Which Nightmare on Elm Street Movie is Better, the Original or the Remake?


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Kai DeBois, Writer

The original Nightmare on Elm Street is very different from the remake. Which one is better? Which movie is scarier? The original movie was made in 1984. The remake was made in 2010. There were many improvements made in camera work and special effects in the years in between. The events through which the characters find out about Freddy in the remake are also very different from those in the original movie. In the original, the main character’s parents told them about him, while in the remake their parents told them some stories about Freddy but they got most of their information from their nightmares. In my opinion, the remake is better in some ways. 

The biggest reason why the remake is better is because it explains the curse of Freddy better and you can clearly see when the kids are fighting off sleep. It even explains the side effects of not getting enough sleep. The 2010 version also clearly distinguishes what’s a dream and what’s not. In the original, the viewer can’t really tell what’s a dream and what isn’t.

In the original Freddy’s mask doesn’t look burned, it just makes him look like he has a bunch of holes in his face. The remake has better makeup, which means that in it he looks very burned. However, even though he looks scarier, his voice is less disturbing. What scared a lot of people in the 1984 version was Robert Englund’s voice. Robert Englund could not be in the remake and his replacement’s voice doesn’t make my skin crawl the same way. The new voice is still scary, but it is definitely not as scary as Robert Englund’s. 

The remake shows a lot more of Freddy. It explains his backstory. You see him messing with people’s minds more. He talks more. In the kids’ dreams, the story is explained more, so the viewer can understand why these kids are having nightmares and why Freddy is showing up in them.  

The 1984 version moved very slowly. It seemed like it took an hour for the movie to start to make sense. In the remake, though, things are very fast-paced and things are explained fairly early. In the very beginning, you immediately see someone get killed by Freddy, while in the original it took a while for the killing to start. In the 2010 movie, the characters spent more time trying to stay awake than just trying to figure out what was happening, which made it more interesting and scarier for the viewer.

Spoiler warning! You may not want to read this if you have not watched these movies! In the end of the original, Nancy, the main character, “kills” Freddy and everything goes back to the way it was (without her friends or mom having died)… until we see her mom being taken away by Krueger. The remake ends with the two main characters actually killing Freddy but with their friends still dead.