Valentine 2001: 14 Reasons Why It’s a Solid Slasher Movie

Valentine (2001) has worked its way up my list of favorite slasher movies. I never make a big deal about Valentine’s Day, but it shocks me that so many people hate this movie. Valentine 2001 came out in the same year as some better horror movies – such as 13 Ghosts remake, The Devil’s Backbone and Jeepers Creepers – but Valentine is still a fun slasher and worth a watch.

In honor of Valentine’s Day and to challenge all those who hate it, here are the reasons why it doesn’t suck (contains spoilers):


Boys will be boys. The male characters in this movie are hilariously bad people. Valentine sends a very strong message that finding Mr. Right is almost impossible. Throughout the movie, the girls are trying to find dates, and the pool is filled with egotistical d-bags. That’s the dating world, but the movie doesn’t send a hopeless message. It essentially says it’s ok to be single.

Everyone can relate. The movie starts at a dance with a nerdy, unpopular kid trying to ask several girls to dance. He faces constant, and most times, vicious rejection. We’ve all been rejected, so it speaks to a large audience.

Most of the victims receive creative Valentine’s Day cards. These cards are some of my favorite cards ever and add a nice touch. For example, “Roses are red. Violets are blue. They’re going to need dental records to identify you.” Not only are they creatively twisted, they’re funny.

You don’t feel bad for any of these characters. Sometimes, you feel like certain people should survive a slasher. Not in this one. Most of the characters are shallow and selfish, and most of them get exactly what they deserve.

Valentine keeps you guessing throughout, and there’s a fun little twist. It doesn’t end like most slashers, and the surprise is well worth the watch.

All 90s and early 2000s horror movie fans will love the cast. There are several actors you know from other movies. The Valentine cast includes: Denise Richards (Wild Things), Hedy Burress (Cabin by the Lake), Katherine Heigl (Bride of Chucky), Marley Shelton (Planet Terror, Scream 4.)

Listen to the music because the soundtrack rocks. For all you heavy rock fans, you’ll love hearing Deftones, Orgy, Manson, Rob Zombie and Linkin Park.

Everyone has distinct personalities and issues. One thing current movies lack in general is good stereotyping; there is a reason stereotyping exists. In movies, it often pokes fun at them, and the same is true here. You have the pretty girl, the sweet girl, the chubby girl, the awful artist, etc. All the actors play their parts well.

Never underestimate the nerd. You know who the killer is from the go, but who is he/she 10 years later is the big question. They quickly dismiss the nerd because he “could barely operate a water fountain, much less an intricate revenge plot.” Think again.

The main girls die in the way they rejected the nerd at the dance. I love this. For example, when asked to dance, Paige (Richards) says she’d, “rather be boiled alive.” Guess how she dies.

It fills a niche of horror that has been heavily dominated by My Bloody Valentine, which is hands-down my favorite Valentine-related slasher, but Valentine 2001 isn’t trying to be a great movie; it’s trying to be fun. I enjoy the holiday-themed horror movies, and Hollywood doesn’t do many Valentine’s Day ones, so it’s refreshing.

No one wants an Oscar, including the writers. The dialogue is quick and feels very real. When two characters converse, it feels natural. The writing leads to some sub-par acting, but that’s the beauty of the movie. It’s easy to laugh at the characters and easily recognize the actors enjoyed making it.

Everyone can pick it apart. I rewatched it recently for this post, and at one point I thought, “Who’s house are they in?” There’s a scene where the main girls are in a random house for questioning, and you have no idea whose house it is because you’ve seen where everyone lives, and it’s not there. In another scene, a girl answers the door and looks down before she’s supposed to. It’s those little things that make a movie more entertaining, and Valentine is a great movie to watch alone or with your best friend.

If you love a mindless slasher, check out Valentine 2001. Feel free to let us know what you think in the comments, and Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

History Meets Horror in Nightmares in Red, White & Blue

This week I came across Nightmares in Red, White & Blue, a documentary that discusses horror movies and the history that inspires them. Nightmares takes a Marxist approach to the horror genre and how these movies are influenced by history, and how society receives these events and horror movies.

Nightmares Red White Blue Review

The Government Inspires Horror

This is not a political view point. This is an observation from the movie. Since the 1920s, filmmakers have used horror to speak out against the government. According to Nightmares, people in power have been a symbol of horrific things: poverty, war, starvation, violence. Horror films speak out against those trying to harm us.

