I’m glad to announce that my IndieGoGo fundraising campaign for “Nicky” is now live! The above video contains an introduction by co-writer/producer, Ken Flott, and an exclusive ‘teaser’ that he and I created for the film!
Below, we’ll lay out the list of rewards that we’re offering for every level of contribution. We’re also planning to donate 10% of all funds raised to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN).
If you like what you see, please head on over HERE to find out more information, consider making a donation, or just pass along the word! Every little bit helps! Thank you so much in advance!
Rewards & Incentives
Our present!: $10
Thank you in credits & a personalized thank you postcard from Ken Flott (co-writer/producer) & Dom Portalla (co-writer/director)
Our past!: $20
A special edition DVD copy of our 2nd feature film “The Darkness Within” + all of the above.
A limited edition 13×19 poster of the film + all of the above.
A special edition DVD copy of the film upon it’s release (post festival run) + all of the above.
See it first!: $100
A link to a private streaming copy of the film before it’s release + all of the above
An invitation +1 to the investor theatrical screening of the film before it’s release (travel & accommodations not provided) + all of the above.
Walk-on role!: $250
A featured walk-on role (travel & accommodations not provided) + all of the above.
You’re a producer!: $500
An executive producer credit in the film (end credits & IMDB) + all of the above.
I give a shit about the Oscars.
I really do. Even though I know I shouldn’t.
I know there’s a ton of pretentious Hollywood jack-off’s who get a big kick out of all the self-adulation and insider back-slapping. I know it gets political and what should be brief, humble acceptance speeches turn into seven minute long, self-serving diatribes. I know that the fashion element gets paraded as the centerpiece of a show that was designed to be a celebration of film. And I know that ultimately the winners of the awards don’t necessarily reflect the real achievements made that particular year.
I know, I know. I don’t need you to keep fucking telling me.
The bottom line though is this: I’m a hardcore movie-geek and The Academy Awards are still the highest honor that can be paid to the artform. And I say “artform” because I truly believe that filmmaking at it’s purest is just that (no matter how much cynical, conveyor-belt bullshit the machine decides to spit out at us every year).
So with that, I take a vested interest and tune in. Good, bad or ugly, I sit back and watch the shenanigans go down. 2010 in particular has been an exceptional year at the movies and overall, I’m pretty pleased with the nods that were given out. Most of these cats are people I’d like to see recognized for their contribution to the conversation that is film. But on any given Sunday in February, someone’s gonna win and someone’s gonna lose. The point is, can you win or lose like a man?
So here are my picks for Oscar Bowl 2011.
(Please make the distinction, these are my picks - not my predictions.)
THE KING’S SPEECH
THE SOCIAL NETWORK
There’s no way I’m not going with Deakins on this one. Dude is a master of stark images and lush photography. I’d say this was easily one of the best looking films among the Coen’s career - and if you’ve followed said career(’s), you know that’s saying ALOT. In a year of very pretty pictures, this was guy was hands down responsible for the prettiest.
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON
THE KING’S SPEECH
THE SOCIAL NETWORK
I loved the work Atticus and Trent did here. It’s really just that simple. The right modern sensibility coupled with a sort of simplistic melancholy that echoes throughout at all the right moments. You feel the effects of the score without it ever calling too much attention to itself.
THE KING’S SPEECH
THE SOCIAL NETWORK
This one seems like a lock to me because when your film requires a guy to be pinned beneath a rock for the majority of the run-time, you really have to use editing as a weapon. The fact that Danny Boyle is able to tell such a vast story under such minimalist limitations is really a credit to the editing style the flick implements and for that I believe Jon Harris should take it down this year.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Mike Leigh - ANOTHER YEAR
Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson - THE FIGHTER
Christopher Nolan, INCEPTION
Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg - THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
David Seidler, THE KING’S SPEECH
Yeah, it’s got a lot of expository dialogue and I’ve heard all the comparisons to “Dreamscape” (not to mention the Donald Duck comic strip), but c’mon! Are we going to let any of that cloud the fact that Chris Nolan is taking huge amounts of cash from Hollywood and rolling the dice in a big, bad way by actually attempting to (God-forbid) challenge a mass audience? There’s more intelligence and imagination being executed in any random five minutes of this flick than most big-budget, mainstream movies even attempt in their entire run-time. For that alone, the man would have my vote.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy - 127 HOURS
Aaron Sorkin - THE SOCIAL NETWORK
Michael Arndt - TOY STORY 3
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen - TRUE GRIT
Debra Granik and Anne Rosselini - WINTER’S BONE
I personally love dialogue-driven films and this one in particular has got a lot of words (just that verbose opening scene should tip you off to the verbal chessmatch ahead). Aaron Sorkin lends a lot of weight to those words and crafts scenes where the dialogue alone hits like a kick to the throat (“did I adequately answer your condescending question?”). He may have taken some liberties with the reality of Zuckerberg’s motivations behind inventing “The Facebook”, but what counts is that he tells a complex tale of greed and betrayal that has a solid narrative backbone.
