This is our official script review written by Foo of Horrormoviefans.com. THIS CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS! You have been warned.
A Nightmare on Elm Street Script Review - Melodrama and Mystery Abound
When reading the script, the first thing that came to mind is how shallow and stereotypical the characters are. In the original film, the characters were basically meant to be regular kids, while in the remake they are more differentiated by the type of person they are. The characters are more of a smack in the face, rather than the subtle nuance in the original.
There are many references that set the film firmly in the present, such as kids playing Guitar Hero, Ipods, Podcasts, Google, a webcam death, bloggers, the "Dream World" mapped out on a computer and printed out, etc. It pretty much stinks of someone who is out of touch trying to make the movie relevant to today's youth by putting in references they don't realize are already dated.
To give a plot summary, it is probably easiest to compare and contrast it to the original film. Let's begin with the similarities. The Rod and Tina relationship in the original is pretty much echoed in the remake script by Kris and Jesse. Kris dies in essentially the same manner as Tina did in the original, while Jesse's death is a slashing in his jail cell, rather than a hanging. The bathtub scene with Freddy's glove emerging from the water is also retained.
As far as the differences, they are plentiful. First off, Nancy is made into a goth loner in the remake script, as compared to the regular girl with a boyfriend in the original. Her love interest in the script is a podcaster who she is mildly obsessed with.
The huge difference in the script is that much of the film revolves around Nancy and Quentin attempting to unravel the mystery of who Freddy is, why he is after them, and how they can stop him. In the original, these things were quickly revealed by Nancy's mother. In the script, they must go on an adventure to different locations, use the internet, and take great leaps in logic to find out this information.
The mystery element of the script really bogs the story down. The script attempts to take the audience on a ride that intially paints Freddy as a victim, but it is ultimately revealed that he is just as evil as he was in the original series. The real issue with this concept is that it defies all logic. For instance, multiple children forget they were molested in elementary school, even after being reminded of the events. They also jump to crazy conclusions that they will relieve themselves of Freddy haunting their dreams by burning the audio tapes of their testimony (that they somehow forgot happened). They would have been much better off just cutting to the chase and acknowledging Freddy as a child molester when they discover who it is.
There are quite a few jump scares and red herrings in the script, presumably to keep the horror tone while Nancy and Quentin are playing cold case detectives. A couple of deaths were clearly added to up the body count. The kill that kicks off the movie has a certain Suspiria quality to it, with a character getting killed and then dropped through a glass ceiling. A webcam death also stinks of being tacked on to keep the movie from dragging while Nancy plays Nancy Drew.
Well Freddy fans, if you are in the camp that wanted to revert to a darker, more serious Freddy, based on the script to the new Nightmare on Elm Street movie, that is exactly what you are going to get. Not only are the puns gone that ruined parts 5 and 6 of the original series, but so is the dark humor that most fans loved in the original film and Dream Warriors. In fact, the script is completely humorless and flat. Freddy remains a mystery for much of the film, as he is very slowly revealed. He is not seen in good light until better than halfway through the script. In the script, it is mentioned on a couple of occassions that you can see some of Freddy's bones due to him being so badly charred. Freddy is still killed by the parents, but it is made accidental as they were attempting to "Smoke him out" of a tool shed when it caught on fire due to the gas and such inside. I am not sure about the logic behind throwing a molotav cocktail into a shed to simply smoke him out, however.
The ending has some elements of the original, as Nancy ultimately determines that she needs to bring Freddy into the real world to kill him. While Nancy is looking for Freddy in the Dream World, Freddy gets to Quentin. He dumps a jar of poisonous spiders Quentin, with Freddy reminding Quentin that he feared spiders as a child (this part seemed like a real stretch as it was the only time Freddy attempted to use someone's fear against them). After a struggle with Freddy in the Dream World, Nancy's this led to a chase in the original film, in the remake, Nancy beats the shit out of Freddy with a shovel before stabbing him with his own glove. Freddy then falls into a furnace and sets himself on fire. The sudden turn of Nancy from a frail goth chick to one-liner spouting bad-ass at the ending is rather cheesy and out of character. The script ends with an open ending for a sequel.
Just a couple quick notes that people might be interested in. Crystal Lake is referenced in the script as a place where kids often went to summer camp. There is also a scene where Freddy uses a customized pitchfork to harass Nancy, which would indicate that his glove was not his only torture device.
Ultimately, the whole film's effectiveness is gonna come down to how well they establish the tone, because there is nothing special on paper. I was very disappointed that much of the script centered on a red herring plot. I would rather they were just straight-forward and got that aspect of the story over with, instead of dragging it out. Everyone knows they could not make Freddy into some wrongly accused vigilante. I also thought all the references to modern technology were rather forced, and a desperate attempt to update a film that didn't really need updating.
Here are the breakdowns on the teens, and their deaths:
Nancy - "Petite, approaching Goth" and somewhat anti-social.
Kris - Anchors the first act of the story. Her turbulent relationship with Jesse is made into a plot point. She begins the investigation into Freddy. She is killed by having her bloodied body levitating from the bed, and then slammed into the ceiling.
Jesse - Kris' boyfriend, "wild haired, coiled, anxious". He is implicated in the murder of Kris, goes to jail, and is killed by Freddy while in jail. The death was done in a manner to frame his cellmate.
Dean - "Clean and Preppy", Guitar Hero guru. His death is the obligatory "Quick death before credits to get the audience interested" variety. It has a certain Suspiria vibe with him crashing down through a glass ceiling into a room full of teens.
Marcus - Blogger who is tormented by Freddy. He makes a map of the Dream World that Nancy and Quentin print out and use (yeah, I know how bad that sounds).