'A Nightmare on Elm Street' (2010)

I want to be completely fair, so I'm going to pretend that I wasn't alive in 1984 and that I didn't see a certain influential horror movie that clawed its way into my brain and still plagues my subconscious. I'm going to pretend that sudden LOUD noises scare me instead of annoying me. And I'm going to pretend that I'm perfectly fine with the tiresome trend to remake movies with the sole intention of capitalizing on someone else's original ideas.

Full disclosure: That's harsher than I intend. I actually liked Samuel Bayer's new version of A Nightmare on Elm Street as I was watching it. Like the other remakes of modern horror classics perpetrated by production company Platinum Dunes, including 2003's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and last year's Friday the 13th, the latest Nightmare doesn't skimp on bloody, gruesome violence and is peppered with plenty of profanity, along with wisecracks to deflate the tension. It honors the spirit of the original by faithfully recreating several memorable set-pieces. It delivers, in other words, the most basic desires of horror fans, introduces young audiences to a classic character, and wrings a few changes of its own.

And if A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) fails to erase Wes Craven's original (1984) from the memory banks of all who've seen it, maybe that's because Craven created an unsettling picture that tapped into universal fears. The new version labors, initially, to establish its own unique take on the atmosphere, mood, and premise.