For example, in the 1920s, a “monster” may have been a disabled veteran. Government + war = disabled vet who appears as a “monster” to society. Horror filmmakers have also used government entities and events, such as Hitler’s reign and the Holocaust, as inspiration. Or Sci-Fi horror to speak out against government/alien conspiracy theories.

I learned a lot by watching some of the greats discuss their own experiences during these eras, and explain how they used horror to release their fears and tastefully speak out against them.

Evil Lies Within

In the documentary, John Carpenter says there are two types of evil: The evil out there (Universal monsters) and the evil within (eg: human ego and pride). Carpenter says, “it’s in our own human hearts. And that’s a harder story to tell.”

I found this interesting because if you think about your favorite horror movie, there is an inner evil within someone. Whether its a Mayor who’s unwilling to lose tourism money (Jaws) or a killer seeking revenge (Freddy, Jason, Michael), the evil lives within someone. The overall message is people are evil; anyone can snap; and that is scary.

Nightmares Red White Blue Review
Photo: Huffington Post

Today’s Horror Punishes This Evil

This isn’t directly stated, but when Saw was mentioned, I realized today’s horror movies only set out to punish people. The horror genre stays true to its roots and speaks out against social wrongdoings, but instead of the attacking the government, now it feels like horror movies attack the people.

It Follows was one of the big movies in 2015, and the “monster” was an STD. It Follows punished those who are irresponsibly sexually active. The modern teen horror movie has turned into a digital stalker (Unfriended). Teens are punished for spending too much time connected and enjoying others’ humiliation via social media. Sinister and Insidious punishes the working parent. Instead of staying home to care for their kids, parents are busy with their own agendas or aren’t home. And the list goes on.

Other Highlights

I don’t want to give too much away, but you’ll probably see all your favorite horror movies mentioned. Nightmares in Red, White & Blue covers everything from the early 1920s to the mid 2000s. Many experts are featured, and they reveal why they made a movie or what message they wanted to share. Nightmares is fast-paced, and you’ll learn a lot about how American history influenced the genre and what people were feeling at the time.

PS: Nightmares in Red, White & Blue is free on Amazon Prime streaming right now. If you check it out, let us know what you think in the comments below!


Originals and Remakes: Horror Films that Need a Modern Remake

We hope you’ve enjoyed our October Original vs. Remake series. We had a blast comparing them, and we hope you’ve tried at least a couple!

We also understand many have grown tired of the remake trend; however, a few horror movies need a remake. Whether getting back to classics or bringing light to underrated movies, we wanted to conclude the series with something a little different. Theses movies could and need a modern remake:

James’ Picks:

The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari (1920)

The original film in 1920 was a silent German expressionist masterpiece borne out of the inter-war period in Europe. It is a story told from the perspective of one character and actually has a twist worth something (if you haven’t seen it I won’t spoil it here). The main plot revolves around a mad doctor, Caligari, who uses a sleepwalker, Cesare, to murder for him. It is shot with painted shadows, twisted imagery, and a warped perspective as the narrator shares his own mentally distorted view of what happened. I can imagine this film, shot by a talented director using practical effects (Edgar Write I’m looking at you..) for a modern audience relieving some of the abstract and abbreviated storytelling prevalent in the silent era. There was a 2006 remake, but one, true to the original, of wider scope and scale would do this amazing classic justice.

White Zombie (1932)

I first saw this film in a zombie-thon when I was a teenager. It came on with Romero pictures and was distinctly out of place and, for me, unusual. As an adult I’ve come to appreciate just how fascinating this film is and how great a remake would be. It focuses on Madeleine and her fiance Neil. A wealthy plantation owner, Charles, is also in love with Madeleine and enlists a voodoo mystic (played here by the glorious Bela Lugosi…someone would have to up their game to play this role) Murder Legendre (though his name is not really heard in the film except for maybe one piece of dialogue). In a great scene we see Murder use his powers to turn Madeleine into a voodoo zombie, a status of wakeful hypnosis fully under Murder’s control. What would make this a great remake? Well getting back to the original voodoo zombies, powerful zombie masters, great characters straight from the origins of horror (Dr. Bruner is Van Helsing in all but name.) A great modern remake could, again, fill in a vague story from the dawn of horror cinema and bring this tale to a modern audience. Plus it would introduce people to how the zombie legend originated. Let’s face it, the flesh-eating zombie thing is kind of done, whether it be from unknown causes or disease or whatever they cook up. Let’s put some magic back in zombie movies and tell a great classic story in a new way.

