest.
Opinions on all kinds of films differ and really, as much as people may argue otherwise, there is no right or wrong opinion. As Chris put it really well in a preface for his piece when he emailed it to me: “Film criticism is a totally subjective field; I truly believe that there is no definitive answer for whether or not a film is ‘good’ or ‘bad’. So when I’m talking to one of my friends and they say “dude, the last Transformers movie is the best film I’ve ever seen” (and yes, my friends talk like stoners from early nineties teen movies), I’m inclined to believe that they truly think that the last Transformers movie is the best film that they’re ever seen, even if the film lover in me dies a bit.
The aim of POV, is to look at a film that has divided opinion. This is not designed as a competition or to decide who is ‘right’. In fact there is no arguing. Neither Chris nor I saw each others thoughts before we wrote our own. The Loneliest Planet (2011) is a film that really has garnered its lovers and haters. For me, it’s a fringe top 10 film of the year. For Chris, it is by far his least favourite of the year. Here are the reasons why.
Five things I love about the Loneliest Planet by me
1. The scenery.
Damn this film is pretty. It is shot well, but also the landscapes it takes place in. Set in Georgia (though not sure if shot there), it is the kind of incredible physical world that is not seen on film too often. The locations manage to somehow be green and lush as well as barren at the same time. Even better than just looking amazing, the scenery plays a role in the action as well, influencing the characters as they travel along. The scenery is also thematically important. The Loneliest Planet is a film about the cycles of sullying and cleansing that we undertake throughout the course of our life. So shots of water – bubbling brooks, raging currents and industrial blasts of it – all comment on the action and status of the narrative.
2. That one, achingly elongated shot.
There is one shot in the film that not only encapsulates everything I love about the film (and probably what many others hate) but also I think says a lot about the film as a whole. It is a wide shot, of the three main characters traversing along the side of a green hill. The camera is stationary and lingers, unmoving for around two minutes as these small, almost insignificant figures make their way. When you think about it, two minutes is a long time in film terms. I think this shot is symptomatic of the whole film in that the film is a reflection of life. Shit happens in real time. Sometimes that is boring, sometimes beautiful and sometimes ugly. This single shot makes for an interesting viewing experience, and will probably tell you if you are going to love or hate the film.
3. How it totally hinges on a single moment.
There is a single moment in this film that changes the entire complexion of the film and the relationships of those in it. The moment (which I won’t spoil) comes from nowhere in a single jolt. The moment forces one character to act instinctively in a way that will affect them no end. Have you ever done something in a split second and realised it was incredibly wrong? And no matter how much you want to, you can’t take that moment back. The film captures that perfectly. What’s more, everything that follows in the film harks back to that one moment and the attempting to not erase it (because that is impossible) but to move past it and gain a redemption of some sorts. The film doesn’t give any easy answers in that regard.
4. The performance of Hani Furstenberg
The three central performances in the film – from Hani Furstenberg, Gael Garcia Bernal and Bidzina Gujabidze – are all really good. But it is Furstenberg (someone who was previously unknown to me) who really shines. She plays Nica, a woman who has a genuine lust for life and approaches it in a playful manner. Adventurous and tough, she is strident in her determination. Also, without reverting to histrionics or tracts of expository dialogue, Furstenberg manages to take the audience on Nica’s emotional journey that is in many ways the heart of the film. There is a moment where Nica falls into a freezing river and it is the high point of Furstenberg’s performance. She physically transforms, showing the audience the torment her body is in whilst all the while maintaining the very specific mental state that her character is currently in.
5. It is a (rewarding) challenge
Some films that are a challenge to watch give the audience no reward. You merely have to slog through the film and survive it. But The Loneliest Planet gets the balance right, and at least in my case, rewarded me for my persistence. And the film is a challenge. There are stretches of dialogue with no subtitles, it is slow at times and there are occasions when the film is raw and confronting. The pace and lack of plot also means that you really have to work to stay in the world of the film. But there is a lot of joy to be found in the film from picking up the nuance and contrast that populates it. Not all of life is easy, so not all of film should be either.
