Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 25
  2. Negative: 10 out of 25
  1. It's not every day that one of our rogues' gallery of iconic psycho killers gets to be played by a creepy and fascinating actor -- in this case, Jackie Earle Haley taking on the role of Freddy Krueger.
  2. By today's standards, it is only medium-bloody, though it's more than usually grim, its young protagonists sullen enough to qualify for the "Twilight" movies. Yet it affords precious little sadistic pleasure, partly because it "dares" to lay out more directly the pedophiliac demons plaguing Freddy the serial killer.
  3. 50
    Freddy simply isn't as scary as he used to be, even though Jackie Earle Haley, taking over from Robert Englund in the role, plays Krueger essentially straight, keeping the one-liners to a minimum.
  4. So any "Nightmare" movie has a built-in handicap going in, but the better ones find ways to compensate, by casting appealing young actors (they're always young), by having imaginative dream sequences and - most important of all - by keeping the dreams short. By that standard, this new "Nightmare" is a fairly decent effort.
  5. 50
    The energy is missing in the remake because the techniques, which are replicated in a straightforward fashion, are stale.
  6. The ninth film in the franchise is competent enough but it won’t freeze the heart or fire the imagination.
  7. 50
    Jackie Earle Haley, the fans' choice to take on the role of Freddy Krueger in the remake of the 1984 boogeyman blockbuster A Nightmare on Elm Street proves stunningly, rousingly…adequate…for the job.
  8. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    This "Nightmare" is mostly stale goods. You'd think Bayer's music video background would jibe well with the playful surreality of Craven's premise. But when not paying homage -- the claw in the bathtub, the morphing wall -- Bayer surprisingly traffics in factory-level horror atmospherics and loud, saw-it-coming shocks.
  9. 50
    It’s moderately entertaining and instantly forgettable. Poor Freddy. I can’t help thinking he deserves better.
  10. 42
    Somewhere, Wes Craven is laughing up his sleeve, and Robert Englund is grinning. It's nice to know that you're irreplaceable.
  11. 40
    It was boring. So, so, so boring. It doesn’t even give Haley the courtesy of a bad-guy showcase; his face frozen and obscured behind burn prosthetics, he spends most of his time spitting distorted one-liners from the shadows, like some anonymous mob witness on an episode of Dateline NBC. It’s boring and a waste.
  12. Call it what you want, but the best word to describe it is: unnecessary.
  13. Less a nightmare than a case of bad indigestion, this ’80s horror reboot is a primer in the humorless recycling of potent pop culture.
  14. The basic feeling you get out of this version is ‘been there-done that.’
  15. 38
    It's the Bay touch you feel in the way actors register as body count, characters go undeveloped, and sensation trumps feeling. A nightmare, indeed.
  16. The back-to-the-beginning approach unimaginatively goes through the motions, offering scant justification for its boring existence, at least from an artistic point of view.
  17. 30
    For all the filmmakers' talk about reinvigorating the franchise for a new generation, and all their attention to technical details, this is a sloppily conceived remake with no passion for the genre or this story behind it, a movie that assumes its audience is brain-dead and likes it that way.
  18. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    While the 1984 film has aged, its now-familiar jolts still pack more punch than this pic's recycled ones, which sometimes register so tepidly as to cause snickers.
  19. 25
    I stared at A Nightmare on Elm Street with weary resignation. The movie consists of a series of teenagers who are introduced, haunted by nightmares and then slashed to death by Freddy. So what? Are we supposed to be scared?
  20. 25
    Though Freddy is basically the same guy as in the 1984 original, his back story is different. For a few minutes the movie threatens to become interesting -- then retreats.
  21. 25
    Director Samuel Bayer, a veteran commercial and music video director responsible for Nirvana’s “Smell Like Teen Spirit Video” back when the original Nightmare series was still a going concern, brings a slick visual sense but not a hint of vision.
  22. Don't blame Haley, though. Wesley Strick and Eric Heisserer's screenplay goes in the wrong direction entirely, dropping Freddy's sick sense of humor while turning him into a generic bogeyman.
  23. 20
    Using blasts of shrill, high-decibel noise in place of actual scares has become a common horror-movie tactic, the cinematic equivalent of botox, silicone, and penile-enhancement surgery. Producer Michael Bay and director Samuel Bayer deploy the tactic so regularly in this remake of Wes Craven's 1984 classic that after a while I just plugged my ears.
  24. Reviewed by: Jen Chaney
    Good ol' Fred loses any sense of playful shock he once possessed and turns into a generic figure meticulously manufactured to simultaneously gross and freak us out. It doesn't work.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 183 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 84
  2. Negative: 31 out of 84
  1. Sep 25, 2011
    A remake horror movie that's worst than "Friday the 13th" (Remake version). It sure did give me 'nightmares'.
  2. Aug 5, 2011
    I don't know why this movie gets a lot of negativity. There was nothing wrong with it except that there were a lot of jump scare scenes. The acting was actually good but I prefer the one playing Kris to be Nancy. The humour was better than the original with those epic one liners like Jesse: Oh my God! Freddy: No just me. The visuals were impressive which I expect because Michael Bay is involved in this one. The origin of Freddy was very well explained too. Don't listen to the critics and those who say that this lacks humour or it's way too serious because you know your watching a horror not a comedy right. Full Review »
  3. Oct 22, 2010
    This movie pales in comparison to the original and why? This remake ruins Freddie Kruger. In the original he was a killer who invaded people dreams to murder them and despite still doing that in this movie it just doesn't have the same effect. Freddie, in the original, had a sick sense of humor and was even able to turn his kills into entertainment via the ability to shape shift and do anything he wanted within his victims dreams but in this villain Freddie is simply a stereotypical slasher. This movie has ruined a once credible character. Full Review »