It reuses elements of all seven films of the original A Nightmare on Elm Street film series.
It introduces the new nightmare scenario of Micro-Naps as well as more of the original children of Elm Street targeted for death by the demonic dream stalker Freddy Krueger . The movie is the first to not include Robert Englund in the role as Freddy Krueger. It was written by Eric Heiresser and directed by music video director Samuel Bayer. It was released on April 30th in the U.S, North America in cinemas, and received very negative reviews from critics and the fans.
While at the Springwood Diner with his friend Kris Fowles, Dean Russell fell asleep at the table and met a man covered in burn scars, wearing a red and green sweater and a clawed glove on his right hand. The burned man cut Dean's throat in the Dream World, but in the physical world it appeared that Dean was cutting his own throat as friend and waitress Nancy Holbrook looked on with Kris. At Dean's funeral, Kris saw a photograph of herself and Dean as children, but could not recall ever knowing Dean before high school. Kris then began to dream about the burned man herself and refused to go to sleep for fear that she would die in her dreams. Jesse Braun (Thomas Dekker), Kris's ex-boyfriend, showed up at her house to keep her company while she slept, but Kris met the burned man in her dreams and was murdered. Covered in blood, Jesse ran to Nancy's house to try to explain what happened. He learned that Nancy has also been having dreams about the same man.
Jesse was apprehended by the police under suspicion of murdering Kris, and is killed by Freddy when he falls asleep in his jail cell.
With her friends dying, Nancy begins to question what everyone's connection is to each other, given that none of them can remember each other before their teenage years. Eventually, Nancy and her friend Quentin Smith discover that all of them, including more children, attended the same preschool together. Nancy's mother, Gwen Holbrook, reluctantly tells Nancy and Quentin that there was a gardener at the preschool, Fred Krueger, who hurt Nancy and the rest of the kids. Gwen explains that Nancy was his favorite, and came home one day telling her mom about Freddy's "magic cave" and the things that happened down there. Gwen claims Krueger skipped town before he was arrested. Nancy does not believe her and attempts to track down the remaining kids from the school. Nancy eventually discovers that all of the other kids, Lisa Harper, Bret Tanzer, Sukari McGill, Nancy Lumb, Elizabeth Cook, Marcus Yeon, Carrie Bush, and Craig Jackson, have been killed, most of them in their sleep. Meanwhile, Quentin tries to accept that everything is nothing more than repressed memories, but he falls asleep during swim practice and witnesses what really happened to Krueger. Quentin sees everyone's parents hunt down Krueger, and then burn him alive. Quentin and Nancy confront Quentin's father, Alan Smith, questioning the reality that they murdered Krueger with no actual evidence that he had committed any crime. Nancy and Quentin, who both begin sporadically dreaming while they are awake as a result of insomnia, decide to go to the preschool and learn what they can about Krueger.
On the way, Nancy falls asleep and is attacked by Freddy, but when Quentin wakes her up they discover she has pulled a piece of Freddy's sweater out of the dreamworld and into the physical world. Quentin takes Nancy to the hospital for cuts on her arm; there, he steals some adrenaline and a syringe to help them stay awake. Nancy and Quentin leave the hospital and eventually make it to the preschool. Quentin uncovers Krueger's "magic cave" and the evidence that proves Krueger was physically and sexually abusing all of the children. Nancy decides the only way to end this is to pull Krueger out of their dreams and kill him in reality. Quentin tries to stay awake long enough to pull Nancy out of her dream when she has Freddy, but he falls asleep and is attacked. Krueger then goes after Nancy and explains that he intentionally left her for last so she would stay awake long enough that when she finally fell asleep she would no longer be able to wake back up. While Nancy struggles with Freddy, Quentin wakes and uses the adrenaline to bring Nancy up and pull Freddy into reality. With Krueger distracted by Quentin, Nancy uses a broken paper cutter blade to cut Freddy's gloved hand off, and then slice his throat, seemingly killing him. Afterward, Nancy torches the secret room, with Krueger's body left inside to burn, while she and Quentin leave. Nancy and her mother return home from the hospital, with Nancy being told she should gets some sleep. As they talk, a very much alive (in a sense) Krueger suddenly appears in a mirror's reflection and kills Nancy's mother before pulling her body through the mirror and Nancy screams.
- Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy Krueger
- Kyle Gallner as Quentin Smith
- Rooney Mara as Nancy Holbrook
- Katie Cassidy as Kris Fowles
- Thomas Dekker as Jesse Braun
- Kellan Lutz as Dean Russell
- Lia Mortensen as Nora Fowles
- Julianna Damm as Young Kris Fowles
- Christian Stolte as Mr. Braun
- Hailey Schooping Knight as Creepy Girl #2
- Katie Schooping Knight as Creepy Girl #1
- Leah Uteg as Creepy Girl #3
- Don Robert Cass as History Teacher
- Kurt Naebig as Mr. Russell
- Kyra Krumins as Young Nancy Holbrook
- Brayden Coyer as Young Jesse Braun
- Max Holt as Young Dean Russell
- Andrew Fiscella as Inmate
- Bob Kizer as Swim Coach
- Pete Kelly as Officer
- Jason Brandstetter as County Jail Cop
- Bob Riley as Minister
- Scott Lindvall as Paramedic
- Dominick Conviello as Pharmacist
- Parker Bagley as Paxton
- Jennifer Robers as Mrs. Russell
- Tania Randall as Nurse
- Logan Stalzer as Logan
- Christopher Woods as Christopher
- Aaron Yoo as Marcus Yeon
The score to A Nightmare on Elm Street was composed by Steve Jablonsky, who recorded the film's music with a 60-piece string ensemble of the Hollywood Studio Symphony at the Sony Scoring Stage.
- Freddy' Coming For You
- Main Title
- Missing Pictures
- Quiet Drive
- Jesse And Kris
- Jesse And The Police
- You Smell Different
- A Man Named Fred Krueger
- It's Hot In Here
- The School
- Where The Monster
- Wake Me Up
- Like It Used To Be
- One More Nap
- Jump Rope
Early estimates put Nightmare on Elm Street's opening day gross at approximately $15 million, with a projected opening weekend of $35 million. Included in the $15 million is the $1.6 million the film made from midnight showings on Thursday night from 1,000 theaters. Ultimately, the film finished its opening with $32,902,299, placing first for the weekend ahead of How to Train Your Dragon (6th week in release), Date Night, (4th week in release) The Back-up Plan (2nd week in release), and Furry Vengeance; the latter film was also in its opening weekend. A Nightmare on Elm Street dropped 72 percent in its second weekend, earning $9,119,389; dropping to second place for the weekend behind Iron Man 2. The film dropped an additional 54 percent in its third week, bringing in $1.5 million, though it remained in the Top 10 rankings for the weekend, placing sixth overall. The film remained in the top ten for the fourth weekend in a row, grossing approximately $2,285,000 and finishing eighth for the week. In its fifth weekend, the 2010 remake fell out of the box office top ten, finishing eleventh with an estimated $910,000.As of July 6, 2010, A Nightmare on Elm Street has earned $63,071,122 at the domestic box office, since its opening, the film has taken in approximately $52,332,285 in the overseas box office, giving it a worldwide total gross of $115,407,296. The 2010 remake currently sits as the second highest grossing A Nightmare on Elm Street film in the franchise in North America, just behind Freddy vs. Jason ($82,622,655), in unadjusted dollars.
The film received very negative reviews from critics and fans. Based on 165 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, A Nightmare on Elm Street holds a 15% overall rating from critics, with an average score of 3.7 out of 10, The consensus at Rotten Tomatoes was that the film was "visually faithful but lacking the depth and subversive twists that made the original so memorable, the Nightmare on Elm Street remake lives up to its title in the worst possible way." By comparison, Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, calculated an average score of 35, based on 25 reviews.
CinemaScore polls reported that the average grade cinemagoers gave the film was a "C-plus" on an A+ to F scale, with exit polls showing that audiences were evenly divided between males and females, with 40 percent between 18–24 years of age and 20 percent under 18. Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave it a "B–" and concluded that, "I did jump a few times, and I liked Haley's dour malevolence, but overall, the new Nightmare on Elm Street is a by-the-numbers bad dream that plays a little too much like a corporately ordered rerun. One, two, Freddy's coming for you. Three, four, we've been there before".
Michael Rechtshaffen of The Hollywood Reporter criticized the acting calling it "lethargically lifeless" and criticized Haley's portrayal of Krueger, saying, "Even with his electronically deepened voice and a pointless amount of backstory, there's just no replacing Englund". Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 1 star out of 4, writing in his review, "I stared at A Nightmare on Elm Street with weary resignation. The movie consists of a series of teenagers who are introduced, haunted by nightmares and then slashed to death by Freddy. So what? Are we supposed to be scared? Is the sudden clanging chord supposed to evoke a fearful Pavlovian response?"
- Katie Cassidy who plays Kris Fowles and Thomas Dekker who plays Jesse Braun both starred in the same episode of 7th Heaven, "Red Socks" (2005).
- Aaron Yoo plays the role of Chewie in the reboot of Friday the 13th. He also plays the role of Marcus Yeon in this remake. Therefore he plays two characters in the A Nightmare On Elm Street/Friday The 13th universes.
- A Nightmare On Elm Street won "Best Horror Film" at the 2011 People's Choice Awards, though its reception was very negative.
- Some soundtracks from the original movie are used in this film.
- This film reuses concepts from all the films to date in the original film series.
- Some scenes from the original film are almost shot to shot in the remake.
- Some New Nightmare aspects are lamp shade hanging; but difficult to spot unless one is from Chicago.
- There are some quotes from the original Freddy that are used by the remake Freddy.
- Originally the film's climax was going to take place in a church.
- Some scenes that didn’t end up in the film such as Dean at the pool party