Raven’s Picks

Cherry Falls (2000)

Brittany Murphy Cherry Falls
Photo from:

Cherry Falls ranks as my favorite teen slasher. However, many have never seen or heard of it. I realize that a remake would seem a little insensitive to Brittany Murphy, but I bet she would be honored knowing this movie received the attention it deserves. There are two reasons why Cherry Falls needs a remake. First, it was never released in the U.S. I’m guessing Hollywood thought it was too influential, as the storyline suggests teens must lose their virginity to survive. If America’s youth are that easily influenced, it’s time to look at the parents. Second, we haven’t had a good teen slasher since Scream 4, and that was in a series. I can’t remember the last good teen slasher. Hollywood needs to stop making crap that no one wants to see and get back to basics. Cherry Falls had an original storyline – gasp! – and serves horror well, as it’s dark, funny, gruesome, and entertaining. The horror film industry needs to cut back on CGI ghosts and jump scares, and get back to making movies that rely on a good story and actors.

Cabin by the Lake (2000)

Cabin by the Lake

Cabin by the Lake – a USA Network-release – is gold. In fact, good luck finding a DVD copy under $40, and you can find a lower-quality version on YouTube. Judd Nelson plays a writer/serial killer, and Hedy Burress is a fantastic final girl. Nelson not only kills them, he has created an underground garden of victims deep in the lake. The movie is funny, suspenseful and entertaining. A Cabin by the Lake remake would bring back a theme that has disappeared: the crazy writer. I mean a writer who is unbalanced and disturbed on his/her own, not one driven crazy by a supernatural force. The original story is different and refreshing, and again, it would be nice to see Hollywood get back to basics. I enjoy horror movies for a number of reasons, but entertainment value tops the list. Minus a few, modern horror movies are no longer entertaining. They focus too much on mood and CGI, and not enough on the story or character development.

If done correctly, all of these remakes would get Hollywood back on track, and introduce new and forgotten stories and elements to modern audiences. We hope good screenplay writers out there will pay attention!

We’d love to hear what movies you think could use a remake or reboot! Feel free to tell us in the comments or on social media.

Original Vs Remake: Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Grindhouse theater was a big underground movement in the 1970s. Cheaply made, extreme movies of graphic violence or exploitation were all the rage, but rarely was one such film remembered beyond the double feature run time. In 1974, using the grindhouse model, Tobe Hooper took the formula beyond the late show with Texas Chainsaw Massacre a modern horror classic that has had as lasting impact on the genre as a whole as any other film. In 2003 Marcus Nispel released a remake of the classic that was instantly dismissed as unnecessary and far inferior to the original. Was this criticism justified? I’ll give some of the verdict away when I state no, it wasn’t and in many ways the remake expands on the original’s concepts making a quite a good remake.

The Plot: The plot for both of these movies is iconic and simple. A group of teenagers on a desolate Texas highway pick up a hitchhiker who derails their trip, which is further derailed when they make a stop and run into a bunch of crazy locals and a chainsaw wielding madman known as “Leatherface.” The set up in both movies is simple enough to set up the future events and doesn’t really get in the way of the brutality later on. The differences are the hitchhiker picked up in the original is a psycho who later turns out to be one of the groups harassers and in the remake she is a victim of the crazed townsfolk who commits suicide in front of them, foreshadowing the despair the group will soon feel.   Both set ups work in their environments and time periods without dragging the story down too much.

The Characters:

The Original – The original movie features the lead teens, Jerry his girlfriend Pam, Kirk, Sally, and Sally’s brother Franklin. The maniacs are the hitchhiker, the Old Man, the Grandfather, and Leatherface. The villains in this movie turn out to be cannibals, kidnapping people to cook and eat them. Their house is disturbing and just their interactions are unsettling, even before you know the depths of their depravity. The problem is, with the possible exception of the Old Man and Leatherface when he’s in kill-mode, I have a hard time thinking of a group of more annoying characters to appear in a single film. This is especially true for the hitchhiker, whose “unsettling” appearance really just grated endlessly on my nerves and Franklin. Franklin is the most unpleasant character this side of Joey the chocolate bar kid in Friday 13th: A New Beginning with the difference being how much Franklin appears in the film. His petulant attitude and aggravating persona is one of my biggest problems in the film. His brutal chainsaw death makes it almost worth dealing with.