BEST ANIMATED FILM
TOY STORY 3
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON
No-brainer. Pixar is one of the safest bets you can make these days when it comes to animation. They have an unprecedented string of four star flicks that perfectly balance adult themes and childlike imagination and never commit the cardinal sin of talking down to kids. The third entry in most trilogies end up notoriously being the worst of the bunch (sup “Back To The Future 3”? Nice haircut, Spidey. Talk to the hand, Ahhhnuld), but in my opinion Toy Story 3 is easily the best entry in the series by being the most funny and poignant. And if the incinerator scene pictured above where the toys all hold hands as the stare down certain doom didn’t get you choked up, then I’m convinced you’re dead from the heart down.
But, seriously though, not even a nod for “Legend of the Guardians”?
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Melissa Leo - THE FIGHTER
Hailee Steinfeld - TRUE GRIT
Helena Bonham Carter - THE KING’S SPEECH
Amy Adams - THE FIGHTER
Jacki Weaver - ANIMAL KINGDOM
Melissa Leo and Amy Adams were insanely great in “The Fighter”, but I defy you to see “True Grit” and not be in awe of the presence of Hailee Steinfeld. Watching her square off and negotiate for her dad’s horse was by far one of my favorite scenes in any film I caught this year. This is a young lady who can handle heavy dialogue and dramatic weight like a champ. Total star-making performance. Hope she gets it.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christian Bale - THE FIGHTER
Geoffrey Rush, THE KING’S SPEECH
Jeremy Renner, THE TOWN
John Hawkes - WINTER’S BONE
Mark Ruffalo, THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
This one’s another no-brainer. If it were up to me, Christian Bale would’ve gotten some Oscar gold ten years ago for the sorely under appreciated “American Psycho”, but I digress. The dude has made a career out of playing intricate, nuanced characters. This time around he swings big with a very over-the-top performance as the real-life “Pride of Lowell” Dicky Eklund. It’s a big performance for sure and one that’s finally gonna get this cat his reservation at Dorsia.
Natalie Portman, BLACK SWAN
Annette Bening, THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
Michelle Williams - BLUE VALENTINE
Nicole Kidman - THE RABBIT HOLE
Jennifer Lawrence - WINTER’S BONE
This one was a really tough call because as amazing as Natalie Portman’s performance was (and as much as I absolutely loved the “REPULSION on twenty hits of ecstasy” that was “Black Swan” ) I’m going with Jennifer Lawrence for playing such an understated badass in “Winter’s Bone”. This is a performance that contains absolutely no vanity and is the type of extremely heavy material that I feel like most Hollywood teenagers would shy away from. Jennifer Lawrence hits it dead-on and makes Ree Dolly one of the most well-drawn characters of the year.
Colin Firth - THE KING’S SPEECH
Jesse Eisenberg - THE SOCIAL NETWORK
James Franco - 127 HOURS
Jeff Bridges - TRUE GRIT
Javier Bardem - BIUTIFUL
I admittedly have not seen “The Kings Speech” yet, which puts the front-runner Mr. Firth out of the running for me (nor have I gotten around to “Biutiful” yet, so I can’t weigh in on Bardem either). Eisenberg was fantastic and The Dude always kills it, but I gotta give it up to James Franco who quite honestly does some work here that I didn’t realize he was capable of. Again, despite the self-imposed limitations of the story I think Franco really nailed down a fully realized three-dimensional character that kept me caring about him all the way through (even though I knew his inevitable fate the whole time). Not an easy task and the man brought his A-game. Good luck, dude.
