Who's In It: Jackie Earle Haley, Rooney Mara, Kyle Gallner, Katie Cassidy, Connie Britton
The Basics: Teenagers introduced one by one, they have bad nightmares, they meet Freddy Krueger, they get chased by Freddy Krueger, they get killed in the nightmare, they die in real life. Repeat several times.
What's The Deal: A brilliantly wicked re-imagining of the now-classic monster franchise. Each scene is more frightening, witty, unnerving and compelling than the last until an almost mind-shattering climax of pure horror leaps off the screen and into your lap as you shriek until your lungs bleed. And then you almost die of a heart attack right there in the theater. And then--oh, wait, sorry, that was just the dream I had while I slept through this boring-ass movie. It would have been a longer dream but every two minutes the film would trot out one of those quiet-quiet-quiet-quiet-BOOM SCARE YOU WITH LOUDNESS bits that makes 12 year-olds (and no one else) in the audience jump out of their seats.
Who's Big Idea This Was: Well Michael Bay produced it. So someone must have told him about the bazillion dollars they could make via pre-sales across Asia.
Who's Fault It Isn't: Jackie Earle Haley. Though he seems trapped between the rock of a character who's a mutilated, burned child rapist and the hard place of the stand-up comic that Freddy became in the later sequels, he manages to wiggle his way out of being stuck and keep a straight, heavily made up face. The fault lies with a "creative team" who expect audiences to forget everything they already know about the story so that the total lack of new material or surprises won't seem like such a complete waste of time in that theater seat. This is even less inspired and imaginative than the Friday The 13th reboot and makes Rob Zombie's Halloween films feel like the work of an auteur.
I'm Still Waiting For: A proper sequel to Freddy vs Jason. I'll keep waiting.