The Remake – The characters aren’t altogether outstanding or memorable, but they aren’t nearly as overwhelmingly annoying as in the first film. They also feel slightly less like cartoon caricatures but certainly fit all the clichés. We have the troublemaker guy Morgan, the good guy who’s a bit of a renegade Kemper, the tough guy Andy, and panicky girl pepper, and the straight-laced (aka “final”) girl Erin. They have some nice, if unnecessary backstories among them, like the engagement between Erin and Kemper and the “getting pot” plot line (which the same director appears to be obsessed with as it also makes an even more central appearance in his Friday 13th remake) but they add to a bit of world building and depth. The villains are where this film really shines. The creepy towns folk aren’t anything as extreme as the cannibals in the first film, they’ve been brought a bit more “reality” by making them just cruel, disgusting, evil people. And it is in the remake villains we find the greatest character in both films, and no not Leatherface . We’re talking R. Lee Ermey as Sheriff Hoyt. His character is easily one of the best in modern horror history. Certainly since the new millennium. He’s cruel but funny, you hate him but can’t wait for him to get more screen time, and he’s quotable as hell.   Ermey easily steals the show from everyone, including Leatherface. This is no mean feat considering this film features the extremely lovely Jessica Biel running around in the world’s greatest costume through a lot of water.

R Lee Ermey Steals the show in the remake.

What Works and What Doesn’t:

The Original – What works best in the original is what they didn’t show. For a movie with such a terrifically gruesome title there is very little gore. The sites are desolate and the kills all implied. This is something modern horror would do well to get back to. Watching a massive man in a skin mask appear from nowhere, crack someone on their head and watch them spasm as he drags them off screen and slams a metal door is extremely effective. Even the chainsaw massacring isn’t graphic, showing things in silhouette, or slightly out of frame. What doesn’t work to me is stylistic taste… There is a ton of repetition in this film. For example: “Hit her Grandpa!”-Sally Screaming;-Grandpa drops the hammer. “Hit her Grandpa!”-Sally Screaming;-Grandpa drops the hammer. “Hit her Grandpa!”-Sally Screaming;-Grandpa drops the hammer. Scenes of people laughing or acting weird cut to close ups of victims screaming or gasping go on and on. Also there are several times the movie has somewhat of an “art house” feel where we slowly just look at sets or scenes. And it has the same problem I had with Dawn of the Dead where stalling is used to increase tension, as someone staggers around or reacts painfully slowly, which has the effect on me of frustration rather than tension building.

The Remake – The tone and environment of the remake are well done. It actually feels just as desolate but like a more “real” place. My mother, who was stationed in Texas, actually said driving around back country Texas roads you see all kinds of places like that and people who could fit in here.   The characters also seem more real and the situation, where a hitchhiker commits suicide in their van after they pick her up, immediately heightens tension and gives the kids a reason to be stranded. Leatherface is actually much more intimidating this this film and the chase in the final quarter of the film is one of the best. Erin is also a much more resourceful and likable character than Sally, as she fights hard, tries to save friends, and makes sacrifices to get away while trying to stop the evil of her pursuers. The flaws are so cliché the fact that I’m pointing them out is cliché… Characters are dumb, and do lots of stupid things. Cars don’t start or fall apart. There are a number of cheap jump scares, including the classic possum-in-the-locker trick, and the kills aren’t as creative and a little more “torturey” than the effective implied violence of the original. I will say they do seem to “fit” the world so there doesn’t seem to be as much Saw-style exploitation.

The Verdict: I’m prepared for this and steeled myself for the backlash… I prefer the remake. The original reminds me of Star Wars. It’s a progenitor of things to come that people have a nostalgic attachment to pushing its value beyond its actual quality. Horror fans think they are supposed to like it, and it has a number of merits. But like I said in my Dawn of the Dead review “liking” a film is visceral. I find the original unpleasant to watch, not because of the content but because of its execution. Many filmmakers have praised its style for being “raw” but to me it feels “sloppy,” and while I understand this was a stylistic choice popular in the early to mid-70s it isn’t one I personally am a fan of. With the repetition, painfully unlikable characters, shrill sound design, slow pace, and dirty execution I find the original a better film to “study” than enjoy. It’s interesting to see a genesis of ideas and what came out of them but not one I’d sit and watch more than once. The remake took the great ideas of the original and made a fun modern horror movie. It’s tense, well-shot, well-acted, and adds new elements while staying true, never trying to one up the original and honoring it where it can. For those who hate the remake I say give it a watch with new eyes and enjoy it without prejudice. It’s a great horror movie and well-deserving of the Texas Chainsaw name.