Darren Aronofsky - BLACK SWAN
David Fincher - THE SOCIAL NETWORK
David O. Russell - THE FIGHTER
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen - TRUE GRIT
Tom Hooper - THE KING’S SPEECH
This is one hell of a list, one of the most deserving I’ve ever seen for this category. But I’m going with the man responsible for taking “The Facebook Movie” and making it a FILM. In a cynical film world where “brands” are looked upon as instant cash cows (so much to the point where I swear that any day now we may see the greenlighting of “Hungry Hungry Hippos: THE MOVIE”) this guy took the daunting task of taking on what could’ve been an absolute disaster project and used that as an opportunity to create a story that actually had something to say.
Plus, let’s be honest here, the dude made “Fight Club”.
THE KING’S SPEECH
THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
THE SOCIAL NETWORK
TOY STORY 3
With the exception of “The King’s Speech” (which I didn’t see) and “The Kids Are All Right” (which I didn’t like), I’d be happy to see any of these snag the award. Personally, “The Social Network” was my favorite flick of the year (with “The Fighter” as a very close 2nd). A depiction of the inception (nice wording, natch!) of one of the most powerful social tools being utilized today coupled with one of the most insane betrayals I’ve seen put to film makes this worthy of catching a Best Picture win. The image of the youngest billionaire in the world refreshing a page as he awaits an approved friend request hits hard and makes the case for the flick’s brilliant tagline.
© Dom Portalla 2011
It only took $11,000, a nice suburban San Diego home and a tried-and-true gimmick to craft last year’s sleeper, “Paranormal Activity” - a clever first person perspective, shaky-cam “home movie” that told a rather effective haunted house story. The inevitable sequel is hitting theaters a year later and unfortunately, it finds a way to fail in all the ways its predecessor succeeded. The story is slower, the characters are dumber and of all things, the demonic entity is even assigned a motive.
In a huge series of missteps, the flick begins months before the events of the first film (which would technically file this entry as a “prequel” in my book) and centers around Katie’s sister, Kristi, who is just returning home from the hospital with her new born, Hunter. Kristi lives in an opulent home with her husband, Dan, and his teenage daughter, Ali. There’s a supposed break-in early on, which prompts the family to install security cameras throughout their house and a slow build of odd occurrences manifests shortly after. When Kristi brings up past episodes, Katie shrugs off the proverbial “things we do not speak of” and warns that even acknowledging them will only encourage more of the same. Everyone tucks their head firmly up their ass and all march blindly toward a conclusion that can only be unpleasant.
There were a lot of things I really admired about the first “Paranormal Activity”. While some would argue the validity of it’s originality (considering that the “Blair Witch Project” pioneered the home-video cam device a decade earlier – and it’s been used to death a hundred times since) what ultimately worked for me was the small scale on which the story was told.
And all of the most effective images basically taking place in a bedroom.
I dug that.
The first problem with “Paranormal Activity 2”, though, is that it immediately tries to open up the scope of the film with its characters. Aside from teenage daughter Ali (who seems to be the only one with any sense at all), we get a slew of poorly drawn clichés - A brooding, worried mother who ignores all of her better judgment; a spiritual, Latino nanny who can miraculously sense and disburse of “the bad spirits” as the plot requires; and a dubious, idiotic father who won’t believe in ghosts until one is chasing him through his basement (cause, ya’ know, guys are apparently always resistant and close-minded when it comes to the existence of a demonic presence). Don’t even get me started on the dog.
That’s the thing; I don’t see the point of expanding the cast if you essentially just want to boil them down to stereotypical archetypes. For a movie that is supposed to be set in reality, no one really seems to behave the way you’d expect them to with these types of strange occurrences happening all around them (why bother to install security cameras in your house when you basically never intend on reviewing the footage?) One of the best things that the original film did was immediately set up the circumstances. Katie has been dealing with some form of haunting all of her life. Micah is skeptical, almost amused by it. They get in touch with a psychic who informs them that whatever is present is not, nor has ever been, human. It’s a demon; not specific to the house or even the town they live in, but something that will follow them wherever they go. There can be no escape. And even as aggravating as the Micah character can get, you at least understand that the reason he’s antagonizing the entity and resisting any form of help is because he’s basically just as scared as Katie and wants to feel some form of control over what’s happening.
