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A Nightmare on Elm Street

Welcome to Your New Nightmare.

Rooney as: Nancy Holbrook
Genre(s): Horror
Written by: Wesley Strick, Eric Heisserer, Wes Craven (characters)
Directed by: Samuel Bayer
Other Cast: Jackie Earle Haley, Kyle Gallner, Katie Cassidy, Thomas Dekker
Release Date: April 30, 2010
Production Budget: $35m
Total Worldwide Gross: $115.6m
Filming Locations: Illinois, USA

  • Nancy, Kris, Quentin, Jesse and Dean all live on Elm Street. At night, they’re all having the same dream—of the same man, wearing a tattered red and green striped sweater, a beaten fedora half-concealing a disfigured face and a gardener’s glove with knives for fingers. And they’re all hearing the same frightening voice…

    One by one, he terrorizes them within the curved walls of their dreams, where the rules are his, and the only way out is to wake up.

    But when one of their number dies a violent death, they soon realize that what happens in their dreams happens for real, and the only way to stay alive is to stay awake. Turning to each other, the four surviving friends try to uncover how they became part of this dark fairytale, hunted by this dark man. Functioning on little to no sleep, they struggle to understand why them, why now, and what their parents aren’t telling them.

    Buried in their past is a debt that has just come due, and to save themselves, they will have to plunge themselves into the mind of the most twisted nightmare of all… Freddy Krueger.

    Production Info

  • Freddy’s sweater was knitted by Judy Graham, the same woman who knitted Freddy’s sweater in the original A Nightmare on Elm Street.
  • Johnny Depp accompanied his friend Jackie Earle Haley to auditions for the original film. Instead of Haley being chosen for a role, it was Depp who was spotted by director Wes Craven, who asked him if he would like to read for a part. Depp got a part in that film, Haley didn’t, but Haley would go on to play Freddy in this remake 26 years later.
  • Wes Craven was reportedly not approached about this remake. He has however publicly spoken against it.
  • Jackie Earle Haley would often improvise his lines on the set, feeling this might help unease his other cast members if they didn’t know what line he was going to say.
  • Originally intended to be a prequel, but the idea was dropped.
  • Around 15 different drafts of the script were written. The final film is a hybrid of 4 of them. Eric Heisserer, who’s listed as a co-writer, has stated that there’s very little for him to recognize of what he’s written in the final film.
  • Broke the record for midnight openings for a horror film.
  • Character Quotes

  • You have no idea what I’ve seen.
  • Memories don’t kill you.
  • I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I don’t exactly fit in.
  • If we just sit here and do nothing, we’re gonna die.
  • It hurts, doesn’t it? That’s because you’re in my world now, bitch.
  • Nightmare’s over.
  • Quentin: So you ever get tired of working here every weekend?
    Nancy: Do you ever get tired of coming here every weekend?
  • Nancy: Why would you lie to me?
    Gwen: I didn’t lie.
    Nancy: It’s right here. Why would you lie to me? Stop lying. You’re lying to me.
    Gwen: I’m not lying to you.
    Nancy: Stop lying to me!
    Gwen: I am not lying to you! I didn’t want you to have to go through your life with this memory! I didn’t want you to remember. I wanted you to forget!
    Nancy: Remember what? What happened at that preschool?
  • Gwen: [Looking at Nancy’s slashed arm] Oh, honey, honey, honey, what happened? Who did this to you?
    Nancy: Look at it, Mom. You know who did it. You know who did it.
  • Quentin: Look, if we survive the next 24 hours then I’ll take you out on a real date.
    Nancy: Well, what if I say no?
  • Quentin: Nancy, I can’t let you go to sleep. You’re not gonna wake up.
    Nancy: I know you won’t let that happen. Wake me up if you see a struggle.
  • Quoting: Rooney Mara

    On her character: The original Nancy’s got a lot of friends. She’s a popular girl. She’s not like a supermodel-like teen that you just don’t believe actually would ever go to your high school. She’s definitely like the girl next door. And our Nancy is not at all the girl next door. She really keeps to herself and is quiet and socially awkward and timid–she really doesn’t know how to connect with people. Throughout the movie you see her grow and she forms a connection with Quentin, she learns how to open up and reach out to people.

    On Freddy’s attraction to Nancy: Nancy was Freddy’s favorite. Even as a child she was a little bit different than the other kids. And because he’s different than everyone else, he really connected with her. He used to take her into his cave and paint and draw with her. But I think, mostly, it was because she’s not like the other kids that he connected with her and thought she was different and special. And she really trusted him.

    On the original film: It was such an original idea. The thought of someone being able to harm you while you sleep is just horrifying. You’re so vulnerable, you have no control. And then on top of that, the character they created was so iconic, there was no way around it.

    On working with Jackie Earle Healey: Jackie’s obviously an amazing actor and he’s really good at doing dark stuff, but I think he’s also quite funny. I can’t imagine anyone else doing it. I think he’s perfect for it.

    Quoting: Cast and Crew

    Director Samuel Bayer: Rooney has something that is absolutely special. The camera loves her, and she has a really introspective quality. I think she’s a great heroine; I really love her.

    Critical Response

    Liam Lacey, The Globe and Mail: Both Mara, fine-featured and earnest, and the puppy-eyed Gallner, are well-cast. They’re the kind of emo kids who, if not exactly outsiders, are more introverted and sensitive than their peers.