Five things I hate about The Loneliest Planet by Chris Smith
1. It’s Boring. This is the worst thing a movie can be.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against movies that are deliberately paced for effect. Gus Van Sant’s masterpiece Elephant benefits enormously from the hour or so build up where we follow characters walking and talking around the corridors of their school with nothing much happening. The difference is that in Elephant we come to care about the characters and something actually happens, in The Loneliest Planet the uninteresting characters wander around for an hour until an event happens which some critics have interpreted as “earth shattering” but I found to be equally as uninteresting as the characters.
2. We already have one Werner Herzog, and he is awesome. We don’t need pretenders.
A good deal of director Julia Loktev’s visual style seems to consist of (admittedly) gorgeous shots of the Georgian landscape set to strong orchestral music, essentially the same visual style Werner Herzog has been employing in his films since as far back as Aguirre: The Wrath Of God (1972). When he does it, it has the effect of penetrating the viewer’s very soul, here it feels empty and pads out an already excessive running time.
3. 113 Minutes.
113 minutes is the film’s running time. A movie with so little plot (that is actually narrative cinema) cannot sustain a 113 minute running time. Ten minutes in and I was already checking my watch. I’ve used this analogy before, but the extended version of Sergio Leone’s final masterpiece Once Upon A Time In America (1984) clocks in at 229 minutes and uses some of the same meditative and slow moving techniques as The Loneliest Planet, but does it so, so, so much better. After watching something like that, I could easily go back to the start and bask in its glory for another four hours, after 113 minutes of The Loneliest Planet, I wondered if I could ever make it through a feature film again (not really, but you get what I mean).
4. Characters We Don’t Care About.
It’s important to distinguish between characters we don’t care about and characters we don’t like. I don’t mind watching the rare movie or television show that has at its core characters that aren’t likeable (Tony Soprano for instance), in fact they make for fascinating viewing, but regardless of whether or not I like them, I still care enough to keep watching them. The characters in this film are so uninteresting though. They walk and talk, walk and talk and don’t say or do anything remotely interesting. When the “shocking” event does come and changes their dynamics entirely I found myself not caring about them in the slightest, and next to boring that might be the second worst sin a movie can commit.
5. It’s vulgar.
I’m no prude, well at least I don’t think I am, but having the camera linger on Nica (Hani Furstenberg) while she’s throwing up or relieving herself is just downright tasteless. I know it’s in the film’s style to have long takes that focus on the mundane, but come on, the Movie God’s created the cutaway for a reason, and I personally have no interest in seeing that kind of thing, but hey, each to their own.
Chris Smith is a Melbourne based freelance writer who is passionate about film, books and music. His work is often featured on Film Blerg and various other places.
A Fortnight of Terror Guest Post: The Pumpkinhead Series
This guest post of awesomeness comes from everyone’s favourite elusive blogging figure, The IPC. Some say he refuses to visit Australia because there are not enough animals that can kill you here. Some say that Mrs The IPC and Daniel Day-Lewis have never been seen in the same room at the same time. Some say that he considers Billy Bob Thornton’s performance in Sling Blade to be “tepid”. All I know is that he drinks moonshine for breakfast and literally put his head inside a pumpkin to bring us this killer post. And for that, I am exceptionally grateful.
There’s a back-story to this movie that I’ve always found funny which I am going to share and hopefully you appreciate it. I’ve whined before about being an only child and sitting around moping and being depressed and such, but I did have one friend I more or less grew up with (even though I only saw him once a week or so). Anyway, we spent a lot of time at the movies as kids and by 1988 we were into our teens and going in separate directions in our lives. I was running off to chase chicks and drink beer and he was pursuing higher education. Anyway, this was the last movie we ever saw together and to this day, when and if we talk, we still argue over whether or not it was any good. I’ve always claimed I liked it and he thought it was total crap.
This movie stars Lance Henrickson, who is one of my favorites, as a hillbilly farmer type who runs a general store in the middle of nowhere with his heavily bespectacled kid. One day some punks from the big city roll into town and accidentally run over the child so Henrickson gets a witch to call up the monstrous Pumpkinhead and avenge his death. Blah, blah, blah kids get killed and Henrickson grows a conscience and eventually almost everyone’s dead. It’s your typical monster story with Monster Man Stan Winston directing and there’s really nothing too remarkable about it (think 80s hairdos, outfits and music).