Halloween: Original vs. Remake

We hope everyone had a happy and safe Halloween! Another holiday has come and gone, however we had so much fun and great conversations about this topic that we’ve decide to extend it another week. We also want to thank everyone for reading and discussing horror movies with us all month. It is my pleasure to review this one, and heads up, I could talk forever about this one!

Michael Myers 1978

Halloween – The Original

Possibly my favorite movie from this era and definitely in my top five in the genre, John Carpenter’s Halloween is a classic. This was one of the first – maybe even the first – slasher movie I saw as a kid. I don’t want to gush and seem like a fan girl because I do poke fun at a few things too. So, here are a few of my favorite things about the original Halloween.

False Sense of Security: From the opening scenes, the audience sees this is a quite little suburban town. The teenagers are decent kids who party, but most teenagers do. The younger kids are excited about Halloween, and there are lots of shots of trick-or-treaters, trees, streets and houses. As the movie unravels, you feel sympathy for these townspeople. They have encountered a tragedy and evil that may defeat them and destroy their little town. You wouldn’t expect an evil force, and the original takes you from all those wonderful Halloween memories you have to fearing Michael Myers. It takes you on a roller coaster of emotion and disrupts what should be a fun-filled holiday.

Pure Evil: Myers is pure evil. It’s that simple. Some people are just born with an evil that consumes them. Whether you believe in this theory or not, the original Halloween did. There was no backstory. You do not know why Myers was a killer, and I never cared to know. I just accepted the “pure evil” within him because it was believable. He never says a word. He just punishes and kills, and that’s what makes him more threatening to me. Evil motivates him, and if you aren’t scared of evil, then what does scare you? The evil serves as a supernatural force, which is much harder to control than a person. It’s unpredictable, reckless, and illogical. The idea that you can’t control it is more effective from a horror standpoint and leaves you uneasy throughout the movie.

Jaime Lee Curtis: My pick for the top final girl. Curtis set the bar for final girls. She’s played several strong female characters over the years, and Halloween helped her establish that career role. In Halloween, her character is smart, responsible, fun, and studious, however she also smokes pot and hangs out with her friends. She is a normal teenager who becomes tormented by Myers. Her character was developed very well, and you follow her through her ups and downs. She was strong and weak; she fought and cried. She was a woman survivor. Curtis is and always will be Laurie Strode.

Michael Myers 2007

Halloween – The Remake

I don’t think I saw Rob Zombie’s Halloween in theaters, and if I did, I apologize to who I saw it with! We’ve talked a little about re-imagining movies – such as A Nightmare of Elm Street – and that’s what Zombie’s version is. He took the original and built on it. It wasn’t a true remake because he added and changed a lot, and Zombiefied it as only he can do.

I have a few issues with this version, but as a stand-alone horror movie, it’s pretty intense.

No security: As an audience, you never feel safe watching this movie. Zombie takes you from a highly dysfunctional lower-class family, to an asylum, then back to the dysfunctional family. There is nothing pretty in or about this movie. As an audience, it’s difficult to feel shocked about anything that happens because you almost expect it. It’s predictable. Whereas in the original, the murders are a tragedy because terror invades a small quiet town. You get to know the town as a whole, instead of Myers. I don’t agree with Zombie’s choice because Myers and his life are terrifying enough. He strips all innocence from the beginning. And if you take away the town’s innocence from the beginning, you take it away forever and leave no hope.

The backstory: I appreciate a little backstory, but I feel the first half of this movie is way too long. Zombie refuses the idea of “pure evil,” and make Myers a product of his environment. Coming from a dysfunctional and abusive household, Myers snaps. Then he is so consumed by loss and hatred, it turns into evil. Comparing the two, I prefer the original idea, however I accept that modern audiences need this backstory. They want to know why, and they have to see progression. If Zombie had shortened it 20 more minutes, I think most people would not complain about the length. Reviewers seem split down the middle about this – you either love or dislike the backstory – I side with the latter.

Laurie Strode: Once Myers escapes, Halloween 2007 turns into a respectful remake. Scout Taylor-Compton portrays Strode’s character well, and she stays true to the innocent good-girl type. Her character is modernized, and for the purposes of the remake, that’s okay. However, audiences don’t really know her. The emphasis on Myers is so heavy, Halloween 2007 lacks teen character development, which should be as important as Myers’ story. In the remake, Strode doesn’t stand out above her friends, and she is not the only final girl. It’s a disservice to the character, and I wonder if Annie (Danielle Harris) survives because the first franchise kind of screwed her over.

