Damnable though it may be, I could go on and give faint praise to the new Nightmare on Elm Street by saying it was better than Platinum Dunes' other reboot and reclamation project down the road at Crystal Lake last year. I could tell you that even though the latest (and deserved) Hollywood golden boy/retread Jackie Earle Hailey is fine as the cursed child-molester turned homicidal sleepy-time deterrent he still can't hold a candle to Robert Englund's take on the same. I could even tell you that the film had some extremely effective bête noire set-pieces -- a favorite being when heroine Nancy (Rooney Mara) flees down a hallway that slowly liquidates underneath her, but ultimately blows its own foot off by being content with recreating several cherry-picked kills and nocturnal-night-terror sequences from the original run that constantly distracts from the narrative and derails the film's momentum to play a bloated lip-service to the fan-base. Yeah, the film had some interesting ideas on the Krueger mythos, and while exploring that virgin area of the sandbox you have a serviceable fright flick that you probably won't hate but one that probably won't crack your top 100 (-- 1000, 10,000?) anytime soon either. But when it ventures into the familiar end of the box be wary of the usual sand-burrs and cat-turds buried therein, especially when they expect you to eat them.
Sure, I could say all of that but what struck me the most during my matinee screening of Nightmare on Elm Street, alone in an otherwise empty theater, was the internal monologue going on inside my head during the climax, when once more our heroine is on the run and takes refuge in a closet. And as our perspective switches from either side of the slated door, a troll in my head keep squealing that Freddy was going to magically appear inside with her, where she thinks she's safe, when the director finally gets tired of milking the moment. Just wait. He's gonna be there. Wait for it. Wait for it ... Frankly, I'm tired of that voice -- let's call him Mr. Pickles -- that has seen way too many of these damned things and likes to calibrate and impatiently predict what most likely will happen next and not just let the damn film happen. And, sure enough, when Freddy popped inside the closet and said boo Mr. Pickles sounded-off triumphant. To which a new voice (and boy, is it get crowded in there) told him to shut the hell up; the rest of us are trying to watch the movie.
Take that, Mr. Pickles!