Movie Monday: What a Nightmare

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NightmareonElmStreet.jpgIt was a Nightmare at the box office this weekend.

Specifically, the remake of Wes Craven’s 1984 horror flick A Nightmare on Elm Street slashed the competition. The movie raked in an estimated $32.2 million—and that despite the fact that mainstream critics treated the film about the same way Freddy Krueger treats his victims.

Coming in at second was How to Train Your Dragon (still going strong with an estimated $10.8 million in its sixth weekend), followed by Date Night and The Back-up Plan. The weekend’s only other wide-release debut, Furry Vengeance, clocked in at No. 5—perhaps proving that people actually do listen to movie critics at least some of the time.

So what are we to make of Freddy’s ongoing popularity 26 years after his nightmarish debut? If anything, Nightmare’s strong showing at the box office reinforces two longstanding trends. High-profile horror movies are often bulletproof, and nostalgia, even when it comes to a B-movie franchise like Elm Street, can be a powerful force. As movie critic Susan Granger of the SSG Syndicate noted, “Never has the lure of the recognizable been more obvious than in this familiar yet forgettable reboot of Wes Craven’s 1980s horror franchise.”

And speaking of nostalgia, Nightmare is kicking off what’s likely to be a big summer for ’80s retreads. Also coming down the pike in the next couple months are The A-Team and The Karate Kid. And 2011 will see a remake of Footloose.

This trend is nothing new, of course. But it seems that with each passing year, every remotely successful franchise or TV show from the ’70s and ’80s is getting another look.

Who wrote this?

Adam R. Holz is a senior associate editor for Plugged In. He also writes for Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse magazine and has been a Boundless contributor. In his free time (which there is sometimes precious little of) Adam enjoys playing guitar and constructing LEGO kits with his son. Adam and his wife, Jennifer, are the proud parents, in fact, of three children, one boy and two girls.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  deckardaintnoreplicant:

Well, consider another "franchise"... the Christian bashing of "Agora", "The Invention of Lying" and "The Golden Compass".To which we can add Evangelical-bashing! We have "Saved!", "At Play in the Fields of the Lord", "The Scarlet Letter" and now "The Easy 'A'".It's not that I mind thoughtful critiques of Theism on the big screen - "SimOne" is an underrated film that presents a sustained argument against Theism and the atheism of "The Truman Show" is easily overlooked. Compare these to "Religulous" and Gervais' self satisfied rhetoric!The New Atheism shifts books. Expect Hollywood producers to follow publishers..

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  Unblack89:

This just shows that Hollywood has no new ideas and is still putting blood, guts, and nudity over genuine thrills and scares.