Final Thoughts

Zombie does keep a lot of the original details, which shows he wasn’t trying to outdo the original Halloween. Myers dresses up as a ghost with the glasses, Zombie uses the original score, the masks are the same, the girls resemble the original girls, etc. It is gruesome and bloody, which I can take or leave. I also expect that from Rob Zombie. I enjoy the movie much more once Myers escapes, but the violence and kill scenes feel too long. For that reason, I can’t watch this movie often because it borders torture instead of quick-slasher fashion.

The verdict: The original. I watch it every Halloween night, and it is perhaps a perfect slasher movie.

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

Guest Post: A Nightmare on Elm Street – Original vs. Remake

Happy Halloween week, everyone! Our good friend Blake Best, author of Seeing Red and Green, joined in the remake conversation this month to discuss this horror classic. Please show some love, and feel free to learn more about him in our Artist Spotlight: Blake Best.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

A Nightmare on Elm Street: Original vs. Remake

When the original “A Nightmare on Elm Street” was released in 1984, it became a surprise hit. The late Wes Craven (1939-2015) created the perfect horror film: great story, believable characters, and the cinematography was spot on for the dark nature of the film. Craven expanded on the “rubber reality” concept and in doing so created an iconic boogeyman in “Freddy Krueger” (Robert Englund), the fire-scarred, razor-fingered maniac that launched one of the most successful horror franchises in modern cinema.

The remake of the film was released in 2010 to DEFINITE mixed reviews. Most purists balked because Robert Englund did not return as “Freddy,” the role that essentially made him a household name among horror fans. Jackie Earle Haley was cast instead, fresh off his turn as “Rorschach” in the hit film “Watchmen.” Another reason for the criticism was the presence of Michael Bay as a producer on the film. Bay is known for his attachment to action blockbusters like the “Transformers” films. I was initially biased because of my unabashed love of the first “Nightmare” film. My new book “Seeing Red & Green” examines the popularity of the films and discusses why “Freddy Krueger” has become such a pop-culture icon. I concluded there would be no better time than now to share my comparison of the original to the remake.


There are a few similarities between the films. The basic premise is the same, with a group of teenagers sharing collective nightmares about this dark and ominous man. Several of the teens are killed off by Freddy one by one in unique ways and the ending of the film is ambiguous, leaving room for a possible sequel. Freddy’s general appearance is very similar to the original film (tattered red and green striped sweater, hat, and razor fingered glove), though in the remake his sleeves are striped and the makeup has been altered to resemble a more realistic burn victim.


The differences are the defining characteristics in comparing the films. The characters are altogether different (including Nancy, who is less the girl next door and more an introverted artistic type) and Freddy himself underwent changes to his backstory.

The original allows you to get to known the characters on a more personal level, allowing you to feel a certain way about them (sympathize, clamor for their death, etc.) The remake doesn’t give you enough time to know them. With the exception of a couple of characters, the majority of the teens are introduced and promptly killed off, allowing you no time to feel ANYTHING about them.

Freddy’s backstory in the original was that of a child killer who escaped conviction due to a technicality. Vengeful parents cornered him in his boiler room hideout and set him ablaze. The remake’s backstory is markedly different, with the revelation that he was a pedophile. Originally Craven intended for this to be included in the original film, but it was scrapped due to a very public scandal in California involving children at the time of the film’s production. In this film the child killing facet of his backstory is completely removed from his “pre-burning” history. The film goes one step further and toys with the audience, leaving them unsure of Freddy’s guilt (until closer to the ending of the film).

The original featured all practical special effects, as computer generated imagery (CGI) was over a decade away from being introduced. Freddy’s makeup/prosthetics and all of the other effects (including the “face through the wall” gag) were all physical effects made with latex, wires, ingenuity and a ton of fake blood, around 500 gallons. The remake featured an overabundance of CGI effects, including a portion of the “Freddy” makeup. The iconic “face through the wall” effect was entirely CGI. It feels like the CGI was used to distract audiences from issues with the plot and character development.

The original “A Nightmare on Elm Street” was an entirely original concept and used very few tropes typical to the ‘slasher’ genre at the time. The remake actually re-used several one liners from the previous “Nightmare” films. I’ll leave it to you to figure out which ones!

How do I rank them?

The original surpasses the remake in nearly every way, save for budget ($1.8 million for the original, around $35 million for the remake). The 2010 film is far less gory than the original, which is surprising, since the films are part of the ‘slasher’ genre. “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (2010) is less of a “remake” and more of a “re-imagining,” geared towards catching the attention of younger generations

— Blake Best, author of “Seeing Red & Green”