Verdict: Stubby of Reschs
But it’s a fuckin’ masterpiece compared to:
Pumpkinhead 2: Blood Wings (1994)
WHAT IN THE WORLD WAS THIS??? Did anyone even read the script??? This was TERRIBLE. At one point the sheriff and the CSI lady go into some barn / post office where some bald, fat guy was murdered. Well wait, this is how it went. The night before, fat guy is bopping some blond. After he – uh – is finished he sends her out to the truck for some more beer. As he is pulling up his drawers, Pumpkinhead roars in and rips him to pieces. The next morning (somehow) the sheriff and the CSI lady get news that he’s been killed so they’re at the crime scene investigating when the blond comes running and screaming out of a closet. Being the badasses they are, the CSI lady pulls a syringe out of bucket and tranquilizes her. “What’s happened here?? What’s happened here??” Talk-screams the sheriff. “Can’t you see??” CSI lady responds. “She’s in a fright induced coma.” *CUE CLOSE-UP OF BLOND’S FACE* “It’s one step away from being…. scared to death.”
In the first one, Pumpkinhead was a malevolent demon thing hatched from the pumpkin patch. This time he’s something like the mutated monster of some deformed kid killed 40 years ago. And the monster goes around drawing “red wings” in blood on the walls of his victims… because the group of kids that killed him were in a clique at the local high school called “The Red Wings”…. but he would never have ever EVER known that since he was a deformed kid living in some run down dump eating slop out of a bowl like a dog. Oh, and Punky Brewster is in this.
I know I run the SHITFEST but I always do try and find some sort of merit in the things I watch but there’s not much to go on here. I suppose the practical creature effects were decent enough but the rest of this movie is awfully laughable.
Verdict: Schooner of Carlton Draught
Pumpkinhead: Ashes To Ashes (2006)
No matter how bad Number 2 was, this was measurably worse. I have to be honest and admit that, in order to get this done on time, I had to watch some sort of Nordic version of this on YouTube with Nordic subtitles and terrible English voiceovers (Christ you should search it out just to hear the treatment they give Doug Bradley’s voice). I also think this version is cropped for length. Either that or this is some of the shittiest editing I have ever seen. Either way, this is an awful movie and I’m not looking forward to number 4.
This time around,
Pinhead Doug Bradley runs a funeral home, harvests live human organs to sell and dumps the bodies out in the swamp. Lance Henrickson (from the first) shows up as a ghost and a blond lady summons Pumpkinhead after Bradley “butchers her baby”. I could have missed something if this was cropped for run time but she didn’t seem to care about her missing baby until she sees its corpse. Huh? BLAH BLAH BLAH Pumpkinhead kills a bunch of redneck assholes… this movie was totally stupid. Oh yeah, there’s some pretty hilarious looking 2006 CGI in this too.
Verdict: Schooner of Tooheys New
Pumpkinhead: Blood Feud (2007)
BY GOD THIS WAS BAD. Filmed in Romania – using Romanian actors trying to pull off a deep south, American accent – boy – yeah, I uh,…. not good. I mean – it’s laugh out loud quality. And, Jeez, the acting is just pitiful. This was gory though – probably more bloody than all of the others put together but it was just awful. Thinking about it, the script could probably be done right – or better – if there was some money behind it but this end product is pitiful
In America there is an old folk story about two groups of families who have a “blood feud” for dozens of decades – the Hatfields and the McCoys. For some reason this version of Pumkinhead finds us dealing with those two families in modern day America. One of the Hatfields (I think) is in love with the McCoy daughter (a good looking English actress who really has a lot of trouble filtering out her accent). One night they are out by the wishing well making out when her McCoy brothers come out and accidentally kill the Hatfield sister. So, the Hatfield boy sets Pumpkinhead on them since nothing says I love you more than having a demon kill your entire family.
Verdict: Schooner of Carlton Draught
Well – that’s over with. Aside from the first one this franchise is pretty bad. It’s OK if you have nothing else too do but -…. THANKS TIM for having me over again!! These weren’t great movies but this was good fun!
Thanks so much to Mr Pictures Conclusions for taking part. Please head on over to Isaacs Picture Conclusions and get involved with some of the fantastic stuff he has going on over there.
Over this fortnight, you have the chance to win an as yet unconfirmed (but definitely choice) prize courtesy of Madman Entertainment, so be sure to get liking and commenting to go into the draw