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A Nightmare on Elm Street Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Yawn. Read full review


Jen Yamato Profile

Nightmare on Elm Street 9: The Dream Molester Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 2.0

    out of 100

    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 30

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Michael Rechtshaffen

    The back-to-the-beginning approach unimaginatively goes through the motions, offering scant justification for its boring existence, at least from an artistic point of view.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    The energy is missing in the remake because the techniques, which are replicated in a straightforward fashion, are stale.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    By today's standards, it is only medium-bloody, though it's more than usually grim, its young protagonists sullen enough to qualify for the "Twilight" movies. Yet it affords precious little sadistic pleasure, partly because it "dares" to lay out more directly the pedophiliac demons plaguing Freddy the serial killer.

    Read Full Review

  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    It's not every day that one of our rogues' gallery of iconic psycho killers gets to be played by a creepy and fascinating actor -- in this case, Jackie Earle Haley taking on the role of Freddy Krueger.

    Read Full Review

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 17+

Teens sliced and slayed in grisly slasher remake.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that A Nightmare on Elm Street -- a "reboot" of the classic 1984 slasher film, and the ninth film about "Freddie Krueger," a serial killer who attacks teens in their dreams --  contains all the expected gore (throat-slashing, burning bodies, car crashes, eye-stabbing) and nightmare imagery (like a girl sinking into a pool of blood), with a slightly darker tone than the original. In this version, Oscar-nominated actor Jackie Earle Haley plays Freddie as a more twisted, tragic figure -- a suggested child molester (though nothing is seen or even overtly discussed) -- who is taking his revenge against the people who destroyed him. The movie contains strong language (including "f--k" and "bitch") and some mild hints of teen sexuality, as well as some references to drugs (for staying awake).

  • Families can talk about the film's extreme gore and violence. Was it scary? How else did it affect you? What makes horror movies so popular (and profitable)?
  • What is the impact of seeing so many gruesome images in horror movies like these? Teens: Do you think you'd feel less empathy for someone getting hurt if you saw too many movies like this one?
  • Why is Freddie scary? What makes him different from other "slashers" like Jason or Michael Myers? Do you think movies like these condone real violence?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The primary themes here are vengeance, denial, and fear. In flashbacks, it is suggested that Freddie Krueger is a child molester. Rather than alerting the authorities, the parents of his victims hunt him down and kill him. Returning through dreams and nightmares, Freddie then takes his revenge by hunting and killing the children, now teenagers.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Though the teens are problem solvers, constantly searching for ways to save their lives and the lives of their friends, their parents are basically vigilantes -- and clearly Freddy's no role model.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: The movie contains tons of horror violence, including throat-slashing, body-slashing, body-slamming, cigarette lighter-burning, face-slashing, burning bodies, car crashes, eye-stabbing, and severed hands. Additionally, we see plenty of terrifying nightmare imagery, such as a girl sinking into a lake of blood. This movie also hints that, in his past life, Freddie Krueger was a child molester, although nothing is actually shown or overtly mentioned.

  • sex false3

    Sex: No nudity or sex, but two teens are seen lying in bed together, and two other teens share a kiss. Teen girls are shown wearing tight, sexy clothing from time to time. Freddie occasionally makes some sexual remarks aimed at the teen girls.

  • language false5

    Language: At least nine uses of "f--k" (in various forms), and at least four uses of "s--t" (in various forms). Additionally, we hear "bitch," "pissed," "hell," "asshole," "Jesus," and "God" as exclamations.

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Characters use the "Gigablast" Internet search engine more than once. A character quickly drinks a Red Bull in one shot.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Teens drink coffee to stay awake. One teen takes a prescription drug, which he describes as "basically speed for kids with ADD." Later, he steals epinephrine (adrenaline) from a hospital cart and injects both himself and another teen.