Tag Archives: Jackie Earle Haley

A Nightmare on Elm Street

When a teen boy kills himself late one night inside an all night diner, in front of his girlfriend, after having not slept for days, no one knows it yet but Freddy Kruger has just made a comeback.

At the teen’s funeral his girlfriend Kris falls asleep and encounters herself as a child standing in front of the grave. When she’s snapped awake she notices a photo of her and Dean, her boyfriend  from when they were five, which is odd because she is sure the two of them had only met in high school. Kris is positive that something strange is going on but no one seems to want to talk about it. No one except for Nancy, a waitress at the diner who also witnessed the apparent suicide.

After Kris’s mother is called away on a flight, her ex Jesse climbs into her bedroom window to see how she’s coping. Frightened by recent dreams, Kris asks Jesse to spend the night with her. Kris is afraid she is having the same dreams that Dean was having, dreams so terrifying that they caused him to kill himself. Only, Kris isn’t convinced these are ordinary dreams since Dean kept repeating “You’re not real” over and over again just before slicing his throat open. Kris thinks something in his dream caused Dean to kill himself and is worried the same thing could happen to her. Her fears prove to be correct when she encounters a burned man with a bladed glove who tortures and murders her in her sleep, causing her to die for real.

Jesse wakes up in time to witness Kris’s horrific death and decides he’s not sticking around. He knows what it looks like and that no one would believe that Kris was killed in her sleep. No one, except of course Nancy. Jesse warns Nancy that something strange is going on and that whatever she does, she mustn’t fall asleep. He then takes off only to be apprehended by the police. Once inside a cell, try as hard as he might Jesse just can’t stay awake any longer and is confronted by the burned man with the glove who proceeds to kill him too.

Nancy realizes something strange is going on and she and her friend Quentin know they need to figure it out soon or they’ll be the next to die. After doing some digging the two find photographs of the kids from when they were five. Everyone is in the photo including Kris, Jesse, Dean and several other kids. When they confront Nancy’s mother they learn the awful truth, or at least part of it. Nancy’s mother confirms that all the kids had known each other when they were little since they all went to the same preschool. She tells them of a man named Fred Kruger who worked as a gardener at the preschool who had been accused of molesting the children. She tells Quentin and Nancy that Fred had taken off before he could be arrested and that the parents decided not to tell the kids what had happened so that they wouldn’t have to remember such horrible events in their childhood.

While trying to track down the other kids in the photo Nancy learns that every one of them had died horribly in their sleep. When the two confront Quentin’s father, the high school principal he reluctantly fills them in on the gory details. Turns out Kruger hadn’t escaped after all. In fact all the parents had decided to take the law into their own hands and burned Kruger alive, even though they weren’t sure whether or not he was really guilty. Quentin fears that Kruger has somehow found a way to enter the kids dreams to kill them in retaliation for causing his death for a crime he was innocent of.

Nancy and Quentin feel Freddy drawing them to the old preschool and the truth. Now all they have to do as stay awake, and alive, long enough to find it.

Well, at least we now know how to actually kill Freddy. Just stick him an an awful remake. For a movie about a guy who kills you in your sleep I had a hell of a time keeping my eyes open.

I wanted to like this version of A Nightmare on Elm Street, really I did, especially as it stars Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy. I absolutely loved Haley as Rorschach in Watchmen and he was actually not a bad Freddy… He just wasn’t all that scary either.

Maybe I’m getting stubborn in my old age of 35 but to me Robert Englund will always be Freddy Kruger. Apparently during this reboot of Elm Street they wanted to make Freddy more frightening by taking away his personality. Freddy without his one liners and innuendos just isn’t Freddy. Sure, some of the quips are still there but lets face it, it’s not like Freddy gets a whole lot of screen time in this one.

This version seems to be more about the kids and let’s face it, there isn’t a Johnny Depp in the bunch. Depp, as many will recall, got his big break by being slaughtered by Freddy. While the kids are alright you really just don’t end up getting emotionally invested in them and ultimately don’t really give a shit when they die. Heck, even their deaths aren’t all that interesting.

