I could do without the slow-motion sweater-reveal. And it's genuinely difficult to discern who is playing whom unless you have intimate knowledge of the first picture. Kyle Gallner has been doing solid work in everything from Veronica Mars to The Haunting In Connecticut, so his appearance bodes well for improving upon the somewhat wretched teen acting in the original. And while I admire Platinum Dunes' willingness to go a completely different route with Freddy's makeup (freeze-frame at 1:55), the new makeup just isn't very frightening. Frankly, Krueger looks creepier in both Freddy's Revenge and Wes Craven's New Nightmare. While everyone seems to be trying harder than the gang behind Friday the 13th (and I rather liked the Amityville Horror remake as well as the two Texas Chainsaw Massacre redos), this feels like a fancier redo of something that held up pretty well in the first place.
Well, that's a little underwhelming. What's most apparent is that, aside from a few flourishes (the opening scene of Fred Krueger being burned to death, a pool-party scene that may or may not be cribbed from Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge), this is looking like something resembling a beat-for-beat remake. Frankly, if that's the route they go, it feels like a missed opportunity. Seeing Jackie Earl Haley and Clancy Brown right off the bat is a hopeful sign. Connie Britton of Friday Night Lights also lends gravitas at the adults table. Of course, if we are to believe Fred's dying declaration of innocence then the film may in fact be playing with a wholly different set of cards than the original.