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A Nightmare on Elm Street



hey die in their dream, they will really die. They, along with their pet Great Dane, have to figure out who this man is and why he wants to kill them. Just kidding about the dog.

It's a good concept for a horror movie, allowing as it does for some really terrifying surrealistic dream sequences. Too bad first-time feature director Samuel Bayer doesn't take advantage of it.

Co-written by Wesley Strick ("Doom") and starring a believable gang of mostly young actors, the film had a great opening weekend and a 3-D sequel is already in the works. Hopefully, the inevitable parade of sequels will explain some of the inconsistencies, like why does Freddy wait 13 years before he comes back to take these kids, and why it takes only 10 minutes worth of snooping for a pair of them to uncover Freddy's secrets so long after his death?

Final girl Nancy is played by Rooney Mara ("Youth in Revolt"), and her mom is Connie Britton (TV's "Friday Night Lights"). The other soon-to-possibly-be dead teenagers are Kyle Gallner ("Jennifer's Body"), Katie Cassidy ("Taken"), Thomas Dekker (TV's "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles") and Kellan Lutz ("New Moon"), in a bit that plays like an homage to Craven's "Scream."

I can't get excited by this picture "? not because it's a remake, but because while loud noises and pop-ups may startle me, they don't scare me. Bayer, like most of these rock-video hacks who dream of becoming the next McG, relies on these tricks rather than, like Craven, digging deeply and examining the differences between dream and reality.

This "Nightmare" is all date-movie shallowness, and it's just too easy to wake up. "?Doug Bentin


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