The static nature of the security cameras in this new installment only loses the sense of immediacy that most of the original film’s hand-held camera-work brought. I know everyone is sick of the whole shaky-cam-thing at this point; but for me, the few exciting sequences in the flick were ones that put me in the place of the actual characters (Ali peeking into Hunter’s room late in the film springs to mind, as does the one truly terrifying sequence that takes place in the basement). Though derivative of “.REC” and it’s “Quarantine” remake, that’s the stuff that actually had me spooked because I wasn’t sure what the hell I was about to see. Sure beats the hell out of a levitating baby, which actually had the audience I saw the flick with laughing their heads off.
In retrospect, I think the biggest overarching problem that this flick had is that it handcuffed itself to the first movie. If “Paranormal Activity 2” had any chance of working, it needed to move onto a different paranormal entity and a better developed set of characters. Honestly, as much as I dug their performances in the original, there was really no good reason to involve Micah and Katie in this film at all…and that ending is just absurd.
What started as an excellent exercise in effective independent horror filmmaking has spawned an unnecessary and unwelcome sequel. The first flick is a really good, low-budget ghost story; the sequel is a studio-polished cash-grab that we could’ve done without. I wouldn’t totally discourage you from ever seeing it, but unless you’re interested in what Katie’s second cousins twice removed are up to in “Paranormal Activity 3”, you might be better off just re-watching the far superior original.
* * out of * * * * *
-d0m portalla 
My flick “The Darkness Within” is being released on DVD October 30th, 2010.
This is a short run of self-distributed Special Edition DVDs, so we are beginning to pre-sell them directly through our website www.doorelevenproductions.com
The film is a DIY indie effort that’s hit a couple of festivals and been well received by the genre blogs. If you’re a supporter of indie cinema, check us out. It’d be an honor to have our film grace your DVD collection.
If you are interested in ordering, you can do so directly right here
Thank you in advance for supporting independent film!
writer/director of “The Darkness Within”
The 1980’s were a decade that established a very clear template for the beast that is the “Movie Bully”. Be it Ace Merrill (Stand By Me), Heather Chandler (Heathers) or the legendary Biff Tannen (Back To The Future), a certain aesthetic had been laid and cemented for future generations of one-line spewing vermin. But some of the most easily overlooked bullies followed up only a decade later.
These are the top ten bullies from the 90’s.
10. Buzz (Home Alone – 1990)
Aside from the dude actually owning a tarantula (immediate “bully” red flag) and spouting off unwarranted, callous quips just for the hell of it (“I wouldn’t let you sleep in my room if you were growing on my ass”), Buzz ranks among the top bullies of the 90’s by purposefully eating all of the cheese pizza and therefore setting a series of events in motion that will leave his prepubescent brother terrified and alone, left to fend for himself against burglars who want nothing more than to maim and kill him. Nice going, big bro.
9. Joey Donner (10 Things I Hate About You – 1999)
In an effort to try and bang Alex Mack, this guy sets up an elaborate scheme attempting to have Heath Ledger (RIP) date her sister, to whom he is a constant asshole towards (can’t really blame him, Kat herself technically could qualify to be on this list as well). I suppose that’s all well and good, but when you start exuding self-serving, smug arrogance about being an underwear model and sketching dicks on people’s faces, that’s where I draw the line.
8. The O’Doyles (Billy Madison – 1995)
There seems to be a family tradition of hazing and harassment embedded deep in the blood stream of the O’Doyles, which these mean-spirited mutants never miss an opportunity to display. If the ginger’s in question had lived to discover the joys of alcohol it may have literally been the apocalypse. Luckily, Adam Sandler ends up getting the last laugh. O’Doyle Rules!!!
7. Charlie Dillon (School Ties – 1992)
Not only a bully; an Anti-Semite as well. Charlie Dillon makes no bones about the fact that he dislikes that David Green is a Jew. In fact, right up to the final scene, Charlie is still the same bigot he is at the flick’s start (proving not every bully must learn a life lesson). Enjoy your tour at Harvard, prick.
6. Rex Manning (Empire Records – 1995)
The only bully on this list that’s well beyond his adolescent years, one could argue that Rex Manning is really more of a tool than a bully. However, look no further than the autograph signing sequence in the flick where one fan makes the mistake of claiming that he was her “favorite singer in highscool”. Behind his smarmy grin and well measured reaction (“who’s your favorite singer now?”) is a stone-cold, bitter a-hole who in all probability spent his youth pushing kids off of swingsets. Plus, the fact that Liv Tyler throws herself at him hoping for love and instead is asked for a BJ (in so many words) is just flat out mean. Say no more.
5. Nancy Downs (The Craft – 1996)
Oh sure, Nancy’s not so bad at first. A poor young girl from a broken home toying with some Wiccan black magic to try and fit in with her own little clique. But once this chick gets drunk on power, she’s off and running; chucking dudes out of windows and slitting her friends wrists just for kicks. And you thought wedgies were bad.
4. Fred O’Bannion / Shannon Hamilton (Dazed &
Confused – 1993 / Mallrats – 1995)
Though Dazed & Confused was made in the 90’s (but set in the 70’s), I still feel O’Bannion still deserves to make the list. If you object (you dick!) then I can just as easily point you in the direction of Affleck’s other “heavy” character, Shannon Hamilton. One is a dope who can’t pass the twelfth grade and likes to kick the shit out of underclassmen, the other a pompous proprietor of the pretentiously named “Fashionable Male” retail store who has a real problem with anyone with no shopping agenda. What do these two characters have in common? A proclivity to abuse a very uncomfortable place (what, like the back of a Volkswagon?). O’Bannion’s weapon of choice is a hand crafted paddle, Hamiltion’s is….well, you know.
3. Rick Sanford (Angus – 1995)
Before James Van Der Beek was well known as the WB’s poster boy for angst-ridden emotional teenage train wreckage, he was football star and all around douche, Rick Sanford. Rick was a guy so mean that he’d have kicked Dawson’s sorry ass all over that creek and then made his girlfriend date the fat kid in school, just so he and his jock friends could laugh about it afterwards. Rick’s one sole set-back was unwittingly setting himself up for the biggest laugh in the flick when offering Angus his T-shirt but then slyly adding “it might rip on you”, only to have the Sherminator fire back with “that’s cause it’s cheap, like your mother!” You walked right into that one, Rick.
2. Stifler (American Pie – 1999)
Sure, he’s the most liked character in the entire franchise and maybe that scores him some points, but anyone who gives ex lax to a kid whose sole hangup is that he’s deathly afraid of shitting in public restrooms undoubtedly qualifies among bully stature. Steven does get his comeuppance, however, when Finch gives his mom a “stiffmeister” of his own. Payback’s a bitch, eh?
1. Mike Dexter (Can’t Hardly Wait – 1998)
Mike Dexter is to the 90’s what Johnny Lawrence was to the 80’s – the end-all-be-all biggest dickhead that you absolutely loved to hate. The kind of guy who’d beam you in the eye with a raisin just so you couldn’t see the third dimension at a 3-D film festival. The kind of guy who’d self-assuredly proclaim that he’ll “kick everyone’s ass in this room!”. The kind of guy who’d dump Jennifer Love Hewitt on the day of their graduation. Why? Because he CAN. Because he’s Mike-fucking-Dexter. And you know what they say about Mike Dexter, don’t you?
Mike Dexter is a GOD. MIKE DEXTER IS A ROLE MODEL!!!
© Dom Portalla (2010)
Legion of Doom + Getup Kids + Matchbook Romance = Auditory excellence.
Before I attempt to check my biased opinion at the door, allow me to state upfront that I dislike the notion that every classic horror film needs an update. I’m all for a good remake/re-imagining, but I think they should be reserved for films that have not aged well (looking at you “Children of the Corn”). I’ve despised the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, “Halloween” & “Friday the 13th” remakes. None of them seemed to have any awareness of what made the original movies so good and they inject pointless backstory where it is absolutely unwanted and unneeded. I don’t want Leatherface to have a motive (Skin cancer? Please.) Michael Myers was ten times scarier when he was just a sweet looking blonde kid from the suburbs who killed his sister and her boyfriend for no good reason (Oh, his dad’s an alcoholic and his mom’s a stripper now? Nice. Any more cliche’s you wanna throw at us, guys?)
