This week at the movies, we’ve got the return of Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare on Elm Street, starring Jackie Earle Haley and Rooney Mara) and some angry rodents (Furry Vengeance, starring Brendan Fraser and Brooke Shields). What do the critics have to say?
Freddy Krueger, one of horror cinema’s most iconic killers, is back to terrorize the teens of Springwood. Unfortunately, say critics, the new incarnation of A Nightmare on Elm Street is stale stuff, lacking the imagination and scares of its predecessors. Jackie Earl Haley steps into the role made famous by Robert Englund, and with his lethal glove he torments the young folks who can’t be bothered to stay awake. The pundits say this Nightmare is mostly pointless, recycling the best bits from the original but omitting the scares and the bone-chilling special effects. (Check out our series A Nightmare on Tim’s Street, in which yours truly watches all the Freddy movies in order.)
Here’s a great premise for a movie: a group of woodland creatures go on the offensive in order to teach us humans a thing or two about our eco-unfriendly ways. Unfortunately, critics say Furry Vengeance is no Over the Hedge; instead, it’s a mirthless, aggressively dumb family comedy that substitutes slapstick violence for laughs or a message. Brendan Fraser stars as the developer of a “green” housing complex that threatens the habitat of the local wildlife, which collectively rises up in protest; multiple shots to the groin ensue. The pundits say any attempts at wit and satire are forcefully avoided; instead, sadistic, cartoonish violence is the order of the day, and the result is a painful experience for the whole family. (Check out star Brooke Shields’ Five Favorite Films.)
Also opening this week in limited release: