It doesnâ€™t top Wes Cravenâ€™s 1984 original---the most inventive of the 1980s-era slasher movies---but at least Freddy Kruegerâ€™s return isnâ€™t completely redundant. For this update, the Freddy backstory has been tweaked to make the character darker and more menacing than the cartoonish wiseass of the original sequels, and Jackie Earle Haley brings sadistic relish---but, thankfully, no ham---to his role as the razor-gloved killer. But while the new Freddy is a nasty piece of work, the movie around him doesnâ€™t quite measure up. The dream sequences lack the giddy imagination that distinguished Cravenâ€™s creation and the young cast members donâ€™t register as much more than interchangeable lambs awaiting slaughter. Still, this Nightmare remake produces just enough scares to justify its existence. â€“Matt Semansky
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