With all that said, we’re talking about “Nightmare on Elm Street” here and I grew up with these movies and believe out of all the 80’s/90’s slasher flicks, these ones were the most imaginative and frightening. The notion of a bogeyman who kills you in your sleep is truly terrifying and it opens the door for a lot of creativity. Jason Vorhees only gets to conduct his murders at a camp (unless he makes the trek to Manhattan or space) but Freddy Krueger operates his death spree’s in your dreams, which can take any form and move in all sorts of random, strange directions. Don’t want to get chopped up with a machete by a pissed off goalie? Skip the trip to Crystal Lake this summer. Afraid you might be stalked by a Shatner-faced lunatic with a proverbial axe to grind? Conduct your trick-or-treating elsewhere of Haddonfield. But no matter what you do or how much coffee you suck down, you will be falling asleep at some point.
Then you’re fucked.
My biggest problem with the film is that is simply is not entertaining when it should be. The concept works and has worked before, (the original was inventive and eerie, the sequels were tongue-in-cheek fun) but the movie gets bogged down with way too many boo-scares and uninteresting characters early on. I am so sick of seeing that same shot of the long hallway where a character stands at the end of it calling out “is anyone there?” only to have a figure quickly pass by the foreground with a quick music strike. It’s manipulative, redundant and audiences are too aware of it now. Oldhat trick. Let’s knock that shit off, Hollywood. You’ve got the money and the know-how, try scaring me with the images instead. The teenagers, who were bubbly kids-next-door types in the 80’s have been turned into mopey, morose cardboard cutouts in this version. I guess it’s supposed to be a reflection of this generation, but there’s only so many times I can see them pout on screen before I stop caring whether or not they make it out of this alive. Why does everyone have to look and behave like glum, vacant rejects from the “Twilight” movies? It’s not engaging and once we start to go through the motions of the paper-thin, setup-and-kill plot, I’m pretty much rooting for Freddy to take these sullen sad-sacks out.
Now lets talk about the bastard son of 100 maniacs for a moment. This is Robert Englund’s signature character. He’s played him in eight films that spanned over two decades. These are tough shoes to fill, but I think Jackie Earle Haley is inspired casting. He played a sympathetic creepshow in “Little Children” and a gravel-voiced vigilante in “Watchmen” (this incarnation of Krueger is almost a merger between both of those characters). I think he’s quite good for what he’s given. One of the updates of the character is that Freddy is no longer a child murderer, but a child molester instead - which does slightly change the game. Englund’s Krueger was a menacing, over-the-top lunatic who loved torturing his victims and then gleefully spouting off a catchy one-liner. Haley’s is a bit more understated and sinister. They’re both monsters, but in a different sense and the fact that this version of Krueger has a pre-existing relationship with the actual children of Springwood (as opposed to just their parents) does put a bit of a unique twist on the story. It’s not necessarily better, just different. And that is one of the few things that this remake brings to the table - an interesting spin on the familiar story. I’ll give it points for that alone.
The micronaps idea is a decent one and I liked the fact that the movie essentially allowed Freddy to pop up at any unexpected moment because one of the characters is basically dozing off. One of the few decent scenes in the film is a very brief, but spooky shot where Nancy is trying to stay awake while sitting in a car and Krueger shows up out of nowhere ripping her out from the passenger seat. It lasts about three seconds, but it was genuinely surprising. But really, does every dream sequence have to ultimately end up in a steam filled, boiler-room/warehouse? Part of what made the original flicks so fun was the fact that we slipped into a dreamlike state where the situations (and kills) could be executed with some imagination. Everything is so straight forward in this version. The fantastical element has been completely drained from practically any scene that isn’t a wink or nod to the original movies (and even though we get a few of those, they mostly just feel photocopied anyways).
So I walked into this flick skeptical, but hopeful. However you cut it, though, this new Nightmare is quite simply a mediocre, lukewarm effort. It is not nearly as bad as the other remakes I mentioned earlier, but even that’s not really saying much. This is paint by numbers, slasher-movie fare. Serviceable, but not very creative, which is a shame because you can sense that the elements were all there but the filmmakers weren’t quite sure how to put them together. While it was fun to see Freddy on the big screen again in a new form, at the end of the day this just ends up another unnecessary trip back to the well. You’ll sleep just fine.
* * 1/2 out of * * * * *
-d0m portalla