Oh and one final note. If you really want to kill Freddy, here’s a hint… DON’T. Freddy is only powerful in the dream world and only has access to the dream world when he’s dead. That means every time you ‘kill’ him, he’s just gonna keep coming back. If you want to stop Freddy, pull him out of the dream world into the real world and keep him alive. Have him tossed into an asylum in a nice comfy padded cell and pump him so full of Thorazine that he can’t even remember his own name. Freddy’ll have a pretty hard time killing kids in their dreams while he’s laying in a puddle of his own drool. Nightmare over.

A Nightmare on Elm Street stars Jackie Earle Haley, Kyle Gallner, Rooney Mara, Katie Cassidy, Thomas Dekker, Kellan Lutz and Clancy Brown and is currently playing in theaters.

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Shutter Island

Set in 1954, US marshal Teddy Daniels and his new partner Chuck Alue are headed to Shutter Island, insane asylum and home of America’s most dangerous and mentally disturbed criminals.

The two marshals have been called to the island after the escape of a patient, Rachel Solando, who had been convicted of murdering her three children by drowning them in the lake behind her house. There seems to be no way that the woman could have escaped since not one person had noticed her leave her cell and even if she had escaped she had apparently done it without even wearing shoes. No one believes that she has left the island considering the only way on and off the island is a ferry that only travels back and forth to the mainland twice a day. Teddy discovers a clue however when he finds a note hidden in Rachel’s cell stating ‘the rule of 4’ and ‘who is 67’.

As the investigation continues the two marshals gradually notice just how strange everyone on the island is acting, right down to the guards and even the doctors themselves. It’s obvious the inmates have been coached as to what to say since every one of them keeps saying the same thing as each other. All that is except for one female inmate who scrawls a cryptic message in Teddy’s notebook, ‘run’. Teddy begins to grow suspicious and suspects a cover up, at the very least there is a secret being hidden on Shutter Island and Teddy thinks he knows exactly what that is.

Teddy believes that the inmates on Shutter Island are being used as lab rats in experiments involving mind control. Using a tip from a Shutter Island survivor, Teddy is determined to prove that not everything is as it appears to be and that those running the asylum are even more dangerous than those imprisoned inside. Teddy better watch his back though because it looks like the doctors are on to him and will do anything to cover their tracks, even going as far as trying to make Teddy believe he’s insane.

Here there be spoilers:

Shutter Island is an alright movie, I did enjoy it. There really is only one problem, I had it pretty much figured out in about an hour. You see, the premise of Shutter Island isn’t exactly new. In fact if you happen to be a geek (like me) you have probably already seen this exact same scenario on such shows as Star Trek: The Next Generation, Frame of Mind (where aliens try to convince Riker he’s an asylum inmate and not commander of the USS Enterprise) or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Normal Again (where The Trio use demon venom to try to convince Buffy she is a patient in an asylum and not a vampire slayer) or Smallville, Labyrinth (where an escapee from the Phantom Zone tries to convince Clark he’s a patient in an asylum and not an alien from Krypton) or Charmed, Brain Drain (where The Source kidnaps Piper and tries to convince her she is an inmate at an asylum and not a witch)… I think you get the idea.

In fact the only real twist in Shutter Island is that Teddy Daniels actually is a patient in an asylum and not a US marshal, well at least not since he killed his wife for murdering their three children. Turns out Teddy is actually Andrew Laeddis, the man who he had blamed for killing his wife in a fire. The grief of losing his children combined with the guilt of killing his wife caused Andrew to break with reality and everyone on Shutter Island was involved in an elaborate role play in hopes of playing out his delusion and bringing him back to reality. I guess you could say the real plot twist in Shutter Island is that there isn’t actually any conspiracy at all.

As I said, Shutter Island is a good movie, the acting is great and there are a couple of nice cameos by the likes of Jackie Earle Haley and Elias Koteas but if you’ve ever encountered one of these plot devices in the past you’re not going to have a hard time figuring it out here.

Shutter Island is directed by Martin Scorsese and stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, Emily Mortimer, Max von Sydow, Jackie Earle Haley, Ted Levine, John Carroll Lynch, Elias Koteas and Patricia Clarkson.

Shutter Island is slated for DVD and Blue-ray release on June 8th 2010.

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