A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The primary themes here are vengeance, denial, and fear. In flashbacks, it is suggested that Freddie Krueger is a child molester. Rather than alerting the authorities, the parents of his victims hunt him down and kill him. Returning through dreams and nightmares, Freddie then takes his revenge by hunting and killing the children, now teenagers.
Positive Role Models
Though the teens are problem solvers, constantly searching for ways to save their lives and the lives of their friends, their parents are basically vigilantes -- and clearly Freddy's no role model.
Violence & Scariness
The movie contains tons of horror violence, including throat-slashing, body-slashing, body-slamming, cigarette lighter-burning, face-slashing, burning bodies, car crashes, eye-stabbing, and severed hands. Additionally, we see plenty of terrifying nightmare imagery, such as a girl sinking into a lake of blood. This movie also hints that, in his past life, Freddie Krueger was a child molester, although nothing is actually shown or overtly mentioned.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
No nudity or sex, but two teens are seen lying in bed together, and two other teens share a kiss. Teen girls are shown wearing tight, sexy clothing from time to time. Freddie occasionally makes some sexual remarks aimed at the teen girls.
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At least nine uses of "f--k" (in various forms), and at least four uses of "s--t" (in various forms). Additionally, we hear "bitch," "pissed," "hell," "asshole," "Jesus," and "God" as exclamations.
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Products & Purchases
Characters use the "Gigablast" Internet search engine more than once. A character quickly drinks a Red Bull in one shot.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Teens drink coffee to stay awake. One teen takes a prescription drug, which he describes as "basically speed for kids with ADD." Later, he steals epinephrine (adrenaline) from a hospital cart and injects both himself and another teen.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that A Nightmare on Elm Street -- a "reboot" of the classic 1984 slasher film, and the ninth film about "Freddie Krueger," a serial killer who attacks teens in their dreams -- contains all the expected gore (throat-slashing, burning bodies, car crashes, eye-stabbing) and nightmare imagery (like a girl sinking into a pool of blood), with a slightly darker tone than the original. In this version, Oscar-nominated actor Jackie Earle Haley plays Freddie as a more twisted, tragic figure -- a suggested child molester (though nothing is seen or even overtly discussed) -- who is taking his revenge against the people who destroyed him. The movie contains strong language (including "f--k" and "bitch") and some mild hints of teen sexuality, as well as some references to drugs (for staying awake). To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The idea behind this horror series is still extremely effective. It brings terror to the one place where we should be safe: sleep. This new reboot follows the same structure and uses some of the same scary imagery from Wes Craven's 1984 classic original. It's competently made, and the characters and dialogue feel authentic enough. The digital special effects are more modern, in a way that will appeal to today's teen viewers.
The new movie differs mainly in the character of Freddie. As portrayed by Oscar-nominated Haley, he's less funny and more twisted and tormented, especially in his flashback "origin" sequences. But the suggestion of child molestation brings the movie right out of the "fun" realm; it's far more disturbing than entertaining. Though one saving grace is that the teens in this movie are generally good kids -- not the sex-obsessed or mean teens that often find their way into horror films.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.